Sunday, April 9, 2017

Meekhof Stands Alone Opposing More Transparency In Lansing: 3 Scandals He May Be Covering Up

By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof seems to be the only politician in Lansing who is unwilling to change the law to allow the public and media more access to documents from the Legislature and Governor's office.

The House passed legislation unanimously without any "no" votes, and not a single State Senator appears to be on record opposing the reforms.

So #WhatIsArlanHiding? Here are 3 scandals Meekhof could be trying to keep under wraps by preventing public scrutiny of his office's activities.

1. An Affair

Back in January 2016, WMP reported on a hot rumor making its way around Lansing: one of Michigan's highest ranking officials was having an affair with a state employee.

 I found a lot of circumstantial evidence, but not enough to comfortably come out and "name names" with the certitude required in such a sensitive situation.

Despite the fact WMP did not name the politician-and multiple other affair rumors are abound in Lansing-within minutes after that article, I received a bizarre and threatening email from Steven Linder, a Lansing power broker who happens to be one of Arlan Meekhof's top political operatives.

"If you accuse someone of adultery or an affair or other personal issues based on innuendo, rumor, and hearsay it will certainly subject you to libel, slander, and defamation actions," Linder said. "If I were you I would think very carefully about printing salacious stories designed to do nothing but besmirch a public official and/or other citizens character. It will not go unchallenged."

A threatening email within minutes of the affair article? Interesting... One can draw their own conclusions, but it doesn't look good...

Who is Steven Linder? According to BallotPedia:

"In 1992, Linder founded Linder & Associates, the "first ever multi-client fundraising consulting business in Michigan." He joined The Sterling Corporation, a Republican communications company in Lansing, Mich., in 2003. Linder directs fundraising efforts for the firm's clients.

In 2013, Campaigns & Elections named Linder a top Republican Party influencer in Michigan.

Lambert, Edwards & Associates (LE&A), a Michigan public relations firm, acquired The Sterling Corporation in April 2014. Linder remained the managing partner of The Sterling Corporation division of LE&A after the acquisition."

Linder is the man behind managing Arlan Meekhof's controversial and convoluted series of political organizations. Sterling employees-and even Linder himself-appear throughout Meekhof's campaign finance paperwork throughout the years.

Recent documents uncovered by WMP also show Linder is involved in Meekhof's shady non-profit, the "West Michigan Community Preservation Fund."

2. West Michigan Community Preservation Fund

Arlan's version of the Clinton Foundation, he uses this account to launder himself money, over $100,000 in the last few years.

A WMP investigation reveals Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof operates a shady-and possibly illegal- 501(c)(4) as part of a complex and questionable money laundering scheme designed to line his pockets.

The 501(c)(4) is called the "West Michigan Community Preservation Fund," but the only thing the group seems to be preserving is Arlan's pocketbook, helping the Senate Majority leader profit over $100,000 since 2014...

One expert believes Meekhof may have violated the law.

"The West Michigan Community Preservation Fund is an IRS 501(c)(4) tax exempt entity which he uses to launder money. These 501(c)(4) entities have only a limited ability to engage in politics under IRS rules and Meekhof has clearly breached those IRS rules.

A 501(c)(4) organization may directly or indirectly support or oppose a candidate for public office as long as such activities are not a substantial amount of its activities. Look at how much money West Michigan Community Preservation Fund is dumping into his political funds."

>>>Meekhof is using the West Michigan Community Preservation Fund along with his "Meekhof Administrative Account" to pay himself large amounts of money. 

According to IRS documents, Meekhof has pocketed over $100,000 for himself in the last 3 years... $60,000 was funneled in during that time by West Michigan Community Preservation Fund, the 501(C)(4) with the secret donors...

A WMP analysis shows Meekhof pocketed:

$13,178 from April 1st of 2016 until July 1, 2016.

-$16,401 from January 1-April 1, 2016

-$21,221 from July 1 2015-December 31, 2015 

-$24,787 from January 1 2015- June 30, 2015 

-In 2014, he pocketed over $30,000.... 

The money is allegedly for things like food, mileage reimbursement, and travel costs...

Over $100,000, all while also likely bilking state taxpayers for similar costs through his expense account, which is largely shielded from public view because of laws designed to protect corrupt Lansing elites like Arlan....The same law he refuses to amend so we can open up the books for public view!

But wait, there's more! The President of the "West Michigan Community Preservation Fund" just happens to be... Meekhof's former Chief of Staff, Bob DeVries! 

DeVries just happened to use the Meekhof Administrative Account referenced above to pay himself nearly $8,000 over the same period Meekhof pocketed over $100,000... His cousin Jason also received money, nearly $1,000...

WMP has also obtained the document Arlan's non-profit was required to file with the State of Michigan when they incorporated, and the contents are shocking. 

In it, Meekhof's group actually claims that the money from the group will be used to help poor people who are uninsured and underinsured! 

They will also help facilitate "educational experiences" to "support democracy," the document claims...

>>>Below, View EVERY Check Meekhof Received:

3. Shady donations/deals

It's no secret Arlan serves the special interests and big donors over the people of Ottawa County and Michiganders across the state, would the right reporter be able to uncover a smoking gun on a shady deal if records were released???

What do you think is the issue? #WhatIsArlanHiding?


Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at

1 comment:

  1. It's disgusting and equally disgusting that the local news outlets don't report on this corruption.