News Feed

MDP Statement on 8th Congressional District Race
May. 24th 2016
Predator Trump Put Profit Over American People With Hopes of Housing Crash
May. 24th 2016
MDP Statement on Snyder Using Secret Funds to Avoid Responsibility in Flint Water Crisis
May. 23rd 2016
MDP Statement on Judge Clarke Ordering Speaker Cotter To Testify in Courser-Gamrat Case
May. 20th 2016
MDP Statement on Speaker Cotter’s Blame-Shifting, Scapegoating Constitutional Amendment
May. 19th 2016
Calley’s Embrace of Donald Trump is Hypocritical, Lacks Judgment
May. 17th 2016
MDP Statement on Governor Snyder’s Answers to the Congressional Panel on Flint
May. 16th 2016
Democrats Rally Against Gov. Snyder at Isabella County GOP Golf Club Fundraiser
May. 12th 2016
Democrats Blast Rep. Canfield for his Opposition to the Detroit Public Schools Forensic Audit
May. 11th 2016
Democrats Demand Rep. Bizon Explain Opposition to the DPS Forensic Audit
May. 11th 2016
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 8th Congressional District Race
May. 24th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com

MDP Statement on 8th Congressional District Race

LANSING –– The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding the race for Michigan's 8th Congressional District:

“Michigan law is clear: since it appears Melissa Gilbert was the only candidate who filed the requisite number of valid signatures required to appear on the ballot, her announcement means that the county Democratic parties will fill the vacancy after she removes herself from the ballot.

“Make no mistake: this district is still a top target for us. Career politician Mike Bishop continues to put special interests in front of the needs of his constituents, uses taxpayer money to line the pockets of his donors, and supports trade policies that would ship even more Michigan auto jobs overseas.”

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Predator Trump Put Profit Over American People With Hopes of Housing Crash
May. 24th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com

 

Predator Trump Put Profit Over American People

With Hopes of Housing Crash

 

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding recent reports on Donald Trump’s 2006 comments that he was hoping for a housing crash so that he could benefit financially:

 

“Donald Trump is a predator – plain and simple. Someone that hopes for an event that could – and almost did – destroy the lives of millions of Americans and devastate the world economy, just so they can profit financially, has no business running for President of the United States. Here in Michigan, hard-working families experienced firsthand the nightmare that was Donald Trump’s dream of a housing crash and the recession that came with it. His lack of judgment, temperament, and basic humanity have shown him to be entirely unqualified to occupy the Oval Office.”  

 

~

Trump Cheered on the Collapse of the Housing Market

  •  In March of 2007, Trump said of the real estate market, “People have been talking about the end of the cycle for 12 years, and I'm excited if it is,” and that “I’ve always made more money in bad markets than in good markets.”
  •  In 2006, he said in a Trump University audio book of a housing collapse, “I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy.”
  •  He noted in the same audio book that, “If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know you can make a lot of money.” 

The Effects of the Collapse Were Devastating

  •  The value of real estate owned by U.S. households fell by $7.1 trillion between 2007 and 2009.
  •  Median household wealth fell in the U.S. by 28% between 2005 and 2009. [Inflation-Adjusted? Apples to Apples] Median wealth decreased by 66% among Hispanic households and 53% among black households. 
  • By February 2010, U.S. employment had declined by 8.8 Million.

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MDP Statement on Snyder Using Secret Funds to Avoid Responsibility in Flint Water Crisis
May. 23rd 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News From The Michigan Democratic Party

Monday, May 23, 2016

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

MDP Statement on Snyder Using Secret Funds to Avoid Responsibility in Flint Water Crisis

LANSING –– The Michigan Democratic Party today released the following statement today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, in response to Governor Rick Snyder using his tax-exempt Making Government Accountable fund to pay an attorney to prepare him for his March 17 congressional testimony:


“It’s despicable that Governor Snyder is claiming to be raising money to help the people of Flint, when he’s actually using it to avoid taking responsibility for the tragedy he created.  We now know that his tax-exempt slush fund has paid for PR firms and a high-priced attorney to help shield him from accountability before Congress and the public.  The fact that Governor Snyder named his fund ‘Making Government Accountable,'  when he is the least transparent governor in Michigan's history, is beyond ironic and just plain offensive."



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MDP Statement on Judge Clarke Ordering Speaker Cotter To Testify in Courser-Gamrat Case
May. 20th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party


Friday, May 20, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com        


MDP Statement on Judge Clarke Ordering Speaker Cotter To Testify in Courser-Gamrat Case


LANSING –– The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, in response to House Speaker Kevin Cotter being ordered to testify in the Courser-Gamrat case:


“We applaud Judge Hugh Clarke for ordering Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter to testify in the case of Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.  It is imperative to get to the bottom of what the Speaker knew about this Republican scandal and when he knew it.  Speaker Cotter has been anything but forthright when it comes to the taxpayer dollars spent sanitizing the internal Courser-Gamrat report and why whistle-blowing staff were terminated.  This is yet another example of the Republican majority in Lansing abusing its power and it’s encouraging that Speaker Cotter is finally being held accountable.”

