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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.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Subsidizing a Job Search

Running for governor is a full time job, but what if you already
have a full time job on top of that?
Well it creates some interesting challenges and can often provide
an issue for your opponents to exploit.
Say hello to Congressman Pete Hoekstra whose real job is to
represent the good folks from West Michigan in the U.S. House of
Representatives. They pay him a pretty good salary to be there to vote
yeah or nay.
The other day when the House was voting on extending unemployment
benefits, Mr. Hoekstra did not vote either way. He could not vote. He
was at a fund raiser trying to cobble together enough money to secure a
new job…Governor of the State of Michigan.
Is he vulnerable on missing that critical vote? His opponents
will answer that for him. The answer, of course, is yes.
Hoekstras is not the only one confronting this, "Where should I
be?" dilemma
House Speaker Andy Dillon and his democratic opponent Virg
Bernero both have full time jobs. Dillon runs the Michigan House here
in Lansing and is very sensitive to being there when his campaign is
tugging on him to attend fund raisers, knock on doors and give speeches
to whomever is willing to listen.
Because the house and senate have taken the next two weeks
off..sort of a super extended July 4th break, he can now do that.
The Mayor of Lansing, Virg Bernero, does not publish his
schedule but it's a pretty good bet that as the underdog in this
primary, he has not done a lot of sitting in his office on the ninth
floor of City Hall. He has a trusted aide who is running the joint and
so far there's been no tragedy in Lansing that has demanded the Mayor's
attention. And unless all those oil globs down in the Gulf of Mexico
suddenly find their way into the Grand River, you won't find His Honor
around these parts very often.
Years ago when Dick Posthumous ran for governor he was also the
Senate Majority Leader and he made a choice about which assignment was
more important. The West Michigan Republican missed 70% of the senate
votes. 70%.
Posthumous's buddy, Gov. John Engler, came to the candidates
defense glibly contending that this was just the way it was. That
takes care of that.
All this leads to this perplexing question: If the taxpayers are
paying you to do one job, and you take time off to pursue another,
should they be subsidizing that job hunt or should you pay them back
for the time you did not punch in?
You know what the pols would say, don't you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim, you've got your facts wrong. Posthumous ran for lt. governor in 1998 when he was the senate majority leader. He later ran for governor when he was lt. governor.

July 4, 2010 at 6:56 PM 

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