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New Documents Show Senate GOP Rigged Process in Awarding $134 Million Legislative Office Project to Major GOP Donor
Mar. 24th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

New Documents Show Senate GOP Rigged Process in Awarding $134 Million Legislative Office Project to Major GOP Donor

The Bojis’ History of $1.8 Million in Tax Liens Was Hidden;

Dems Demand Project Be Terminated

LANSING –– Today, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon responded to a news report showing that top Republican officials rigged the bidding process for new State Senate offices and buried disqualifying information to ensure that GOP mega-donor Ron Boji was awarded the project.

“These new, luxury downtown offices for state senators are a result of the insider deals and scandals that have plagued Lansing since Republicans took complete control,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “We already knew that the $134 million, taxpayer-funded deal to GOP mega-donor Ron Boji was done under a shroud of secrecy, and now we know why – Republicans didn’t want the public to find out that they gave over 130 million taxpayer dollars to a company that hadn’t even paid its own taxes.”

New reports show that Senate Republicans orchestrated a cover-up of massive tax liens from Ron Boji and his company during the bidding process for new Senate offices. Senate documents revealed that every bidder, except Boji, was asked to list any outstanding tax obligations as part of the bidding process. Boji and his fellow company executives had accrued more than $1.8 million in tax liens by the time they submitted their bid to build new legislative offices, including tax liens that were outstanding at the time they submitted their bid and on the building itself.

Under Michigan law, those tax liens should have prevented Boji from getting the Capitol View contract and could potentially make his company ineligible from doing business with the State of Michigan for years. But it’s clear that there’s one set of rules for big GOP donors, like Boji, and another set for everyone else.

The lavish Senate offices will cost taxpayers an incredible $134 million, according to the State’s own estimates. Dillon said Boji should have been barred from getting the contract because he and his company had accrued millions of dollars in tax liens.

The report comes amid increased scrutiny of the wasteful project. Democrats are calling for Governor Rick Snyder and the Republicans in the Legislature to cancel funding in the FY 2016-17 budget.

“Not only is spending $134 million on plush new offices for State Senators a complete waste of money, but these new reports throw the legality of the Capitol View boondoggle into question,” said Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet). “Which is why I called on Attorney General Schuette to investigate into this contract. The people of Michigan deserve to know if massive campaign contributions persuaded GOP officials to look the other way in awarding millions of taxpayer dollars to a company that shouldn’t have been eligible to bid on the project in the first place.”

Former Republican Senator Majority Leader Randy Richardville was responsible for awarding the massive Senate Offices project to Ron Boji’s company, the Boji Group. Boji and his fellow execs are Republican mega-donors, routinely topping the lists of biggest contributors to GOP candidates and groups in Michigan. Richardville, who is now a consultant, admitted in the report that after leaving the Senate he went to work for Boji’s interests.

In recent years, the Boji family has contributed at least $110,000 to the Michigan Republican Party; at least $34,600 to Congressman Mike Bishop and his various political funds; and at least $41,000 to Snyder and his political funds. The Michigan Senate Republican Campaign Committee, Richardville, and individual Republican senatorial candidates, have received at least $72,600 in contributions from the Bojis in recent years.

The Capitol View giveaway is expected to cost taxpayers a total of $134 million — more than $3.5 million per senator’s office. It was approved with almost no public scrutiny or legislative oversight. The Legislature can end funding for the project by removing its appropriation from the FY 2016-17 budget.

“Democrats are demanding that this legislative office scandal be stopped in the budget process, as we have demanded before,” said Representative Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills). “It's a terrible deal to begin with, but it now smells of cronyism. The time to stop this wasteful project is now.”

Background information, including a research memo and copies of all tax liens, can be found at capitolviewinfo.

