TIM SKUBICK: Snyder stays mum when it comes to disclosure
With nothin’ going on in town Progress Michigan filled some empty space last week with a new video to the tune of Silent Night berating the governor for being silent on a variety of issues. Welcome to the world of covering Gov. Rick Snyder and trying to weasel something of him that even remotely resembles something newsworthy.
The liberal leaning folks at P.M. wondered where the governor was on Marriage Equality, women’s health care, equal pay for equal work for females, and his inability to nail the number of jobs that his Right to Work law created. He has no figure. “It’s tough to quantify,” he brushed away the legitimate inquiry.
But the list does not end there. What about Medical Marijuana and its son of issue, decriminalization of grass? What about using the computer to take the politics out of legislative redistricting? And you name pretty much any social wedge issue, and you use to get this from the governor: “It’s not on my agenda.”
That, as they say in the biz, is now inoperative given that RTW wasn’t on is agenda but somehow it made to his agenda and his desk where he signed it.
So now, his standard line to rebuff inquisitive reporters, is “I’m focused on jobs and bringing Michigan back” which is Snyder-ezze for “you can ask me as many times as you want, but there is no way I’m going to give you a straight and revealing answer.”
The governor acknowledged the other day that such a “no-talk-no-tell” attitude does make it “more challenging” for reporters to do their jobs, but that’s not his worry. In fact awhile ago he informed one reporter that it was not the governor’s job “to help you make news.”
And, of course, he is correct but what about the poor voters who want to know what this man stands for?
All you have to do is look at his first campaign for governor when he refused to say diddily squat about what he would do if he was elected except in general and unrevealing sound bites.
“I promise to re-invent Michigan.”
“We must change the culture in Lansing.”
“We must do more for education.”
Well, you get the point. There was no meat on any of those bones which is just the way he wanted it three years ago.
If he did not lay out any specifics, there was no way for the electorate to judge whether they liked his policies.
Just imagine had he disclosed before the election that he would boost the pension tax on some seniors?
Democrat Virg Bernero would today be the happiest governor in the nation.
Suffice it to say, not getting dragged into a back and forth on this hot-button issue or that is totally consistent with the goverenor’s perception of his role. “You elected me to run the state” and he sees any diversion into other issues as counter to that objective.
For example, the other day when he was asked about running for president.
“That’s way out...that’s just wild,” he laughed off the speculation.
Well if he was not interested, when given the chance to say, “I will not run for President,” he punted.
“I see no value in that,” he demurred.
“Why not just take it off the table” by saying that, the silly reporter tried to get blood out of a turnip.
He explained it would just be a distraction and counter to his objective to “stay on message” about bringing Michigan back. And so it goes with Richard Dale Snyder. Progress Michigan can run all the cute videos it wants, and he won’t budge an inch. And likely Democratic challenger Mark Scahuer will try to press him. Lots of luck with that.
The only true way to smoke him out is to have the electorate tell him, it will not vote for him unless he does some self-disclosure. Voters didn’t do it last time. Why the heck would they demand it this time?
The governor is hoping you won’t.