Apr 10, 2007

Somebody should tell the AG about the YMCA four blocks from his office

A great job by the Michigan Democratic Party’s uncovering of Republican Attorney General Mike Cox’s plan to build a personal gym at taxpayer expense.

MDP Chair Mark Brewer provided the media with the blueprints for the office that will go on the 7th Floor of the AG’s office in the G. Mennen Williams Building in downtown Lansing where Cox’s office is located and a receipt for the $60,000 worth of exercise equipment. Now, I give a lot of credit to Brewer and Communications Director Jason Moon for this fine piece of investigative journalism, but I wonder if one of the 22 legal secretaries who just got fired last month because of the budget crunch did not supply the material. That’s the big story; Cox’s is buying this unnecessary perk but laying people off.

“It looks like Cox was for his taxpayer-funded $60,000 personal gym before he was against it,” Brewer said. “How long is Cox going to try and cover-up his outrageous plans before he admits that he is lying? This is just another display of Cox’s arrogance at the expense of Michigan’s citizens.”

Rusty Hills, a spokesman for Cox, does a great job spinning the story, but he’s paid well for that. You may remember Hills as the former Chair of the Michigan Republican Party during the dark Engler years, so he is very good at spin.

According to the Detroit Free Press. Hills said the gym would be geared, initially at least, to the 37 gun-toting investigators on staff.
"We buy books for attorneys, we have no problem buying weights for cops," Hills said. "We want the cops on our payroll to be in better shape than the criminals they're chasing."

Here is perhaps on of the best quotes I have ever heard from a public official. Besides, Hills said, a gym is urgently needed: "Folks in state prison are lifting weights right now, as we speak."

Man, what a spin doctor.

I happen to be a big advocate of physical fitness, but why do I have to pay for a perk only they can use?

I have a friend that owns the Howell Fitness Center in Genoa Township, and he and his wife are big contributors to all kinds of community causes. Dale has worked out a deal with the Livingston County EMS that provides memberships at a big discount to all of the paramedics, and the county provides them to the paramedics for free. Dale also provides a discount to law enforcement personal.

Wouldn’t it be more cost effective and help local gyms if the AG’s office picked up a gym membership or paid a portion of it? How about the YMCA? They are an excellent non-profit organization, and Lansing has some excellent YMCA facilities. In fact there is an excellent YMCA at the corner of Ottawa and Washington Street in downtown Lansing, and it’s just a short four-block walk from the AG’s office.

The walk will do them good, and they will be in “better shape than the criminals they're chasing."


Anonymous said...

I agree with you on this one, Guru. Cox is a moron for trying to get this through.

Now, please justify for us why the "First Gentleman" Dan Mulhern needs a taxpayer-paid staff of four, including a chief of staff who earns $80,000 plus benefits?

I await your condemnation of this Democrat-sponsored waste of our money.

Communications guru said...

Who says he has a staff of four? The number seems to grow every time I hear this ploy. It has gone from two to three and now four is the highest I have heard so far. Also, what is he getting that the spouse of any other governor did not get?

virtuousWoman said...

I think all places of work should have gyms available for their staff and power naps too for all staff, not just the fortune 500 executives. When regular folk have access to gyms then the Attorney General can have one too. In the meantime his staff should walk up and down the stairs more often. Sorry Mike, but the rest of us need some help too.

Truth In Journalism (and politics) said...

Perhaps if you could interrupt the backpatting of Mark Brewer for his "fine piece of investigative journalism" for a few minutes, you could review the actual facts and correct Brewer's false allegations that the gym is planned for the 7th floor where AG Cox's office is located, and that it is to be funded by the taxpayers. The proposed gym would be on the first floor --as far away from the AGs office as possible -- and would be privately funded. This was a cheap and baseless political stunt by Mark Brewer and should be recognized as such.

