Posted in the Grayling Forum
#1 Oct 21, 2007
Michigan now has the distinct honor of having the highest unemployment rate in the United States.
This is partly due to the new taxes that the Legislators and the Governor has pushed on the State and their refusal to cut spending for pet projects that could be set aside until the State is in a better financial situation.
One example this is the new State Police Headquarters in Lansing.
With Michigan in a budget crisis for fiscal year 2008 of 1.7 billion that still is being debated in the Michigan House and a projected short fall next year the State has decided to sign a 25 year no bid contract lease with a friend and supporter of the Governor for 116.7 million dollars.
The State could do it on itís own for 45 million.
Letís look at the facts.
Since 1943, the headquarters has been housed in a compound of 10 buildings on the campus of Michigan State. The long-term lease there is good for 23 more years costing taxpayers just a dollar-a-year.
Thereís a heliport on the grounds, ample parking and plenty of room to stage big emergency operations.
The buildings are 75 years old but well maintained.
The Governor claims that Michigan State University has requested the building back and that the brass at State Police headquarters in Lansing asked for a new building, said it was cramped and falling down around them.
But here is where this deal appears to be wrong.
The new building will be located on the banks of the Grand River and will have no heliport and limited parking.
MSU officials say they have never asked for the old building back but they did get a letter asking what they would do with them if they became available.
The State Police claims they have not asked for a new building, never said it was cramped, or falling down around them and the troopers union once called it a boondoggle and still doesnít support it.
The Governor claims that this project was started by former governor Engler but why is she pushing this deal through now and with a contract that benefits her friend and campaign contributor?
The lease has already been signed but ground has not yet been broken but thereís a clause buried in the lease that says if the legislature doesnít appropriate money to pay the lease when the building is ready, the lease is broken with no penalty to taxpayers.
The Michigan people need to put a stop to this deal.
Our governor and the legislators have been playing politics on every issue and getting nothing done in the process.
It has gotten to the point where it is common practice for one party to blackmail the other in order to get taxes raised and we the citizens are not being represented in Lansing.
I can tell you this much, if I am elected as a State Representative I will fight to stop the State Police building deal.
And the first time another Representative on either side or the Governor tells me if that I donít vote for a bill they will cut funding to schools in my district they will walk away with a boot stuck where the sun doesnít shine!
Sincerely, Everett Swift
Candidate for State Representative, District 106
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