Lansing bi-partisanship

In fall press releases and public forums, my state senator VanderWall laments Gov. Whitmer's use of her line-item veto power, seeing it "as a politically motivated decision" (with three projects in Republican districts removed from consideration). Welcome to Political Science 101, senator! Because of gerrymandering, our state legislature has been disproportionately under the control of Republicans (with leaders like VanderWall and State House Speaker Chatfield, from predominantly rural districts). And, they're still stonewalling the implementation of the constitutional amendment (passed by 61 percent of voters last fall) to correct that bane on our democracy.

Unlike those self-interest-driven GOP individuals, our Democratic governor (elected by almost a half-million more votes than her opponent) is acting in the interests of all Michiganders. Her modus-operandi (from years of both state house and senate leadership) is to strike deals with "bargaining chips" that may, indeed, have a negative impact on legislative power-brokers' districts. The flurry of Republican lame-duck bills, just prior to Whitmer becoming governor, was their opening salvo — made only worse by them sending along a budget without her input. Any wonder she's now using all the powers at her disposal? Getting things done in Lansing requires bi-partisanship, rather than demonizing the governor.

David Johnson


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