Blogs > Skoop's Blog

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, October 31, 2010

Grab the Remote

Alright already with the campaign commercials!
The only folks who are happy are the TV station owners who are
raking in the cash. As for everybody else, you have had it up to here.
So why are the spots still on the air?
Good question.
With only two to three percent of the voters undecided, maybe
the candidates think their ads will sway voters one way or the other.
Fact is many of those on-the-fence types will not vote.
And every candidate is conflicted. They know they may be
tossing money down a rat hole, but they don't want to wake up the day
after the election having lost and wonder, "If I had only run a few
So whether you like it or not, they are here to stay until
Tuesday night.
But please take this to heart, if you have made your decision
on whom to support based on those ads, do our Democracy a favor and
don't vote.
The politicians know that most voters don't pay much attention,
don't do any research on the candidate's stance on issue, and so the
commercials become the most effective way to win.
But as you may know, not all of the info in those ads is
accurate or dare we say, true.
Politicians get away with political murder and if they get
called on it, most voters don't even know that.
And as for all the negative ads, citizens readily complain they
do not like them, but here's the harsh reality gang: If the ads did not
work, the candidates would waste millions of dollars running them.
With the end in sight, you will mentally tune out the remaining
commercials or you can use that little device in your hand…aren't
remote controls grand.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bridge Over Troubled H2O

He had a chance to say he would not privatize the Mackinac
Bridge, but GOP candidate for governor Rick Snyder did not, which
opened the door for Virg Bernero to walk through and, of course, he did
with both feet.
Bernero flew up to Mackinac City, stood with the bridge behind
him and proceeded to poke Snyder in the eye for not killing the issue
when he had a chance to do it.
The story began with a Snyder roundtable meeting in which he
called in the "experts" on how to erase $1.6 billion in red ink.
Ironically some of the "experts" were the very ones who contributed to
the mess years ago, but then who is keeping score?
Selling off some of the state's assets was discussed.
Over the years there has been chatter about not only selling the
bridge, but the lottery and the freeway system.
So when Mr. Snyder showed up on WJR the other day, he was asked
about privatizing the bridge and he said, "We need to put everything on
the table." He did indicate that before he got to that, he had to have
a financial statement on where the state was. That's pretty much his
standard answer to just about everything.
He had the chance to say, "I would not sell the bridge." He did
not and Mr. Bernero was listening.
Within a week he was criticizing Snyder for fix'in to unload
the bridge to maybe McDonalds and then they could call it, the Big Mac
Bridge. It was Bernero at his best, or worst depending on your
political persuasion.
Caught with its flank unprotected, the Snyder spin machine went
into over drive and did what the candidate should have done in the
first place..take the darn bridge off the table.
If he didn't want to unload the bridge he should have said so.
Instead it said it was on the table. No matter how thin you slice it,
it was a flip-flop.
Score on this one? Bernero 1 and Snyder zippo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On the Outside Looking In

He was going to be the GOP candidate for governor but a guy
named Snyder took care of that. So how is Congressman Pete Hoekstra
doing these days?
To be sure, the West Michigan Republican is keeping tabs on the
campaign and he is giving high marks to Mr. Snyder.
"He has run a masterful campaign; picture perfect," he observes.
Just after his loss last August, Hoekstra concluded that Snyder
was never tested during the crowded GOP primary or as he put it at the
time, "He's never been in the meat grinder."
And now three months later, nothing has changed he feels.
Snyder has wonderfully kept the media at bay dishing out ten
minute doses of media availability. That is just long enough to say he
is not ducking correspondents but not long enough for him to get into
any in-depth questioning where he could make a mistake.
Hoekstra says that is good politics, but it leaves the voters to
wonder whether the Ann Arbor business guy can actually run a government?
"There is a huge difference in running a campaign and the
government. How effective will he be?" Hoekstra believes voters don't
have enough data to make that judgment so it will have to be, elect him
and then find out.
After he lost the nomination, Hoekstra made it clear he was
willing to help the winner but he got only one phone call adding, "I
was not asked to be intimately involved" so he wasn't.
As for life after a defeat, Hoeskstra has been to China. Wonder
if he looked for the office Snyder couldn't't remember? And he's
fixing to find a new gig when the Congressional thing ends in December.
He will also do his part to help Michigan's lack luster economy.
"I told my wife the other day, we need to buy a new car since I
wore out the old one in the campaign."
She delivered a strong dose of Holland reality, "Get a job,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Here Comes the Judge

