From MI Resistance:
Twenty-three legislators in the GOP-led Michigan House and Senate have received over $11 million in COVID-related money from U.S. taxpayers for themselves or those close to them but refuse to allocate nearly half of the federal money provided to other Michigan citizens.

The Michigan legislature CONTINUES to withhold nearly half ($2.6 billion) of the COVID Relief Funds provided by U.S. taxpayers to Michigan in December… three months ago. This money is supposed to help provide sufficient funds for food and housing assistance, the safe reopening of schools and enhanced unemployment benefits.

While they have refused to allocate this money to help Michiganders, our state legislators helped themselves to MILLIONS of dollars in support as soon as it was available. And they do not even have to repay up to 40% of these loans and the rest is at an interest rate of 1%. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey got $3,565,865 alone!

These funds were intended for the citizens of Michigan, not specifically for the legislators themselves. Sadly, many other Michigan businesses received no PPP loans because the PPP money ran out quickly.

Yet, while being sure that their own economic interests are handled, these legislators are cruelly playing games with the lives of Michigan citizens, tying the release of relief funds to a bill that would require Governor Whitmer to relinquish her necessary right to enact emergency orders during a pandemic.

What can you do? Please contact the Michigan legislators below and urge them to live up to the responsibilities for which they were elected. They need to at least ACT LIKE they care as much about Michigan as they do about themselves.

Also, if you are so inclined, it would be great if you could contact your local media regarding the hypocrisy of the legislators receiving COVID-related money from U.S. taxpayers for themselves or those close to them but refusing to allocate nearly half of the federal money provided to other Michigan citizens.

Terryl, Margaret and Ginger

Please call the representatives on the “Calls to Make” list, below.  (Feel free to call them all, if you have the time!)  We need to inform these elected representatives that WE matter at least as much as they do, and that their selfish and callous behavior will be remembered at the ballot box!

Calls to Make for This Week’s Action:

Sen. Mike Shirkey, D16 – (517) 373-5932  Amt:  $3,565,865  (Senate Majority Leader)

Sen. Jim Stamas, D36 – (517) 373-7946   Amt:   $123,900  (Senate Appropriations Chair)

Sen. Roger Victory, D30 – (517) 373-6920 Amt:  $1,094,407 (Assistant Majority Caucus Whip)

Rep. Tommy Brann, D77 – (517) 373-2277 Amt:  $2,837,436 (5 Appropriations Subcoms)

Rep.  Andrew Fink, Dist. 58 –  (517) 373-1794   Amt:  $316,698 (3 Appropriations Subcoms)

Rep.  Matt Maddock, Dist 44 – (517) 373-2616  Amt:   $76,300 (on 4 Appropriations Subcoms)

Suggested script for calling legislators:

I’m calling because I was appalled to learn that Rep/Sen ___ has taken $___ in PPP loans or grants from taxpayers for his/her own business/es while fighting for months to withhold $5.6 billion in aid for the people you serve. It’s time to release the remaining $2.6 Billion without extortion attempts or bullying. You were NOT elected to serve yourself first – but to serve the citizens!
BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

While playing legislative games designed to push the Governor to relinquish her right to enact emergency orders in a pandemic, GOP legislators continue to withhold $2.6 Billion of federal funds from the growing number of Michiganders who need help with earned unemployment benefits, housing, and food assistance.  Some of these withheld funds could also be used for school funding and preparation for a safe return to in-person learning.  From the outset of the pandemic, Republican legislators have wanted everything fully re-opened, so that they (and their big business donors) could go back to business-as-usual. But they haven’t wanted to help citizens by allocating our tax dollars or enacting legislation that would support our common welfare or sensible public health safeguards.

We elect representatives to protect the commons and to ensure the welfare of the citizenry – and we expect them to put OUR collective needs, not their private interests, first.  Elected representatives are expected to focus on the collective welfare and needs of their charge (the citizenry), and to act like a responsible and loving parent does. Like good parents in a solid marriage devoted to the raising of healthy and happy children, elected representatives must work together with each other and with outside forces (the executive branch in this case) to ensure the welfare of the citizenry. The GOP majority is far less focused on our welfare (and releasing the funds we entrust them with) than it is on playing political games with our money (extortion, anyone?!) in an ongoing attempt to dis-empower the Governor.  While hundreds of thousands of Michiganders suffer, Republican legislators continue to deny, posture, and threaten – seemingly unable to stop showing us exactly whose needs they believe come first.

According to our research, Republican legislators have borrowed, collectively, $11,085,321 from the Small Business Administration’s “Paycheck Protection Program” under the 2020 CARES Act.  These loans have an interest rate of 1% and up to 40% of the loan is forgivable.  Research here is by no means complete, but we have found that some of the PPP relief loans and grants were requested by legislators for their own businesses, while some of the funds were borrowed by family members, or by organizations (i.e. churches and parochial schools) to which the legislator belongs.

