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.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Getting To Know You
Imagine going into the office tomorrow and finding 46 new employees all of whom you have to deal with on a daily basis and you don't know most of them. Yep..that would be a challenge and that is exactly what folks in this town are facing once lawmakers return to work next week. 46 lawmakers whom everybody knew last year are long gone, as Ernie would say, and in their seats are 46 who are basically unknown quantities. It's a very disconcerting feeling to know that you need to get news out of these folks but frankly if you got in the elevator with anyone of them you'd have no idea if they were lawmakers, staffers or capitol tourists. Reporters are not the only ones suffering from term limit turnover shock. A legion of lobbyists who get paid to influence lawmakers are singing choruses of "Getting to Know You" as they move into the new legislative session. Over the holidays lobbyists were busy sending out greeting cards to the new batch of players laying the groundwork for a new relationship. To give you some feel for how tough this assignment is, for this particular correspondent I would recognize by face six out of the new bunch and two of those are former legislators. That means almost 85 percent of the incoming class is a blank slate. Which is why the picture of everyone of the newbe's is on my desk right now. Try memorizing 40 new faces between now and January 14. span>