There are four majority party candidates running for the Michigan
Supreme Court.
Say two things about each one.
O.K., say one thing about each one.
Can't do it, can ya?
Which is why you and millions of others just like you will fall
victim to the "name game" when you vote next week. That is to say, the
candidate with the "best" name wins.
Republicans have a Mary Beth Kelly on the ballot. There's a great
Irish-Catholic name. And she comes from a long line of others with
similar great names who have served on that high court bench.
In fact when you read the list it sounds like the roll-call at a
St. Patty's Day beer blast: Cavanagh with a C and Kavanagh with a K,
Fitzgerald, Kelly, Brennan, McAllster, McAlway, McDonald, McGrath,
Riley, Ryan, O'Hara, and Flannigan, just to name a few.
Now each in his or own right may have been a fine jurist, but
none of the voters would know that unless they were related. Hence,
the name is the determining factor.
Which is why the two Democrats running this time, may be in
And it's too late for Alton Thomas Davis to change his name to O'Davis
and you'd have a tough time turning Denise Langston Morris into
Now you might feel sorry for them but what about the other
Republican up for reelection, Justice Robert Young, Jr.?
While he lacks the all important Irish surname, he will have an
advantage nonetheless. Under his name on the ballot will be Justice of
the Supreme Court. In other words and he and Justice Davis will be
identified as incumbents and to the voter, who doesn't know squat about
these guys, that is worth a ton of votes, too.
And being a female, they tell us, is worth 7% of the vote from
the get go which is why Ms. Kelly and Ms. Langston Morris, may do well,
Hence when it comes to electing folks to the highest court in
the state, judicial qualifications are irrelevant when the electorate
is so ignorant. Instead it's all about what O'family you were borne

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Battle for Motown

Detroit was in play this past week as Rick Snyder used a former
governor to cement what standing a Republican can have in the
Democratic heavy city. And Virg Bernero called in the heavy artillery
in the form of former President Bill Clinton to gin up the Motown vote.
But there was probably a hidden agenda in the Snyder pre-emptive
You see a coalition of Black ministers in Detroit called for a
debate and Mr. Bernero said yes before the ink was dry on the invite.
Mr. Snyder, who steadfastly said he would debate only once, stuck
to the promise and stiffed the ministers.
Mr. Bernero wasted little time offering, "It's truly a shame my
opponent didn't feel the voters of Detroit deserved the chance to hear
his plans for the city…."
The Snyder guys used Mr. Milliken to show that he, Snyder did care
for Detroit, just not enough to debate his opponent in front of the
church community.
It was a calculated move which most of the moves have been in that
camp. They knew they would take a hit, but the day before, Snyder was
able to buy a little good will with Detroit voters by bringing in the
previous governor who had a warm spot in his heart for Detroit and vice
Mr. Milliken praised Mr. Snyder for putting Detroit on the radar
screen in this election at some risk since many out state Republicans
could care less about the city.
And even though Mr. Snyder has not fleshed out the details on how
he would be a "partner" with the city, he hoped to mute some of the
flak he would take for ducking the debate. Maybe it worked.
But whether it did or not may be irrelevant. The way it looks, Mr.
Snyder does not need Detroit to win. The same can not be said for his

