Snyder struggling with Republican backing on his agenda

- Nobody keeps track of these things, but when interviewing the governor this happens a lot. You craft a perfect question to solicit a newsworthy response and you come away with a goose egg.

Gov. Rick Snyder once confided to a frustrated reporter that, "It's not my job to help you make news." Fair enough.

And a perfect example was during a year-end exit interview last December. The all-knowing citizenry had just elected a GOP legislature that was decidedly more conservative than the one leaving town, so the governor was asked if that would make life more difficult for him as the New Year unfolded.

Everyone in town knew the answer, but the governor, true to form, would not bite. "I know that the circling class in Lansing says that, but we have no evidence of that. So let's wait and see."

One year later, the waiting and seeing is over and the answer is, the conservatives have given the governor one headache after another. Now comes the biggest one of all.

Let's just say members of his own party are not falling all over themselves to deliver some critical "yes" votes to revamp the failing Detroit School system.

Last April the governor put into motion his plans to funnel $700 million plus state dollars into the deficit-ridden district and re-gigger the local school board and education hierarchy. Can you say lead-balloon?

For seven months the thing just laid there until the governor tried to jump start it a month or so ago.

More jumper cables please.

It's still on life support but the fight has only just begun.

GOP senator Geoff Hanson and a handful of senate Republicans are trying to win one for the gipper. Mr. Hanson and others have journeyed to Detroit to check out the mess and Mr. Hanson, from tiny Hart up near something or other, is sincere in his desire to help the kids in that city.

But others are not buying the gov's blueprint.

Rep. Tim Kelly is a key player. The Saginaw Republican chairs the House K-12 budget committee and he's not on board.

When reports surfaced the other day that the governor was making some major compromises with the Democrats to secure their votes, he commented on one element saying, "that doesn't do much for me nor the students in Detroit."

His reaction was to a key element in this debate. Who will elect the local board to make the tough decisions?

Originally, the governor proposed an appointed board that had two elected members picked by the public and eventually over six years the public would have elected all of the members.

Not again, came the response from Motown voters. Been there, done that and it didn't work as they have memories of another governor, John somebody-or-other who abolished the local board, appointed a state run board which tired to reform the system but that failed.

Reading the tea leaves this governor gave ground to an elected board from the get go.

Mr. Kelly doesn't want any school board. He wants to give parents a check and let them pick the school they want. In some parts they call that a voucher.

In other Democratic parts they call that hogwash.

And so you can clearly see as all this is teed-up, the governor will again need Democratic votes to pass his agenda as he cannot count on a myriad of Republicans to help him out, hich is what everybody last year, except the governor, predicted.

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