By failing to subject herself to FOIA and using executive orders to extend FOIA deadlines, Governor Whitmer is the least transparent governor in modern history
Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox announced today that the Michigan Republican Party filed a FOIA request seeking documents from Governor Whitmer’s office showing how much taxpayer money was spent on her failed quest to obtain the Democratic vice-presidential nomination through an unprecedented national media blitz that began after she hired a presidential campaign communications guru on the state payroll.
Cox called on Whitmer to be transparent and voluntarily release the information last week.
Despite Whitmer recently announcing a state budget deal requiring layoffs and a hiring freeze to balance the current fiscal year budget, she previously found public funds to hire a presidential campaign operative.
Strangely, Whitmer’s office never publicly announced the high-profile hire.
During this time, roughly March to June, Whitmer’s national media appearances exploded and her name rocketed up the V.P. speculation list. While the COVID-19 crisis contributed, the unprecedented reach of Whitmer’s appearances into far-flung national media platforms was likely boosted by special efforts in her office. The culmination of those efforts came on May 19th, when The Hill reported “that she has had an “opening conversation” with Joe Biden’s campaign about her potential as a running mate pick.” However, by June 12th, WWJ reported that “Biden's VP List Narrows — And Gretchen Whitmer Isn't On It.”
After collecting many state paychecks, Whitmer’s personal vice-presidential hype man then parachuted out of her office and returned to the national campaign scene by joining the Democratic National Committee.
“By failing to subject herself to FOIA and using executive orders to extend FOIA deadlines, Governor Whitmer is the least transparent governor in modern history,” said Cox. “Refusing to shed light onto her practice of hiring presidential campaign staff into her office is just another reason for Michigan residents and media to ask what she is so afraid of exposing?”