Jul 13, 2007

House Republicans launch campaign events disguised as town hall meetings at taxpayer expense

House Republicans are beginning to show their frustration over being in the minority for a scant six months. A recent AP story said “A frustrated group of state House Republicans” plan to tour the state and host a series of public task force meetings.

Are they kidding? The only thing they are frustrated over is losing control of the House in November after ruling it with an iron fist for a decade. Instead of addressing the projected $1.8 million budget deficit they took a two-week vacation this month. Apparently, they spent the vacation plotting for political gain instead of addressing the state’s problems. This has to be the PR move of PR moves from a party that’s all show and no substance.

House Republicans will form panels to travel the state and talk about government restructuring, small business development, tourism, child protection and border security issues including immigration. The group's public task force meetings will begin this month.

Another obvious question is what do Republicans know about child protection, and since when is immigration a state issue? Another question is will these alleged town hall meetings follow the tradition of Bush Republicans town hall meetings where the audience is carefully screened, and if anyone exhibits any tendency of sanity and non-support of Republicans they will be rudely escorted out? Will they be put in “free speech zones” where they can’t bother anyone? Only time will tell.

This has to be the most absurd quote of the entire short article.

"Lansing is dysfunctional," House Republican Leader Craig DeRoche said in a statement. DeRoche has been critical of the Democratic-run House for inaction. Democrats gained control in the House after last November's elections.

Let’s talk about that alleged inaction. They balanced the current budget that had a deficit of $800 million, adopted the Single Business Tax (SBT) that Republicans irresponsibly ended early in a move to look good on the campaign trail, ended immunity for drug companies if their drugs kill or maim the people who take them, slowed down the glut of Canadian and out-of-state trash by banning landfills from expanding until 2011 and raised the absurdly low tipping fees and adopted some lobbying and campaign finance reform.

You also need to remember how the Republicans oppressively ruled the House when they controlled it just six months ago. They were so heavy-handed and so soured the relations between the two parties that they refused Democrats even the commons courtesy of giving Democrats a daily agenda of House actions, they completely shut out Democrats from the process, especially ones in seats they targeted.

Democrats gave the minority a voice again by bringing back actual debate on the House floor, and the Speaker has given both sides of the aisle the same allotment of money to each member to maintain their offices and provide office staff. If this crap from the Republicans keeps up the Democrats might as well treat the Republicans like the Democrats were treated when they were in the minority if they are going to be accused of it.

There’s no schedule – at least publicly – of where and when these “town hall” meetings will be held, but by guessing what these campaign events are really about, I’ll bet they will be held only in House districts where the Republicans have targeted that seat, proving this is just a PR, campaign appearance just like Bush’s staged town hall meetings at taxpayer expense. Anyone want to take that bet?


Johnny C said...

The funny thing about this Guru, the MI GOP is whinning about inaction it was them that allow Engler to suck the state dry for 12 long years and when the fat man regin ended in 02 they played dead weight for the first four years of Granholm term. I wouldn't mind sitting in one of these town hall meetings just to see how much BS they throw at Granholm and the Dems. But I'm sensing they're going to blame Granholm and the Dems for everything from the job market woes to the Detroit Lions.

Communications guru said...

I agree. The Senate has obstructed all progress since Gov. Granholm took office, and they even sat on legislation sent to them from the House when the Republicans controlled it. What makes anyone think they are going to do better with bills coming from the House Democrats? Bishop’s No. 1 goal just seems to make the governor look bad. I would love to go to one of their campaign events too, but I got a feeling the invitations will come through GOP channels. I also doubt one will happen in my county because it’s solidly Republican. I’ll guarantee some will be held in Monroe and Northville just to name a few off the top of my head.

Chet said...

"sat on legislation sent to them when the house was controlled by R's"

Sounds like checks and balances to me. Just like Democrats need other Democrats to keep them in check sometimes from themselves (BTW, the Dems have some members who have "obstructed" the Governor on taxes, as you label it), so to do Republicans.

I love how tax increases are equated automatically with "progress". Sorry folks - but its what you do with the money that is progress or regress. I support government spending - and hence revenue - for compelling reasons. At least more compelling than the efficiency with which I know I and others can use it themselves. Show me what's compelling.

What's not compelling is a 25% raise for Lou Anna Simonand average 5.8% raise for the top 555 Michigan State University employees that comes at the expense of the other 11,000.

What spending programs have the R's "obstructed" that you think makes them evil. Ultimately, taxes are sort of irrelevant (except that when you tax more government psychology finds more ways to spend it - hence the psychology of tax resisters to resist it all) -- if spending is held in check there is little (real) need for tax increases. So the debate should be on why you think your spending is important.

Communications guru said...

I have no idea where you got the idea that I said the r’s obstructed any spending programs. The legislation I had in mind that was blocked – and talked about in a previous post – was the so-called campaign finance reform the House Republicans passed last year and sent to the Senate. I don’t know how you can call it a check or balance when it was not even taken up by the Senate to allow a vote on it.

As for your example of an alleged 25 percent pay raise for an MSU employee I don’t know anything about it. I also don’t see the relevance, nor do I even understand your sentence.