The Michigan Freedom Caucus (MFC) has formed, consisting of conservative state house members who will be fighting against corruption in Lansing, and they are taking the fight to leadership over the rules.
The MFC, led by Chair Steve Carra, Vice Chair Matt Maddock, Secretary Rachelle Smit, and Parliamentarian Angela Rigas, are fighting back against House rules that put individual lawmakers at the mercy of the House Speaker. The Speaker has the authority to fire employees of state representatives as well as dictate the amount of office space they receive in order to enforce conformity to the status quo agenda.
“These House rules have progressively given more and more power to the Speaker. We must pass honest and fair rules that benefit the constituents of our districts. Letting the Speaker fire personal staff, set mailing budgets, and control office space ensures that legislators perform their duties in fear,” Carra said.
“The vote on the House rules is anticipated for tomorrow and we haven’t even seen them yet, this is ridiculous!” Rigas said.
The MFC is also calling for an end to abrupt changes made to legislation already in the process of getting passed. Too often, bills that have been approved through committee are altered without public awareness and changed completely. This can be even happen unbeknownst to lawmakers and is a way for lobbyists and special interests to back door their power grabs into existence.
“We have a committee process for a reason, to make sure proper scrutiny is given before legislation is passed. Special interest groups should not be allowed to radically transform a bill after it has already passed through committee without further consideration from the committee,” Maddock said.
The MFC made it clear that this abuse of power has been perpetrated by both parties, and they are urging both Republicans and Democrats to come together behind sensible reforms meant to curb the excessive use of power by the legislature.
“The Michigan Legislature needs a serious overhaul of their internal rules. Both parties are guilty of this, and it will take both parties to fix this. We need legislative chambers where every member can legislate, and every elected voice can be heard. Making sure each representative is able to properly represent their districts without fear of intimidation is the first step for citizens to get representative government back,” Smit said.
Carra, who also serves as the Chair for the Grand New Party PAC, believes that the Michigan Freedom Caucus will be essential in creating a bright future for the Republican Party in the state, stopping the redistribution of “wealth from the hard-working middle class to the politically connected.”