Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The Name Game
In this illustrious age of term limits, a new game has emerged in which those lawmakers, who are forced out of office, try to hold onto some power by promoting a relative with their same name to run for their seat. The game was played in earnest on Tuesday and it didn't work. In four races where the out going incumbent embraced that relative, the voters said, "Thanks but no thanks." The power of the incumbent's name was also called into serious question as twelve current house members who could not run for their old seat, tried to transfer their name power into a local office. Four of those soon to be former representatives were also sent to the showers. Even though the GOP will play this up, it was hard to detect a "throw the bums out" attitude in other house races where the income tax increase of last fall apparently was not a major factor. Best one can tell, only one democrat in Genesee County may have been bounced because Rep. Ted Hammon supported the tax hike. A more likely explanation for his loss was that he was outspent by a three to one margin by his opponent who kicked in about $30 thou of his own cash to send Hammon to the unemployment line. If anybody was going to be the victim of the tax hike, it had to be House Speaker Andy Dillon of Redford. He marshaled the democratic votes in the house to pass the tax hike and then faced a nasty recall effort that died on the vine. Given a chance to get even, Redford voters decided to send Dillon back to Lansing. So much=2 0for a downriver anti tax revolt. The only clear impression that emerged from the primary election was that most voters were more interested in the sagging and pathetic Tigers than in showing up at the polls on a warm summer's day to make democracy work.