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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Whitmer, Senate Dems vote to protect $117 million MSP HQ boondoggle

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:11:05 AM EST
    Tags: Whitmer, State Troopers, EO, cuts, budget, hypocrite, Senate, Dems, 2010, AG, Triangle Project, boondoggle (all tags)

    There's a well known piece of scripture found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke that reads "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  In other words, you can tell a lot about a man's priorities by how he spends his cash.  Or how he doesn't.

    I think the same principle translates pretty well to the legislature where our elected officials spend tax dollars on the items, people and programs they believe are important while holding back from items they view as less important.  

    Too often these days, though, doing a little case study of Michigan electeds will leave a guy scratching his head, confused and disappointed.

    Exhibit A: Democratic Attorney General candidate Gretchen Whitmer and her state Senate colleagues.

    Several weeks ago Whitmer and the Senate Dems voted to approve the Granholm-Cherry executive order firing 100 state troopers, taking freshly trained and hired law enforcement officers off the streets and away from our neighborhoods.  The move, they told us, was the only way the state could possibly save $1.7 million.

    Turns out that wasn't quite the whole truth.  This Tuesday Whitmer and team voted AGAINST cutting the legislature's budget by $2.5 million, a move that would have saved more taxpayer cash annually than the trooper cuts, further cutting into that nasty deficit.  Better to spend the cash themselves... on themselves... than on keeping cops on the street.

    And as ugly and selfish a move as that was they topped themselves in session on Thursday.

    We've been covering the Michigan State Police boondoggle literally for years. From Representative Arlan Meekhof's update earlier this week to our examination of the original appropriation back in June of 2007, we've been on top of the story.

    By way of reminder, the Michigan State Police currently lease their headquarters in East Lansing for the grand total of $1 a year.  One dollar.  

    The Michigan State Police do NOT want to move.  They've said so.  Explicitly.

    So, obviously, the only thing for the Granholm-Cherry administration to do was to approve a $117 million plan to build a new MSP headquarters in downtown Lansing.  And just to sweeten the pot, they made sure that A) the new building wouldn't be large enough to house all of the MSP operations, necessitating additional facilities, B) made sure there was a massive yearly lease to replace that all-together-too-reasonable $1 rate and C) made sure Democrat sugar daddy Joel Ferguson, a long-time ultra high dollar donor to Democratic candidates and causes and a personal friend of Governor Granholm got the contract to do the development and rake in the taxpayer cash.

    Attorney General Mike Cox this week informed the legislature that legally they could get out of the entire brain dead scheme if they simply pulled back the funding.  Yesterday the Senate voted to do just that.  

    The GOP Majority amended the State Police budget, SB 253, to strip funding for the "triangle project."  Gretchen Whitmer and her Senate Dem colleagues then voted to protect their donor's payday by attempting to strip the amendment that killed the funding.  They opted to waste $117 million on a new building MSP doesn't want after firing 100 of the men and women for whom it was supposedly being built.

    Thankfully their attempts failed and the GOP amendment stuck.

    Meanwhile, Troopers across the state are expected in the next few days to vote to dramatically cut their own pay to save their fellow troopers' jobs. Their hearts are unquestionably in the right place.  In an amazing place.  

    Only wish the same could be said of Gretchen Whitmer.

    < Friday in the Sphere: June 19 | Inside Pitch: About that "two convention" discussion... >

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    This is unbelievable (none / 0) (#1)
    by mccarthy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:57:30 AM EST
    no wonder the people of michigan hold the legislature in such no regard

    Kudos to the Senators... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kenmatesevac on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:33:33 AM EST
    ...who voted to withhold that funding.  It was nice to see that some of them who earlier voted in favor of this "boondoggle" got their hearts in the right place again.

    What is also surprising (none / 0) (#3)
    by jackietreehorn on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 11:13:02 AM EST
    is that not only did they vote against taking the lease away, they actually put up an amendment to restore it once the Republicans took it out.  With her voting record on these types of issues, how could Whitmer even be a viable candidate for AG?  You can't spin this kind of stuff.  

    Wow - Some Common Sense! (none / 0) (#5)
    by The Blue Diamond on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 04:30:19 PM EST
    Hey, the Michigan State Police don't need a new headquarters. Thank goodness this thing was stopped!

    I haven't really followed this, (none / 0) (#6)
    by thejmfc on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 01:53:26 AM EST
    but it sure seems like Michigan's own "Bridge to Nowhere".  I for one, am thrilled that the Republicans stripped the funding, and that the Democrats are on record trying to restore funding.  It's always nice when they go out of their way to give their conservative opponents some election ad fodder.  

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