Gov. Rick Snyder received more in lobbyist-paid lodging and travel in 2015 than any other public official. And for Snyder, it all came in the form of a trip to California in early October.
According to lobbying disclosure reports due this month, the Ford Motor Company paid $3,232 for travel and lodging for Snyder to speak before the Commonwealth Club of California on Oct. 1. Despite the trip, Snyder once proposed limiting spending on lobbyist-paid travel for public officials to $600 a year. That proposal came before he became governor.
The Commonwealth Club describes itself as “ the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum.” According to promotional description of the event, Snyder spoke with William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of the Ford Motor Company.
“Based on their experiences in Michigan, Snyder and Ford have a positive economic tale to tell, with implications for the country,” the promotion said.
Snyder was one of nine state officials to benefit from lobbyist-paid lodging and travel that met disclosure requirements in 2015.
Under state law, only travel and lodging paid for or reimbursed to a public official, in connection with public business, in excess of $775 must be reported.
The other officials who benefited were the following:
— John Walsh, Snyder’s director of strategy, received $1,849 in disclosed lodging and travel. The expenses involved him being a speaker at a Michigan Railroads Association event.
— Similar to Walsh, Rep. Peter Pettalia (R-Presque Isle) received $1,833 in lodging and travel from the Michigan Railroads Association to speak at a board meeting.
— Prairie Plant Systems paid $1,573 to help Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) be part of a roundtable discussion.
— Sen. Tory Rocca (R-Sterling Heights) received $1,409 in lodging and travel to participate in Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers conventions.
— Reps. Fred Durhal (D-Detroit) and Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) each received $999.50 in lodging and travel from the Hope Network.
— And Tim Becker and Karen Parker, of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, each received $858.12 in airfare paid for by IBM in November 2015.
* Photo credit: The image is a screenshot of a promotional web page from the Commonwealth Club of California.