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MDP Statement on the Flint Water Advisory Task Force Report
Mar. 23rd 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Michigan Democratic Party

March 23, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

MDP Statement on the Flint Water Advisory Task Force Report

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding today’s report from the Flint Water Advisory Task Force:

"The Governor’s own hand-picked task force totally contradicts his testimony before Congress last week, placing responsibility for the Flint Water Crisis squarely with him, his Emergency Managers, and his administration,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. "This report confirms a critical finding that the Governor's administration used the Emergency Manager agreement to prevent Flint from switching back to clean Detroit water, even after repeated warnings of lead and Legionnaires’ Disease and demands by Flint City Council and Flint residents that the city return to Detroit water.”

That section of the report can be read below:

"F-19. Treasury officials, through the terms of the local emergency financial assistance loan executed by the Flint emergency manager on April 29, 2015, effectively precluded a return to DWSD water, as Flint citizens and local officials were demanding, without prior state approval."

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/snyder/FWATF_FINAL_REPORT_21March2016_517805_7.pdf

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MDP Announces John Lewis as Special Guest for Party’s First Annual Legacy Dinner
Mar. 23rd 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Michigan Democratic Party

March 23, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

Michigan Dems Announce John Lewis as Special Guest for Party’s First Annual Legacy Dinner

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party announced this week that civil rights leader and icon Congressman John Lewis will be the special guest and keynote speaker for the Party’s first annual Legacy Dinner on April 30th, 2016, at Cobo Hall in Detroit.

Each year, the Legacy Dinner will honor an individual, group, or movement that made a significant contribution toward the betterment of society and helped to further the rights of others. This year, the dinner will honor the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement.

“We are honored to have Congressman John Lewis join us for our very first Legacy Dinner,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “Congressman Lewis stood on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement and continues to stand up for all those today for whom equality is not a given or taken for granted. I can think of no better individual to help us honor the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement than someone who led the fight for equality and continues to lead on the civil rights issues that confront us today."

Legacy Dinner tickets can be purchased at www.mdplegacy.com.

The Michigan Democratic Party event, held annually, was previously called the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

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Congressman Mike Bishop Flunks Ethics Class
Mar. 21st 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Michigan Democratic Party

March 21, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

Bishop Flunks Ethics Class

Holds event at Michigan State University after slashing funding and exposing students to higher loan rates


LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding the higher education roundtable with Congressmen Mike Bishop and John Kline, held last week at Michigan State University:

“Mike Bishop doesn’t need a roundtable to talk about the suffering of students in Michigan; he needs a mirror. It’s because of cuts to education by politicians, like Bishop, that students and graduates in Michigan are buried under a mountain of debt,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “Not only did he cut funding to Pell Grants last year, but during his time in the State Senate, he led the effort to slash state university funding.”

Last week, Republican Congressmen John Kline (R-Minnesota) and Mike Bishop participated in a roundtable discussion on higher education with numerous schools in Michigan. Ironically, both lawmakers have abysmal records when it comes to higher education.

In 2015, Mike Bishop voted to slash Pell Grants that would help students reduce the amount of debt they need to take on in order to pay for college. Bishop also voted to force students to pay the interest on need-based loans while still in school.

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MDP Statement on Snyder’s Testimony Before U.S. House Oversight Hearing on Flint Water Crisis
Mar. 17th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

March 17, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

MDP Statement on Snyder’s Testimony Before U.S. House

Oversight Hearing on Flint Water Crisis

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding Governor Rick Snyder’s testimony before the U.S. House Oversight Committee hearings on the Flint water crisis:

“In front of the United States’ Congress today, Rick Snyder stepped up his efforts to evade responsibility and blame others for the poisoning of Flint’s water under his watch as governor,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

“Despite being coached by his taxpayer-funded defense attorneys to answer tough questions with ‘I’m not familiar’ and ‘I don’t recall’, Rick Snyder continued to make it abundantly clear he bears primary responsibility for allowing the people of Flint to drink poison water. This problem will never be fixed while he continues to point fingers, blame others, and deny responsibility. He is either a stone-cold liar or the worst administrator in the history of Michigan. He should do the right thing and resign as governor immediately, so someone can get to work cleaning up the mess he and his administration created.”

