Michigan Republican Rep. Lisa Lyons, no stranger to hypocrisy, is at it again.
She last made national news in December for proposing an amendment that would have exempted her husband, who works as a corrections officer, from the right-to-work law. She did so while declaring on the House floor that “all people should have the freedom to decide for themselves whether or not to join a (labor) organization” — which, of course, is a freedom already protected by federal law.
In response to the furor sparked by her blatant hypocrisy, Lyons said: “It is absolutely right to treat our corrections officers in the same manner that we treat our police and fire.” She was absolutely right when she said that. But she didn’t go far enough — in fact, it is absolutely right to treat all public employees in the same manner that we treat our police and fire. Not only is it absolutely right, it’s a right guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Now Rep. Lyons is having more issues with integrity.
As chair of the House Education Committee — and daughter of failed GOP gubernatorial candidate and Snyder advisor Dick Posthumus — Lyons has been an important ally of the governor as he pushes his education agenda to effectively voucherize Michigan’s public schools and undermine local school districts with a statewide school takeover district.
This week she reintroduced legislation that would expand Gov. Snyder’s Education Achievement Authority, a statewide district that would be able to take over local schools and remove elected community schools boards. The bill, HB 4369, includes a clause that exempts public schools from an EAA takeover if they meet a list of criteria, which were specifically designed so that Grand Rapids schools comply.
One would expect that an elected official who tries to exempt herself from so many pieces of the Republican agenda would be met with scorn by her Republican colleagues. But instead, Rep. Lyons’ behavior is rewarded by once again being named a member of the Republican leadership team.
It gets worse.
Rep. Lyons was named a “rising young conservative leader” and invited to address the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, where she’ll share the stage with other rising conservative leaders like Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, and Sarah Palin. And two weeks after getting caught trying to exempt her husband’s union from the right-to-work law, she was called a “rising Republican star” and named one of the “2013 Michiganders to watch.”
I’ve been watching Rep. Lyons closely, but haven’t yet seen anything worthy of being called a “rising star” — just more rampant hypocrisy as she pushes policies that she knows aren’t good for her family or her constituents. Apparently that’s what it takes to be called a conservative hero in 2013.