Reps Byrum, Dillon Outraged by Republican Response to Oakland County Commission Emails

Legislators urge action to improve Capitol climate
Thursday, March 22, 2012

LANSING- Representatives Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga), Democratic Vice-Chairs on the Elections and Redistricting Committee and Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) today voiced their disdain for the way Republicans have handled the recent uncovering of emails showing the political jockeying that occurred in the redrawing of county commission districts in Oakland County.

“State Representative Eileen Kowall said ‘this is how the legislative process works’ and Marty Knollenberg continues to stand behind on the guise of saving taxpayer money regardless of proof to the contrary,” said Byrm. “This shows just how much needs to be changed in Lansing and unfortunately this is how the legislative process works when Republicans are given free reign. It manifested into our state receiving an ‘F’ by the State Integrity Investigation in both potential for overall corruption and redistricting.”

This week, the State Integrity Investigation gave Michigan a failing grade in legislative accountability, political financing, redistricting, and ethics enforcement agencies among others. Michigan also ranked 43 in the country in transparency and ethics.

Representative Dillon, a sponsor of a bill in the Democratic “Reform Government Now” package of 16 bills and one constitutional amendment addressing transparency and accountability believes that action needs to be taken to change the way Lansing is run.

“I am outraged that these elected officials would simply brush off their constituents and the lack of transparency and ethics without blinking an eye. They are prime examples of why people do not trust government or elected officials,” said Dillon. “If the governor was serious about making this a priority in his state of the state address then partisanship needs to be put aside and our package needs to be taken up.”