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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, August 4, 2011

Two Faces Have I

   Will the real Bob King please stand up.
   There's the flame-throwing Bob King who stood on the state capitol steps and lambasted the GOP Gov. Rick Snyder during some pro-labor and anti-Snyder rallies earlier this year.
    And then there's the guy who showed up in town recently to begin contract talks with the Snyder administration. He not only ditched the flame-thrower, he was on his best behavior as he brushed aside a correspondent's question for being too divisive.
    Mr. King.  Do you believe public employees are overpaid compared to those in the private sector?
    "There is plenty of data to show that is not true, but I feel like that's a question of division" and today we are here to talk about working together on a new contract.
     So which face is the real one?
     Turns out it's both.
     He concedes he has "strong political and philosophical differences" with the business CEO turned governor, but he quickly adds he had the same misgivings with auto company executives and that did not stop Mr. King from working with them either.
     Mr. King believes the governor is "sincere" when he asserts he does want to work with labor.  In fact Mr. King reveals the governor has told him he wants to use the so-called Ford model of collaboration..the kind that King used with Ford executives to help the car maker survive.
     So instead of brick bats, Mr. King is using, dare we say, relentless positive action in his dealing with the new governor.
     A career civil servant, however, was asked is she believed the governor on this labor cooperation stuff?  She paused and offered this insightful quip, "I would say I'd have to wait and see on that."
     Which is the same thing Mr. King is doing.


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