The Levin Center provides occasional commentary on issues relating to oversight, civil discourse, good governance, and ways to strengthen our democracy. Read our op-eds or view our media appearances here.
Commentary on the House Select Committee's January 6th Hearings
July 12: Op Ed in ‘The Hill’ entitled “The Jan. 6 committee is modeling a better way to conduct hearings“
June 17: Jan. 6 committee hearings show what went right, not just what went wrong – The Conversation
- June 10: Understanding the Jan 6 Hearings – Stateside Podcast
- June 2: What 5 previous congressional investigations can teach us about the House Jan. 6 committee hearings – The Conversation
- March 28, 2023: Read Jim Townsend’s op-ed in the Detroit Free Press for the launch of our State Oversight Academy “Opinion: New Levin Center academy offers Michigan better legislative oversight.“
- October 6: Read Elise Bean’s op-ed in the Government Executive: “The Best Way to Protect Infrastructure Spending from Waste and Fraud Is to Set Up an Oversight Body—Right Now“.
- September 27: Read Jim Townsend’s op-ed in The Hill: “How to ensure that Biden’s great American road trip leads to a better future“
- April 13: Read Jim Townsend and Ken Sikkema’s op-ed in The Detroit Free Press, “Ex-lawmakers: Legislative oversight is too important to leave to one party“.
- December 10: Read Jim Townsend’s and Elise Bean’s op-ed in The Detroit News, “Will we remember Enron Corp. bankruptcy debacle and its lessons for today”?
November 16: Read Jim Townsend’s op-ed in The Hill, “Justice Delayed is Public Accountability Denied.”
- March 29: Read Senator Levin’s and Richard Arenberg’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, “Progressives Need the Filibuster.“
- March 5: Read Levin Center Director Jim Townsend’s op-ed in the Detroit Free press, “Citizens, business leaders must demand fact-based political discourse.“
- August 5: Levin Center Washington Office Director Elise Bean and Lincoln Network Director of Cyber and National Security Dan Lip’s op-ed in The Hill, “Inspector General independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020“
- June 30: Levin Center Director Jim Townsend and Wayne State University Department of Political Science Professor Kristin Taylor’s op-ed in The Detroit Free Press, “Stopping another Edenville requires more than a panel of experts“
- May 28: Levin Center’s Director, Jim Townsend’s, op-ed in The Detroit News, “Improved legislative oversight needed to prevent future dam failure“
- April 8: Senator Carl Levin’s op-ed in Bridge Magazine, “Will our Constitution’s system of checks and balances hold?“
- September 24: Read Elise Bean’s op-ed in The Hill, “Congress must use bipartisan oversight as the gold standard“
- November 12: Read Senator Levin’s and Senator Lugar’s op-ed in Roll Call, “Democrats Can’t Check the White House Alone. Neither Can Republicans“
- May 31: Read Senator Levin’s op-ed in The Hill, “Congress must press forward with its Russia investigation“
- March 16: Read Senator Levin’s and Senator Warner’s op-ed in POLITICO Magazine, “The Right Way to Investigate Russia’s Election Meddling“
Radio and Television
April 6: WDET public radio – Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson
Jim Townsend introduces the Levin Center’s new State Oversight Academy.
February 2: WDET public radio – Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson
Governmental oversight does not always lead to true accountability. The Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy has a new project titled “Portraits in Oversight,” which explores the history of such investigations throughout the United States’ past.
September 29: WDET public radio – Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson
The U.S. Constitution doesn’t mention the word “truth.” But the document does rely on Americans to seek it. In a world of mass disinformation where facts are often contested, scholars Jonathan Rauch and Levin Center Director Jim Townsend discuss the ways misinformation is being weaponized in contemporary America, how oversight can encourage honest fact-finding, and why the public should demand fact-based discourse in the public square.
Articles and Papers
- February 11: Update to Good Governance Paper No. 8: How to Strengthen Oversight by Congress by Elise Bean and Jim Townsend
- May 13: Enforcing unprecedented subpoenas for GOP lawmakers turns on complex legal precedent going back centuries by Jennifer Selin in The Conversation
- July 19: Improving Congressional Oversight | The Federalist Society (fedsoc.org) by Elise Bean and Jim Townsend
- October 23: Good Governance Paper No. 8: How to Strengthen Oversight by Congress (justsecurity.org) by Elise Bean and Jim Townsend
- November 23: Levin Center Proposal to Change House Rules submitted to the House Committee on Rules to strengthen bipartisan oversight during the 118th Congress.
- April 22: Letter by the Levin Center and the Project on Government Oversight to the House Committee on Rules and the Committee on House Administration in support of stronger congressional oversight.
April 12: Letter by the Levin Center and the Project on Government Oversight to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch in support of stronger congressional oversight.
February 7: Oversight of ARPA Spending in the States – blog post on the Council of State Governments website