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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.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Go Green-Go Blue

    If you've lived in this state longer than a half hour you already know that the rivalry between a certain school in A2 and the other one in East Lansing is not confined to the gridiron, basketball court or hockey rink.
    It even plays out in far away places such as Disney World.
    You know how that game is played:  You walk by someone with an obnoxious MICHIGAN printed across the front of a sweatshirt and shout, "Go Green."  And the Mee-she-gan loyalists return the favor with a "Go Blue" when they encounter an MSU shirt.
    It's all good fun, but alas, the State of Michigan is in such lousy shape that during a recent sojourn to visit Snow White and her seven height-challenged friends, it produced only one exchange and the three year old kid from a U of M household, didn't get it.
    Which only goes to underscore an emerging reality of life i.e. lots of Michigan and Michigan State folks are sticking around these parts which is why the state tourism industry has gone epileptic over a move in the legislature to abolish one of its scared cows.
    For decades the tourist guys fought for and finally got a declaration that schools would not open until after Labor Day.  The schools, of course, objected over the loss of local control, but when it comes to making money, legislators concluded the hotel and motel crowd could make more if the kids were in the car with mom and dad and not in the classroom.
    Now comes the Barack Obama administration trying to assert that local schools should have the authority to set their own academic calendar as part of the so-called Race to the Top reform package.  How dare he elevate the educatioin of children over making money.
    And with $400 million federal dollars dangling in front of their faces, lawmakers may eliminate the Labor Day law but not without a good fight from the other side.
    In fact the battle between the tourism folks and the legislature may rival the one between you-know-who and you-know-who. 


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