The corruption of Rick Snyder and the Republicans in Michigan has risen to another level
Yet another Republican governor’s administration is under federal investigation. This time it is Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (again). His administration, despite being just a little over three years old, has found itself in hot water more than once.
Prior to this latest investigation, Rick Snyder has been caught red-handed awarding a no-bid contract to his cousin for $731,119 to supply furniture to government offices. His cousin, George Snyder, even had the gall to contact Richard Baird, the governor’s chief adviser, to complain about a pending budget bill that would have capped furniture purchases at $1 million dollars. The result? Before the budget was finalized, the $1 million dollar capped was changed to $41 million. The response from the governor’s office? Move along, nothing to see here.
Next, Snyder’s administration moved on to rewarding major campaign donors. The Michigan Democratic Party revealed that a high-dollar donor to his re-election campaign was given a $26.4 million no-bid contract. The donor, J&B Medical Supply, “supplies diapers and other incontinence products to the Department of Community Health.” In return J&B Medical hosted an over-the-top fundraiser in swanky Bloomfield Hills that featured crystal stemware and custom made swag. All total J&B raised $73,800 for Snyder in return for a $26.4 million contract. Not a bad return on your investment. If you have ever wonder how the other half lives just spend a few minutes watching the video.
What finally landed Snyder in hot water, however, was when his administration hired the owner of a real estate company to be the head of the Michigan State Housing Authority. Scott Woosley, the man in question, continued to get paid by his real estate company while heading the Housing Authority. The Housing Authority is charged with helping low-income residents become homeowners and afford rent payments. However, Snyder’s appointee felt he needed the money more than those low-income folks struggling to keep a roof over their head.
Scott Woosley abruptly resigned after documents were released that showed he racked up at least $100,000 in travel expenses after less than two years on the job. According to the Detroit News, “he continued to share in the profits of his Troy-based company, Labor-Management Fund Advisors, while collecting a $135,000-a-year paycheck. Gubernatorial appointees typically sever financial ties with their businesses to work in state government to avoid any appearance of impropriety.”
The News detailed some of his travels “Woosley’s reimbursed expenses included $10,000 first-class flights to the Middle East and Beijing to woo foreign investors to Michigan, $500-a-night hotel rooms, expensive meals including such delicacies as foie gras and escargot, and more than $23,000 in travel on state-owned planes.” However, even republicans drew the line, refusing to reimburse him for a $180 back rub in Saudi Arabia.
If your caught with your hand in the cookie jar and you’re a Republican, what do you do? Blame the Democrats! In September, Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel emphasized Woosley was no longer part of the administration and called the Democrats’ pursuit of a federal probe “more baseless allegations to distract from the real issues and the real story of Michigan’s comeback.