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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, August 24, 2009

Mr. Insider Surfaces

You'd be amazed at the number of players behind the scenes that help shape events in Lansing but they rarely get their names in print. While the politicians crave the bright glare of the media lights, often times these backroom folks can only do what they do because they remain out of view.
However ever once in awhile they surface which is what happened to Richard McLellan the other day. Desperate for a guest for the Off the Record broadcast, the call went out. McLellan joyfully agreed to show up.
McLellan has a forty-year history in this town dating back to the Milliken years. McLellan was kicking around the headquarters of the Michigan GOP steadfastly not making a name for himself when one day walking down the street he bumped into Don Gordon.
=0 A
Gordon was working for then governor Bill Milliken.
"Hey, what are you doing?" Gordon inquired of the young man he knew was working for the GOP.
McLellan was between engagements but before the day was done, he was the driver for the governor and from then on, as they say, the rest is history.
Along the way he became a close confident of Gov. John Engler even heading his transition team for the first Engler term.
Now comes the next pack of would be GOP governors and McLellan is getting a look-see at them as they pay homage to the semi retired Lansing attorney/insider.
Here is his take on the five.
Mike Cox: =2 0Hard worker, can raise20the dough, but can he forge a good working relationship with the legislature? "He has a ways to go," McLellan observes.
Pete Hoekstra: Can he raise the money? He would be one of he "strongest" candidates for the job.
Mike Bouchard: "Might be the best governor. Whether he runs a good campaign and raises the money" are two unanswered questions.
Rick Snyder: "I don't take him seriously." He "insulted" the business community when he said he would not take political action committee contributions.
Tom George: "Good guy" but "don't see him being serious candidate."
Now back to obscurity for Mr. M.


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