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hail to the Ex-Chief

Anybody got a white horse?
Bill Clinton could use it.
Michigan Democrats are hoping the former ex-president can ride into
Dodge a.k.a. Detroit and gin up the Democratic base to get off their
duffs and vote on November 2nd. The future of Virg Benero hangs on the
11th hour visit.
The decision to bring in Mr. C. raises speculation about why the
real president is not showing up.
The sitting president has 47% support in Michigan. Next question.
Mr. Clinton remains immensely loved in Motown which he, of course,
carried when he ran for the White House. The question is can he
transfer that popularity to the Democrat who would be governor but
finds himself on the wrong side of a 20% deficit against the GOP front
runner Rick Snyder?
Since the China out-sourcing ads have bombed, it's worth a shot to
see if B.C. can re-energize the base. It's one thing to get them to a
rally but quite another to get them to the polls and there are fears
that the Motown faithful may not be so faithful on election day.
The latest Rasmussen poll contains very little good news for Mr.
Bernero who is trending in the wrong direction.
Last summer the FOX2 survey had the Lansing Mayor down by a
somewhat respectable 12 points and that stayed steady until now. 20
points is not impossible to overcome but if Bernero does it, it will be
the comeback of the century.
So what can Mr. Clinton say or do to help?
First of all he won't mention NAFTA which he authored. Mr. Bernero
opposes the foreign trade agreement with Mexico. But it's a sure bet
the ex-prez will stroke the Mayor for leading the charge to defend the
U.S. auto industry when two of the former giants, GM and Chrysler, were
on the ropes.
But even that is a little iffy in that 55% of Michigan residents
didn't support the bail out. Mr. Clinton is unlikely to acknowledge
that sticky point.
Bottom line is the trip is like mom's chicken this point
in the game it can't hurt.
(Note: The most recent poll suggests the lead for Mr. Snyder is
down to 14 points.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Has It Come Down to This?

As far-fetched as it may seen, you can't rule out the possibility
of seeing a "For Sale" sign on the Mackinac Bridge, the state lottery
and or the state freeway system.
Has it come down to this?
Here's the inside skinny on a recent closed door meeting with GOP
Gov. Candidate Rick Snyder and about twenty "experts" who were there to
discuss how a new governor might address the $1.6 billion state
deficit..a going away gift from the current governor.
Each participant in this so-called roundtable had three minutes
to wax on the question. One of the issues discussed was the
privatization of certain state services and in that context, you would
have to include the Big Mac Bridge, the successful lottery and the
freeways. This is nothing new as all three have been up for discussion
before but nothing has come to fruition.
Asked about all this on WJR radio the other day, Mr. Snyder had a
chance to reject the fire sale concept, but instead he confessed that
"everything is on the table."
The question is, would there be buyers for any one of the three?
Maybe the owner of the Ambassador Bridge would like to expand
his empire up North?
The answer is you could find the buyers, but the ultimate
question is, would you want to unload these historical assets in order
to make a quick buck?
The chief bean counter for the Michigan Senate suggests leaving
the "For Sale" sign in the garage until more data is available.
Gary Olson reports other states have gone this route. Indiana
recently auctioned off its freeway system. Olson says it may be a "one
time" money maker but long term, the state could actually lose revenue.
So call all your friends and pool your resources because the
State of Michigan may add new meaning to the phrase, "Ya wanna buy a

