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, July 10, 2008
My, my, you anti-government types are going to love this: A ballot plan to slice legislative salaries to $60,000 a year. They now make close to $80,000 not including bennies. My, my, you anti-government types are not, however, going to like part two of the proposal: Total elimination of term limits. Just goes to show ya, there is no such thing as a free pay cut. The mastermind behind this latest wrinkle in the "Let's change the constitution" debate is East Lansing democrat Rep. Mark Meadows. He s totally fed up with the more complex and far-reaching Michigan Government Reform Now proposal that goes well beyond cutting paychecks. Meadows hopes his more simplistic approach will have curbside appeal. "I'm putting it on the ballot because that's what people really want…they don't even care about the rest of Reform Michigan." He may be right on that, but he's dead wrong on common folks wanting to eradicate term limits. And when those folks find out that the Meadow's plan allows the current batch of term limited lawmakers to run again down the road, the affable Mr. Meadows is going to get an earful. "It could be a liability," he concedes but he's hoping the chance to reduce the paychecks for legislators will trump the term limit phobia. Meadows has a long and bumpy road to hoe in getting this modified plan on the November ballot. He needs two-thirds of the house and senate to approve it and even if that happens, voters would have to say yes as well. And selling it would be costly with no guarantee voters will buy it. Undaunted by that harsh reality, Meadows begins his push for Plan B next week when lawmakers return from an extended July 4th holiday.