News from Progress Michigan

Monday, March 11, 2013
Contact: Jessica Tramontana,, 517-974-6302

After two years of working to suppress votes, Secretary Johnson pivots to transparency

LANSING – As Sunshine Week 2013 kicked off, citizens’ watchdog Progress Michigan praised Michigan Secretary of State for her newfound focus on fixing the state’s outdated campaign finance rules.

“It’s great that 800 days after she promised to ‘hold government accountable to the people it serves’ in her inaugural address, Ruth Johnson is finally working to bring greater transparency to Michigan’s campaign finance rules,” said Jessica Tramontana, Communications Director of Progress Michigan. “After two long years of railing about nonexistent voter fraud and working to make it harder for Michiganders to vote, we’re looking forward to seeing Secretary Johnson get to work on the real issues that face our state.”

In a 2012 study from the State Integrity Investigation, Michigan received a grade of “F” for corruption risk, for a rank of 44th among the states. In response to this, a package of 16 bills and one constitutional amendment called the Reform Government Now plan were introduced. The plan was sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, after Rep. Roy Schmidt conspired with Speaker Jase Bolger to join the Republican Party and attempt to rig his own reelection.

All 16 bills and the constitutional amendment died in the House Redistricting and Elections Committee, chaired last session by Rep. Pete Lund. At the time Rep. Lund was also Chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee, and was working on a proposal that would’ve allocated Michigan’s electoral votes by Congressional District. If this plan would have been adopted, Republican nominee Mitt Romney would’ve picked up 9 of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes, despite losing the state’s popular vote by 10 points.

“It’s clear that last year, Republican politicians like Pete Lund and Jase Bolger were more interested in attempting to rig a state House election and delivering Michigan’s electoral votes to Mitt Romney than giving any attention to bills that could have reduced corruption,” Tramontana continued. “Hopefully Secretary Johnson’s newly discovered fondness for transparency in campaign finance will rub off on Republican lawmakers.”



State Integrity Investigation: Removing the Risk of Corruption in Michigan

MLive: After study ranks Michigan high for corruptibility potential, lawmakers push ethics reforms – but it gets political

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