News Feed

Michigan Democrats Call Out "Lyin' Tom" Casperson
Apr. 28th 2016
7th District Workers Demand Accountability from Congressman Walberg
Apr. 28th 2016
MDP Statement on Flint Water Criminal Charges
Apr. 20th 2016
MDP Statement on Flint Water Criminal Charges
Apr. 20th 2016
Dems Vow to Block Funding for Capitol View Project and Snyder’s Criminal Defense
Apr. 18th 2016
Mike Bishop’s Campaign Fueled by Mega-Donors, Special Interests
Apr. 15th 2016
GOP Congressional Districts, Activists Join Democrats in Condemning "Grossly Unethical" Capitol View Senate Office Scandal
Apr. 11th 2016
Snyder Tops List of Fortune Magazine World's 19 Most Disappointing Leaders
Mar. 30th 2016
Michigan Democrats Call on Snyder to Take Action Against Wave of Anti-LGBT Measures
Mar. 30th 2016
Democrats Challenge Rep. Bizon to End $134 Million Lavish Legislative Offices Project
Mar. 29th 2016
MDP Statement on Passing of Former Michigan House Speaker Curtis Hertel Sr.
Mar. 28th 2016
New Documents Show Senate GOP Rigged Process in Awarding $134 Million Legislative Office Project to Major GOP Donor
Mar. 24th 2016
MDP Statement on the Flint Water Advisory Task Force Report
Mar. 23rd 2016
MDP Announces John Lewis as Special Guest for Party’s First Annual Legacy Dinner
Mar. 23rd 2016
Congressman Mike Bishop Flunks Ethics Class
Mar. 21st 2016
MDP Statement on Snyder’s Testimony Before U.S. House Oversight Hearing on Flint Water Crisis
Mar. 17th 2016
MDP Statement on Legislation to Expand Freedom of Information Act
Mar. 16th 2016
MDP Responds to State Admin Board’s Rubber-Stamp of Snyder’s $1.2 Million Request to Cover Legal Bills
Mar. 15th 2016
Dem Leaders Demand Snyder Withdraw $1.2M Request for Taxpayers to Pay His Attorneys over Flint Water Crisis
Mar. 14th 2016
Clear Connection Between Snyder's Taxpayer Funded Defense Team, Heavily Redacted Emails
Mar. 10th 2016

Michigan Democrats Call Out "Lyin' Tom" Casperson
Apr. 28th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

April 28th, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com

Michigan Democrats Call Out "Lyin' Tom" Casperson

 

After a string of lies and deceptions designed to mislead the public over his true record, the Michigan Democratic Party is calling on State Senator Tom Casperson to tell the truth.

 

The Republican-controlled State Senate is embroiled in scandal for proposing to move into a building owned by a well-connected Republican donor, costing taxpayers $134 million. Even fellow Republicans have admitted it is ethically questionable and fiscally irresponsible. Perhaps that's why, despite voting in support of the proposal in 2014, Casperson is now trying to rewrite history, saying "I was against the move from the start."

 

Casperson also recently tried to whitewash his mistakes when he told a reporter he had been present to vote for the recent Detroit Public Schools funding bill - despite actually being in DC, "wining and dining" Washington lobbyists at a dinner that reportedly raised $20 million.

 

"We understand why 'Lyin' Tom' might want to rewrite his past - wasting taxpayer money to give sweetheart deals to Republican donors and missing votes to hobnob with lobbyists in Washington are not going to go over well back home," said Brandon Dillon, Michigan Democratic Party Chair. "Michiganders deserve to be represented by someone who doesn't skip votes and waste their hard-earned tax dollars in order to secure his next campaign donation.”

 

Casperson has a long record of voting against the interests of Michigan’s working families. His support of a gas tax hike to pay for a roads plan that does nothing to address the state’s crumbling roads and infrastructure is most likely the next bad decision he’ll attempt to lie about.

 

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7th District Workers Demand Accountability from Congressman Walberg
Apr. 28th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

April 28th, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com


7th District Workers Demand Accountability from Congressman Walberg


Workers call on Walberg to "stop abandoning workers"


 

JACKSON, MI — Today, in honor of Workers’ Memorial Day, the Michigan Democratic Party and 7th District workers held a rally outside of Congressman Tim Walberg’s district office in Jackson to demand accountability for his repeated attempts to block improved worker protections.