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

History Re-Do Maybe

It's an unusual battle cry for a bunch of Democrats, but hey, if your
guy is on the ropes, you do what you have to do.
Hence you are hearing from the Virg Bernero camp, "Remember John
Frankly a lot of Democrats would rather forget their old nemesis,
but as the saying goes, "If Engler can do it, so can the Virg."
This, of course, a reference to where Mr. Bernero is today compared
to the pickle John Engler was in visa vie his race against Gov. Jim
Blanchard in 1990.
The popular wisdom then was crystal clear: Blanchard could not
Ah, but he did which is why Bernero-ittes are clinging to the hope
that history will repeat itself in two weeks.
John Truscott was there in 1990 and rode around with the GOP
challenger Mr. Engler who pulled off the upset of the century.
J.T. ain't (sic) buying the analogy with Bernero now.
"It was a completely different dynamic," he reflects. Blanchard's
support was "thin" and Engler knew how to exploit that. Rick Snyder
does not appear to be "thin" as he boasts a twenty point lead.
But Blanchard had a hefty lead as well that grumbled the Saturday
before the election, the Bernero folks recall.
Former House Speaker Lew Dodak supports Bernero and is a believer
in a history re-do. "It's always a possibility. The race will tighten
(and) get down to one, two, or three points and at that point in time,
it's anyone's election."
Dodak's lobbying partner is the former GOP House Speaker Rick
Johnson and he thinks his buddy is off base.
"I disagree with that and I say that, because that was John Enlger
and this is Virg Bernero."
That's just another way of saying, "I know John Engler and Virg
Bernero is no John Engler."
Yet, funny thinks can happen in the run up to the voting.
Does it look like a Snyder win?
You bet.
But they said the same thing about a Blanchard victory twenty
years ago.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mich. GOP should pull TV ads featuring woman who made anti-Semitic statements

Mich. GOP should pull TV ads featuring woman who made anti-Semitic statements  


LANSINGBill Schuette and the Michigan Republican Party should repudiate anti-Semitic statements made by the star of an ad attacking Democratic attorney general candidate David Leyton, the Leyton campaign said today.


The Michigan Republican Party is broadcasting a television ad featuring Deb McIntosh that attacks Leyton, who is Jewish. McIntosh posted the following statement Saturday on a message board at


“[H]ow dare the FLINT URINAL not show me the respect to get my side of the story, instead of ONE SIDE,,,oh A JEWISH OWNED PAPER,,,,and lEYTON IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION,,,,FLINT JOURNAL you should be ashamed of youself,,,I will never ever give you the time of day again ever......stay away from me, your as bad as the liars when you do not print both sides.”


The Leyton campaign is demanding Schuette and the MRP repudiate McIntosh’s anti-Semitic statements, immediately pull the television advertisement and cease using her as a campaign spokeswoman.


“Anti-Semitism, racism and hatred of any ethnic group has no place in political campaigns,” Leyton spokesman Todd Cook said. “We demand that Bill Schuette and the Michigan Republican Party join us in condemning Ms. McIntosh’s statements and immediately stop using her in political advertisements.”


Go to to read McIntosh’s comments, which she posts under the moniker “ADAMSMOM.”


I Was Wrong

Tonight at 7 pm, Tim Skubick Town Hall Meeting on Election 2010 at
the Community Media Network Television facility on Souter Drive in
Troy. Free. Hope to see you there.

Reporter: Hey, Governor, have you seen the book?
Governor: It's in the car right now.
The book is "Overhaul" which recounts the inside skinny on how the
Obama administration "saved" GM and Chrysler and Gov. Jennifer Granholm
gets four mentions in the Steve Rattner tome.
"I got three phone calls from the President," the governor
recalls and none of them were to talk about the weather.
The first one described in the book has the governor in a lowly
mood as Mr. Obama gives her a courtesy heads up that he is thinking
about the "B" word for the auto guys.
Bankruptcy is the last word she wants to hear and as she hangs
up the phone she says, "I hope you know what you're doing."
Soon thereafter she takes another call and this time the
President lowers the boom. "This was the most serious call," she
"I was pushing back all along the way," the governor reflects
but the White House was putting the "B" word into play over her strong
objections. "I repeatedly told them not to put them into bankruptcy."
"Who would want to buy a car from a bankrupt car company?" she
kept telling anyone who would listen.
But as everyone now knows it worked or at least it looks like
it is working.
"I was wrong," the governor admits and she's pretty happy to
say so.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bailing Out on the Bail Out

