This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Zoe Clark discuss calls for bi-partisanship in Lansing now that a new legislative session is underway. Do politicians really mean it though? Or are these calls for compromise just politics as usual?
Nice while it lasted
New Republican Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter opened the new legislative session last week with talk of a need for lawmakers to work together and resist “politics as usual.”
But this week, Cotter irked some Democrats when he named Pam Faris as minority chair of a powerful committee instead of the party’s top choice, Brandon Dillon.
Lessenberry said the move won’t have an impact on legislation, but it was a jab at Dillon.
“Dillon lead an effort to try and unseat Republicans, including Kevin Cotter,” Lessenberry said. “While it didn’t succeed, Cotter had a very close re-election.”
This week, Republican Representative Todd Courser posted his own response to Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address, a move typically reserved for members of the non-sitting party.
Courser’s “Liberty Response” called out Snyder’s plans for Michigan’s government as “unsustainable” and “detrimental to families.”
Lessenberry likened Courser to controversial Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema.
“[Courser and Agema] don’t care much about Republican prospects,” he said. “They care about their own agenda.”
So there's a chance?
Gov. Snyder’s last-minute plan to fix Michigan’s roads through a tax hike received support from both Republicans and Democrats.
If voters reject the proposal in a special election this spring, lawmakers could be back at the drawing board.
Lessenberry said that might be what the state’s politicians need to learn to work together.
“If you have people mutinying and marching on Lansing with pitchforks and burning torches, demanding the roads be fixed, [politicans] may be forced into [bipartisanship],” he said.
-Rebecca Kruth, Michigan Radio Newsroom