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Posted on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Snyder will face big challenges, strong opponents if he runs in 2014

By Tom Watkins

Rick Snyder at rally.jpg

Governor Rick Snyder

Ryan Stanton |

We are less than two years away from the time when Governor Rick Snyder will stand for re-election. He has indicated he wants eight years to re-invent Michigan.

Will he get it? He certainly has whacked the beehive with his move from “Right To Work (RTW) is not on my agenda” to actually helping pass and signing the bill in lickitly-split speed this week.

Signing this signature anti-union bill may have prevented a primary challenge from the extreme right of the GOP or from Teabag waving challengers.

But it clearly has energized left-leaning Democrats and organized Labor who feel the “relentlessly positive action”of this supposedly moderate Milliken-like governor has shown his true colors.

Others argue organized labor created the opening for the Republicans to advance RTW when they pushed and failed in enshrining labor rights in the state constitution. With Republicans in full control of state government some argue what labor did was as foolish as bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Two years is a lifetime in politics — much can and does happen in that brief span of time. Yet, it will be difficult to scurry back to the center for Snyder when it’s anticipated that Mark Brewer, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, along with Teamsters, UAW, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, MEA and the Michigan Federation of Teachers and many angry foot soldiers will do all they can to remind voters that “Dog Years” Snyder took a bite out of workers’ hides, single- handedly helping bring down the middle-class with this legislation.

The are even rumblings of a recall drive.

Two years from now, Snyder will have the power of incumbency and the gratitude, support and, yes- the checkbooks of national anti-union, big business support along with the Republican Party right-wing that was lukewarm at best about his first candidacy and not enamored, until now, with his first two years in office.

For their part, the Democrats are “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.” In the last few days since the RTW vote, all my Republican friends are rejoicing and my Democratic friends are piping hot - steam shooting out their noses, ears, and tops of their heads. Hot and ready for battle!

Can they maintain their intensity and better yet, identify, recruit, and rally behind a Democratic challenger to fight against Gov. Snyder in 2014? Will they have a union card litmus test that when cut, “Solidarity Forever” screams from their veins?

The Dems and labor reportedly spent $25-30 million attempting to enshrine labor rights into the Michigan State constitution but the voters rejected their overture in the last election. What makes them think the voters will embrace them in 2014?

Who is in the Democratic stable they can ride to victory and make it payback time to send The Nerd packing?

Democrats are mad — will they remember come the next election?

Who are the likely Democratic candidates? Let the speculation - and it is just that - begin:

Debbie Stabenow - A great campaigner, U.S. Senator, supported by labor with experience serving at the local, state, and national levels. She would be a strong candidate and as an experienced and capable woman, she would be formidable. She would not have to give up her US Senate seat to run. I suspect while there will be great interest in her running she will decide to finish out her career in the world's most exclusive club — the U S Senate.

Gretchen Whitmer - The Democratic Senate Minority Leader has had a front row seat and been a thorn in the Republican side as the leader of the loyal opposition. A former prosecutor, strong, bright, and ambitious, she has earned support through her efforts to thwart the Republican agenda. She is, as they say in poker is "All In!"

Mark Schauer - A former member of Congress and the Michigan State Senate and House of Representative from the home of Tony the Tiger, Battle Creek, is a labor favorite that seems to has increased his visibility opposing RTW. He is now a development representative with the Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust. Speaking about RTW, U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer said, "This is a direct affront to organized labor and its members. It's a game-changer."

That it is. But is it his ticket to the governors office?

Mike Duggan - The retiring Detroit Medical Center CEO and former Wayne County Prosecutor and Deputy County Executive is tough as nails, a turnaround specialist who is in the Detroit mayoral race to stay. In my humble opinion, he will win. Yet, what if Detroit stumbles into bankruptcy and a judge or Emergency Financial Manager holds the reigns of power — would a can-do leader like Duggan want the ceremonial title of “Mayor” without the ability to effect change? Could he then pivot with a year’s head start and challenge Snyder? Things that make you say “hmmm?”

Dan Kildee - Congressman Kildee comes from the Flint area, a hotbed of union activism and is beloved by not only the rank and file, but labor leaders. He will be nudged to run, may bask in the weeks of speculation and likely settle in for a long career in Congress.

Gary Peters - The Congressman previously ran for Governor and Attorney General and would have the backing of labor and a strong south-east Michigan base to make the leap. He has military, business, and legislative background both in Lansing and Washington, DC and would make a strong run - if he decides to go.

Virg Bernero - The “angriest mayor” was trounced by Snyder in the Governor’s race in 2010. But as they say, “That was then - this is now.” The Mayor has experience successfully leading a city during difficult times, making tough decisions to balance his budget, and has local and state legislative experience as well. He stays put as mayor.

