May 6, 2010

Editorial board reluctantly criticizes GOP

It’s rare when the rightwing editorial board of the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus comes out with an editorial critical of a Republican, but it’s hard to ignore the blatant partisan, political games played by Senate Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop in unilaterally rejecting appointments Gov. Jennifer Granholm made to six university boards for terms that begin the day she leaves office with no hearings.

Newspapers all over the state have seen through the vindictiveness and pettiness of the action and spoke out, so again, it was hard for the paper to ignore it. Still, the editorial board used it to take shots at the Legislature in general while ignoring the real problem.

You will recall last month that in the middle of budget negotiations, the Senate Republican used two session days to ping the Governor. Granholm made the bipartisan appointments on April 7, and she followed previous precedent set by former Republican Gov. John Engler in making the same type of appointments. But on April 29, the Senate rejected them in mass with no advise and consent hearings along party lines.

Of course, the paper defended the action, at least at first.

“On the very thin veneer of the surface is this issue: Bishop might have a point. He says the governor, who cannot run for re-election because of term limits, is making appointments that go into effect next January when a new governor — quite likely a Republican — will be in office.”

But in the end, they could not ignore the political games of the GOP, but they managed to dam the entire Legislature for the actions of the Republicans.

“But it doesn’t take much digging to uncover a widespread belief that Bishop’s ploy has less to do with good government and more to do with another chance to stick it to the other party. Sometimes it appears as though political gamesmanship is the only skill to be found in Lansing politicians.”

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