On Saturday, Michigan Republicans rejected Tonya Schuitmaker and selected Speaker of the House Tom Leonard as their nominee for Michigan Attorney General. One of the main duties of Attorney General is to hold the powerful accountable by launching investigations to protect the people of Michigan. In light of his nomination it’s important to look at how Speaker Leonard used his position as Speaker of the House to hold people accountable.
A quick scan of the record shows Leonard has failed to use his office to protect the people of Michigan. Since taking the gavel at the beginning of 2017, Leonard’s leadership has been anemic. The House has held zero hearings on the Flint Water Crisis. Leonard, as leader of the House, closed up shop the entire summer. This is despite the fact that a new water crisis is raging across our state.
All summer long, people across the state have been horrified by the PFAS crisis and yet Speaker Leonard has sat on his hands and done nothing. Leonard has the power to call the legislature in, appoint a panel, issue subpoenas and hold hearings to force the perpetrators of this crisis to answer why it happened, what they are doing about it and get answers to the people who are rightfully scared. Instead, Leonard spent his summer palling around with celebrities and high dollar political donors campaigning for a new job.
Leadership requires a person to want to do the right thing. Instead of using his power and position to help the people, Leonard has chosen to sit quietly and allow problems to fester without any accountability. Tom Leonard’s time as Speaker of the House has been a dereliction of duty.