Wednesday, Feb. 4 is the five-year anniversary of Michigan Capitol Confidential, the daily news site of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

I have been a reporter with what is known as “CapCon” from the start. Our first day live we covered a tea party rally outside the Capitol during former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s 2010 State of the State speech.

Our goal has been to fill a gap in the types of news the existing media provides, and give voice to a point of view it downplays. We cover news from a limited-government and taxpayer perspective.

There are three personal incidents I have that highlight our progression.

The first was when I bumped into an old high school classmate shortly after the website launched. He asked, “Are you still working for the Mackinac Center for Performing Arts?”

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But in a short time, the news site began attracting national attention to the Mackinac Center.

In 2012, my sister – a teachers union member and a grass-roots organizer for President Barack Obama – sat down to watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. “Oh, my god,” she said. “My brother is on TV.” (Actually, I wasn’t. My story was. Maddow also re-tweeted the story.)

In 2010, a high-ranking GOP official emailed a rejection to our request for permanent press credentials for the floor of the state Capitol.

“Those are reserved for recognized news outlets or print publications,” he wrote. “We begin to go down a slippery slope with this issue because we open up the floor to every blogger and anyone claiming to run an Internet news site.”

That viewpoint changed quickly. In our five years, the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, MLive, the Drudge Report, Associated Press, Fox News, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, POLITICO and MSNBC have all cited the work of CapCon. The New York Times linked to one of our stories for one of its online Sunday editorials.

But credibility doesn’t come from politicians or conventional media outlets. It comes from readers.

In the past five years, 2.9 million unique users have visited Michigan Capitol Confidential. Readership is growing every month.

In 2010, no one knew what to expect. Today, it's clear: The demand for CapCon is growing faster than ever.


Some of our top stories from years past:

How the Forced Unionization of Day Care and Home Health Care Providers Took Place

Democratic Party Political Director Linked to Mysterious Tea Party Political Party

Union Contract: Teachers Can Be Caught in School Drunk Five Times and on Drugs Three Times Before Being Fired

No Horses, But Detroit Water Department Employs ‘Horseshoer’ 

School Districts Closed Because of Excessive Teacher Absences Over Right-to-Work

Less Than 0.001 Percent of Tenured Teachers Fired Over Past Five Years

Sun Not Shining on State Solar Subsidies

Non-Christian Teachers Given ‘Special Consideration’ in Union Teacher Contract

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