It does no good to have a much needed watchdog for the right wing propaganda outlets such as Fox News if the watchdog surrenders its own credibility in the same fashion. Nor does it do any good to applaud Mark Brewer for adopting the same low standards as the Republican Party. We should aspire to be better than that for ourselves and our country. There is plenty of real material to use against Republicans without resorting to fantasy and cheap stunts.

Communications guru said...

Perhaps if you could interrupt your alibi and spin for Mike Cox for a few minutes you could review the actual facts and actually show me one of your facts. You are simply taking Cox’s word after he got busted, and his word should at the very minimum be treated with some skepticism. His spin doctor has no idea how the gym will be funded, but we are supposed to believe with no doubts that he told his staff in January it would be paid for with private donations. Prove it.

You have not shown one fact that the taxpayer funded-gym is not planned for the 7th floor of his office; Actually, I don’t see what difference it makes if it's planned for the 7th, 1st or the basement. The newspaper and Brewer did what it was supposed to do by serving its watchdog function, and the publicity caused Cox to actually begin requiring private donations. I have not seen one shred of evidence to suggest any other alternative. Cox also claims he only has $29,000 raised so far, but he orders $60,000 worth of gym equipment.

I fail to see how calling attention to something Cox was planning and the publicity stopping is a “cheap stunt” or a “fantasy.”

Anonymous said...


Mike Cox proposes spending $58,000 on gym equipment, and you go ballistic.

Speaker Dillon and Rep. Gillard propose spending $36 million on iPods - after taking a trip to Apple headquarters, paid for by Apple - and you don't say a word.

Here's your problem: When a Republican does something dumb, you report it. When a Democrat does something dumb, you ignore it. That makes you a hypocrite.

At least on Dan's blog, he has the integrity to criticize Republicans when they deserve it.

Communications guru said...

Sorry, the so-called “Ipod for every Michigan student” story has been debunked. And even if it were true, that’s an investment in education that will pay dividends to the entire state. Even if it was true, the contract would be bid out, and Apple is not the only company that makes MP3 players. Apple paid for some of the trip, and what about the Republicans who also made the trip? Cox’s attempt to bilk taxpayers would only benefit a few people, and there are more cost effective ways for him to accomplish his worthy goal of ensuring his police officers are in good physical condition.

I have never gone “ballistic,” who-ever-you-are.” You lost all credibility when you claim your boy dan’s blog criticizes republicans, or try to claim he has any integrity. This is a liberal blog, and I’m going to continue to shed light on Republicans and conservatives shortcomings, and that leaves me little time to do anything else. I have never, ever claimed to be nonpartisan on this blog, so there’s no way I can be a hypocrite.

I post on other rightwing blogs, like “rightmichigan,” and when you post a comment they can’t refute they simply delete it and claim it was “filthy.” I could do the same here, but that has never happened here and never will.

Besides, why would I care what someone who doesn’t even have the courage to take ownership of what they write and posts anonymously thinks of me?

Anonymous said...

Soooooo, what you're saying is:

1. They never proposed this plan.

2. If they did propose it, it was a good plan.

Brilliant argument there, Guru.

And I hate to break it to you, but they did propose this. Nothing has been "debunked." Rep. Gillard, a Democrat, held up an iPod at a press conference last week and said, "We want every student in Michigan to have one of these."

Communications guru said...

That’s exactly what I’m saying because its try, who-ever-you-are. Sorry, it has been debunked, but the truth has never been an impediment for the republic party to spread lies. I want every kid in Michigan to have an Ipod too, but the $38 million line item for new technology will not cover it, so it was never a proposal. Brilliant use of the word soooo, by the way.

Vicki said...

Don't you people have any sense at all? Mike Cox is probably one of the greatest elected officials Michigan ever had.
Quit spreading rumors and lies, the way you do against all members of the GOP. The Republicans deserve your respect and gratitude.

Communications guru said...

Right. Point out to me one accomplishment Mike Cox has every achieved for the citizens of Michigan.

If I am spreading so many lies it would be so easy to disprove them, but that has not happened. In fact, I challenge you to do so instead of acting like the troll that you are and actually engage in some real debate.