"We've got to hold Congressman Walberg accountable for his repeated attempts to curtail protections for workers, including a recent committee action to block workplace safety improvements that would save hundreds of lives on the job," said Ozzie James, President of AFGE Local 2092. “It's shameful that Congressman Walberg has decided yet again to put his wealthy friends and special interests ahead of the people he was elected to represent. If Walberg is going to continue this habit of refusing to stand up for working families, it’s time we elected someone who will."

Walberg’s continued efforts to block higher standards come on the heels of his refusal to hold Governor Rick Snyder accountable for his role in the poisoning of Flint’s drinking water and for his insistence that “government can’t protect us against everything.”

In a recent Huffington Post piece, Congressman Tim Walberg was blasted for blocking workplace safety standards that would limit workers’ exposure to potentially deadly silica dust. As the author writes, Republicans have repeatedly attempted to “overturn the rule that the Labor Department said could save more than 600 lives 40 years and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis annually.” He goes on to add that Congressman Walberg, who chairs the Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, is “intent on sending the silica standard back 40 years."

 
“Time and time again, Walberg has failed to deliver the accountability the hardworking families of Michigan deserve - because he believes it's not the government's role to protect us,” added Bonnie Johnson, SEIU member and 7th District resident. “This Workers’ Memorial Day, we are standing together to call on Congressman Walberg to stop abandoning the working families he represents.”

Workers Memorial Day is held in honor of workers who have suffered or died on the job and to raise awareness for the need to continue fighting for safer workplace conditions.
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MDP Statement on Flint Water Criminal Charges
Apr. 20th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

April 20, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com

 

MDP Statement on Flint Water Criminal Charges

 

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding the criminal charges filed by Attorney General Bill Schuette against three low-level bureaucrats for their involvement in the Flint water crisis:

 

“Anyone involved in causing the Flint water crisis deserves to be held accountable. However, if the charges filed by Bill Schuette today are the extent of his so-called investigation, then justice has not been served,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

 

“Every individual criminally responsible for poisoning Flint’s children should be prosecuted, and that includes the officials who were in charge – all the way up through the Snyder administration to the governor – not just low-level employees who don’t have the luxury of billing Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars for their criminal defense.”

 

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MDP Statement on Flint Water Criminal Charges
Apr. 20th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

April 20, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com

 

MDP Statement on Flint Water Criminal Charges

 

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding the criminal charges filed by Attorney General Bill Schuette against three low-level bureaucrats for their involvement in the Flint water crisis:

 

“Anyone involved in causing the Flint water crisis deserves to be held accountable. However, if the charges filed by Bill Schuette today are the extent of his so-called investigation, then justice has not been served,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

 

“Every individual criminally responsible for poisoning Flint’s children should be prosecuted, and that includes the officials who were in charge – all the way up through the Snyder administration to the governor – not just low-level employees who don’t have the luxury of billing Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars for their criminal defense.”

 

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Dems Vow to Block Funding for Capitol View Project and Snyder’s Criminal Defense
Apr. 18th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com       

 

 

Dems Vow to Block Funding for Capitol View Project and Snyder’s Criminal Defense 

Taxpayer dollars should not be used as Snyder legal slush fund

 

LANSING –– Today, House Democrats announced they will block the executive office from using funding for criminal defense as it relates to the Flint Water Crisis in the FY 2016-17 state budget.  Dems will also introduce three amendments aimed at increasing transparency around the purchase or lease of buildings. Democrats called on Republicans to break ranks and join them in blocking this wasteful and unethical spending.

 

“Under no circumstances should Michigan citizens be forced into paying for Snyder’s criminal defense against Flint families poisoned with lead,” said House Democratic Floor Leader Sam Singh.  “At a time when our roads are crumbling and schools are underfunded, Republicans are shelling out taxpayer dollars for high priced criminal defense lawyers instead of demanding that their Governor set up his own legal defense fund and raise the money himself.  We have a history ranging back to former Attorney General Frank Kelley's administration of not using tax dollars for criminal investigations and it is shameful that the Republicans are rewriting the rules at the taxpayer's expense."

