Dietz: Whitmer, State GOP Promise More Transparency, Then Don’t Deliver

Photo:  Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Dietz: Whitmer, State GOP Promise More Transparency, Then Don’t Deliver

Editorial by Kevin Dietz
Co-Host, “All Talk with Tom Jordan & Kevin Dietz

Dietz: Whitmer, State GOP Promise More Transparency, Then Don’t Deliver

Editorial by Kevin Dietz
Co-Host, “All Talk with Tom Jordan & Kevin Dietz

DETROIT, August 25, 2022 ~ One of the most memorable scenes from the Charles M. Schulz, “Peanuts” comic strip is Charlie Brown attempting to kick a football. Lucy assures Charlie Brown that she will not pull the football away at the last second as she has done so many times in the past. Charlie runs towards the football and attempts the kick; Lucy pulls away the football and Charlie falls flat on his back.

In Michigan, when it comes to transparency and providing public records to the media and citizens, we are Charlie Brown and our elected officials are Lucy. Candidates promise to pass and sign legislation to be more transparent during election cycles, then pull it away after winning office.

Michigan is one of just two states that exempts the legislature and Governor’s office from state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws. They do not have to turn over any documents to the public, which is the opposite of how 48 other states operate.

Gretchen Whitmer promised more transparency during her campaign for Governor.  She has failed to deliver.

Michigan’s Republican legislature deserves at least equal blame for Michigan placing dead last among the 50 states when it comes to releasing public documents. This year, the legislature was willing to pass a law to make the Governor’s office turn over public documents, but wanted separate, less transparent, rules for themselves. The effort fell apart and nothing was done.

The fact is your elected officials cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Like children, they must be taken to task. It is too difficult to throw them all out of office at the ballot box, but we can bring forward a ballot proposal to bring Michigan into the sunshine. Because of a shortage of workers and other problems with obtaining the necessary signatures to get a proposal on the ballot, we will not get an opportunity to force change through a vote of the people this November. But if things don’t change, nonprofit organizations have promised a ballot proposal in 2024.

In the meantime, call your elected officials and tell them ‘Good Grief’ it is time to stop hiding the people’s business from the people.

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Catch “All Talk with Tom Jordan and Kevin Dietz” weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on 760 WJR or Click Here and listen on-demand now.

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