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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.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What Can You Say?

  What Can You Say?
      Former Gov. Bill Milliken was the first to coin the phrase and the current governor has used it often: As Detroit goes, so goes the state.
      In case you missed it, Detroit is not going very well lately, as it is one shocking headline after another.  If it is not the mayor in trouble with the law, it's four members of the city council under the watchful eye of the FBI and as if that is not enough, the Detroit schools are struggling to wade out of a sea of red ink.
      A grieved Governor Jennifer Granholm has watched all this unfold and she laments, "Obviously it's extremely disconcerting and disappointing."
      Quizzed at a Wednesday news conference on the meltdown in Motown, you could tell the governor was burdened by the flood of negative stories and agonized to find just the right words to reflect her feelings.
      She was asked, "What's going on in Detroit?"
      She paused, shook her head, looked down at the floor and came up with, "I don't know."
      She later concluded "It is not good for Michigan," which is what she said when the first batch of Kwame Kilpatrick/text messaging stories blanketed the Detroit news media months ago.
       Trying to put her concerns in context, the governor told reporters everyone had to be careful not to use a "broad brush" to tarnish the entire city.  But she concedes the city faces "enormous challenges" on both the ethical front for city government and the financial front for the schools.
        In a variation on the "As Detroit goes…" theme, the governor says, "The state can't thrive without a thriving city."
        If this is thriving, you can count her out.


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