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MDP Statement on Legislation to Expand Freedom of Information Act
Mar. 16th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

March 16, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

MDP Statement on Legislation to Expand Freedom of Information Act

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding recently introduced legislation that would expand the Freedom of Information Act to cover Michigan’s executive branch:

“Relentless public pressure and repeated calls from Democrats have finally forced Republicans in the legislature to do the right thing and expand the Freedom of Information Act to include Michigan’s executive branch,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

“As the Flint water crisis made perfectly clear, when government is allowed to operate in secrecy, free from public scrutiny and strong anti-corruption and transparency laws, it will act to protect its own interests, instead of protecting the people. Only after intense public pressure and outrage over Governor Snyder’s attempt to cover up his administration’s role in the poisoning of Flint’s water, are Republicans finally willing to yield to Democratic calls for the executive office to face the truth that can only be guaranteed by the Freedom of Information Act.”

While serving in the state legislature, Brandon Dillon was a leading voice for the creation of strong anti-corruption legislation, having repeatedly introduced bills that would expand the Freedom of Information Act to include the executive and legislative branches.

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MDP Responds to State Admin Board’s Rubber-Stamp of Snyder’s $1.2 Million Request to Cover Legal Bills
Mar. 15th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Michigan Democratic Party

March 15, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.4510; pkanan@michigandems.com

MDP Responds to State Admin Board’s Rubber-Stamp of Snyder’s $1.2 Million Request to Cover Legal Bills

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding the State Administrative Board's rubber-stamp of Governor Snyder's request that the people of Michigan pay his $1.2 million in legal fees relating to the Flint water crisis:

"Rick Snyder is once again demonstrating why he is unfit to be the governor of Michigan," said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. "Forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for his criminal defense is an absolute abuse of the public trust. If he doesn’t immediately withdraw his attempt to fleece Michigan taxpayers of $1.2 million, Democrats in the legislature will act to strip his executive office budget of the same amount. Governor Snyder should tap into his $200 million bank account to pay for his criminal defense and leave the taxpayers’ money for fixing the problems he created in Flint.”

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Dem Leaders Demand Snyder Withdraw $1.2M Request for Taxpayers to Pay His Attorneys over Flint Water Crisis
Mar. 14th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michigan Democratic Party


Monday, March 14, 2016
Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.4510; pkanan@michigandems.com


Dem Leaders Demand Snyder Withdraw $1.2M Request for Taxpayers to Pay His Attorneys over Flint Water Crisis
If Snyder Refuses, Dems Seek to Cut the Governor’s Budget by the Same Amount

LANSING –– Today, Democrats said they would push for cuts to Governor Rick Snyder’s executive office budget, if he doesn’t immediately stop his outrageous effort to secure 1.2 million in taxpayer dollars to pay his attorneys over the Flint water crisis.

“Under no circumstances should taxpayers be on the hook for Snyder’s criminal defense attorneys,” said House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel. “Snyder must immediately withdraw his outrageous request. If he refuses to do so, Democrats will move to cut the Governor’s executive office budget by an equal amount. Snyder’s criminal defense is the last thing that Michigan taxpayers should be asked to fund when Flint families still don’t have safe drinking water.”

Governor Snyder has been named in multiple civil suits and is the subject of multiple investigations that could lead to criminal charges relating to his involvement in the Flint water crisis. In response, Snyder has retained criminal defense attorneys at Michigan taxpayers’ expense. So far, Snyder’s legal bills have totaled $1.2 million – $400,000 by Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker and $800,000 by Warner Norcross & Judd. His attorneys charge up to $540 an hour -- more than twice the statewide average attorney fees.

Snyder’s $1.2 million request was taken up by the State Administrative Board’s Finance and Claims Committee on March 8. Snyder claims he doesn’t need Administrative Board approval but submitted it there as a courtesy. The Governor says that no matter what the Administrative Board decides, he has the power to simply write himself a check for $1.2 million. The Board is expected to review his request tomorrow.

