Skubick: Is 'pot for potholes' a real consideration?

Even if you did not indulge during the drug-ravaged 70s, you must admit the slogan is a dandy: Pot for Potholes.

With 64 percent of the citizens saying they would vote to tax marijuana to fix the roads compared to only 43 percent who would raise the sales tax to do it, maybe the governor should take a second look at his May ballot proposal.

Of course, he can't 'cause that dye is already cast and plus he doesn't like the other idea.

"I don't see marijuana being the solution…" he opines after getting a peak at the first statewide poll on how to fix the roads.

The survey was conducted for a pro-marijuana coalition and when asked about the sales tax, 49 percent said forget it. 

Now the governor is correct, "we're early in the process," but his proposal is underwater. Normally if you are pushing any ballot proposition you want support in the high 60s so that when the opposition starts to bang away, there is room for your support to come down but still not fall below 50 percent needed for passages.

The CPA governor rejects the popular wisdom saying, "I've never necessarily subscribed to conventional wisdom…."

Either way, if the survey is right, he's got a real challenge and one group that might help him has already bailed out.

If the sales tax passes, there's a $200 per pupil increase that goes to the schools. So wouldn't you think the teacher's union would be all over this?

Think again.

"We don't have the money," reports Steve Cook who runs the largest teacher's union, the Michigan Education Association.

He indicates the union is coming off an expensive election last fall and when Republicans blocked the schools from collecting union dues for Mr. Cook and friends, that forced the union to shell out its own money to do it. Hence he adds in case the governor missed it the first time, "The cupboard is bare."

The MEA may urge a yes vote next May, but the governor needs cold hard cash in addition.

But back to the survey. There isn't one age group that backs the sales tax hike. It is most popular, 49 percent, with those between 18 and 34, but everybody knows they're way too busy fiddling with their iPhones to vote.

Not even women, who are usually sympathetic to schools, back the governor.

The governor will not let the 49 percent no vote get him down.

"It doesn't deter me," he optimistically asserts as he hobbles along to prove the popular wisdom wrong.
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