 

The shady legislative office deal, known as the Capitol View Project, was approved with almost no public scrutiny or legislative oversight.  The Senate offices will be housed in the same building where lobbyists work.  News reports and documents indicate the deal was rigged from the beginning to reward GOP mega-donor Ron Boji, even though he and his associates had racked up $1.8 million in tax liens –– including one on the Capitol View building itself.  

 

According to the terms of the Senate’s lease agreement for Capitol View, the project can be stopped if the Legislature blocks further appropriations for it.

 

House Democrats will attempt to fix these issues in the omnibus budget reporting from the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday by offering the following amendments:

·             Block the executive office from using funding for criminal defense

·             Blocking the co-location of legislators and lobbyists

·             Require a vote of the legislature for the approval of the purchase or lease of state-owned building

·             Require that in order for a vendor or contractor to receive a state contract, they must not owe the state any back taxes

 

“The $134 million legislative office deal is a symbol of everything that is wrong in Republican-controlled Lansing,” said State Rep. Henry Yanez.  “Instead of putting this money into roads or schools that actually benefit taxpayers, Republicans are orchestrating deals behind closed doors that benefit a major GOP donor with lavish, taxpayer-funded projects. In addition to fighting to stop to this project, House Democrats demand action on legislation that will make sure this sort of scandal never happens again.”  

 

Snyder also has said he wants the astronomical sum of $1.2 million in taxpayer dollars for his own personal defense against Flint families whose water was poisoned by lead –– even though his own task force laid the ultimate blame for this crisis on the governor’s appointed Emergency Managers, his top aides and the Governor himself.  

 

“Imagine the irony of Flint families that have a child whose life has been irreversibly damaged by lead poisoning now being forced to shell out $800,000 for Snyder’s defense,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon.  “It’s beyond shameful.  It’s beyond arrogant. The focus should be defending the families in Flint, not paying for Snyder’s attorneys. Snyder must pay his own legal bills and not expect families poisoned by his incompetence and/or corruption to pick up the tab.”

 

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Mike Bishop’s Campaign Fueled by Mega-Donors, Special Interests
Apr. 15th 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from the Michigan Democratic Party
 
April 15, 2016
Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com

Mike Bishop’s Campaign Fueled by Mega-Donors, Special Interests

LANSING – Mike Bishop continues to run a campaign fueled by special interest groups with deep pockets and ties to big donors with questionable connections, like Ron Boji:

“Billionaire backed Mike Bishop is running his campaign with cash from unethical mega-donors like Ron Boji, known by the people of Michigan for donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to GOP politicians and getting kickbacks that cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Paul Kanan, MDP Press Secretary. “Bishop claims to represent working families, yet over half of his campaign cash comes from groups affiliated with real estate moguls, big banks and big oil, just to name a few of his patrons slash beneficiaries.”

Ron Boji's $34,000 in campaign donations to Mike Bishop and Bishop’s history of pay-to-play politics, as evidenced by his decision to rent unnecessary office buildings for Michigan State Senate from Boji, make it abundantly clear that these campaign donations are having their intended effect, while leaving Michigan taxpayers to foot the bill.

A recent investigation showed that the real estate mogul made an unethical, and possibly illegal, $134 million deal with Michigan State Senate Republicans for lavish new offices, while at the same time attempting to hide over $1.8 million in taxes owed to the State by his company and top executives.

 

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GOP Congressional Districts, Activists Join Democrats in Condemning "Grossly Unethical" Capitol View Senate Office Scandal
Apr. 11th 2016
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
News from the Michigan Democratic Party
April 11, 2016
Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com
GOP Congressional Districts, Activists Join Democrats in Condemning
 "Grossly Unethical" Capitol View Senate Office Scandal
 
Over the weekend, at the Michigan GOP's '2016 April Convention', Republican activists in two GOP congressional districts forced through resolutions condemning the $134 million Capitol View legislative office project, as Democrats have done since the scandal ridden project first emerged.  The congressional district resolutions demanded Attorney General Bill Schuette investigate the Capitol View deal, calling it "grossly unethical".
 
