Ken Braun is the former managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential, the Center's daily online news site and quarterly newsletter on state and local public policy. He also is the former director of MichiganTransparency.org and "Show Michigan the Money," the Mackinac Center's projects on government transparency. For the five years prior to his joining the Center in 2006, Braun was a chief of staff for a Michigan state representative. His primary policy tasks in that post involved tax and budget matters, but he worked extensively on a variety of other topics, including municipal water systems, telecommunications and ballot access for minor political parties. Braun also assisted in writing Op-Eds that were published in Michigan’s largest newspapers.

Prior to his work in the Legislature, Braun served as a campaign manager for a Michigan state legislator. He also worked in his family’s retail lighting business in Farmington Hills, Mich. Braun graduated in 1990 with a degree in international relations from Michigan State University’s James Madison College. 

Democrats and GOP Legislators Slam Savings at Sec. of State

Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is trying to make people "drive further and further, just to receive assistance," according to state Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, who says his fellow Republican should focus her attention instead on "bringing services closer to the people." Kahn's criticisms were directed at the Dept. of State's ongoing Branch Office Modernization Program, which aims to save scarce taxpayer dollars by consolidating branches into fewer, but more technically-savvy and customer-friendly, locations. For Kahn's district, this means the loss of a branch in Frankenmuth and enhanced services at another in Saginaw — decision that Kahn calls "a mistake," but that Land's office defines as "fiscal responsibility." … more

Profile of a Tea Partier

Meet the real TEA Party organizers, minus the alleged billionaire masterminds. … more

Alabama Betrayal: Congressman Provides Tea Party Lessons

The correct lesson to draw from this is that neither political party provides a "right side" or even a "wrong side" on any issue. They will provide you only their side, and if you count on them for defending your principles then you will be betrayed whether their candidates switch labels or not. … more

Bad Hangovers, Bad Memories, Bad Taxes

Like a drunk waking up on New Years' Day, politicians often forget what caused the headache the night before. … more

Michigan Capitol Confidential Correction

On Page 13 in the current issue of Michigan Capitol Confidential (November/December 2009), a roll call vote accompanying the article "Balancing Act" was not labeled properly. … more

Politicians Begin to Choke on Ethanol Myths

At least one Michigan politician has figured out that corn is for food, not cars. … more

Living Here in Allentown

What did it take for Michigan to turn into Billy Joel's Allentown?
Well we're living here in Allentown,
And they're closing all the factories down.
Out in Bethlehem they're killing time.
Filling out forms, standing in line.
 … more

Bus Pass

Oakland County taxpayers may have dodged a new bus tax bullet, but most are still paying a lot for buses they don't ride. … more

Capitalism Is Consumer Protection

Consumer Protection? In America, we have the glorious option of getting things fast, cheap, with fees and without and almost always some mix of all of the above and more — all because of businesses constantly looking to do what we want, when we want and how we want at a price we're willing to pay. This magic of the marketplace happens in spite of politicians, not because of them. … more

Bad Policy Doesn't Taste Better With Tea

Thursday's Wall Street Journal carried an article about Republican candidates for federal offices who are favored by establishment GOP power brokers, and how these candidates are suddenly finding themselves on the business end of the grassroots "Tea Party" opposition in many states. The article notes that this is creating heartburn for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee because the GOP was behind finding these more establishment-minded politicians in the first place and now can't sell them to even the GOP primary voters. … more