Why Bill Schuette’s Ethics Plan is a Sham

Today, Bill Schuette’s campaign announced an eight-step ethics plan if he’s elected governor. You read that right: The state’s top law enforcement officer couldn’t be bothered to release an eight-step plan when he was first elected to be attorney general, but he can now when he wants to run the whole state.

Unfortunately, this is typical Shady Schuette behavior. He refuses to use his office he currently holds and instead releases campaign statements trying to get to higher office. Let’s look at the eight recommendations from Bill Schuette and break them down.

Point 1:

A five-year ban on lobbying by former state elected officials and key executives.

Sounds like a plan, Bill. Quick question: How many lobbyists has your office prosecuted in the eight years you have been the state’s top law enforcement officer? We’ll wait.

Point 2:

Ban gifts from lobbyists for elected officials.

For real? Did you even proofread this list? If you really believe this, will you return the campaign contributions you’ve taken from, uh, lobbyists? You see, according to reports, you’ve taken $54,659 from lobbyists between 2012 and 2017. That’s a pretty nice gift, eh?

Point 3:

Require candidates and state office holders to release their tax returns and submit personal financial disclosures.

This is coming from the guy who not only supported Donald Trump (after Jeb! dropped out) in the 2016 election, but also has carried water for Trump since he took office. Funny, I don’t remember you calling on candidate Trump to release his tax returns.

Point 4:

Create a Michigan Accountability Office

We have one. It’s called THE DEPARTMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL. Why create another office when you don’t use the one you have to hold people – like Governor Snyder – accountable not just when it’s politically expedient to do so?

Point 5:

Make MSU/U-M/WSU boards more accountable by giving appointment power to the governor.

You know who else was appointed by the governor? The emergency manager in charge of Flint, the emergency manager in charge of Detroit schools, Nick Lyon and Dr. Eden Wells, but sure, let’s give the governor more power to appoint folks. Do you even know what accountability looks like?

Point 6:

Require state universities to live by the same transparency rules as the majority of state government.

You have subpoena power, so you could have shined a light on state universities any time in the last eight years. Not to mention the next point…

Point 7:

Require the governor and lieutenant governor to follow transparency laws.

Well, expanding the Freedom of Information Act would be a start. Again, you have subpoena power and could have used it whenever it was needed in the past eight years. Yet, Governor Snyder hasn’t been charged in the Flint investigation and you allowed Lt. Governor Calley to take jet off to Harvard while missing work without an investigation.

Point 8:

Hold Governor’s Coffee Hours.

Coffee hours? How about FOIA reform so citizens can request information themselves from the governor’s office and legislature. Seems odd that you failed to propose this change that would hold you accountable if you were to become governor. Michigan ranks dead last in laws on ethics and transparency, but sure, let’s get coffee instead.

The take on Attorney General Bill Schuette is that he begins looking for the next higher office the minute he gets elected to his current one. This eight-point plan is nothing more than pure politics from a guy who would rather spin soundbites than do the actual work he was elected to do.

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