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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.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Week From....

        Every once in awhile you have a week like this.
        Michigan's Corrections Director Patricia Caruso had the awful assignment of announcing prison closings in five Michigan cities. Having been around the track before, she knew the outrage would come from all corners.
        The ultra-conservative anti-crime crowd would wonder where all the crooks were going if the five prisons were being mothballed.  And the local officials who depended on the prisons to supply jobs to local towns folks would not be happy either.
       So on the day she had to spread the bad news, her number one P.R. guy called in.  He and his wife were having a baby so Caruso had to "give birth" to the closing announcement without him.
       Around this same time, in an unrelated prison matter, Caruso got up in the middle of the night, enroute to you know where, and accidentally fell down breaking her wrist.  Ouch.
      From there her week progressed downhill.  In the wake of two parolees being held in a local jail after the death of a young girl in Monroe, a local prison union official testified in a senate hearing that, "the sad case of Neveah Buchanan may just be the tip of the iceberg."
      Caruso went ballistic. "That is appalling and irresponsible," she angrily looked into the FOX2 TV news camera.  The director said the death of the five-year-old Monroe girl had nothing to do with the parolees in jail.
       "Shame on you," she lectured the UAW Local 6000, which later recanted any notion of linking the death to the crooks behind bars.
0        And the week finally ended on an ironic note.  Caruso was invited to Standish for a ceremony at the state prison in that town…a prison she helped to open early in her career.  Now she was shutting it down.
        She told the local officials if they wanted to withdraw her invite, she would understand.  They did not and she went, broken wrist and all, hoping maybe next week would be better than the one she just finished.


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