"You can replace quite a few lead pipes, hire a number of school nurses, and cover more outrageous water bills with $1.2 million dollars," said Jim Ananich, Senate Democratic Leader. "All of those are more urgent and more appropriate uses than footing the bill for high-priced criminal defense lawyers. The Governor's wrong priorities are costing taxpayers and my community and it's just not right."

Democrats noted that Snyder’s request is likely in violation of Michigan’s procurement laws. Snyder should have had a competitive bid process, pursuant to state procurement law, to hire the lawyers he says he now needs $1.2 million to pay.

“Once again, we’re seeing the audacity, arrogance, and reckless disregard for the law from Rick Snyder that caused this public health disaster,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “He simply doesn’t believe the rules apply to him. While Flint children wait for the funds to replace deadly lead pipes, Snyder is making sure taxpayers cover the cost of his high-priced lawyers, so he can escape paying for the tragedy he and his administration caused.”

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Clear Connection Between Snyder's Taxpayer Funded Defense Team, Heavily Redacted Emails
Mar. 10th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

March 10, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.4510; pkanan@michigandems.com

Clear Connection Between Snyder's Taxpayer Funded Defense Team, Heavily Redacted Emails

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding new developments in Governor Rick Snyder’s hiring of outside criminal defense attorneys, paid for by taxpayer dollars, and the connection to the heavily redacted Flint-related emails released today by the Snyder administration:

“The audacity of the Snyder administration has reached a disgraceful new level,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

“Not only did Snyder lie about why he was hiring a criminal defense team, but the heavily redacted emails he released today are all the evidence we need of the truth. He’s paying a high-priced law firm – with money that belongs to the people of Michigan – to protect him from the truth of his role in the Flint water crisis, clearly contained within the documents he’s releasing. Judging by how much information was removed, it’s obvious he’s getting his taxpayer dollars’ worth.”

“It’s shameful that this governor would go to such lengths to hide the truth from the public, but it’s absolutely criminal that he would lie and use the public’s money to pay for it.”

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Dems Blast Snyder, Schuette for Spending Millions of Taxpayer Dollars on Flint Legal Fees Instead of Flint Recovery
Mar. 8th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

Dems Blast Snyder, Schuette for Spending Millions of Taxpayer Dollars on Flint Legal Fees Instead of Flint Recovery

Snyder Requested $1.2 Million to Pay for His Defense Attorneys, Schuette Requested $1.5 Million to Pay for His Campaign Contributor’s Flint Investigation

LANSING – Today Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon responded to requests made by Governor Snyder and Attorney General Schuette to have taxpayers foot their legal bills related to the Flint water crisis. Governor Rick Snyder has requested $1.2 million in taxpayer dollars to pay for his defense attorneys in connection with the Flint water crisis, and Attorney General Bill Schuette has requested $1.5 million in taxpayer dollars to pay for major GOP donor Todd Flood’s Flint investigation.

"It's beyond outrageous that Snyder wants to take $1.2 million from Michigan taxpayers to pay for defense attorneys over his involvement in the poisoning of Flint's water," said Brandon Dillon. "That money should go toward replacing lead pipes and getting safe drinking water to Flint families, not for Snyder's defense attorneys."

“Instead of conducting a truly independent investigation into the cause of the Flint water crisis, Bill Schuette is funneling $1.5 million in taxpayer dollars to Todd Flood, who has contributed thousands of dollars to Bill Schuette, and thousands more to Rick Snyder - the man he is supposed to be investigating,” said Dillon. “The people of Flint deserve better.”

The requests were taken up by the State Administrative Board’s Finance and Claims Committee today. The agenda, featuring the Governor’s and Attorney General’s request for taxpayer dollars on pages 25 and 26, can be found here:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/fcagenda_16770_7.pdf.

