Oct 16, 2009
GOP following the script in the Senate race in the 19th District
Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, called it right back in July when in a letter to the House GOP caucus he pushed for the Michigan State Police headquarters to be the major campaign issue in the 2010 election.
Mike Nofs is following that advice like a script in the race for the vacant seat in the 19th State Senate District next month that will be a preview of the 2010 race. Nofs is running against Rep. Martin Griffin, D-Jackson.
Nofs is running a TV commercial on Lansing TV stations staged with the under construction MSP HQ in downtown Lansing in the background where he spouts the lie that the layoff of 100 State troopers was because of the project.
That is simply not true, and he knows it.
The Republicans are trying to rewrite history and ignore the facts. They are completely ignoring the history of the project. The HQ was first requested by former GOP Gov. John Engler. The original draft of the project, under Engler, drew initial opposition from State Police and Military and Veterans Affairs officials some 10 years ago because the proposal attempted to move some of the emergency management operations into downtown Lansing but did not provide room for the vehicle and other storage needed. It was also too large and luxurious.
After changes were made to make the building smaller, it met the approval of State Police Director Peter Munoz, and Governor Jennifer Granholm requested the building.
The project was then 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 committee consists of members from both parties from both the House and Senate. The lease was then approved by the State Administrative Board. Munoz said he supports project, as does the State Police Troopers Association.
The State Administrative Board 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 State Administrative Board has general supervisory control over the administrative activities of all state departments and agencies, including, but not limited to, the approval of contracts and leases, oversight of the state capitol outlay process and the settlement of claims against the state.
The project also brings the State Police into compliance with a constitutional provision requiring that state departments be headquartered in Lansing and with Governor Jennifer Granholm's executive directive (2003-22) that state offices, where possible, be located in central business districts. Michigan State Police want the building back where the majority of the MSP is currently headquartered. Michigan State University wants the building back where the majority of the MSP is currently headquartered.
Nofs then pushed the standard GOP lie that the lease for the new, modern HQ will cost taxpayers $4 million a year more than the current HQ, but that lie ignores two facts. It ignores the fact that it costs in the millions to maintain the current HQ MSU plans to tear down as soon as the MSP leaves, and that the plan is to now buy the building with bonds.
Vote for Martin Griffin on Nov. 3 for some honesty.