Whitmer Continues to Dodge Transparency
Whitmer claims she has done "an incredible amount" on transparency, despite unfulfilled promises on public records.
Last Monday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 4705, which expanded the Open Meetings Act to require certain state public bodies to create and maintain audio recordings of their meetings, expanding transparency and accountability.
Not included in the bill is the Office of the Governor or the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, because Michigan’s 1976 Freedom of Information Act places elected and most appointed officials outside of the state’s definition of “public body.”
The signing of HB 4705 refocuses the spotlight on a 2018 promise then-candidate Gretchen Whitmer made to treat requests to her office for public records as though they were subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), even though they are not.
In 2022, Governor Whitmer has yet to keep that promise in what The Detroit Free Press calls it “a major unfulfilled promise of her first term.”
In February, the media outlet asked to see both the governor and lieutenant governor’s reimbursement claims from 2019-2021 as well as proof of spending, such as receipts. In response, the Free Press says, “Whitmer Press Secretary Bobby Leddy refused to provide nearly all of the requested records in a March 8 emailed response.”
Michiganders deserve to know how elected officials are spending their tax dollars. Transparency is non-negotiable in making that happen.