The deal recently made statewide news after Fox 2 investigative journalist M.L. Elrick uncovered troubling information showing the State Senate orchestrated the office deal to hide over $1.8 million in tax liens by the projects developer Ron Boji, the Boji Group and their top executives.  Boji is a major contributor to the Michigan GOP and former Senate leader Randy Richardville now works on behalf of Boji's interests.  The more this deal is subjected to media scrutiny, the more troubling questions are raised over government cronyism and corruption. Meanwhile, Michigan Democrats will continue fighting to end this project. 
"House Republicans should listen to their constituents and grassroots activists and bring an end to this shady deal, once and for all," said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. "The Capitol View project, awarded to GOP mega-donor Ron Boji, is a symbol of the cronyism and corruption in Lansing. The legislature can stop this massive waste and abuse of taxpayer resources by saying they will not fund the remainder of the project. Democrats stand ready to block further funding for the project in next year's FY 2016-17 budget. We're waiting for Republicans to join us."
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Snyder Tops List of Fortune Magazine World's 19 Most Disappointing Leaders
Mar. 30th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

 

March 30th, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com

MDP Statement on Fortune Magazine World's 19 Most Disappointing Leaders

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding a Fortune Magazine story, released today, that named Governor Rick Snyder as one of the world’s 19 most disappointing leaders and included an online poll where users currently have Snyder at #1 by a comfortable margin:

 

“I never thought I’d say this, but I voted for Rick Snyder today...in Fortune Magazine’s poll of the world’s most disappointing leaders, and I'm not at all surprised he's winning in a landslide,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party

 

“Governor Snyder was already at the top of the list of Michigan’s most disappointing governors, so it comes as no surprise that he’s considered one of the most disappointing leaders in the world today. He’s failed the people of Michigan at every turn and now the world is taking notice too.”

 

Read the full story, “The World’s 19 Most Disappointing Leaders” here: http://fortune.com/2016/03/30/most-disappointing-leaders/

 

Fortune’s “The World’s Most Disappointing Leader” poll can be found here: http://fortune.com/2016/03/30/rank-most-disappointing-leaders/

 

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Michigan Democrats Call on Snyder to Take Action Against Wave of Anti-LGBT Measures
Mar. 30th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

 

March 30th, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com

Michigan Democrats Call on Snyder to Take Action Against Wave of Anti-LGBT Measures

North Carolina Law Condemned Across Country, Anti-LGBT Law Proposed in Michigan

 

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party is calling on Governor Rick Snyder to condemn the recent wave of anti-LGBT policies and proposals throughout the country, including here in Michigan. The Party is also pressing the governor to follow the lead of governors across the country and ban all non-essential state travel to the state of North Carolina, following the state’s enactment of a law that severely discriminates against LGBT citizens.

 

The North Carolina law contains several harsh anti-LGBT measures, including the requirement that individuals use the public restroom that corresponds with the biological gender written on their birth certificate.

 

Governors Andrew Cuomo (New York), Peter Shumlin (Vermont), and Jay Inslee (Washington) have all issued non-essential travel bans to North Carolina, after the bill was signed into law by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. This week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced he will veto a proposed law that would allow faith-based organizations to deny services to LGBT citizens.

 

“Governors across the country have condemned and vetoed this wave of hateful, draconian legislation,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “Rick Snyder should put his money where is mouth is for once and use the tough nerd persona he invented to fight back against this kind of state-sanctioned hate and discrimination."

 

"The state of North Carolina chose hate over tolerance by targeting their LGBT citizens without cause or provocation. Rick Snyder should make it clear that Michigan doesn't tolerate discrimination or do business with those that do."

 

Dillon also called on Snyder to condemn copycat legislation put forward in the Michigan legislature by State Senator Tom Casperson, who is running for Congress in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District.

 

“We should condemn discrimination wherever we see it, but it’s especially concerning to see the entire country condemning North Carolina for their actions against the LGBT community there, only to see a politician in our own state, like Tom Casperson, pandering to extremists with his own version of this disgusting law,” said Dillon.

 

Casperson’s legislation is in response to a Michigan Department of Education Draft Guidance document, “Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students.” His bill would require Michigan students to only use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their birth gender.

