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.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
D's Vs. R's: Nasty
Senate democrats tried a coup d'etat that failed but may have succeeded in setting off a civil war with angry senate republicans. The capitol press corps loved the story that left the Senate GOP leader muttering. "It's disgusting…(the democrats) don't care about the rest of the state. It's all about their political agenda," griped Sen. Mike Bishop of Oakland County. When everyone showed up for work on Thursday morning, the senate GOP was in charge as it is every morning because it has 22 votes to the democrats 17. Ah, but democrats did a quick head count and found that four republicans were missing in action giving the GOP only 18 votes. So the D's, with the help of one of those republicans Senator Bruce Patterson of Canton Township, moved to take control and ordered a Call of the Senate. That is a procedure whereby all the doors are locked, no one can leave, and the missing senators are summoned to return. One of them was in Washington D.C. and the other in the former Soviet Union where he and his wife were adopting a new baby. The other two were somewhere in the state capitol. Senate republicans were livid on two fronts. First, they were caught with their political pants down, and secondly one of their own, Mr. Patterson, participated in the coup. Patterson had good reason. For weeks he's been miffed at Bishop and company for allegedly not fulfilling a promise to move on an annexation bill that Patterson wants for his district. So the democrats offered to move Patterson's bill but the effort failed because two of the tardy R's finally appeared. Democrat and Lt. Governor John Cherry defended the move saying his party was only trying, in a bipartisan way, to help Patterson. But what he didn't confirm was that the D's had a chance to mess with the republicans and they took it. None of this will contribute to a sense of harmony when everyone returns next week to work on the budget. And to make matters worse, Bishop hinted that Patterson might be "disciplined" for his behavior and Senator Patterson will not take that lying down.