Feb 26, 2007

Agents Maxwell Smart and Austin Powers in charge of Senate Republicans secret budget plan

Since I retired from the Navy 10 years ago, I have not had much need for the Top Secret security clearance I once had, but apparently Senate Republicans and their staffers needed one just to get a glimpse of their Top Secret, for-your-eyes-only proposed budget plan.

Since the Senate Republicans rejected the Governor’s Executive Order to balance the current budget two weeks ago without, again, a plan of their own, they have been telling us they will soon have a plan to balance the budget with spending cuts alone. But exactly what those cuts will be is as big a secret as the parentage of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby. They are keeping those cuts from the public for as long as possible.

According to subscription only Gongwer News Service, "Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop was preparing today to send a letter to Governor Jennifer Granholm calling for a face-to-face meeting to outline the proposal that apparently calls for as much as $500 million in cuts."

Hey Mike, this is the most important issue facing the state, and time is of the essence because we are already half way through the current budget year. Pick up the dam phone and call the Governor. Do you have a cell phone?

Gongwer went on to say, “The letter was not apparently sent on Monday, but that it was being prepared was the most public aspect of the proposal gained so far. The proposal has so far been held so secret not even all members of 21-member caucus have seen the plan, according to sources.”
“Only GOP members of the Appropriations Committee have seen the full proposal, the sources, who did not wish to be identified, said, and even then they are being told not to write any of it down to keep it as confidential as possible.” (If they did they would have to eat the paper to dispose of it, and it will self-destruct in 30 seconds)
“And a spokesperson for Mr. Bishop said the hope on the part of the GOP is to begin negotiations with Ms. Granholm in closed sessions before making the proposal public.”

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus ran a teaser in its breaking news section that said, “State Sen. Valde Garcia, R-Marion Township, (A member of the Senate Appropriations Committee) told the Press & Argus today that the senate plan called on program cuts and "one time fixes" that would buy time to solve the budget crisis.”

Gee, I wonder if this means Valde’s security clearance will be revoked for playing Deep Throat?

This cloak and dagger stuff is just ridiculous and sad. Show the public your alleged plan. It’s kind of funny that Bishop, an elected official, wants to meet in secret behind closed doors to talk about his cuts, but just a month ago Saul Anuzis, the chair of the Michigan Republic Party, was complaining that the Governor’s appointed Emergency Financial Advisory Panel was meeting behind closed doors. That makes him more than a hypocrite because no one on the panel was a current elected official.

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