Where was the Gov?
Gov. Rick Snyder earns high marks for his willingness to meet with the media. Accessibility has seldom been a problem.
So it was unusual last week just after the senate vote to raise the gas tax to fix the roads, that the chief executive did not scrum with reporters which he has routinely done after an important vote.
Just like Elvis, his handlers announced that the governor had left the building just moments after the controversial vote.
It's known that he was in his office earlier because he had at least one GOP senator, Judy Emmons, in there as he wanted her vote on the road fix plan.
Perhaps he had an important meeting to attend or something else on his scheduled to explain the unusual departure.
Or was it this? He was not enamored with all of the elements in the package namely the $700 million in cuts which senate Republicans blindly approved without knowing where the cuts would be made.
The governor's own lobbyist and former lt. governor Dick Posthumus conceded before the vote, "well we're never comfortable going all that way." But not to offend any of the Rs he quickly added the administration was pleased with what he terms, "a lot of great things in it." He broadly hinted there might be some changes along the way but neither he nor the governor were ready to bat that around in public just yet.
After all this Plan B is not a done deal and a long ways from it.
Betting money is the governor is willing to slice about $400 million out of state spending to fix the roads, but not much more than that. It is one-time money which means he can not count on it in the out years of the road fix plan.
The governor also opposes any attempt to derail the tax credit for needy families but some Republican disagree with the boss. Over his objections weeks ago the House Rs eliminated the yearly $135 stipend.
And it looked like the senate Rs would do the same thing but at the 11 th hour, leadership waved the death penalty for the Earned Income Tax credit allowing it to survive for another day.
Don't be mislead, the governor is happy with the gas tax piece of the plan because it is a steady stream of road dollars for the next 17 years. He could have told the media that he was on board, but then reporters would have pumped him about the other elements he did not like.
So the theory is rather than face a barrage of those questions and run the risk of offending some Republicans, the governor left the capitol instead. If that was the truth, it was a good strategy. This governor has been in hot water before for remarks aimed at lawmakers which complicated his efforts to round up votes on Medicaid expansion.
Anybody remember, take a vote, not a vacation?