Lansing plays same tired politics

Petoskey News Review

Our View

Every couple years the doors open to our editorial board for a new crop of future lawmakers on the campaign trail.

Between a series of questions and a few bruised egos we get to know the political minds of those who would like to represent us.

Funny thing, though, in 2010, every candidate told us the same thing. They said verbatim the most important issue in Michigan was “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Maybe it’s something found in the “How to” campaign brochure. We’re not sure. But, it seemed they all thought adding some jobs in Michigan would be a sound idea.

That’s why fast forward a year and we are left scratching our heads about how the legislature is voting on any legislation attempting to building a new commerce route into Detroit.

The New International Trade Crossing, formerly the Detroit River International Crossing, died its second legislative death recently — despite being the top item on Gov. Rick Snyder’s agenda.

A bill to bring the bridge plan to the full Senate failed, largely because it lacked enough payouts for the suburb that would be losing homes to build such a bridge to gain Democratic support.

House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, told reporters on the PBS news program “Off the Record” the legislation was unlikely to get picked up by representatives in the House chamber this year.

So, we could still be in 2009, with Gov. Jennifer Granholm at the helm and a gridlocked Legislature when it comes to adding a new bridge in Detroit. But, we’re not. Voters resoundingly called for something different by electing Republicans en masse last election cycle. Unfortunately, we find Lansing playing the same tired politics when it comes to helping industry in Detroit.

It’s unfortunate. The new class legislators who seemed bent to pass a business-friendly budget balanced with cuts to education and new taxes on senior pensions is now going turn their backs on infrastructure and international trade.

They are also turning their backs on the businesses making up the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance — composed of chambers in Alpena, Benzie County, Cadillac, Charlevoix, Petoskey and Traverse City — who have supported the creation of a new Detroit-Windsor bridge. They also ignore the Detroit Chamber of Commerce and the politically potent Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s endorsements, in favor of a handful of campaign contributions from Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Maroun and knowledge his political action committee won’t target them in the future.

So, Gov. Rick Snyder will likely propose a way of bypassing the House and Senate to build the crossing, and lawmakers will line up to shout about how he is upending the democratic process. But, if this is how government works in Michigan, can you blame him?