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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.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Who Is The Non-Politician Now

Ricky. Ricky. How could you possibly do that?
After spending all summer running around the state proclaiming from
the mountain top that he was not a professional politician, Ann Arbor
business guy Rick Snyder just proved that he is.
At the recent state GOP Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island,
Synder and the other four contenders in the race for governor were
involved in a straw poll that, in the grand scheme of things, is
basically meaningless.
Nonetheless Mike Bourchard, Mike Cox and Snyder engaged in a little
ballot strategy whereby they covered the costs of some of the
conference participants in exchange for that participant's vote in the
The following memo reached this desk in which the Snyder folks look
like their learned how to play politics in Chicago's Cook County which
is notorious for questionable activity.
In it Snyder supporters are advised that "you are in no way required
to vote for any candidate, disclose or show your ballot to anyone."
All nice and proper, with no gripes there.
Ah but read on: "However, in order to remain eligible for Rick for
Michigan receptions, ferry's (to and from the island) and hotel room,
you must show your ballot to Rick's official representative at the
ballot box…."
Hum, this is getting interesting.
And just to make sure none o
f the volunteers for Ricky didn't miss
the point, they were asked to sign a document that was blunt: "I have
read and understand that by staying in a Rick for Michigan sponsored
hotel room and traveling on a Rick for Michigan ferry is contingent
upon voting for Rick Snyder in the straw poll."
Synder's team confessed to nothing but admitted to running an
"effective and efficient operation" on the island. And, in defending
the above statement, the team explained it was used to weed out
"infiltrators"from other campaigns who were supposedly posing as Snyder
backers. And finally it blamed the others for using mounds of
"special interest" money to fund their efforts. Synder used his own. A
distinction without a difference. The fact is money was used to
influence the outcome; a political tradition as old as dirt.
Boss Tweed would be proud of non-politician Ricky Snyder.
Synder, on the other hand, should probably drop all that bla bla
about being one.


Anonymous Nathan said...

I don't really know why this is considered "questionable activity". If you're going to help supporters come to the conference by paying their registration fee and hotel costs, you probably want them to vote.

The tone of the form was definitely a bit harsh, but in the end it's not ethically wrong, just a poor stylistic choice.

On the one hand, these people were going to vote for Rick anyway, and the campaign didn't really help itself by taking such an aggressive tone.

But on the other hand, it's always necessary to have Get Out The Vote operations in politics, and that's exactly what this was - nothing more, nothing less.

October 7, 2009 at 8:37 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if Snyder is going to be successful he is going to need to win an election.

If being a non-politician means losing elections, then of course that is not the route he would take.

Kudos to Snyder for running a solid operation and winning the straw poll on Cox's turf.

Cox must be embarrassed.

October 7, 2009 at 9:36 AM 

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