At least fourteen members of Michigan’s House of Representatives and six members of the Senate have benefited from the use of our tax dollars for their own business purposes, while they force Michiganders to wait and suffer. Why? Because to them, their political power games come before people (apparently) –  and their private profits come before people (assuredly).  In their devotion to the Cult of Deceit (lies about the dangers of COVID19 and lies about our elections), Death (promoting policies that lead to death) and Dollars (prioritizing business over life, and their own businesses over the welfare of Michiganders), the GOP legislative majority has been endangering us all!!  Twenty-three GOP legislators and the amounts of our tax dollars borrowed by or granted to them are listed below.  For more details, see the spreadsheet here.

SENATORS RECEIVING PPP LOANS or GRANTS

Dist 16 – Mike Shirkey, (517) 373-5932:  $3,565,865 – Senate Majority Leader

Dist 22 – Lana Theis, (517) 373-2420:  $48,036 – (Signed letter to VP Pence to ask for delay of certification of elections)

(Senators Shirkey and Theis are long-time proponents of full “re-opening,” and have worked especially hard to curtail the Governor’s powers to protect us from COVID19.)

Dist 36 – Jim Stamas, (517) 373-7946:  $123,900 Appropriations Committee Chair!

Dist 30 – Roger Victory, (517) 373-6920:  $1,094,407 – Signed letter to VP Pence to ask for delay of certification of elections

Dist 17 – Dale Zorn, (517) 373-3543:  $28,600 –  Signed letter to VP Pence to ask for delay of certification of elections)

Dist 38 – Ed McBroom, (517) 373-7840: $20,833 – Declared that the Governor was out to “emasculate” the legislature

REPRESENTATIVES RECEIVING PPP LOANS or GRANTS

Dist 77 – Tommy Brann, (517) 373-2277 : $2,837,436 – on FIVE Appropriations Subcommittees

Dist 93 – Graham Filler, (517) 373-1778:  $100,892

Dist. 30 –Diana Farrington, (517) 373-7768:  $741,257
Dist. 107 – John DaMoose, (517) 373-2629:  $85,610 

Dist. 56 – TC Clements, (517) 373-2617: $24,800

Dist. 58 – Andrew Fink, (517) 373-1794: $316,698 – on THREE Appropriations Subcommittees

Dist. 87 – Julie Calley, (517) 373-0842:  $332,500 – Assistant Majority Floor Leader

Dist. 42 – Ann Bollin, (517) 373-1784:  $428,300 – Assistant Majority FLoor Leader

Dist. 106 – Sue Allor, (517) 373-0833:  $199,300 – on THREE Appropriations Subcommittees

Dist. 96 – Timothy Beson, (517) 373-0158:  $27,500 – on FOUR Appropriations Subcommittees

Dist. 44 – Matt Maddock, (517) 373-2616:  $76,300 – on FOUR Appropriations Subcommittees; joined suit to invalidate presidential electors; attended rally in D.C. on 1/6/21

Dist. 32 – Pamela Hornberger, (517) 373-8931:  $96,770 on School Aid Fund Subcommittee

Dist. 91 – Greg VanWoerkam, (517) 373-3436:  $354,027 – on THREE Appropriations Subcommittees

Dist. 79 – Pauline Wendzel, (517) 373-1403: $56,779

Dist. 80 – Mary Whiteford, (517) 373-0836:  $90,642 – on Vice Chair Appropriations (Standing); on TWO Appropriations Subcommittees

Dist. 36 – Doug Wozniak, (517) 373-0843:  $307,469 – joined suit to invalidate presidential electors

Dist. 110 – Greg Markkanen, (517) 373-0850:  $12,992 – joined suit to invalidate presidential electors

For Further Reading:

https://covidbailouttracker.com/program/paycheck-protection-program

https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/10/covid-19-relief-funds-thomas-albert-gretchen-whitmer/6944780002/

https://www.michiganadvance.com/2021/03/11/gop-leader-falsely-claims-whitmer-has-literally-locked-people-in-their-homes-during-pandemic/

https://www.mlive.com/politics/2021/01/more-than-half-of-michigans-gop-senators-air-unfounded-election-concerns-in-letter-to-congress.html

https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/12/4-michigan-congressmen-15-state-lawmakers-support-texas-suit-to-invalidate-election-results.html

https://www.uppermichiganssource.com/2021/02/03/senate-republicans-reject-gov-whitmers-appointees-to-nmu-and-mtu/

https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/michigan-gop-says-whitmer-has-emasculated-them-ante-fight-over-covid

https://gophouse.org/

(This is the official website for the MI GOP House Caucus.  Many Representatives have made statements here justifying their failure to release funding, about how “unfair” the Governor’s pandemic orders are, how full re-opening of the economy is a priority.)

https://www.misenategop.com/

(This is the official website for the MI GOP Senate Caucus.  Many Senators have made statements here justifying budget decisions, maligning the Governor’s pandemic orders while also  pushing for school, sports and restaurant re-opening.)