How many times will Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson refuse to testify in front of the people of Michigan’s Representatives?  Well, this is a least twice now and there seems to be no end in sight.

Back in December Benson refused to testify in front of Michigan’s House oversight committee.  That produced the following statement from the chair of that committee at that time Rep. Matt Hall:


Dec. 16, 2020

Contact: Denny Schwarze, Office: 517-373-2874, Cell: 517-648-8770

Rep. Hall: Benson backtracking on transparency undermines election integrity

House Oversight Chair Matt Hall, of Marshall, today issued the following statement after receiving a letter from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson indicating she will not accept an invitation to testify before the committee. Hall and the House Oversight Committee are looking into reports of election irregularities from the November election and seeking answers for people who have voiced concerns:

“Secretary of State Benson said she would be willing to testify before the people’s representatives when it made a good talking point for her and got her good press. But when the rubber met the road and it came time to answer questions about her work, she refused to take questions. Benson’s flip-flop makes it clear she would rather hide under a rock than help the people of Michigan build trust in their state’s election process going forward.

“Legislators are hearing those concerns, and we are taking action to address them. But this needs to be a collaborative effort to deliver trust. The House and Senate Oversight Committees have previously heard testimony from multiple county clerks from both parties on what they saw and what can be done to better Michigan’s election system in the future – and those conversations and ideas were extremely constructive and helpful.

“Our committee would like to have similar discussions with Secretary of State Benson, and I am disappointed she is brushing aside that opportunity while making excuses and playing cheap political games.

“This is about people, not politics. The electoral votes for Michigan have been submitted. But people in Michigan still have questions about their state’s elections and those questions deserve answers. I fear we are headed for more distrust in the future if people are denied clarity and transparency from officials who head up the process.”


Now the Detroit News is reporting that Benson has refused to testify before the Senate Oversight Committee.  Twice is definitely a trend.  Republican State Senator Ed McBroom Chair of the Senate Oversight Committee invited Benson to testify on the state's election audit process at an April 20 hearing, she declined.

Instead, they informed the Committee that Jonathan Brater, Michigan's director of elections, would testify.  They stated the reason that he should testify is he "directly manages" the services that the Oversight Committee is interested in discussing.

That is all fine and dandy but that does not absolve Benson of any duty to testify to the people of Michigan through our Representatives. The Committee even offered to inform her of the questions and objectives of the committee and she still refuses to face the people of Michigan.

Senator McBroom responded in a letter stating:

"I believe it is imperative that the state’s chief election officer, ultimately elected to and charged with making the final decisions, be present as well... It is against my nature to make assumptions as to this failure to communicate but providing the benefit of the doubt becomes more difficult as time passes, and polite excuses become less believable”

Jake Rollow a spokesman for Benson stated:

"Secretary Benson has repeatedly affirmed that she cannot in good conscience participate in such a charade, particularly after multiple members of the committee recently sponsored legislation to restrict the right to vote and, among other things, undermine Michigan voters’ state constitutional right to vote absentee,"

Benson finally decided to actually say something and she stated:

“I have concerns that the hearing could further the lies about the election that continue to undermine Michigan voters’ faith in the outcome and are now the rationale to legislatively restrict their voting rights”

Really Ms. Benson, if you are so sure that no illegal activities occurred during your reign then why don’t you face those questions and embarrass the people asking any of those questions or ideas.  Wow us all with your intelligence and command of the subject at hand and answer all the questions to reassure us that no fraudulent behavior actually occurred.

That is why she refuses to testify in front of the people of Michigan, she is afraid that she will not be able to answer the questions in a coherent and intelligent way.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595

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