Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Oakland Losing Power
Oakland Losing Legislative Power There are four powerful legislative leadership jobs in Lansing and Oakland County has enjoyed the rare privilege of having two of them. While the senate GOP leader Mike Bishop has two more years to go on his stint as the loyal opposition to the governor, Rep. Craig DeRoche of Novi is another story. The House Minority leader will be term limited out of office at the end of the year and nobody from Oakland County is on the short list to replace him. In fact all of the potential DeRoche replacements are about as far away from Oakland as you can get. One of the contenders is from Portland. Not Portland, Oregon; Portland, Michigan a tiny backwater berg just about 20 miles west of Lansing. Another likely candidate hails from St. Joseph and the other from Lowell more than 200 miles away from Oakland. Rep. Brian Calley, Rep. John Proos, and Rep. David Hildenbrand have not declared their intentions, but folks who get paid to watch this stuff claim they will be in the hunt. Hence Oakland is about to suffer the same demoralizing fate as the one-time power brokers from the west side of the state. At one time those folks had a strangle hold on the senate GOP leadership post as Ken Sikkema and Dick Posthumus lorded over the House of Lords. And in the house west Michigan republicans Chuck Perricone and Paul Hillegonds ruled as Speaker. So Oakland is about to go from batting .500 on the leadership scale, to .250 which means it will have to struggle more to get it's fair share of the state's largess.