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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Flint: Governor Snyder Covers Up

From the Toledo Blade:
More sunshine in Michigan
Published: Sunday, 2/7/2016
... A recent report by the Center for Public Integrity ranks Michigan dead last in government transparency. One big reason: The governor’s office and Legislature are both legally exempt from the state Freedom of Information Act. In Ohio and nearly all other states, the executive and legislative branches are subject to “sunshine” laws.

After his office was engulfed by the Flint water scandal, Governor Snyder made a show last month of releasing his emails on the crisis from 2014 and 2015 — a move reminiscent of tactics employed by a desperate President Richard Nixon to prevent disclosure of the Watergate tapes. Some of the Snyder emails were heavily redacted.

The governor did not release communications involving his executive-office point person on Flint. Nor were any emails disclosed from 2013, when crucial early decisions may have been made.

Michigan passed its open records law in 1976, in the wake of the Watergate scandal. With the tainted-water scandal a national embarrassment, the state needs a new law that makes the executive and legislative branches as transparent as possible, with exemptions only for matters of personal privacy.

Mr. Snyder took office vowing to support transparency in government — a pledge he has done nothing to fulfill. Extending the Freedom of Information Act to those who do the people’s business in Lansing would be an ideal way to start.

Mr. Snyder was a successful businessman. This is yet another of the millions of examples that success in one field does not necessarily nor often easily transfer into another field. People who support candidates, saying that they think business-like please take note.


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