Forget about Illinois, New Jersey or Mississippi – The Center for Public Integrity has placed Michigan as one of the most corrupt States and I believe it. Political corruption has been a significant problem at least since the Engler Administration which ushered in the era of a government “of the corporation, by the corporation and for the corporation”. Money rules in politics and for the longest time we have seen a steady erosion of good government – and I am not just referring to Detroit City mayors or Wayne County Commissioners. State Legislators have routinely taken to granting Corporations tax concessions which were justified as “jobs programs”, but in the end only protected jobs in the Legislature via corporate contributions.
Corporate money has also been heavily invested in elections of activist judges which has had the net effect of limiting citizen access to the courts and establishing corporate rights as the primary focus of the Law, at the expense of individual rights. The danger of course, is that sooner or later citizens will get fed up with a government that represents only the rights of the highest bidding corporation and then – well, that day may come sooner than they think. Let’s hope is it not after any possibility of political change has been completely eliminated by corporate money.
Money does corrupt, and money has been allowed to corrupt the political process, not just in Michigan, but across the country. Maybe it is time for a Constitutional Amendment rooting out the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics.