Otto von Bismark, Germany’s first chancellor, has been credited with this famous quote:
“If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.”
The process is messy! And many times, even harder to watch is seeing laws hammered through quickly in a legislative lame-duck session. That’s what is underway right now in Lansing. The majority party is trying to change laws, some that would limit the power of incoming leaders, others that would amend newly passed statewide referendums. Naturally, many voters and elected officials waiting to take control cry, “Foul!”
Historically, both political parties have done it. But these kind of backroom games is what has angered voters and soured them on the political process.
To be fair, sometimes what happens in lame-duck helps to improve laws so that they are genuinely in the best interest of the state. But other times, lame-duck is a petty and partisan period where politicians seem to enjoy thumbing their noses at the voters.
Thankfully, there is a potential safeguard against excess from either party. The sitting Governor can often veto a bill with the single stroke of an ink pen! Whatever happens this season in lame-duck, we urge Governor Snyder to use his remaining power to act in non-partisan fashion. Do what is truly in the best long-term interest of Michigan, not the short-term interests of partisan lawmakers, many of whom will not return to Lansing next year to be accountable to the people of this great state.
Channel 7 and the voters are watching. Remember, lawmakers, life is full of choices so let your conscience be your guide. If you aren’t careful, the citizens or the courts of law may make you reap what you sow!
I’m Chuck Stokes, Editorial Director
Broadcast: December 6 - 9, 2018