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MDP Statement on Michigan’s Democratic Presidential Primary
Mar. 8th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

MDP Statement on Michigan’s Democratic Presidential Primary

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, tonight, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding the results of today’s Michigan Democratic presidential primary:

“Democratic voters across Michigan took to the polls today and made their voices heard,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

“I want to congratulate Bernie Sanders and his campaign for a hard-fought win here in Michigan. With their civility and substantive ideas on both the campaign trail and the debate stage, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have made us proud as Democrats. While here in Michigan, and across the country, they are discussing the issues that matter most to Michigan families – issues the Republicans running for president continue to ignore. They have made it a priority to shine a light on the horrific, man-made tragedy in Flint – a topic, and a place on the map, the Republicans running for president continue to avoid at all costs.

“From what we’ve seen over the past week here in Michigan, and from our state’s Democratic voters today, it’s clear that the road to the White House will run through Michigan.”

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Snyder Administration Used Emergency Manager Law to Lock Flint into Drinking Poisoned Water
Mar. 2nd 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan (517) 371-5410

BREAKING: Snyder Administration Used Emergency Manager Law to Lock Flint into Drinking Poisoned Water

Democrats Demand Michigan Treasurer Nick Khouri’s Resignation

LANSING –– The Snyder Administration forced Flint residents to continue drinking poisoned water due to a dirty deal it signed with the city’s Emergency Manager in April 2015.

Thanks to a FOIA request, submitted by the Michigan Democratic Party to the Michigan Department of Treasury, we now know the State granted the city of Flint a $7 million emergency loan and restored democratic control of the city. But it came at a big price.

The Snyder administration explicitly forbade the city of Flint from switching away from the Flint River as its source of water until the completion of the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) pipeline –– but that was not expected for at least another year. The deal was clear that they could not switch back to Detroit water, even as Flint citizens begged them to do so.

“This dirty water deal was forced on Flint by the Snyder administration, even after alarm bells were going off all over the Governor’s office that lead and Legionnaires’ disease were poisoning families. That’s simply unconscionable,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

The April 29, 2015 deal was signed six months after Snyder's chief legal counsel and Flint native Mike Gadola alerted other top officials, saying drinking water from the Flint River was “downright scary.” And it was three months after the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) warned Snyder’s office about a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in Flint.

The agreement was signed by Michigan Treasurer Nick Khouri, previously a high-powered lobbyist, and Flint Emergency Manager Jerry Ambrose. The deal shows how the Snyder administration consistently put political interests before the health and safety of Flint's families.

“The Snyder administration effectively put a financial gun to the heads of Flint’s families by using the Emergency Manager law to lock the City into taking water from a poisoned source,” said Dillon. “While children were being poisoned, the Snyder administration was playing political power games. State Treasurer Nick Khouri, who inserted this provision, should resign or be fired immediately. There has to be accountability.”

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Democrats Call on GOP Leadership - Snyder, Calley, Cotter, Meekhof, and Schuette - to Support FOIA Reform Now
Feb. 29th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Michigan Democratic Party

February 29, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

Democrats Call on GOP Leadership - Snyder, Calley, Cotter, Meekhof, and Schuette - to Support FOIA Reform Now

It's long past time to bring secret government to an end

LANSING - Today, Democrats held a statewide press conference calling for Republican leadership on all levels - Governor Snyder, Lieutenant Governor Calley, House Speaker Cotter, Senate Majority Leader Meekhof, and Attorney General Bill Schuette - to end the experiment of governing in secrecy, by immediately passing legislation to subject the executive and legislative branches to the Freedom of Information Act.

“Almost every day, we get more disturbing examples of why secret, unaccountable government doesn't work," said Tim Greimel, House Democratic Leader. "Veterans have been neglected at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home and thousands of people have been poisoned in Flint while the public was denied basic information as to how and why these tragedies were happening. The time is now to make state government transparent and accountable to the people it serves. Democrats call on Republican politicians to join them and take action by March 19, the end of Sunshine Week, to subject the executive and legislative branch to the Freedom of Information Act.”

According to the Center for Public Integrity, Michigan currently ranks dead last in having laws on the books that help fight government corruption and secrecy and is only one of two states that shields the Governor and legislature from the Freedom of Information Act.

