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Shirkey balks at Benson’s call for increased financial disclosure

Flickr User 401(K) 2012

The leader of the state Senate Republicans says he’s not in favor of the Secretary of State’s call for candidates to disclose their financial information.

Last month, Jocelyn Benson said she wants the Legislature to pass bills that would require elected officials to disclose any outside income, investments, travel or gifts they got as candidates or after they were elected.

Senate Majority Leader, Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) has the final say on what the bills the chamber votes on. He said he’s not on board because it would create a big disincentive for people considering running for office.

“With term limits and all the other things that don’t go with the job now that makes it hard to even recruit good people in many cases, I don’t think this adds any value,” Shirkey said.

Over in the House, a spokesman for Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering), Gideon D’Assandro said Chatfield is, “Open to it in concept. Open to the idea of greater transparency in all sorts of different forms. But at this point hasn’t seen a specific proposal he’s been able to go through yet.”

Benson responded to Shirkey’s comments in a statement.

“For Michiganders to have confidence that their elected leaders are acting in their best interests, residents must know who, if anyone, may be influencing decisions behind closed doors,” she said. “Any aspiring public servant should be willing to adhere to basic expectations of transparency and accountability.”