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By JGillman, Section News
What is it that drives the Rick Snyder to buck the legislature, give the people of Michigan a shrug, and essentially give the finger to privately owned business?
It surely cannot be strictly economic development, as the low hanging fruit known as Right-To-Work is still quite doable. It could not be a concern that growth will leave us stranded with an unworkable transport solution between Canada and the US, as simply adding a couple of booths for the Bluewater apparently eased traffic considerably this last holiday. Add to that, the amount of traffic over the DIBC is still at historic lows. And to boot, the owner of the DIBC wants to build a second span at NO cost to the taxpayer, and has actually done due diligence by purchases of property and right of ways on both sides.
No, there must be something else.
It almost seems ..emotional.
More below the fold
(479 words in story) Full Story
By JGillman, Section News
Which addresses something I have always had to shake my head at.
3 easy steps.
This is not an unpredictable post. The remaining part of the lesson resides below the line.
(4 comments, 61 words in story) Full Story
By JGillman, Section News
Someone's been drinking the 'Donkey Dew..'
I wanted to get this out earlier, but have been slammed with other responsibilities.
Last night left me a little disappointed. Perhaps if Republicans do not understand now, they may never. Though there might be time for redemption, (success)it will not come as the result of what was said in the Governor's state of the state speech.
Regulars will note my early opinions on Mr. Snyder prior to his becoming our nominee. It was not at all flattering, and raised points questioning the involvement of Snyder's business interests with those 'government' incentives created by the entity HE in fact had a hand in creating. As a businessman he did what was necessary to make his business survive, thrive, etc.. And had little problem disassociating any negative effect on those other businesses that pay taxes, from the government corporate welfare system known as the MEDC.
Snyder carried forward into the 2010 cycle a message that "Lansing has to stop picking winners and losers", yet as recently as 2007, his own business enterprises were still milking our cow... Using the only teat that wasn't spouting dust.
(17 comments, 1513 words in story) Full Story
By Nick, Section News
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.
(5 comments) Comments >>
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