Michigan is the auto state. We live, breath and die by what
happens in the auto industry…just look at our jobless rate. So you
would assume anybody in his or her right mind would do everything
possible to keep the car guys afloat.
Tell that to Tim Walberg.
He's the ultra conservative Republican hoping to win back a
mid-Michigan congressional seat that he once held. And he's locked in
a battle to the death with the Democrat who holds that seat, Mark
They engaged in TV debate the other night and the first question
out of the shoot was, "How would you have voted on federal aid for GM
and Chrysler?
No brainer, right?
Mr. Walberg began his answer by repeating the question which is
code for, what the heck am I going to say?
Turns out its not the first time he's confronted the issue
according to his opponent who claims Walberg once said he would
reluctantly have voted yes.
Walberg's answer this time was really no answer.
He danced around it by observing that he would have created an
economic climate so that the two car companies would have been in great
shape. What he failed to point out is that while he was waiting for
that recovery to materialize, the autos would have gone into the tank.
Nice little answer but not on the point: How would you have
He never said yes or no despite being asked four times.
Schauer looked into the camera and said he would answer the
question, "Yes.'
So what gives with Mr. Walberg?
Well turns out he is not in trouble because most voters in this
state opposed the bail out.
Come again?
Clean out your ears. 55% of Michigan voters did not want to use
federal money to save the two companies.
Besides the GOP candidate rides a hog, so what does he care
about cars.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is It Over?

If a statewide pollster is correct, the Virg Benero campaign for
Governor should start looking for a new theme song. How 'bout Roy
Orbison's "It's Over."
Steve Mitchell from Mitchell Research concludes, "The race is
pretty much over."
The Bernero folks won't like that and won't be too fond of Mr.
Mitchell either even though the pollster "likes Virg' and even
consulted him during his effort to become Mayor of Lansing.
"He is a great mayor," Mitch concludes but his campaign for
governor just got off to a lousy start.
"He never defined himself" in the primary against Andy Dillon,
the Mitchell reasoning goes. And while that was going on, the GOP
candidate Rick Snyder spent $7 million smackers to define his image
with the voters which has resulted in Snyder sitting fat and sassy with
a 12-20 point lead, if the polls are correct.
Bernero, of course, is not tossing in the towel, but it's an
uphill jaunt and if he overcomes the Nerd it will be the come back win
of the century.
The Democrat did not get the bounce he needed out of the one and
only debate. He out performed the Ann Arbor business guy with little
if any debating experience. But Snyder did not goof up and the public
reaction was equally divided between the two.
With no game changer there, Bernero has only his TV commercials
and personal appearances and free media to get the job done. He got a
shot in the arm as his coffers reportedly got a kick in the pants of
well over a million bucks this week. That will help if it is true.
Having declared the race all but over, Mitchell was asked on the
Off the Record public TV broadcast ( what scared him about
Snyder, whom Mitchell does not know.
"He is not part of the process (in the capitol) but he can
surround himself with people who are," he reports.
It would be neat, before the election, to know exactly who those
folks might be.
In fact both guys should share, don't you agree?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bon Voyage

