A Gretchen Whitmer (D) appointee to the State Officers Compensation Commission proposed a 25 percent raise to all Michigan state politicians during a Wednesday meeting.
Lawrence Nolan, an Okemos lawyer selected by the governor in 2022 to serve on the panel, said the salaries of elected officials are “unacceptable” and suggested the hefty hike to make “a statement”, according to the Detroit News.
The governor makes $159,300 a year, while the secretary of state and attorney general make $112,410 annually. Under Nolan’s proposal, the governor would make $199,125 a year and become the fifth-highest compensated governor in the country, the paper said.
None of the other 6 members of the commission would second Nolan’s motion, so it failed.
The Whitmer donor was included in a campaign finance complaint by Michigan Freedom Fund when he allegedly contributed too much to the incumbent’s re-election campaign.
According to the 111-page document with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D), Nolan’s multiple donations exceeded the $7,150 limit per individual.
The Detroit News reported Nolan argued Attorney Dana Nessel (D) should be “making twice” what she currently is.
Meanwhile, Whitmer-backed spending policies have triggered runaway inflation and caused hardship for those who have struggled to get a raise.
According to a December 2022 poll, 63 percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, CNBC said, up from 60 percent from the previous month.
“Americans are cash-strapped and their everyday spending continues to outpace their income, which is impacting their ability to save and plan,” Anuj Nayar, LendingClub’s financial health officer, told the network.
“Real average hourly earnings are down 1.9% from a year earlier, according to the latest reading from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” CNBC reported.
Nolan’s appointment extends through 2026. He is perhaps best known for defending an Okemos priest accused of stealing money from his parish for a “lavish estate,” as described by WKAR:
In addition to the $45,000 indoor pool and nearly $55,000 in stained glass windows, the Rev. Jonathan Wehrle spent more than $134,000 on landscaping at his 10-acre (4-hectare) estate in Williamston and other properties, according to the lawsuit filed by Princeton Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance Corporation, which insures the Catholic Diocese of Lansing.
Wehrle faces six counts of embezzling $100,000 or more from St. Martha Church in Okemos, which is just east of Lansing and about 70 miles west of Detroit. Prosecutors allege that Wehrle spent the money on himself, including to build and maintain the estate.
Nolan argued to the court in 2018 that Wehrle “had family money and an agreement with a bishop, now deceased, to use parish funds for a private residence,” WKAR said.
After state police said they found $63,000 hidden above Wehrle’s ceiling tiles, Nolan “declined to comment and said he was withdrawing from the case,” according to Fox 2.