I will make an arbitrary decision here. If the questions appear to consistently generate lengthy answers, we will take only one per day and that is apparently the case with the first question.
Question #1: Should the State Police move into the new building?
Mike Bouchard says
"I want more troopers on the road, not fewer troopers and a new building. Three years ago this project should have been scrapped. What good is a state of the art building without the troopers? Media reports estimate that moving into the new state police headquarters will cost roughly $4 to $5 million, which equates to 40-50 additional troopers on the road.
The facts are clear: Michigan leads the Midwest in violent crime today and we have the least number of police officers per capita. Michigan has lost nearly 2100 police officers since 2001. Did Granholm and Cherry really think opening a new building and dumping 100 state troopers was the right decision?"
Mike Cox says
"State Police asked for this headquarters. This process has involved two gubernatorial administrations, the Michigan State Legislature, numerous boards and commissions, and the constant coordination and advice of the Michigan State Police.
Many reasonable and thoughtful people have vehemently opposed the new State Police headquarters. I stand with them in their opposition to seemingly out of control state spending and misguided priorities. There is no doubt - it doesn't make much sense for the State Police to move into a pristine new facility at the same time the state is laying off State Troopers. However, this headquarters was the request of the State Police Department.
Earlier this year, my office issued a letter of advice to the legislature which stated that the state could break its 25 year lease on the building by simply not appropriating dollars to fund its obligation.
Just because the state can break the lease, doesn't mean that it should. Businesses in Michigan should be able to count on the state to fulfill its obligations. Our state government is too unpredictable as it is, most notably the fact that the State of Michigan does not have a budget and residents and businesses are in the dark as to what their full tax burden will be for the upcoming fiscal year. In these tough times, businesses shouldn't have to worry about whether or not the state will be an honest broker in multi-million dollar contracts. Doing so would make it more difficult to the state to attract new job providers and developments.
The issue was debated, all voices were heard, and the matter was ultimately decided. The State Police have asked for a new facility and it has been approved. The state ought to live up to its word."
Senator Tom George, MD says
"No. It is inappropriate that the state is purchasing a new state police headquarters during this time of fiscal crisis and budget cuts. The previous headquarters was leased for $1 per year. The fifty million dollar purchase price (seventy million, when interest is fully paid) could have been better used to provide state police services, such as processing the backlog of evidence that has accumulated in the state police crime labs.
Funding for the new headquarters came up at two different times for a vote in the Senate and each time I voted against this funding proposal."
Rick Snyder says
"Considering the current budget crisis this was the wrong time to invest in a new building. Decisions like this by the Cherry/Granholm administration clearly show that special interests were put ahead of the interests and needs of our customers, the citizens of Michigan. We need to reform the budget system so it shows value for money, prioritizes results, engages citizens and is done via a multi-year process."
Our kick off -
And Fact #5 on Planned Parenthood:
PP accuses Right to Life of not caring about the teen pregnancy rate in Jackson. Remind people that their Form 990 (for PP Mid-Michigan Alliance of which Jackson is a part) for 2005-2006 shows $5.3 million in "medical services" yet only $331,000 on education (a mere 6% of the medical services.) They are in business to profit from abortion not to education on preventing teen pregnancy.