The anchor guys at "J" radio wanted to know why the governor was
flying off to Sweden and France because as a lame duck, what power does
she have to bring jobs back?
Maybe she was going to rack up some last minute frequent flyer miles
for herself and hubby Dan?
To even ask the question reveals that some don't know how driven
this governor is to go out of office, in 79 days, on a high and not a
low on the job front.
Two years into her term, Gov. Jennifer Granholm was socked with the
harsh realization that she was swimming up stream in efforts to grow
enough jobs to replace the soon to be 800,000 jobs that would be lost
on her watch.
That is not the legacy she wants to leave behind when she locks
the door on December 31. So ever since she has "gone anywhere and
anytime" to scrounge together as many new jobs as she can.
Will she bring some back from this sojourn? Of course. The jobs
are always teed up for her and the personal visit is used to just close
the deal.
Maybe it will be only a couple hundred jobs, but she'll take
it…anything to polish her job record.
Meanwhile on the home front, the governor continues to struggle
with her legislative agenda. Earlier she "found" $25 million in a
projected state surplus and immediately earmarked it for restoring the
Pure Michigan ad campaign which would bring back more jobs, too.
House Republicans concur that the successful campaign should be
saved, but not with a "surplus" that may not be there.
Steal some money from the 21st Century Jobs Fund was the GOP
counter offer. That is one of the governor's fav job creating coffers.
The GOP rejection of her original idea was buttressed by the
House head bean counter who warned the "surplus" might not materialize.
That will give her something to think about when she's on the Big
Bird to Europe.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Caught in the Act

Poor, poor Mark Brewer. The state Democratic Party Chair was so
hoping that he could go two for two on the "sleeping judge" gambit. He
nailed former GOP Chief Justice Cliff Taylor with the video that he was
allegedly dozing on the bench and was poised for an encore with GOP
Justice Robert Young, Jr. who is running this time.
But alas some crafty P.R. types have nailed Brewer instead.
The Dems had some video of Justice Young with his eyes closed
which allowed the viewer to "conclude" he indeed was Judge Sleepy. But
GOP consultant Tom Shields and his crew had an idea: If we can find
the original video maybe we can prove His Honor was not asleep.
But where to begin?
Shields says the best clue came from Brewer himself who months
ago had mentioned a particular case that the court was considering.
Sure enough, they went to that video and found two of the shots that
Brewer had lifted out.
Problem was, for Brewer, when you looked at the whole video, it
was clear the snap shot was misleading because the justice was wide
awake and engaged in cross-examing a lawyer appearing before the high
It was a classic and successful case of detective work that has
discredited the Brewer attempt to, shall we say, mislead the voters
this time out.
Cliff Taylor must be sitting at home wishing maybe he had done
the same thing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Where's the Beef?

The object in a debate is to give the candidates a chance to explain
what they would do, but there should also be an attempt to break some
new ground in an effort to give the citizens more than just the
standard, pap sound bites we've heard for the last nine months.
GOP candidate for governor Rick Snyder was about one minute into his
opening remarks during the Sunday night debate when we heard, "I've got
a ten-point plan to reinvent Michigan?"
Yeah, so tell the audience something new or better yet flesh out
some of the specifics of that plan. You didn't get much of that from
Mr. Bernero we learned for the umpteenth time is not from Wall
Street but resides, with the rest of the slugs in the world, on Main
To be sure in every debate there is a tug of war between those
asking the questions and those answering the questions. Generally
reporters do try to plow some new ground and generally the debaters are
more comfortable on the old ground and in the event Sunday night, the
debaters won.
It's not that the reporters didn't try. There were good questions on
how to fund the schools by cutting elsewhere. The audience is still
waiting for specifics on that.
Mr. Snyder again promoted his 6% flat rate tax as a replacement for
the Michigan Business tax, but is that enough to fill the hole in the
budget that eliminating the MBT would create? Never got an answer to
that, either.
Mr. Bernero doesn't even have a business tax to replace the MBT, but
you never found that out in the debate. His answer is, "I'll consult
with the business community on that." Wow. And the consulting will
come after the election, if he is elected.
In other words its another, "Vote me and trust me on what I might
Part of the problem was the debate format itself. It strongly
discouraged any kind of dialogue between the two and more importantly
didn't give reporters enough leg room to do follow up questions.
That was a gift to Snyder who is not that strong on the back and
forth of debating although he did O.K. in this one. Bernero found
himself in a straight jacket, but managed to get in some digs, but the
audience must have come away wondering, "Where's the beef?
That's the one question nobody asked or answered.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One and Done

