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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Helicopters: Here We Go Again

   Helicopters:  Here We Go Again
      What is it with helicopters and Michigan politics?
      First,  GOP candidate for governor John Engler made the whirlybird and issue when sitting governor Jim Blanchard used it to fly hither and yon.
      Engler tagged Blanchard the "Imperial" governor and pointed to the chopper as exhibit A.  The issue did not decide the election, but it was part of the successful mosaic that Engler weaved to unseat Blanchard who was not supposed to lose the election.
      To put a point on it, days after he was elected, Engler appeared at the state police helicopter hanger and slapped a for sale sign on the thing.
       Now comes would be governor Dick DeVos with his own batch of chopper problems.
       GOPer DeVos, who did not impress a lot of folks with his less than sterling 14,000 vote lost to Governor Jennifer Granholm in 2006, is out exploring another bid in 2010, and he is using his own chopper to do it.
       Sometime ago he applied for a zoning change so he could land it in his own backyard near Grand Rapids.  The first sign of problems came from some of his "friendly" neighbors who thought it was a noise nuisance.
       In recent days, according to the Detroit Free Press, one of those neighbors has come forward claiming it might actually be an asset to the already ritzy neighborhood in that it might attract more big shooter executives.
       The zoning issue may be the least of Mr. DeVos's challenges.
       State Democratic Party chair Mark Brewer has the helicopter in his political gun sights….again.
       Seems the flying machine is made in China, according to Brewer whose eyes light up when he discusses it.  Recall that Granholm, Brewer and company made a big deal out of DeVos "sending Michigan jobs to China" when he ran the last time.
        So Brewer is reloading the China issue by pointing out that instead of buying an American product, DeVos chose China again.
       So here we go again. Could it be that a helicopter could play another dominant role in the next race for governor?
       Who'd a thunk it?


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