The Mackinac Center continues to be the go-to source for free-market perspectives in Michigan — especially for media outlets. Over the first few months of this year, we’ve had the opportunity to speak on a variety of issues on the local, state and national level.
We kicked off the year with commentaries on the first item of the Legislature’s agenda — civil asset forfeiture. We’ve done a lot of work on this topic (you can read more about that in this issue of IMPACT), which many news publishers recognized, including the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News and Bridge Magazine. Jarrett Skorup, our director of communications and marketing, and resident expert on forfeiture, also spoke to multiple radio shows across the state on the topic.
The Mackinac Center released the 2018 Michigan Public High School Context and Performance Report Card, which gives parents an updated tool for comparing schools while taking into consideration their various demographic profiles. Local newspapers like The Monroe News, The Antrim Review, Gaylord Herald Times and even MLive took the opportunity to recognize how schools in their areas performed (both positively and negatively).
Gov. Whitmer’s first State of the State address provided a look at some of the governor’s policy priorities, which the Mackinac Center was happy to comment on. While we’ve publicly expressed reservations about some of the governor’s initiatives, we were able to find some common ground. The Detroit Free Press published an op-ed written by Michael Reitz, our executive vice president. In the piece, Reitz emphasizes the importance of increasing government transparency, saying, “Bipartisan accomplishments may be difficult to come by with Michigan’s shared government. Shining a light on government operations is one thing the state’s leaders can, and should, get done.”
The release of the governor’s first budget proposal gave plenty of opportunities for our fiscal policy staff to provide analysis on state funding — primarily roads. Not only were they featured in nearly all of the usual statewide print and radio outlets, but their ideas were also featured in an op-ed in Bridge Magazine written by Sen. Peter Lucido.
The Mackinac Center continues to reach a national audience through opinion pieces published in some of the Beltway’s most well-known newspapers, including The Hill and the Washington Examiner. The New York Times published a feature about the Overton Window of Political Possibility, a concept originating from former Mackinac Center Senior Vice President Joseph Overton. The Times offered extensive quotes from Mackinac Center President Joseph Lehman, who said that the window “just explains how ideas come in and out of fashion, the same way that gravity explains why something falls to the earth.”