Michigan Lawmaker’s Indictment Sparks Debate On Money In Politics

State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) was recently hit with a federal indictment for bribery and extortion.

“We never had this discussion.”

That was what state Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) wrote at the end of a text message to a lobbyist for the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCCM) after offering to vote against a bill in return for campaign contributions. That’s according to a federal indictment against Inman filed last week.

The MRCCM did not accept the offer and Inman eventually voted in favor of the legislation he was offering to oppose.

This is the kind of episode we might expect to see on a network political drama — a corrupt lawmaker offering to exchange a vote for money. It’s a clear quid-pro-quo.

But does this alleged behavior reflect the way money typically influences politics in Michigan and elsewhere? How might it shape those perceptions?

Michigan Campaign Finance Network Executive Director Craig Mauger joins Detroit Today to talk about the indictment and what it says about larger issues of money and politics in Michigan and elsewhere.

Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.

Inman could not be reached for comment for this conversation on Detroit Today. His attorney, Chris Cooke, sent a statement by email:

“Thank you for the offer but I have advised my client not to make any additional public statements at this time.  I am sure you can appreciate my concern given the federal indictment.”

Inman released a statement shortly after the indictment:

“I am innocent of these charges. I have never compromised the integrity of my vote. I have always represented my constituency honestly and legally. I intend on vigorously fighting these charges and defending my reputation.” 


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