Court Ruled Correctly in Preventing Use of Government Resources to Facilitate Political Contributions, According to Mackinac Center Senior Legal Analyst

Ruling keeps partisan matters out of state employment affairs

For Immediate Release
Tuesday Sept. 2, 2008
Contact: Patrick J. Wright
Senior Legal Analyst, 989-631-0900

MIDLAND — The Michigan Court of Appeals was right to stop state funds and resources from being used to deduct political contributions from employees’ paychecks, Mackinac Center Senior Legal Analyst Patrick J. Wright said today.

In its Michigan Education Association v. Secretary of State decision issued at the end of last week, the court ruled that state law prohibits the use of government funds or other resources to make political expenditures. At issue in the case was whether a school district could administer payroll deductions that would go to the MEA’s political action committee. The court held that administration of the payroll deductions constituted an expenditure for MEA-PAC’s benefit and was therefore illegal.

"Special-interest politics has no business in government," said Wright, who filed an amicus brief in the case on the Center’s behalf. "Government administration of PAC money would make a mockery of governmental neutrality."