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, November 2, 2009
Bishop Did Compromise
With apologies to whomever coined the term, "These are the best of times; these are the worst of times," when it comes to the relationship between a certain governor and a certain senate GOP leader, these are the worst of times. Period. There is nothing "best" about them. For weeks on end the governor has used her bully pulpit pleading with Sen. Mike Bishop to stop being so rigid and just sit down with her and compromise over raising new dollars to restore $1.8 billion in Bishop endorsed service cuts. Come to find out, Bishop has already done it. He did agree to pump more money into state spending although it has not gotten nearly the media coverage that the governor's rhetoric has garnered. In other words he got the shaft, as one defender puts it. Lost in the cacophony of the back and forth he said-she said harangue, Bishop did agree to spend more money for the Civil Rights Department, Community Health, Corrections, the Education Department, Human Services and the Energy and Labor department. The changes amounted to about $125 million of new dollars and Speaker Andy Dillon gives Bishop credit for a grand total of $300 million in new spending. (There's a dispute over the $100 million Bishop wants to spend on the K-12 budget.) The governor has never acknowledged that for obvious reasons: It would take some of the pop out of her criticism that Bishop is engaged in a "my way or the highway strategy." So she will continue her road show trying to drum up grass roots support for more revenue for the schools by asking parents, teachers, educators and the like to bang on Bishop's drum to cough up more dough. "We sent them a plan worth $300 million," Bishop continues to shout. But the shouts of governors tend to out shout those who don't have the same public platform. The governor rejects Bishop's Plan A and wants a Plan B for more bucks. Bishop may be saying he's already given at the office.