Jul 31, 2009

Jones plays ‘stinky’ politics with MSP HQ

LANSING – If anyone had any doubts or needed anymore evidence that the almost complete Michigan State Police headquarters in downtown Lansing is nothing but a campaign issue for Republicans, the Lansing State Journal published a letter from Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, to the House GOP caucus where he told them this can be the issue that wins back the House for Republicans and threatened them if they did vote for it.

You will recall that last month Sen. Cameron Brown, R-Sturgis, and a GOP candidate for Secretary of State, managed to attach an amendment to the state police budget that kills the money for the lease payment on a new MSP HQ, set to be completed in the next couple of months. Despite the project going through all the proper steps and bipartisan approvals, Republicans are using it as a campaign issue and making the false claim that it was political payback from the Governor to one of the developers, Joel Ferguson.

Jones called it an “inside stinky deal” despite the fact that the project was approved on a bi-partisan vote by the Joint Capital Outlay Committee in 2007, as are all state building projects that do not require specific legislation. The lease was then approved by the State Administrative Board. that consists of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, the Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Director of the Department of Transportation. The project also went through the proper public bid process.

Jones claims that the “capitol outlay committee was not told all the facts,” but offers none of the facts that were allegedly absent, or that another opponent, Brown, spoke at the meeting. Everything the Republicans do in Lansing is done for political effect, not to benefit the people of Michigan, and Jones proved that. He outlined a campaign for taking back the House in 2010 using the HQ.

“By Oct. 1 we will cut every service and every program that is state funded. Everyone will be pissed,” he wrote.
“(Rep.) Pete Lund (R-Shelby Township) and (Rep) Paul Opsommer (R-DeWitt) where (sic) right when they said there should not be one republican vote for this thing. Imagine how this vote can be used. Picture a postcard with Granholm, (Rep.) Mike Simpson (D-Jackson), and the MSP building on front. On the back it could say: "They supported lining the pockets of developers with millions of dollars while 100 state troopers got laid off." "They supported wasting your tax dollars with a boondoggle that was not needed," "Throw the crooks out! It's time for a change!"

Stating with Jones.

Never mind that it’s a complete lie, and that has never stopped politicians like Jones, who is term-limited in 2010 and looking for his next political job.

Jones also confirmed all Republicans will use it in 2010. (SOS candidate Brown) “made it part of his statewide campaign (standing up to special interests) and (GOP Oakland County Sheriff Mike) Bouchard is going to make it part of his statewide governor campaign. Bouchard invited me to attend that conference. Senator Kahn simply wanted to tell you that returning senators will use the issue and keep it alive. Reporters like Steve Wilson will not let it die.”

He also threatened his fellow Republicans that did not toe the party line and dared to do the right thing and voted for honoring the contract the state made.
“I wish to warn you that if you vote for the MSP HQ lease, you may (sic) held accountable later,” Jones wrote.

They even plan to use it against Rep. Marty Griffin, D-Jackson, running for the vacant seat in the 19th State Senate District with the primary set for next week. It’s just one more political stunt in that race used by the GOP.
“Mike Nofs is beating the hell out of Marty Griffin with it already in their early senate race,” Jones wrote.

Jones even claims the developer threatened him through a lobbyist, and he made lots of false charges about the developer, saying, “the developer openly brags on the golf course about how he owns Lansing and can get away with anything. I heard today in a coffee shop from a businessman that the developer had said he already pocketed 5 million on the deal.”

What a class act Jones is.

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