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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.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Trooper Ping-Pong

        104 Michigan State Troopers are trapped in the middle of a political ping-pong match between the governor and senate GOP leader.
         The newly trained troops are slated to be laid off at the end of the month unless someone does something to save the jobs.
        Lots of 'somethings" are floating around and the best guess is, one of them will materialize to save the jobs, but in the meantime the back and forth is a sight to behold.
        It is the governor who authorized the layoffs, which will save a measly $1.7 million dollars. If she really wanted to save the jobs, the theory goes, she could have uncovered $1.7 million in other parts of the state police budget to avert the layoffs. 
      But, as the theory goes on, s he wanted something visible for the public to see to prove that times are tough in Lansing…so tough that those who fight crime and patrol our freeways, have to take a hike to the unemployment line.
     The Senate GOP leader from Oakland County lamented this political game playing the other day, but given a chance to pass a budget that would have restored the trooper's jobs, Mike Bishop punted.  He wants to give the governor more time to resolve this on her own.
      The GOP senator who chairs the MSP budget was not happy with Bishop for slapping the budget on hold and Sen. Valde Garcia said so.  Bishop's office retorted, one senator would not run the senate even if he was a fellow republican.
      About to be dragged into this mess is the Lt. Governor John Cherry, whom you may have heard wants Granholm's job.  The trooper's union wants Cherry to convince the governor to back off the layoffs.  If Cherry doesn9 9t make the move, the union could move in another direction on who it wants for governor.
     On top of that, while others in government are taking six days off without pay, the troopers have balked at that. They make the public safety argument that if troopers are off for the day, crooks may be on.
     But one influential GOP senator who favors the time off without pay reminds the troops they work for the state, not the other way around.
     So whose serve is it anyway?    


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