Veteran Lansing Reporter Jack Spencer Joins Michigan Capitol Confidential

‘Highly regarded’ MIRS reporter and analyst will cover Capitol beat

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

MIDLAND — Veteran Lansing reporter and analyst Jack Spencer will join the staff of Michigan Capitol Confidential, the news service of the Mackinac Center, Managing Editor Ken Braun announced today. Spencer, who was the House of Representatives correspondent and senior analyst for the Michigan Information & Research Service (subscription required) for 13 years, will serve as the capitol affairs specialist for CapCon. He has more than two decades of experience covering state and local government in Michigan.

“Jack Spencer is well-known and highly regarded in the state capital as a knowledgeable, fair and dogged reporter who understands policy issues and the politics that drive them,” said Braun. “His sources, experience and insight will enhance the reporting and analysis that already make CapCon one of the fastest-growing news outlets in the state. We are delighted to add Jack to our team.”

Spencer will begin July 5. His work will supplement reporting by Tom Gantert, another long-time Michigan reporter, who focuses on local government and federal issues that relate to Michigan. Additional CapCon reporting and analysis is provided by Mackinac Center experts, including Braun, Senior Legislative Analyst Jack McHugh and veteran broadcast reporter Kathy Hoekstra. While Mackinac Center research analyzes the impact of public policies, CapCon reports on that impact in real time.

“While citizens go about their daily lives, they need an extra set of eyes and ears to watch over their government,” Spencer noted. “Journalists have long provided this watchdog service, though that role has evolved and continues to change. I'm thankful for the opportunity MIRS newsletter has given me to see government up close over the past 13 years. I look forward to putting that experience to further use for the Mackinac Center.”

Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, said he was delighted to have Spencer join the CapCon team. “We have watched capital bureaus and news coverage from Lansing dwindle. CapCon is filling that void — especially for Michigan residents looking for alternatives to big-government solutions. Jack Spencer, who generated extensive coverage for one of the most-trusted news sources in Lansing, will help CapCon provide the reporting that Michiganders need to understand what’s taking place in Lansing and to hold their elected officials accountable.”