Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Honey, I Blew Up the Michigan Democratic Party!"

What to do with Andy Dillon. Let's start with the MEA. They no happy.

Meanwhile, WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports a confidential memo from the executive director of the Michigan Education Association, Lu Battaglieri, blasts Dillon.

Battaglieri calls the Dillon plan the most "anti-labor, anti-uinon and anti-collective bargaining" proposal yet.

Skubick says Dillon told the union in a meeting last week that he was offering the plan to make sure the Democrats did not lose the House, Senate and Governor's seat next year.

The union official countered, "That's exactly what will happen. He is seemingly clueless as to the damage he is causing the Democratic Party."

The memo goes on to describe Dillon as: "Nice house-nobody home. And that is not meant to be pejorative. I believe it is true."

Ouch. The governor was a bit... um... more dignified about the whole thing, and really gets right to the point. Where are the savings, where are the details, and, most important, where is the legislation? If this supposedly was going toward the next budget as savings, it should have been ready to go.

“Show me the money. I don’t where the savings come from,” Granholm told reporters, adding that she had not seen details of Dillon’s proposal. In fact, the plan has not yet been drafted as bills to present the Legislature.

“I haven’t seen the legislation; I have a million questions about it,” she said.

Granholm said the proposal won’t help resolve the state’s current financial problems in 2010 or 2011, and might even detract from negotiations to erase a looming $1.7-billion deficit next fiscal year because lawmakers might thing they don’t need to cut state programs or find new revenue to plug the budget hole.

The House has yet to finalize its budgets. Is this distracting from negotiations? Are all the "Dillon Reforms" keeping the House from getting its job done? If so, this next statement from Dillon is quite a joke.

Dillon responded to Granholm in a prepared statement, saying, “Change is never easy – there will always be countless reasons not to change. But one thing is clear: business as usual isn't working.”

Dillon said government costs must be reduced long-term to prevent future layoffs of teachers, police officers and reducing college scholarships. He added, “We need leaders like Gov. Granholm, Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop and others to come together in the days ahead so we can turn Michigan around."

It's business as usual with the House though. Once again, they are the hold up on the budget. Time to put the money where your mouth is. Show everyone the plan. Show them the details.

You want to talk leadership? Leadership is having a plan ready to go before you announce it. Leadership is sitting down with your people and getting their input, rallying them to your side. Leadership is getting your current job done first - and the budget is now way late.

Leadership is NOT saying that you can save $900 million without any proof to back your claims up. Leadership is NOT throwing your own party and vulnerable House members under the bus on risky propositions so you can... what? Run for governor? Not as a Democrat, apparently.

If Speaker Dillon is ready to sell out his own party, his own people, how can you trust him with the state? I was willing to keep an open mind about this - but that statement from today tells me that this is just another political play, just as bad as the Republicans who run around and mouth "reform" without any real ideas behind it. Dillon may have a skeleton of an idea, but the way it was presented, the way this is going down, makes me wonder if he really is qualified to lead people at all.

Sorry Andy. I actually kind of like you - but this wasn't the way to do this. It's not leadership, it's a stunt. And it's hurting the state.

Now get back to work.