On Campus

Former congressman Bart Stupak speaks on integrity in politics

“I believe we have become a government by the corporations, for the corporations and of corporations,” said former U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak.

Former U.S. Representative Bart Stupak talks with Midland resident CJ Palmieri after a question and answer session Monday evening in Anspach Hall room 161. Stupak spoke as part of the Philip A. Hart and William G. Milliken Endowed Speaker Series for integrity in politics. (Perry Fish/Staff Photographer)

Monday night in Anspach Hall room 161 lecture hall Stupak, who represented Michigan’s first district from 1993 to 2011, gave an address about integrity in politics.

He said politicians make decisions based on how it would affect their donors.

“I believe the huge influx of money within our political system is jeopardizing and compromising leadership at all levels of our government,” Stupak said.

Stupak said politicians are raising millions of dollars for campaigning from corporations.

“Legislators seem more intent in finding more ways to raise money than finding solutions to our problems,” Stupak said.

He said the average amount raised to conduct a campaign for a house senate seat is $3.4 million.

Stupak said he is still concerned about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing unlimited, non-disclosed campaign contributions from corporations, unions and individuals.

“I believe the decision, if not changed, will destroy our democracy,” Stupak said. “Without campaign finance reform many talented individuals would be discouraged from running for office.”

Stupak said he questions the leadership of current politicians.

“I often wonder who are today’s leaders, who will inspire public service, what about tomorrow’s leaders, who will inspire them and lay the foundation for their leadership?” Stupak said.

Stupak’s visit is sponsored by the Hart-Milliken Endowed Speaker Series for Integrity in Politics, and he spent time in his speech talking about the former Michigan politicians. Philip Hart was a U.S. Senator and William Miliken governor of Michigan.

“We need the likes of Phil Hart and Bill Milliken to come forward and restore our faith in our leaders,” Stupak said. “We need public servants with honesty, integrity, faith and courage.”

Grand Haven freshman Ashlee Shelley said she agreed with Stupak on many issues and complimented him as a leader.

“I really liked how involved he was in congress,” Shelley said. “He is more for the people than the money.”

However, not everyone in the audience agreed with Stupak.

“I didn’t agree with him on the health care reform,” Ann Arbor freshman Catherine Bernard said. “However, I agree that it is important we have leaders who care about the people, not the money.”

Stupak said CMU is one institution teaching future politicians to have integrity.

“Here at Central Michigan University your dedication to restoring integrity to politics keeps me optimistic about our future,” Stupak said.


  1. Michmediaperson says:

    Who is Democrat Bart Stupak trying to fool?

    I looked up his contributors online.

    Every special interest labor union I think in America gave him unbelievable boatloads of cash.

    Plus, all the big corporations–Ford, GM, Dow, Home Depot, Sunoco (Big Oil), T-Mobile, ATT, Verizon (no wonder our cell phone bills are a lot), Motorola, NY Mercantile Exchange (Wall Street), Charter Communications, Wells Fargo, Qwest, GE, UPS and more!

    The corporations and unions ran Stupak.

    Then, he turned his back on his district when they were against Obamacare.  But, old Bart listened instead to the Unions and the healthcare industry such as Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Humana and sold his soul to Obama. 

    Then, when the voters said they’d throw him out of office in 2010 after voting with Obama on Obamacare, he says, “My staff is overwhelmed and we’re accosted basically wherever we go by people who disagree.’

    Excuse me, you aren’t the 1st District, the people are!  Had you voted how the people of the district wanted on issues like Obamacare and other issues, you’d still be the Congressman.

    You bailed when you saw the district was going to vote you out of office.

    From reading this article, you described yourself, union and corporation monies and selling your soul to Obama and his cronies on Obamacare!

    The Republican in the district who the grass-roots voters elected is now doing the people’s work instead of listening to corporations and unions.  I see he is on townhalls all week listening to what the people want, not his contributors.

    As far as Phil Hart goes.  I remember Phil Hart.  He and his liberal friends in the Democrat Congress in 1964 got together with Democrat President Johnson and voted in the illegal Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which put us into Vietnam full-time for years and years and years.  More than 50,000 American boys lost their lives thanks to Phil Hart and his gang!

    Some integrity.  We don’t need more Phil Harts.  We need more Rick Snyders!  Plus, Phil Hart didn’t want any fillibustering in the Senate.  Push through whatever his socialist friends wanted instead of having the American people give their say-so.

    And, Bill Milliken.  That guy was a closet Democrat.  Came from wealth.  Loved to tax people.

    John Engler had integrity, NOT Phil “Vietnam” Hart or William Milliken.

    Like our football program, when it comes to political discussion, CMU is going backwards.

    • I always chuckle as the only one types bemoaning our political system are Democrats who lost or were forced out, as Stupak was. Funny he never talked about this while in Congress.

    • Your email is exactly why such a series is needed- to discuss issues civilly and not reduce them to negative sound bytes. Look in the mirror- your narrow-minded and uncivil attacks in your message are what is hurting our political system.  It is too bad you only learned half of what critical thinking is all about- just the critical part.

    • Roll Fizzlebeef says:

      democrats are about to storm my basement, send halp…

  2. This article is full of typos. Did someone not bother to consult the AP Stylebook? And the lede is horrible.

  3. Why did CMU have such a prestigious lecture series in a lousy venue? This is an old, run-down lecture hall. Surely the Park Library Auditorium would have been nicer. How much did CMU pay Stupak to speak? Both of the speakers in this series have been liberal Democrats. This speaker series raised a lot of money so why not bring in some national types? And it should rotate between a Democrat one year and a Republican the next year.

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