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.