On the rubber chicken circuit the other day, the audience wanted to talk about the lousy roads in Michigan. Hey, ya gotta be number one in something.
And one guy, who obviously didn't want to raise new revenue to fill the pots holes shouted out, "That money is going to the People Mover."
OMG. Was this guy for real? The People Mover controversy dates back to Mayor Coleman Young and funding for the thing has not been an issue for years, yet this "well-informed" citizen still thought it was.
The worst thing in our democracy is an uninformed citizenry and that guy in Midland was exhibit A, and it's that situation that dogs efforts in Lansing to raise more bucks for the roads.
The road-building lobby is lying in the weeds waiting for lawmakers to return next week when a huge push will be made to find those dollars but the road coalition is fighting an uninformed public.
With the state spending just over $800 million in federal stimulus money, many motorists figure that will get the job done so why the clamor for more?
Now to be sure the road builders always have their hand out but they contend Michigan needs $3 billion in new road money to get the job done.
The road lobby is also fighting the clock. If they are going to pass this thing, they have to get it done before this fall. Because by then, the 2010 election cycle will be in full swing and lawmakers, at election time, somehow or other get antsy about voting higher taxes for anything.
Public ignorance on one side and anxious politicians on the other equals: Get use to the lousy roads.