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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.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

House Dems In Retreat

     It's not a very deep concept but one that more politicians should follow i.e. whenever you contemplate any action, ask yourself, how does this play with the public?
     You can apply that rule to the decision by House Democrats to stage a retreat at an isolated resort in Garlin, up North.
     Before you know anything else about the decision, if you are like most folks, you are not overjoyed and see this as just another perk for politicians.
     But hold that thought and consider the following:  The retreat is being paid for by the lawmakers and not some fat cat lobbying firm.  They obviously are not going to play any golf but they might squeeze in some skiing?  They are holding the meeting to lay the groundwork for the new legislative year.
      As you might expect the democratic leaders defend the retreat noting that there are 67 members in the caucus including 24 new comers.
      "We've got a lot of new freshmen," explains Rep. Kathy Angerer the democratic floor leader. "We've got to get to know one another so we can work together, otherwise passing good public policy is going to be difficult."
       So they will play team-building games and try to speed up the "getting to know you" phase of having an effective caucus.
       They'll also kick around some policy issues from tax reform to the budget deficit.
        But what sticks in the craw of some anti-politician types is the location.  Angerer defends the Garlin venue because it is isolated, cell phones don't work, and with nothing else to do, she figures lawmakers can stay focused on th e task.
        "When I do this (hold the retreat) in Lansing, people leave in the evening, they run to a meeting, they do other things...This is a good work opportunity."
          So now that you know all that, do you still harbor negative feelings?  Would love to hear what you think.


Anonymous A Martin said...

I'm sure there will be many who begrudge the legislators a bit of leisure mixed-in with their legitimate business at this retreat. If it is not being paid-for by lobbyists or taxpayers, I can't see any harm.

While the symbolic message sent by this type of event (and the choice of venue) is significant, we do need to keep an eye on the big picture. Should they have to meet in a high-school gymansium on folding chairs?

January 30, 2009 at 5:42 AM 
Blogger Scott said...

I don't harbor any negative feelings whatsoever... and I never did. It's great that they're building closer bonds as a team rather than focusing on tearing each other apart.

January 30, 2009 at 9:26 AM 
Blogger Communications guru said...

No. Great idea. It makes perfect sense. There is a good reason so many people respect Kathy Angerer.

January 30, 2009 at 10:02 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

makes sense to me!

January 31, 2009 at 5:31 PM 

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