By: State Rep. Pauline Wendzel
Residents of my district know I’m a big fan of mail and e-newsletters. Over the past five years, I’ve regularly sent out updates about what’s happening in Lansing and how people can contact my office about any issues they’re having with state government or to simply share an opinion on legislation. Unfortunately, with Democrats taking control of the legislature, an unprecedented crackdown has taken place on Republicans which never happened to Democrats under the 12 recent years Republicans controlled the House.
As of this term, the Speaker’s office will now be directly ‘working with’ the official House Business Office staff to approve any and all mass communications from lawmakers. During my five years serving Southwest Michigan, Republicans never forced these nonpartisan staff to control the minority party’s messaging. As of now, I can’t send a newsletter or share my thoughts on social media or through mail without the approval of the Democrats. Mass communications is no longer a nonpartisan operation.
Under rules imposed by the Democratic majority, Republicans can’t use words such as ‘irresponsible’ or ‘bloated’ referring to the recent budget, or even terms like ‘China’ or ‘special interest’ when referring to legislative policies.”
These words are basic and commonly used vocabulary by both sides of the aisle in government, and sadly, they fit the policies being pushed by this Democrat majority. This extremely oppressive measure is not just outrageous, but also hampers my ability to accurately convey what’s happening in the capital city to people back home.
Thankfully, residents of Southwest Michigan have access to local news sources like the Tri City Record where they can receive uncensored updates from their elected officials. Despite these tactics of silencing dissent, I will continue to speak out about harmful policies that impact the hardworking people of Southwest Michigan. As always, if there’s anything my office can ever do to be of service to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out at [email protected] or at 517-373-1799.
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