CLOSUP’s Ivacko talks MPPS and ethics with Michigan Radio’s Stateside

March 23, 2015

The latest Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) reveals how local leaders feel about the need for ethics reform in the Great Lakes State. Tom Ivacko (MPA '93), program manager of the Ford School’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP), discussed the center’s most recent report with Lester Graham last week on Michigan Radio’s Stateside with Cynthia Canty.

“Only 5 percent of local leaders think that state legislators in Michigan are ‘very ethical,’” Ivacko told Graham. This stands in contrast with the 88 percent of respondents who feel that colleagues within their own jurisdiction are “very ethical” or “mostly ethical.” Pivoting to the executive, Ivacko also noted that 57 percent of local leaders think executive branch leaders are “very ethical” or “mostly ethical,” with local Republican leaders responding more favorably to state GOP leadership than their independent and Democratic counterparts.

Asked about the gaps in local and state codes of ethics, Ivacko noted overwhelming support among respondents for strengthening regulations on conflicts of interest, accepting gifts and honoraria, and legislator-to-lobbyist revolving door policies.

--By Nick Pfost (MPP '15)

The MPPS is a program of state-wide surveys of local government leaders in Michigan. Read the full report, “Michigan local leaders see need for state and local ethics reform,” here.