“We are fighting a culture of secrecy that shields the Governor’s office and legislature from public scrutiny,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “Almost every day, new information comes out from news outlets or journalists that reveals why people in Flint were poisoned with lead and Legionnaires’ disease. There is simply no reason why Governor Snyder and the legislature should continue to be exempt from basic anti-corruption, anti-secrecy laws. Republicans need to join Democrats in a bipartisan fashion to do what 48 other states already do and apply the Freedom of Information Act to the executive and legislative branch. In addition, as Governor Snyder becomes increasingly irrelevant in this process, we call on the individuals set to replace him as the leaders of the Republican Party, Brian Calley and Bill Schuette, to show some leadership by immediately releasing all communications and documents related to the Flint water crisis, as well as embracing the expansion of the Freedom of Information Act to the executive and legislative branches.”

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the Michigan House, while State Representatives Jeremy Moss (D) and Ed McBroom (R) are working hand-in-hand to push this through. Democrats are urging immediate action to bring Michigan in line with 48 other states who embrace basic anti-corruption laws, such as applying the Freedom of Information Act to the executive and legislative branches.

In 2009, Lieutenant Governor Calley sponsored legislation that would subject the executive and legislative branches to the Freedom of Information Act, while protecting constituent communications. In addition, Attorney General Bill Schuette recently expressed support for expanding the Freedom of Information Act.

“We call on Bill Schuette and Brian Calley, as the new faces of the Republican Party to pressure the Governor and their Republican colleagues in the House and Senate to apply the Freedom of Information Act to the executive and legislative branches,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

Diverse groups ranging from Common Cause Michigan to the Mackinac Center, as well as publications such as the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, MLIVE, Flint Journal, Battle Creek Enquirer, Macomb Daily and many others, have also called for passage of Freedom of Information Act reform.

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Emails Show Snyder Ignored Inner Circle's Flint Water Concerns
Feb. 26th 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Michigan Democratic Party
February 26, 2016

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding new reports that show serious concerns and warnings about the safety of Flint’s water, expressed by two of Governor Snyder's top advisers, were ignored:

“Governor Rick Snyder was warned by top advisers about the clear and present danger posed to the people of Flint by their drinking water, yet he prioritized cost-cutting measures over the health and safety of actual human beings and did nothing,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “A crime was committed against the children and families of Flint, and the unheeded warnings expressed to this governor, by his own inner circle, are as close to a smoking gun as you can get.”

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Schuette’s Courser-Gamrat Investigation Turns Blind Eye to Speaker and Senior Staff Role in Cover-Up
Feb. 26th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Michigan Democratic Party

February 26, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

Schuette’s Courser-Gamrat Investigation Turns Blind Eye to Speaker and Senior Staff Role in Cover-Up

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding today’s announcement by Attorney General Bill Schuette that charges will be filed against former state legislators Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser for their role in the scandal and subsequent cover-up of an extramarital affair between the two while both were members of the Michigan House of Representatives:

“Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat may have gotten what they deserve for their disgraceful actions and blatant misuse of taxpayer resources, but Bill Schuette chose politics over justice when he decided to let Speaker Cotter and his senior staff get away with their attempt to cover up the scandal,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

“Just like the House Republicans' own so-called internal investigation was an effort to shield the Speaker and his top staff, the Attorney General has followed suit by ensuring that Cotter and his team avoid any criminal charges, even though it’s clear they were accomplices to this criminal behavior by not acting on information provided to them by courageous whistleblowing staffers. Instead of conducting a real investigation, Bill Schuette decided that protecting his Republican allies is more important than bringing the truth to light.”