Soooo, ya gonna watch Sunday at 7 p.m.?
You know, THE governor's debate between the Virg and the Nerd.
Here's what to expect.
Virg Benero has more riding on this than Rick Snyder. He needs to
pull a rabbit out of his hat to jump start the passion meter in the
base of the state Democratic Party and lure back into the fold the
independents who are gulping the Snyder kool-aid.
Snyder's agenda on the other hand is to avoid, at all cost, a prat
fall that the D's could turn into a game changing commercial. Snyder
and his handlers are well aware that this guy is not a seasoned
debater. Hey, when you are a CEO of anything, you don't do a lot of
debating; you merely tell everyone what to do. So Snyder is in shaky
territory here although in other debate formats, he was pretty good.
Problem is even at his best, Snyder isn't Bernero who could debate
with both hands behind his back, just as long as there are no
restraints on his mouth.
Which brings us to a major concern in the Bernero camp: That mouth.
Weeks ago when they were debating about not having a debate, some
worried that their guy could go over the top, blow a gasket, and offend
a ton of voters who don't cotton to that kind of behavior.
Bernero has been on his best behavior all fall and if he stumbled,
nobody in the media caught it. But the temptation to mop up the floor
with Snyder will be real.
The aforementioned Snyder folks have done everything humanly
possible to lower the chances of a screw-up. The restrictive debate
format, the time of the debate against other more "interesting"
programs was calculated to lower the risks and the chances anyone would
see it, if he happened.
"Let's just get him through this one night," has probably been
muttered once or twice on the Nerd Mobile and "then we can coast to
So the chances of a knock out punch landing on Snyder's
chinny-chin chin? Don't bet the farm.
The chances that Bernero can score some points? Much better, but
if nobody is watching, so what.
Maybe Mr. Snyder will remind viewers that he would not be offended
if they turned to the football or baseball games. Heck, he might even
announce the scores instead of answering some of Bernero's attacks.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

THE Game-Gov Punts

During her eight years in office, the governor has done her share
of flip-flopping. First she was for displaying the Ten Commandments in
the state capitol before she was against. Ditto on dove hunting.
But when it comes to the most important day in the state, the
governor has steadfastly held firm; in eight years she has never made
a prediction on on the MSU-U of M football game, referred to in these
parts as simply, "The Game.'
Give her credit for staying on the fence even when snotty reporters
try to push her one way or the other.
Decked out in a green sweater and a blue blazer, by accident she
reveals, someone asked for her prediction.
She was caught slightly off-guard, much like the Michigan defense,
but quickly regained her composure and offered the most politically
correct answer she could fashion: "The bottom line is a Michigan team
is going to win and that's good."
Having been there before, the reporter sought clarification: A
Michigan State team?
Take that!
Yet, she holds firm, like the MSU front four, and offers, with a
chuckle, "A team that's in the State of Michigan," and now she is in
full laughter mold as she wiggled out of that one like that quarterback
at the U of M..what is his name?
Ah but then this confession. "My tuition money goes to Ann Arbor"
as she has two of her kids attending school there. That's as close as
she would come to blessing the Maze and Blue while quickly noting she
likes the Green and White, too.
Hey, what would you expect from a Harvard grad where they don't
play football; they just design them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Gruel or Yours

