Governor Snyder: Optimism or disconnect (audio)
Governor Rick Snyder has been in office for six months. And according to him, things are getting back on track. But is there disconnect between the Governor’s optimism and how his policies are being received by Michiganders.
Michigan Radio's Jenn White talks with Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants.
Demas says generally pessimism does not fare well for politicians, and she points to former Governor Jennifer Granholm's optimism about the state of Michigan, no matter how bad things got. But Demas says it's all about what we want Michigan to be now.
"If we want Michigan to be a state that has lower business taxes and leaner budgets, and forces public employees to make very tough choices, then you're going to be happy with the direction that Governor Snyder is putting the state in. But if this is not what we want Michigan to be then I think the positive talk is going to be seen as very out of touch. And it's going to be up to voters to decide where they really want things to be."
Sikkema adds that if the economy goes south and unemployment goes up then the debate about competing visions for Michigan could be a challenge for Republicans. Sikkema says:
"In my judgment it's not about so much about Rick Snyder in 2014, it's about house republicans in 2012. If by some reason they actually lost the majority next year I think it's devastating for this agenda... it stops this agenda in its tracks.
-Mercedes Mejia, Michigan Radio News