Senator Meekhof Here Assures Me…

Senator Meekhof Here Assures Me...

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
November 24, 2013

It should come as no surprise that this editorial cartooning thing comes easiest when something really and truly ticks you off. Such is the case when Secretary of State Ruth Johnson recently proposed that Michigan consider some transparency in the financing of so called “issue ads” (Issue ads are those campaign spots that can serve up whatever slanderous bile they want so long as they don’t endorse a candidate. And as a bonus for being slimy, they don’t have to reveal who paid for the ad.)  The Supreme Court left it up to the states to decide whether the money source must be revealed. Many states require it. At this point, Michigan does not.

And it doesn’t look likely that Michigan will. Because almost immediately after Johnson floated the transparency idea, Senator Arlan Meekhof and senate leader Randy Richardville rammed through a bill to do exactly the opposite — keep the revenue sources anonymous and then doubling the amount allowed to be given. The defense for this (and a rather cynical one at that) is free speech or the claim that donation sources need to be hidden because otherwise those who make them might feel uncomfortable. First, I’m sure they type who have the likes of Senator Meekhof do their bidding are plenty lawyered up to deal with the consequences of being revealed. Second, is it not a virtue to stand up  for what you believe in?


  1. Kris said,

    November 26, 2013 @ 9:20 am

    Ha! I immediately thought of the political duels between Leslie Knope (Ruth Johnson) and city counselor Jeremy Jamm (Arlan Meekhof) from ‘Parks and Recreation’ when I read this and saw your Meekhof likeness! In fact, both Arlan Meekhof and Randy Richardsville sound like great character names for ‘Parks and Recreation’. Might wanna tip off Stephen Colbert to do one of his interviews with these guys. I’d love to hear them defend their bill!

  2. John said,

    November 26, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    Yes! Michigan definitely got “Jammmed” on this! While drawing the cartoon, I was actually thinking about “Parks and Recreation” (and some of the better politically-edged TV programming), envious of their creative latitude. I had thought of an extra part to add but didn’t because (1) it would have cluttered the drawing and (2) it never would have got printed.

    First, you have to know that Meekhof is staunchly, um, not an advocate of the LGBT community. So I was going to draw a small character at the lower right looking back up at the main drawing and saying, “You know for somebody as anti-gay as Meekhof, he sure doesn’t seem to mind another guy shoving his hand up his backside.”

  3. Diana said,

    November 27, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

    Unfortunately I live in Ottawa County and the chances of getting rid of Arlan Meekhof (or his many clones that live here) is less than zero (or perhaps the imaginary number).

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