State Rep. Andrew Fink (R-Adams Township) demanded stronger accountability measures for the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC).
The representative criticized the Commission because of its recent controversy surrounding ethics violations, as well as the fundamental lack of accountability measures built into the Commission itself.
The MICRC is composed of 13 commissioners appointed by the Secretary of State and is tasked with drawing state House, Senate, and Congressional district lines every ten years. However, once appointed, Commissioners can only be removed by 10 members within the commission itself voting to remove them from the board.
“This lack of oversight and accountability of Michigan’s redistricting commission invites misconduct,” Fink said. “There is no other public body in Michigan government for which the public officials are not accountable to literally anyone outside of the body itself. It violates the whole notion of the separation of powers, and we are seeing the consequences of this now with the inexcusable behavior of Commissioner Anthony Eid.”
Following the publication of the new district maps by the MCIRC, Commissioner Eid accepted a job as the Deputy Director of Michigan Voices, a 501(c)3 organization that advocates for leftist policies throughout Michigan. Notably, Michigan Voices has boasted openly about their efforts in lobbying the MICRC during the creation of the newly redrawn maps. Michigan Voices writes on their website: “Michigan Voices Democracy Department’s staff played an integral role in the redistricting process by closely monitoring the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission through their year-long map-drawing process. Our Democracy Workgroup partners engaged with MICRC right up until they approved the final maps.”
When this overt conflict of interest by Commissioner Eid was brought to the Commission’s attention, they refused to discuss it. To her credit, Commissioner Rebecca Szetela requested an investigation into ethical questions raised by Commissioner Eid’s involvement with Michigan Voices. However, the Commission voted to remove the agenda item from their July 20th meeting.
Based on the Commission’s gross mishandling of Commissioner Eid’s conflict-of-interest, it is abundantly clear that the MICRC needs greater oversight and accountability to ensure fair district lines are drawn.
“I learned so many important lessons from my time in the Marine Corps that I carry with me to this day,” said Fink, a Marine Corps veteran. “Today and every day, we should honor the veterans who helped maintain the free and safe country we enjoy every day.”
“Rushing headlong into solar and wind energy dependence will be costly – and Michigan residents are the ones who will foot the bill,” Fink said. “Further, it will make our grid even less reliable across Michigan. The power outages we have experienced in our rural areas in recent years will only get worse. Essentially, you’ll be paying more but getting less.”
“Transparency and accountability to the people are crucial parts of our system of government,” said Fink. “We must have systems in place to hold legislators accountable when conflicts of interest arise.”
“I’m pleased to see Democrats have come to their senses and pulled this bill off the committee docket. There’s no need for additional Court of Appeals judges in Michigan. The number of case filings has not increased, and our current judges are more than capable of handling existing cases. This was a clear attempt to pack our courts with Democrat influence and manipulate judgeships to the detriment of our justice system.”