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Challenge to Snyder: Apply FOIA Standards, Demand Legislature Pass Law
Feb. 24th 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Michigan Democratic Party
February 24, 2016
LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party is issuing a challenge to Governor Snyder to end calls for more transparency by applying all aspects of the Freedom of Information Act to his office and demanding the legislature immediately send him a bill making both the executive and legislative branches subject to FOIA:
"Periodically releasing more hand-picked emails is not transparency, and it certainly doesn't give the people of Michigan the truth in its entirety when it comes to why Flint's water was poisoned and who is responsible," said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. "It's long past time that the Governor apply basic anti-secrecy laws to his office, like the Freedom of Information Act, so we can get to the bottom of what happened in Flint. We call on the Governor to apply FOIA standards to his office immediately and to demand the legislature send him a bill making both the executive and legislative branches subject to FOIA. Forty-eight other states already do this, and there is no excuse as to why Michigan shouldn't as well. What does the Governor have to hide?"

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Challenge to Snyder: Apply FOIA Standards, Demand Legislature Pass Law
Feb. 24th 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Michigan Democratic Party
February 24, 2016
LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party is issuing a challenge to Governor Snyder to end calls for more transparency by applying all aspects of the Freedom of Information Act to his office and demanding the legislature immediately send him a bill making both the executive and legislative branches subject to FOIA:
"Periodically releasing more hand-picked emails is not transparency, and it certainly doesn't give the people of Michigan the truth in its entirety when it comes to why Flint's water was poisoned and who is responsible," said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. "It's long past time that the Governor apply basic anti-secrecy laws to his office, like the Freedom of Information Act, so we can get to the bottom of what happened in Flint. We call on the Governor to apply FOIA standards to his office immediately and to demand the legislature send him a bill making both the executive and legislative branches subject to FOIA. Forty-eight other states already do this, and there is no excuse as to why Michigan shouldn't as well. What does the Governor have to hide?"
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Casperson Is Full of Sympathy for Snyder When It Comes to Flint
Feb. 23rd 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Michigan Democratic Party
February 23, 2016

MDP Statement on Tom Casperson's Outpouring of Sympathy for Rick Snyder

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding State Senator and Republican candidate for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District Tom Casperson’s outpouring of sympathy for Rick Snyder, in light of the outrage over the Governor’s role in the Flint water crisis:

“Tom Casperson says the anger and frustration directed at Rick Snyder for his role in the Flint water crisis feels to him ‘like a poison in the heart,’” saidBrandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “Instead of acknowledging the children and families of Flint who were actually poisoned, Tom Casperson’s heart goes out to a governor who sits in his $2 million downtown Ann Arbor condo, walled off from the everyday lives of the people he’s supposed to represent. Casperson should dry his tears for Rick Snyder and shift his attention to the very real concerns of Michigan’s working families, who are suffering under this governor’s incompetence and callous indifference.”

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Snyder Announces His Office to Release Some Staff Flint Emails
Feb. 22nd 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Michigan Democratic Party
February 22, 2016
LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, this evening, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, in response to theGovernor's announcement he will release some of his staffs' emails relating to the Flint water crisis:
"Rick Snyder is the least transparent governor this state has ever seen and we're witnessing the consequences," said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. "The people of Flint should not have to sort through cherry-picked emails, hoping to discover the truth of what happened to Flint's water and why it was poisoned with lead. They should have the right to apply the Freedom of Information Act to the Governor's office so all documents regarding the poisoning of Flint's water are open and available to the public. The citizens of 48 other states have the right to request the truth from their governors and legislatures. There is no excuse for Michigan to be last when it comes to transparency and accountability."
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Height of Hypocrisy from Holly Hughes on Treatment of Michigan Vets
Feb. 18th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

February 18, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410; pkanan@michigandems.com

Height of Hypocrisy from Holly Hughes on Treatment of Michigan Vets

“Holly Hughes saying she’ll get to the bottom of the mistreatment of Michigan’s veterans is the height of hypocrisy,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

“If she wants answers and accountability from the people responsible for the horrendous conditions at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, she needs to look in the mirror. Her vote, in 2011, for the budget that cut $4.2 million from the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and privatized the care of our servicemen and servicewomen is what caused this crisis of neglect for Michigan veterans. If Hughes wants to contribute to the solution this time, instead of the problem, she should demand that this contract be canceled and the dedicated employees who served our veterans for so long be brought back. It’s time for this experiment on our veterans to end.”

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