 

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MDP Statement on Speaker Cotter’s Blame-Shifting, Scapegoating Constitutional Amendment
May. 19th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com        

 

MDP Statement on Speaker Cotter’s Blame-Shifting, Scapegoating Constitutional Amendment

 

LANSING –– The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, in response to House Speaker Kevin Cotter’s constitutional amendment to blame state employees for the Flint water crisis:

 

“House Republicans are once again failing the people of Michigan.  Their so-called investigative committee on the Flint water crisis has steadfastly refused to call on Governor Snyder and top officials to testify.   It’s galling that Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter is now trying to shift the blame of this horrendous crisis from Snyder’s inept and corrupt administration to workers.  This should be called the ‘Save Governor Snyder’s Hide Act.’  We don't need to amend the Constitution or scapegoat workers on the frontline –– we need to hold the Governor and his top officials accountable and pass anti-corruption laws that will help end the secrecy that plagues this Republican-led state government.”

 

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Calley’s Embrace of Donald Trump is Hypocritical, Lacks Judgment
May. 17th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News From The Michigan Democratic Party

 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com  

 

 

Calley’s Embrace of Donald Trump is Hypocritical, Lacks Judgment

Dems Call on Michigan Republicans to Denounce LG’s Call for Support of Trump

 

LANSING – The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, regarding Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley’s enthusiastic support of Donald Trump, despite the Republican presidential candidate’s offensive and troubling comments regarding women, immigrants, workers, the environment, and the disabled, a group of Americans for whom Calley has often claimed he is a champion:

 

“With his enthusiastic endorsement and call for Republicans to unify behind Donald Trump, Brian Calley has shown the people of Michigan his true colors,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.

 

“By endorsing Trump, a man who denigrates women, calls immigrants ‘rapists’, and physically mocks the disabled, Brian Calley has revealed himself to be a fraud and a hypocrite who lacks the judgment to be a leader in our state. Will any Michigan Republicans, like Speaker Kevin Cotter, Tom Barrett, John Bizon, or Holly Hughes have the courage do what’s right and denounce Calley’s call to support a misogynist, bigot, and hatemonger for president?”

 

Below are several of Trump’s comments and positions that call into question Calley’s judgment for his support of the Republican presidential candidate:

 

  • “He said U.S. automakers could shift production away from Michigan to communities where autoworkers would make less. ‘You can go to different parts of the United States and then ultimately you’d do full-circle — you’ll come back to Michigan because those guys are going to want their jobs back even if it is less,’ Trump said. ‘We can do the rotation in the United States — it doesn’t have to be in Mexico.’” Detroit News, ‘Trump suggests moving some car production from Michigan’
  • “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.” 
  • “I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” 

  • “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud."

  • “Ariana Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”

  • “If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’” 

A more comprehensive list of Trump’s troubling views, including the above, can be found here.

 

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MDP Statement on Governor Snyder’s Answers to the Congressional Panel on Flint
May. 16th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News From The Michigan Democratic Party

 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com        

MDP Statement on Governor Snyder’s Answers to the Congressional Panel on Flint

 

LANSING –– The Michigan Democratic Party released the following statement today, on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillon, in response to Governor Rick Snyder's answers to Congressional Committee questions regarding his role in the Flint water crisis:

“Governor Snyder’s contradictory and evasive answers to questions from the Congressional Committee on Government Reform and Oversight about whether or not he deleted emails continue his troubling pattern of stonewalling people who want answers to what happened in Flint.  The Governor is demonstrating the same lack of transparency and accountability that fueled the Flint water crisis in the first place.  Michigan House Republicans must reverse their position and call Governor Snyder to testify before the Joint Select Flint Water Committee so that the people of Michigan finally get the answers they deserve.”
 
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Democrats Rally Against Gov. Snyder at Isabella County GOP Golf Club Fundraiser
May. 12th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com       

 

 

Democrats Rally Against Gov. Snyder at Isabella County GOP

Golf Club Fundraiser

MDP Chair Calls on GOP Candidates to join Democrats and Demand that Snyder Give Back $800,000 in Taxpayer Dollars Spent on His Criminal Defense

 

MT. PLEASANT –– Democrats today are rallying against Governor Rick Snyder, who’s scheduled to headline the Isabella Republican Party fundraiser at the Buck’s Run Golf Club.  The menu features the “famous” one-pound pork chop for a whopping $75.

 

Snyder will be raising money for local Republicans, even though he’s charged Michigan taxpayers $1.2 million for legal fees, including $800,000 for his own personal criminal defense over the Flint water crisis.

