Consumer Protection

Michigan Consumer Protection Act.  Thanks in large-part to past Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley, one of the most important tasks of an AG has become protecting consumers in the marketplace when products or services harm them.  The most important tool at any AG’s disposal is the state’s consumer protection act, which gives the AG broad powers to hunt down and prosecute those who would harm or deceive consumers.

Although Michigan’s law is one of the strongest in the nation on paper, a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court has left it effectively dead.  Nonetheless, the legislature could fully restore the law by clarifying a simple point (literally, the legislature could pass a bill one-sentence long).  Schuette should be leading the charge to restore the AG’s power to protect consumers.  He showed in the debate over creation of the healthcare exchange, and debates regarding the future of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, that he’s willing to call the legislature to action when he wants.  But instead he has not said a word, using the status quo as an excuse not to take on corporations that harm people.

Protecting consumers by enforcing federal law.  Congress’s primary response to the Great Recession that began in 2008, and has devastated so many families in Michigan, was the Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act.  One of Congress’s primary strategies was to gives states power to enforce strong federal laws.  Protecting consumers, however, depends on a strong partnership between the states and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  But so far, Schuette has taken no actions to build this partnership.  When a group of 37 state attorneys general—including many Republicans—sent animportant letter to the U.S. Senate strongly urging confirmation of Richard Cordray as Director of the federal agency, Schuette’s name was absent.

Click on the links to other examples from Schuette’s record: