Ken Braun is the former managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential, the Center's daily online news site and quarterly newsletter on state and local public policy. He also is the former director of MichiganTransparency.org and "Show Michigan the Money," the Mackinac Center's projects on government transparency. For the five years prior to his joining the Center in 2006, Braun was a chief of staff for a Michigan state representative. His primary policy tasks in that post involved tax and budget matters, but he worked extensively on a variety of other topics, including municipal water systems, telecommunications and ballot access for minor political parties. Braun also assisted in writing Op-Eds that were published in Michigan’s largest newspapers.
Prior to his work in the Legislature, Braun served as a campaign manager for a Michigan state legislator. He also worked in his family’s retail lighting business in Farmington Hills, Mich. Braun graduated in 1990 with a degree in international relations from Michigan State University’s James Madison College.
By Ken Braun
But if you're the governor of Michigan or one of the lawmakers running either chamber of the Michigan Legislature, such rules literally do not apply to you, because of a little-known secrecy perk in FOIA.
If any of the five men running on the GOP side to become Michigan's next governor win the job, this shroud of secrecy could be lifted. … more
Another term for it is "crony capitalism" — when business and politicians gang up to thwart the marketplace and the rule of law. … more
Aside from voting regularly, business owner Ben DiPonio of Milford says he wasn't ever anyone's definition of a political activist. But as the train to federalized health care clattered clumsily to the president's desk earlier this year, a frustrated DiPonio, 64, found himself repeatedly screaming at his television. His wife Joanne told him to either shut it off, or do something about it.
The Italian immigrant, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1982, decided to do something, and attended his first Tea Party at the state capitol last month.
What was just yelling at the TV a few weeks ago is now the Tea Party Patriots of West Oakland County. … more
At the beginning of this year, as the president and Congress began pushing toward the finish line with their effort to federalize control of the U.S. health care system, the Washington D.C.-based Club for Growth began retargeting its opposition toward the 2010 election by creating the "Repeal It" pledge. It asks 2010 candidates for Congress to pledge to strike down the federalized health care law. As of Monday afternoon, 72 current members of Congress and 307 candidates have signed on. This includes just two current members from Michigan and twelve challengers. … more
Latest Vote Shows Dept. of State's Cost-Saving Plan Now Opposed by 71 in House — Including Seven GOP
A memo from the Senate Fiscal Agency indicates that the policy might bring about "modest savings" for the department.
However, the SFA also notes that savings for the DOC could come at a cost in another area because it will encourage current nurses to retire early and then return for the salary on top of their full pension payout. To the extent that this occurs, it will increase claims against the state's public employee pension system. … more