Prop 1’s packaged deal of term limits, financial disclosure holds lead

Support for Proposition 1 continued to lead as vote counting continued early Wednesday morning. If passed, the proposal would subject state lawmakers to new rules requiring the release of certain personal finance information, but would also end statutory deadlines.

Proposal 1 proposed two topics as a covered agreement: financial disclosures and deadlines. He asked voters to require lawmakers to release information about their personal finances and allow them to spend more time in Lansing, or to allow lawmakers to keep their personal financial matters private but keep the limits on their spending. Michigan’s most popular term.

As of early Wednesday, Proposition 1 was leading 65.2%-34.8%, according to the Associated Press. About 68.14% of the unofficial votes have been counted.

Jason Cabel Roe, a political strategist working with Proposition 1 supporters, said he expected a strong victory because of the cooperation of unions, business groups, politicians and the chamber of commerce that supported it. the term.

“It’s rare to have something with such broad, bipartisan appeal,” he said. “We’re going to ride this unicorn to a big win tonight.”

Having two issues combined into a single proposal was a challenge for some voters, including Dawn Wetzel, a 62-year-old real estate agent from Ann Arbor. He said he felt “separated” between keeping strict deadlines and demanding financial statements.

“I felt one way about term limits and another way about money disclosures,” Wetzel said.

He voted no on the proposal.

Rich Bradley, a 42-year-old Ann Arbor resident who works in advertising technology, also had mixed feelings about Proposition 1, although he voted for it on Tuesday.

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“I feel that the term limits, in theory, should be shorter, but I want more transparency,” he said.

Although they seem separate, Roe said term limits and financial disclosures are “related to giving voters confidence that the people they elect are working for them and not themselves. “

“There will be members of parliament who focus on representing their districts instead of looking at the way they can go,” he said.

In May, the House of Representatives voted to put Proposition 1 on the ballot, allowing the authors of the measure to go through the process of collecting signatures. Lawmakers did not discuss or debate the proposal, although it would have eased financial disclosure requirements.

That’s why Deisha Miles, 61, of Van Buren Township voted against it.

“… I voted against it because it wasn’t properly signed, but I’m in favor of more transparency,” Miles said.

Scott Tillman, national outreach director for the national group US Term Limits, said it was difficult for his team to oppose Proposition 1 because of what he called “a lie on the ballot.”

“There’s a reason they put two things in one ballot question,” he said. “It would waste the word so they didn’t have to explain what they were actually doing.”

The Legislature at any time could have enacted legislation to repeal the Financial Disclosure Act, Tillman said. In voting to put Proposition 1 on the ballot, Tillman argued that the reduced term limits were hidden behind lax financial disclosure policies.

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“I think that transparency is a worthy goal and I hope that we will become really transparent instead of this fake transparency that they are doing in the voting,” he said.

Michigan is one of the few states that does not require legislators to disclose anything about their personal finances while in office. Proposition 1 would require the legislature, governor, secretary of state and attorney general to file annual financial disclosure reports beginning in April 2024.

These reports must include a description of their assets and sources of income, their sources of income, a description of their obligations, the position of certain organizations, the organization of future work and vacations, the donations from lobbyists, payments from lobbyists and payments from lobbyists to charity in lieu of honorarium payments.

Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate withdrew part of the original proposal that required state disclosure rules “no more stringent than those required” by Congress.

Josh Webb, a 31-year-old systems engineer from Grand Rapids, said he was motivated to vote because of the proposals on the ballot this fall. Suggestion 1 was the most important to him.

“I am doing more transparency in the financial side of the government,” he said. “So that’s what really stood out to me.”

Sandy Sitto, 39, of Clawson, voted against the measure because she cares more about politicians’ beliefs than their financial resources. He also said he found the language of the ballot confusing.

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“Personally, I don’t care if you have $5 or $5 million in your bank account. I have to believe in you as a person,” Sitto said. “That proposal really confused me because I really thought at first, based on the conversation about it, that it was asking the average citizen to come up with the money.”

Proposition 1 would also allow most former lawmakers to return to Lansing for an additional year. Instead of limiting their time to six years in the Senate and eight years in the Senate, it will give them 12 years in both chambers.

The terms of office for the governor, attorney general and secretary of state will not change.

To meet the current 14-year term, legislators currently have to make a bid for the Senate, which is usually tougher than the 38-seat House. , which has 110. Most do not.

This is why public policy think tanks, including the Citizens Research Council of Michigan and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, have decided to propose 1 to allow the majority of the legislature for a long term.

Advocates of stricter terms say lawmakers are more accountable to their constituents and less reliant on lobbyists when they are new. They said that proposal 1 was a trick to offer time and financial information on a condition.

In an interview in early October, Proposition 1 opponent Kurt O’Keefe referred to the vote as “lipstick” on pigs.

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