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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, April 15, 2010

D's Stiff Their Governor

Your journalistic instincts kick in when the folks you cover
suddenly change their behavior.
Such was the case this week with senate democrats. Since they are
in the minority and don't get much attention they are normally very
willing to do on camera interviews. Hey, it beats being ignored.
So when all of the democrats, minus one, failed to support their
governor's retirement package for 39,000 teachers and 9,000 state
government employees, that was news. Stiffing their own governor was a
good little story which is why most of those democrats dove for the
high grass and stayed there.
Take the senate democratic leader. Mike Prusi is a likeable chap
but when he was asked to appear on camera, he uncharacteristically
ducked out the back door in a hasty retreat to his office.
Went up to Sen. Tupac Hunter. At least he had the courtesy to say
no to the reporter's face before he followed Prusi out the door.
Look it. The democrats were caught in a cross fire. The governor
wanted the bill and the Michigan Education Association did not. The
governor is leaving town in six months and the MEA will be around
forever. You can figure out why the D's didn't' do the governor's
Shouldn't't you give one up for the Gipper, Sen. Irma Clark-Coleman
was asked after she did agree to chat.
"Normally I would," she suggested.
So this is not a normal vote?
"It is not a normal vote," she confirmed.
She was worried about luring away 39,000 seasoned teachers from the
classroom at a time when, in her town of Detroit, they are trying to
reform the school system.
"These young teachers (who would replace the old ones) come in and
they are wonderful and full of energy and all. But you gotta know how
to teach," Clark correctly asserts.
Senate Democrats will get another chance to vote on this stuff as
the House Democrats, who now have the package, are likely to rewrite it
more to the MEA's liking.
For now the Gov. Gipper had to settle for a bill that passed with
overwhelming GOP senate support which is also news since she and they
seldom agree on anything.