 

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Democrats Challenge Rep. Bizon to End $134 Million Lavish Legislative Offices Project
Mar. 29th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

 

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com

 

Democrats Challenge Rep. Bizon to End

$134 Million Lavish Legislative Offices Project

Senate-Rigged Deal Rewards Big Republican Donor

 

BATTLE CREEK –– Today, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon called on Representative John Bizon (R-Battle Creek) to do the right thing and support Democrats’ efforts to remove the $134 million funding for lavish new legislative offices from this year’s State budget. In addition to wasting scarce taxpayer dollars, new documents indicate the deal was rigged from the beginning and likely broke state procurement laws.

 

Last year, Bizon voted for the FY 2015-16 budget, which funded the wasteful Capitol View project awarded to GOP mega-donor Ron Boji, despite public outcry and vocal objections from Democrats about this secretive, insider deal.

 

“John Bizon could have done the right thing last year and stopped $134 million in taxpayer dollars going to build lavish new offices for legislators that the state doesn’t need and can’t afford. Instead, Bizon sided with his party in rewarding a major donor and failed to protect the hard-working taxpayers of Battle Creek, Albion, Springfield, and Bedford Twp.,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “Democrats will continue to speak out against this corrupt deal and massive waste of taxpayer dollars.”

 

The Capitol View project 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.

 

New reports show that top Republican officials rigged the bidding process for new State Senate offices. The contract was awarded to Boji, who, along with his fellow corporate executives, had racked up $1.8 million in tax liens, including some tax liens that were outstanding at the time they submitted their bid and on the building itself.  Under Michigan’s procurement laws, this shady deal should have been thrown out.  Senate documents have revealed that every bidderexcept Boji was asked to list any outstanding tax obligations as part of the bidding process. 

 

“The Capitol View deal wastes millions of taxpayer dollars and new documents show cronyism and corruption designed to reward a major Republican party donor,” said Battle Creek resident Sarah Lawrence.  “In Calhoun County, our roads are worse than ever and our schools are struggling to pay their bills.  We should be spending this $134 million on important priorities like education and roads, not posh offices for legislators. John Bizon needs to stop rewarding major Republican donors like Ron Boji with outrageous and possibly illegal deals.  He needs to join Democrats to end this shady legislative office project once and for all and vote to remove funding from the state budget.”

 

Details on the $134 million Senate Office Scandal can be found in a WJBK Fox 2 investigative report: http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/112864749-story

 

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MDP Statement on Passing of Former Michigan House Speaker Curtis Hertel Sr.
Mar. 28th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michigan Democratic Party

 

March 28, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com

MDP Statement on Passing of Former Michigan House Speaker Curtis Hertel Sr. 

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement, today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding the passing of former Michigan Speaker of the House Curtis Hertel Sr. yesterday:

 

“On behalf of Michigan Democrats everywhere, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the Hertel family,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

 

“Speaker Hertel embodied what it means to be a public servant. He was a great Democrat, but he dedicated his professional life to serving the people of this state, regardless of political party or personal favor. We lost a great individual, but his legacy of service and bipartisanship is something from which we all gained, and the example he set is one we should never forget moving forward.”

 

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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, 517.371.5410pkanan@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 http://www.michigandems.com/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, 517.371.5410pkanan@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, 517.371.5410pkanan@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, 517.371.5410pkanan@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, 517.371.5410pkanan@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, 517.371.5410pkanan@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, 517.371.4510pkanan@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, 517.371.4510pkanan@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, 517.371.4510pkanan@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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Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party

For over a decade, Brandon Dillon has served as a champion for Michigan Democrats. Representing Kent County as a commissioner and Grand Rapids as a state representative, Brandon has been a leading voice and advocate for progressive causes, public education, labor, women's issues, LGBT rights, and Michigan's middle class.

A west Michigan native, Brandon has a keen understanding of local issues throughout our state and brings to the Party a demonstrated ability to win races in competitive districts, including his own hard-fought victory to serve his first term in the state house. He has also worked as campaign chair for the Michigan House Democrats recruiting candidates, fundraising, and overseeing contests throughout the state. 

Married to Tammy and a father to twin boys and a daughter, Brandon is committed to building a Michigan where families are offered every opportunity to thrive.

Brandon is a graduate of Aquinas College with a Master's Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Prior to serving as an elected official, he interned for US Senator Edward Kennedy and worked for State Senator Jim Barcia. 

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