 

The Republican candidates for the 99th state House district, represented by term-limited House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant), are expected to attend the fundraiser.  Democrats are calling on Roger Hauck and Robin Stressman to join them in demanding that Snyder return Michigan taxpayer dollars spent on his criminal defense.

 

“We have a Governor who thinks nothing of forcing taxpayers to pay nearly $1 million for his criminal defense in the poisoning of Flint’s water,” said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.  “We call on Republican State House candidates Hauck and Stressman to stand up for the people of Isabella County and demand that Snyder immediately return the money that he billed to Michigan taxpayers.  Under no circumstances should the people of Michigan be on the hook for Snyder’s personal legal bills.”

 

Governor Snyder unilaterally approved the $800,000 in taxpayer money for his criminal legal defense, even as Michigan roads crumble and schools can’t afford textbooks for children.

 

“If Roger Hauck and Robin Stressman want to pay $75 for pork chops, that’s fine.  But Michigan taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing the ultimate pork-barrel project, their governor’s criminal defense,” said Jerry Hilliard, resident of Union Township in Isabella County.  “We’re calling on Hauck and Stressman to do the right thing and join us in demanding that Governor Snyder return that $800,000 to hardworking Michigan taxpayers.”

 

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Democrats Blast Rep. Canfield for his Opposition to the Detroit Public Schools Forensic Audit
May. 11th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com       

 

 

Democrats Blast Rep. Canfield for his Opposition to the Detroit Public Schools Forensic Audit

DPS Kids and Parents Should Know How Emergency Managers Ran the District’s Finances into the Ground

 

 

SEBEWAING –– Today, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon blasted Representative Ed Canfield (R-Sebewaing) for his vote against a forensic audit of Detroit Public Schools.  Canfield was one of 18 Republicans in the House Appropriations Committee who voted last week against the Democrats’ amendment for a district-wide audit conducted by the Department of Justice. 

 

DPS has been under state control for seven years and is on the brink of insolvency.  Parents and schoolchildren deserve to know what Republican-appointed Emergency Managers have done with the district’s money.

 

“There is no good reason for Representative Canfield to be against a measure that would ensure fiscal responsibility and would hold Emergency Managers accountable for the condition of Detroit Public schools,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon.  “Schools are failing and teachers are expected to work with the possibility of payless paydays. DPS students and parents deserve a forensic audit to understand why they aren’t getting the quality education they deserve.”

 

DPS Transition Manager Judge Steven Rhodes has announced that the district will run out of money on June 30 and won’t be able to pay some teachers.  House Republicans have refused to come up with a viable financial aid plan for DPS or hold Emergency Managers responsible for the district’s problems.

 

“Children’s education cannot continue to be sacrificed to shield Republican-appointed Emergency Managers from public scrutiny,” Dillon said.  “Representative Canfield must cast partisanship aside and join Democrats to get to the bottom of the fiscal mismanagement of Detroit Public Schools.  He needs to stop protecting these Republican-appointed Emergency Managers and start fighting for our state's children.”

 

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Democrats Demand Rep. Bizon Explain Opposition to the DPS Forensic Audit
May. 11th 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from the Michigan Democratic Party

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Contact: Paul Kanan, 517.371.5410pkanan@michigandems.com       

 

 

Democrats Demand Rep. Bizon Explain Opposition to the DPS Forensic Audit

DPS Kids and Parents Deserve Answers about how Emergency Managers Ran District’s Finances into the Ground

 

 

BATTLE CREEK –– Today, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon called on Representative John Bizon (R-Battle Creek) to defend his vote against a forensic audit of Detroit Public Schools. 

 

Bizon was one of 18 Republicans in the House Appropriations Committee who voted last week against the Democrats’ amendment for a district-wide audit conducted by the Department of Justice. 

 

DPS has been under state control for seven years and is on the brink of insolvency.  Parents and school kids deserve to know what Republican-appointed Emergency Managers have done with the district’s money.

 

“Representative Bizon has a duty to get to the bottom of fiscal mismanagement of Detroit Public Schools under state control,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon. “His job is not to protect Republican-appointed Emergency Managers from public scrutiny.  Bizon’s job is to make sure every child in this state receives a quality education and to act as a good steward of taxpayer dollars.” 

 

DPS Transition Manager Judge Steven Rhodes has announced that the district will run out of money on June 30 and won’t be able to pay some teachers.  House Republicans have refused to come up with a viable financial aid plan for DPS or hold Emergency Managers responsible for the district’s problems.

 

“A forensic audit of Detroit Public Schools under Emergency Managers is about fiscal responsibility and holding people accountable,” Dillon said.  “It’s impossible to understand why Representative Bizon is against that.  Students and parents deserve to know why their schools are failing.  We demand to know why Bizon voted to shield the Emergency Managers from scrutiny.”

 

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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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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. 

Paid for with regulated funds by the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee, 606 Townsend, Lansing, MI 48933, (517) 371-5410, MichiganDems.com. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.