Michigan House Republicans
Kunse reinforces support for auditor general after baseless claims
RELEASE|April 11, 2024
Contact: Tom Kunse

State Rep. Tom Kunse on Thursday called out Michigan Democrats for their partisan attacks against Michigan’s Office of the Auditor General (OAG), the nonpartisan office that holds state government accountable.

A key function of the auditor general is to work with lawmakers from both parties to carefully craft audit requests to ensure they fit the purview of the OAG. After the 2020 election, Auditor General Doug Ringler offered feedback to legislators preparing an audit request to examine the state’s election procedures. When the audit report was released, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, praised the OAG’s professionalism and accuracy. Now, Democrats are dubbing Ringler as a partisan hack for simply doing his job.

“I’m curious to know what Michigan Democrats think the auditor general should have done differently in this situation,” said Kunse, R-Clare. “Are they proposing he should have ignored a request from an elected official representing 90,000 people? The auditor general has the job he does because he is the state’s trusted expert in conducting internal reviews of government agencies. When we have a question about finance, we call treasury. When we have a question about roads, we call transportation. If not the auditor general, who else would lawmakers reach out to when ensuring the accuracy of their audit requests?”

The coordinated attacks come after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recommended a net $8.3 million cut to OAG funding in her annual budget proposal, which Ringler noted would impair oversight and could jeopardize billions of dollars in federal funding. The OAG’s nonpartisan audits have repeatedly exposed failures in the Whitmer administration.

“If there is ever a place in Lansing where we should rise above petty partisan politics, it should be oversight and ethics,” Kunse said. “Democrats don’t want any more bad news. Instead of doing their job better and fixing state government, they would rather just terminate the messenger outlining the problems. Let’s have a discussion about the facts. I’d like someone to tell me a single thing the auditor general has done or reported that is factually incorrect.”


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