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, June 11, 2009
Gov. To The Rescue: Not
The effort by the road building lobby and friends to raise more money is stuck in a gigantic legislative pothole with no wrecker in sight. So the other day the director of the Michigan Department of Transportation tried to jump-start the jalopy when he appeared before a house committee. The way he sees it, poor ole Kirk Steudle was just doing his job when he told the committee that motorists could afford the cost of a package of gum to help repair the roads. Well you would have thunk he had launched an invasion of North Korea given the outrage. Some motorists got hold of his private email account and sent along some very unflattering missives. What's a poor highway engineer to do? Will surely his boss came to his rescue. Actually his boss, Gov. Jennifer Granholm comes from the school of "let-them-swing-in-the-breeze." Instead of sucking it in and joining the fray to defend her guy for having the guts to state the obvious, Granholm was AWOL. But this, unfortunately, has become one of her legacies. When the heat in her kitchen gets hot, she takes a powder. She could have said, "I know raising money for the roads is unpopular in these tough economic times, but director Steudle was right. If we want to grow our economy, we can't do it if we travel on highways where the bumps outnumber the vehicles." The MDOT director probably would have appreciated having his back covered by the gov. Instead, what he got was dead silence. Oh yeah. The governor supports the road package.