Call for Transparency in Michigan Cites JAS Report

Michigan_quarter,_reverse_side,_2004An op-ed in the Traverse City Record-Eagle cites the recent Bankrolling the Bench report in making the case for more government transparency in Michigan.  Columnist George Weeks writes that a recent study by the The Center for Public Integrity “ranks Michigan dead last in overall government transparency.”

He goes on to cite a Detroit Free Press piece by Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, headlined “Michigan continues its dark money streak” (see Gavel Grab), noting that the 2014 Michigan Supreme Court race was “the most expensive and least transparent in the nation.” The piece cites Bankrolling the Bench, by Justice at Stake, the Brennan Center for Justice and the National Institute on Money in State Politics, as the source of data on the race.

Weeks also quotes Robinson on Michigan’s history of costly Supreme Court races. “This is the third election cycle in a row that we’ve had that distinction and that’s a hat trick that shouldn’t should be a point of pride,” Robinson wrote of the 2014 election.  Earlier this year, Pennsylvania set a new record for expensive state Supreme Court races, logging the costliest such race in U.S. history (see Gavel Grab).