Office of Auditor General Exposed Serious Problems in Gov. Whitmer’s Administration, Her Next Move Should Be Illegal

Office of Auditor General Exposed Serious Problems in Gov. Whitmer’s Administration, Her Next Move Should Be Illegal

What do you do if you don’t want a watchdog to bark and draw attention to what you’re doing?

You get rid of the watchdog.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has unveiled a plan to cut the budget of her state’s nonpartisan Office of the Auditor General by $8.3 million, or 28 percent, for the next fiscal year, according to Michigan Capitol Confidential.

The Democrat’s executive budget proposal for the 2025 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, increases general fund appropriations for the auditor’s office by $1 million but eliminates 23 interdepartmental grants and 13 appropriations from special revenue funds totaling $9.3 million, the outlet reported.

This would gut the watchdog agency’s resources and staffing.

In a letter to the four top legislative leaders, Auditor General Douglas Ringler said he had not received any advance notice about the budget cuts, The Center Square reported Friday.

But from the looks of it, Ringler is one government official who was actually doing his job.

Recent issues discovered by the Office of the Auditor General included failure to perform background checks and fingerprinting on employees, huge delays in disciplinary actions involving licensee violations at the Cannabis Regulatory Agency and negligence in the inspection of critical hospital infrastructure, according to The Center Square.

Ringler warned that the cuts would have “legal, constitutional, and financial risks,” Michigan Capitol Confidential reported.

So, is it a mere coincidence that Whitmer wants to defund a department that is pushing for more accountability regarding who is hired and what they are doing?

Or is it a way to insulate her administration from scrutiny?

It’s not as if the governor is cutting corners elsewhere.

Her budget proposal for fiscal 2025 is a whopping $80.7 billion and includes free preschool, free community college for all and rebates on new battery electric or hybrid vehicle purchases, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Senate Minority Leader Rep. Aric Nesbitt, a Republican, called it a “reckless spending spree,” noting that if the proposal were accepted, it would leave only $20 million on the books.

House Minority Leader Matt Hall blasted Whitmer’s proposal to cut the budget of the Office of the Auditor General, according to The Center Square.

“Her administration has received failing grades from this investigative office throughout her tenure, and to keep her future aspirations intact, she wants to make sure no one is checking her homework.,” the Republican said in a statement Thursday.

“In a budget proposal spending more than $80 billion, this cut appears to be a calculated and intentional attack on the only remaining nonpartisan oversight body,” Hall said.

“The Legislature must reject the governor’s cuts and fully fund the auditor general’s vital work — shedding sunshine on state government and helping the people of Michigan and their elected representatives know what works and what’s broken,” he said.

Independent, nonpartisan oversight bodies such as auditors general and inspectors general serve to provide checks and balances to the government. Their purpose is to provide objective scrutiny and accountability, rising above partisan politics.

They exist to be the eyes and ears of the public — digging into how taxpayer dollars are truly being spent and whether government programs are running efficiently and ethically, and shedding light on any mismanagement, fraud or abuse.

But Democrats who want to spend like kids with their first credit card would rather not have a responsible entity spoiling their fun.

It’s a lot easier to give out free drinks at the bar if you know your parents won’t be checking your credit card bill at the end of the month.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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