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Monday, September 12, 2011

Questions of ethics rise as its' revealed Gov. Snyder has two funds to accept unlimited unreported donations

A Reach Out Job Search Op/Ed

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) accepting unlimited
donations from wealthy donors, while taking a $1.00
per year as Governor, is raising questions about his
ethical values and leadership.
It's possible within Michigan's history; there has never been a more unethical Governor, than Rick Snyder (R).

Some will state, the previous statement was full of opinion and void of facts, until a review of Rick Snyder actions, since being sworn in as Michigan's Governor since January 1, 2011.

Candidate Rick Snyder loudly boasted across the state a promise to take one dollar a year to perform the job as Michigan highest chief executive. Many voters were impressed by Candidate Snyder promise only take a "buck" as Governor, considering the so-called "fiscal crisis" situation that Michigan was in. 

As a Billionaire venture capitalist and the former C.E.O. of Gateway Computers, a majority Michiganders who elected Rick Snyder, believed he would use his vast capital of funds to pay for any costs associated with his Governor duties. 

Now, just nine months shy of Gov. Snyder "pledge" of a $1.00 per year payment for serving in Michigan's highest executive office, he has set up three new funds that can accept unlimited corporate donations. The first one "Governor's Club" fund, has disclosed $117,500 in receipts in its first report to the IRS. Michigan's Governor salary is $177,000 per year.

The Detroit News reported on September 9th, that the "Governor's Club" fund was set up under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code to pay for "certain expenses" of the office. Under the Michigan Constitution, expenses occurred in the Governor's office is covered by with state tax revenue. Still, the "Governor's Club" fund is not illegal under state Constitutional clauses.

The two other questionable funds named "New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify Fund" or "One Tough NERD Fund" for civic action, social welfare actions and a third new fund, the "Foundation to Reinvent Michigan"a charity set up to pay for repair and maintenance to the governor's official residences, might in violation to our states' Constitution. Donors to both of these funds don't have publicly disclosed donations, unlike the 527 IRS "Governor's Fund".

Snyder's recently passed budget gave $1.5 billion dollars’ worth of tax cuts to the states C & S corporations, at the expense of nearly all other Michiganders. 

In the budget, taxes increased on small businesses, middle, working and poor classes, cut the Michigan Film Incentive credit, imposed a 48 month strict limit on state assistance benefits that removes 29,700 children off the program and more

Questions are being posed rightfully, if Gov. Snyder is engaged in form of unethical form of "Quid Pro Quo" with wealthy donors, giving to Snyder’s various "funds". 

Former Mayor Kwame Kirkpatrick (D) set up a similar "charitable" organizations as Gov. Snyder's "NERD and Reinvent Michigan Funds" during his reign in office, that ended in a Federal Prison stent and still pending federal corruption charges related to this "Kirkpatrick Civic Fund".
"That's very disturbing," said Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN), which monitors political giving and pushes for campaign finance reform, about Gov. Snyder's NERD Fund to the Detroit Free Press.  
"For someone who has expressed a concern about transparency, that's absolutely the wrong thing to do," he stated.
It's unprecedented for Michigan Governors' to set up secret donation funds, since the history of the office in 1837. Snyder's predecessor, Former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, had two foundations to support the official residences and 527 funds similar to Snyder's "Governor's Club" but, she also accepted in full, Michigan's Governor's office salary.

The difference between Granholm and Snyder's funds is that donors and the amounts they gave was disclosed, unlike Snyder's later two charitable organizations the "NERD and Reinvent Michigan Fund", both of which allow for undisclosed donations.
"The whole notion that he (Rick Snyder) would set up a vehicle for taking unlimited contributions from unknown sources and exclude PACs from that is not much of a statement of transparency," Rich Robinson of MCFN said.
Detroit News asked officials from Gov. Snyder's office would release the names of donors' to the "One Tough NERD" and "Foundation to Reinvent Michigan" funds and, how much they gave in the case of the two funds, for which such disclosures are not required. 

The response received from Gov. Snyder's official office, might leave Michigan voters baffled and confused, on if he would continue accepting unlimited donations from wealthy donors, which no accountability to those who voted for him on November 3, 2010. 
"We will follow all provisions of the law," Governor's Snyder's spokeswoman Sara Wurfel stated. "There are lots of Michiganders across the state who are interested in supporting the governor, his commitment to tackling the tough challenges and the work to turn around Michigan," Wurfel noted.
Why get paid to be Governor by the people in the state of Michigan, when one can make public policy decisions based on unlimited corporate donations? Reach Out Job Search News will continue to report updates to this story as more information becomes available.

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