Virg Bernero, the Democrat who would be governor, was spot on the
other day as he tagged some of his opponent's plans, "lofty rhetoric
with few specifics.'
That was in a news release. Out on the stump he was more pithy
calling Rick's Snyder's ideas, "Paper thin. It's ridiculous. It's very
thin gruel. There's no there, there." It was a great sound bite.
Well turns out, it takes one to know one.
Mr. Bernero has the same problem when it comes to his "plan" to
revamp the Michigan Business Tax. At least Mr. Snyder has proposed a
6% flat rate levy. Mr. Bernero has proposed nada.
"That's something I'm going to work out with the business
community," he began his defense of having no meat on his biz tax
Work out?
He's been running for governor since last January and still no
specifics on revamping the MBT? Don't the voters deserve a peak before
they vote?
"Well, it's a good question. It's something we have to work out
but not everything is going to be exactly spelled out," he sounded just
a bit like Mr. S.
Does the phrase "trying to nail down Jell-O" mean anything to you?
The Mayor is a bit more forth coming on eliminating the 22%
on businesses. He says he will replace the lost $700 million by more
"cuts and efficiencies" but he has not listed where those will occur
And he did suggest he would likely eliminate the gross receipts
tax and no one would pay the tax if they did not make any money.
But he confesses that when it comes to the all important business
tax rate, your guess is as good as his. However he did not describe
his own lack of specifics as thin gruel or lofty rhetoric.
He could have.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Awful and Despicable

State Supreme Court Justice Robert Young, Jr. is running for
reelection and the state Democratic Party Chair wants to defeat him in
the worst way. And now Young supporters claim Mark Brewer has found
the worst way to do that by dragging the justice's wife into the
"This is despicable," mutters Justice Young after seeing for the
first time the Internet ad that Brewer may or may not put on the
broadcast air.
In it, Mr. Brewer is judiciously careful not to accuse Young of
any wrong doing, it just lays out the possibility that Young is no
longer a resident of Michigan.
Are you a justice in Michigan or a Justice in Wisconsin? the
commercial wonders.
Here's the deal. For a time earlier this year the Justice's
wife, because of the lousy economy in Michigan, found work in Milwaukee
and from time to time the Justice says he visited his wife and vice
versa as she often came back to Michigan to see him, too.
Somehow Mr. Brewer lifted a quote from what he terms a
"professional biography" in which Dr. Linda Hotchkiss purports to say
she is living in that town ith "her husband, children and family dog."
Hence Mr. Brewer rhetorically asks, has the Justice changed his
residence which would disqualify him from running for the Michigan high
"He know this is untrue," is one of the more milder reactions from
the candidate who goes on to accuse Brewer of being the governor's "pit
viper injecting his venom" all over the campaign trail.
"I have never lived in Wisconsin," he goes on with his defense
saying this attack is "below the belt. It's not even, I think, up to
Mark Brewer's low standards."
Mr. Young say he is fair game, but his wife? "This is just
awful," he opines.
Mr. Brewer says its up to the voters decide who is right in this
latest scrimmage over the seat on the State Supreme Court.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Arts Vs, Jocks

Wait til the jocks find out about this!
They teach you in "How-To-Be-A-Candidate" school never, repeat,
never answer a hypothetical question. Only two things can happen and
they're both bad.
Apparently the four majority party candidates running for the
State Board of Education flunked the course, slept through it, or
simply ignored the advice because they waded into a battle that could
cost them votes.
The hypo-question was: You are friends with a local school
superintendent who calls for advice. He has to cut the football program
to save the band or cut the band to save the football program. What's
your advice?
In the biz, you call that a loaded question.
"I'd eliminate football and keep the music program," opined Liz
Bauer, the Democratic incumbent seeking reelection to another eight
year term.
"I'd say eliminate the football program," echoed Dr. Richard
Zeile, a Republican running for a second time for the SBE post.
Making it three for three was Democrat Lupe Ramos-Montigny who
advised the audience at the Macomb County Intermediate District forum,
"I would cut football."
And making it unanimous was the GOP candidate and ex-SBE member
with a Master's Degree in piano Eileen Weiser…she really had no choice
given her background.
Once the shock wore off for the moderator, who is a former
clarinet player, Dr. Zeile asserted that the teams would be OK because
the booster club could go to the corporate community for the money and
"they would be eager to slap their logos" all over the field.
Weiser agreed. "I think the football team would do fine with
corporate support."
The question is will this pro-music quartet of politicians do
well with the jocks once they find out about this…assuming, of course,
they pay any attention to this stuff?