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.
Rep. Fink has penned a letter to House Appropriations Chair Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) about specific public safety funding he believes should be included in the state’s spending plan this year. Rep. Fink has penned a letter to House Appropriations Chair Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) about specific public safety funding he believes should be included in the state’s spending plan this year.
As a legislator in a border state, I understand the importance of patrolling our border and closely monitoring what is allowed to cross it. It is imperative that we work to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and the law and order of our country.