See? I'm not crazy.
To the GOP-ruled Legislature, Gov. Jennifer Granholm's veto pen is a terrible swift sword that's likely to make election-year relations with her all the more contentious on economic, welfare, transit and other issues.
"Gov. Granholm has sent a terrible signal to taxpayers and job providers today by vetoing needed welfare reform," House Speaker Craig DeRoche, R-Novi, said Tuesday. That day she vetoed eight bills, bringing her 2005 total to 12. She's signed 327 and has six pending.
But what elicited a more extreme reaction was her veto of a bill allowing Kent County to levy a property tax for public transportation. Rep. Jerry Kooiman, R-Grand Rapids, correctly described his bill as enabling Grand Rapids to secure $14 million in federal matching funds toward a streetcar or rapid transit bus corridor.
But he went over the edge in contending Granholm "has no concern for Kent County or residents of western Michigan (and) is attempting to cripple Kent County in the same way she has Michigan's economy."
The original bill applied to transit authorities throughout Michigan, and Granholm praised it. But it was amended to apply only to Kent County, prompting her to declare: "The crass political motivation that would provide funding flexibility to one county while leaving behind the rest of the state is bad for jobs in Michigan and cynically fosters division in a state that cries out for unity."
She says it so much better than I can. Must be that Harvard education. I would just call him a shithead and be done with it. ;-)
DeRoche, as Graholm requested, called the House back to vote today on a Senate-passed bill to extend the current welfare law, set to expire at year's end. He said reforms "can still be made in the future."
Looming largest in the near future is the 2006 election. Neither party will allow the other notable victories in Lansing.
Granholm will be attacked by Republicans with all the vigor that Democrats used in 1994 in assailing "mean-spirited" first-term Gov. John Engler -- who ended up as a national leader in welfare reform efforts ultimately embraced by both parties on Capitol Hill.
Welfare reform was a proud legacy for Engler, who championed the Michigan requirements now criticized by state Republicans as among the weakest in the nation.