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, July 6, 2009
In a game were perception is reality, lawmakers in this town still don't get it and to prove it, they're taking two weeks away from the capitol while most of the unwashed got one day off for the 4th of July. Let's recap where we are: Michigan's economy remains down with third world nations; the jobless rate is, however, at the top of the heap; there's a whopping $1.5 billion budget deficit that has not been resolved and most lawmakers are taking two weeks off. Go figure. No matter how thin you slice it, the perception of that reality has an smell. Where in the heck is the sense of urgency??? Now to be fair, a handful of legislative leaders and key appropriation lawmakers will be in town this week as they were for part of last=2 0week. And until they reach an accord on how much to cut from state services and how much new money is needed to balance the budget, there is nothing for the rest of the lawmakers to decide regarding that. However, while those backroom talks go on their merry way, lawmakers could be voting on a ban on smoking, finding some way to rehire 104 laid off state troopers, they could review the governor's plan to release 3,400 inmates, or work on education reform and a host of other issues too numerous to mention. But instead they are "back in the district working" as the House Speaker Andy Dillon reported the other day when asked about this perception problem. Who knows what they are doing? Work back in the district could be working on a lawmaker's "honey-do" list for all we know. Dillon and others would have us "trust" that your work is being done during this hiatus. Here's anoth er reality: "Trust me" is a tough pill to swallow when it comes to politicians sometimes.