Mr. No

There appears to have been a lull these past few days in the public barb-trading during our state’s budget debacle. Last week Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) took a break to appear on OTR with Tim Skubick.

He said many things during his appearance.

  • He used the tried and true line that Republicans the country over recite, “We have a spending problem, not a taxing problem.” (Someone must have forgotten to tell President Bush and Congressional Republicans.)
  • About our governor he said, “She has some credibility problems.” (This from the man who claims he isn’t bound by the Tax Pledge he signed for Grover Norquist, but has yet to actually vote for a tax increase.)
  • About the $300 million the Senate recently cut in a hissy fit from the 21st Century Jobs Fund, he said he doesn’t want to throw money at start-up companies. (Wouldn’t want to encourage job creation when the state is losing jobs.)
  • “I don’t think we’re inflexible at all,” was his take on the Senate Republicans’ position. (So far his answer to every request for tax increases or revenue enhancements is “no.”)

Then to top it off he accused Governor Granholm of bringing “Wayne County politics” to the Capitol. So now it’s Wayne County’s fault that the budget hasn’t been set just yet?

Bishop has claimed that he, House Speaker Dillon, and Governor Granholm all had a budget agreement in place last week. But then apparently Granholm back-stabbed him by saying there was no agreement. That’s where he blames Wayne County politics.

Don’t forget though that Bishop, Dillon, and Granholm originally agreed on roughly $300 million in cuts through the Governor’s executive order back in March. Then shortly afterward without floor debate, Bishop rammed through over $377 million in cuts to Education and millions more to other programs, and then the Republicans walked away, declaring victory. Of course, the Democrats in the House killed those cuts. (It was the first time that Senate Republicans had even revealed their plan…and it was done under the cover of night…so no one could see what they were doing. Not exactly the method of the proud.)

Right after House Democrats passed their MBT to replce the SBT in a revenue-neutral move, Bishop suddenly unveiled his plan that would bring in over $600 million less than the SBT. So far, neither plan has moved very far beyond the original chamber in which it was passed.

Senator Bishop has an interesting resume. He is fluent in Spanish, having earned a degree in that language at University of Michigan, and also studying abroad for a period of time at the Universidad de Sevilla. He has also studied international law and business at Cambridge University in England and the University of Paris-Sorbonne in France. That’s pretty impressive. It’s not something the average college student is able to do.

It indicates remarkable academic success. Lately, he hasn’t had much legislative success. (But then again neither have the Democrats.) That hasn’t stopped the Senate Leader from planning for his own future. He appears to have his eyes on a bigger prize.

Bishop’s former aid Dennis Darnoi owns the domain names bishopforgovernor.com and bishopforgovernor.org.

What can expect from a Bishop for Governor candidacy? I can see his campaign commercial already:

[cue unflattering picture of Andy Dillon]
A deep male voice says, “He told House Speaker Andy Dillon ‘no.’
[cue picture of Michigan State Capitol building]
He told Senate Democrats ‘no’
[remain on picture of Michigan State Capitol building]
He told House Democrats ‘no’
[cue unflattering picture of Governor Granholm]
He told Governor Jennifer Granholm, ‘no.’
[Fade to black, then show word “NO” in white letters]
And he’ll tell you, the people of Michigan, ‘no’, too.
[cue smiling portrait of Mike Bishop]
Mike Bishop for Governor, ‘No’ Means ‘No.’”

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