Schuette Shoots for Surplus
General's office because it turns the occupants into a finely tuned
headline gathering machine.
Current occupant Bill Schuette has picked up right where Attorney
General Jennifer Granholm and Frank Kelley left off.
Whether it's promoting the notion that he alone is standing at the
mouth of Lake Michigan to battle the Asian Carp from invading our
waterways, or battling those medical marijuana shops that popped up all
over the state, Bill Schuette is on duty and this time it was to fight
what else? Crime, of course.
Mr. Crime-fighter wants to swipe $140 million of the state's $500
million surplus to hire 1,000 new cops. And funny thing, the law
enforcement community showed up in force the other day to provide the
human backdrop for his big announcement. Why not? They would share
most of the largess.
Mr. Schuette waxed on, as the phalanx of TV cameras recorded his
every word, suggesting that if Michigan was ever going to enjoy an
economic recovery, it would first need to make the state safe.
Hand it to the Billster it was a great pitch, a great performance
but it did not open to rave reviews across the street where lawmakers
will decide the plan's fate.
"I don't want to give the money to anybody," the crusty and stingy
chair of the House budget committee rebutted the Schuette sound bites.
"I'm willing to talk to him about it," countered the equally
unenthusiastic chair of the Senate budget panel.
Put Rep. Chuck Moss and Sen. Roger Kahn down as "maybes" leaning
toward a no.
Those two guys control the purse strings and they note that Mr.
Schuette is not the only one standing in line for a surplus hit.
"Do we want a thousand teachers? Or a thousand inspectors for
nursing homes?...We can't afford all the good things that everybody
wants," Mr. Moss concluded.
Mr. Kahn would only describe his position as "not a complete
So despite the masterful media manipulation of the issue, Mr.
Schuette got his media fix for the week, but his chances of landing the
Don't count on another glitzy news conference if the answer is a
big fat N-O.