Geoffrey Fieger - A quick wit, fire-brand attorney based in south-east Michigan. Fieger is best known as the defense attorney for Jack Kevorkian and as the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for governor (beating the Labor backed candidate) of Michigan in 1998 and standing up for working people. I suspect he will toy with running for both Mayor of Detroit and Governor — but will stay put as a successful attorney.

Mark A. Hackel - Macomb County Executive Hackel is a born and raised Macomb guy who is thoughtful, capable who has worked his way up the political ladder beginning his career in the sheriffs office leaving as the elected, top law enforcement guy to become Macomb's first county executive. He would be a strong opponent if he decides to give it a go. I suspect that he ultimately will decided to adopt his counties slogan and "Make Macomb his home" waiting until 2018 for a shot at the guv's chair.

There are others which space does not allow me to throw into the speculation ring. I encourage you to do so in the comment section below.

If Snyder becomes a one-term Governor, who will the Democrats put up to take him on? Can and will he be beat in 2014? Inquiring minds want to know.

So let the speculation begin.

Tom Watkins has been a participant observer of Michigan's political scene for over 30 years, including acting as deputy campaign manager Governor Blanchard as well as his deputy chief of staff. He has served in top positions in state government including deputy chief of staff in the governors office, state superintendent and mental health director. He was an elected member of the Wayne County Charter Commission and is now a business and educational consultant in the US and China. He can be reached at:



Tue, Dec 18, 2012 : 5:07 a.m.

If Snyder doesn"t slam down this gun law, he is not going to finish out this session. I will not go into a store, but only shop online. I will not buy one book , nor use the library, only use Amazon for my Kindle. I will not go in one restaurant. I will take out our three grandchildren out of Dexter schools and since I am or was a certified teacher in jr. sr. high all subjects except math and science and my husband has degrees in math and science, we have those covered. Our church will, of course, ban all weapons, etc. Governor Snyder we do not want to go into places that allow gun or weapons of any kind. If I see a gun or weapon on anyone, I will raise a hullabuloo and notify all of the other shoppers/ customers. I am a psychiatric social worker with three Master's degrees and have taught in all levels of educational facilities and with very disturbed children and young adults and adults in all types of facilities and I know what I am talking about!

Dog Guy

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

"Big challenges, strong opponents" . . . is Watkins enticing Snyder to run again?

Jon Saalberg

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:16 a.m.

If Michiganders are truly concerned about their fellow citizens, they will do whatever it takes to get rid of a governor whose overseen such legislative achievements as repealing the helmet law, abrogating women's reproductive rights, and the latest, making sure people can carry concealed weapons into schools and churches. Way to go, Rick.

Always Amazed

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

Two years more of Snyder is two years too long. What is the matter with Michigan legislators for passing and Snyder for signing a bill liberalizing concealed weapons law? So far this week we have a shooting in a mall and the slaughter of 18 or more elementary students. We should be banning all weapons (particularly assault weapons!), not encouraging wackos to be shooting up the world with legal guns. I just don't get it and never will. The only reason to carry a handgun or an assault weapon is to hurt PEOPLE. I get owning a firearm for hunting. We are the only civilized (and I say that loosely) country on earth that has a firearm murder rate like ours. This is the scariest situation I can imagine.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

I guess he's not the "tough nerd" guy he told us he was. He's nothing but a lying Tea Publican. A wolf in sheeps clothing.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Boycott all Koch products! Angel Soft toilet paper Brawny paper towels Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups Mardi Gras napkins and towels Quilted Northern toilet paper Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper Sparkle napkins Vanity Fair napkins Zee napkins Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes All Georgia-Pacific lumber and building products, including: Dense Armor Drywall and Decking ToughArmor Gypsum board Georgia pacific Plytanium Plywood Flexrock Densglass sheathing G/P Industrial plasters (some products used by a lot of crafters) FibreStrong Rim board G/P Lam board Blue Ribbon OSB Rated Sheathing Blue Ribbon Sub-floor DryGuard Enhanced OSB Nautilus Wall Sheathing Thermostat OSB Radiant Barrier Sheathing Broadspan Engineered Wood Products XJ 85 I-Joists FireDefender Banded Cores FireDefender FS FireDefender Mineral Core Hardboard and Thin MDF including Auto Hardboard, Perforated Hardboard and Thin MDF Wood Fiberboard Commercial Roof Fiberboard Hushboard Sound Deadening Board Regular Fiberboard Sheathing Structural Fiberboard Sheathing INVISTA Products: COMFOREL® fiberfill COOLMAX® fabric CORDURA® fabric DACRON® fiber POLYSHIELD® resin SOLARMAX® fabric SOMERELLE® bedding products STAINMASTER® carpet SUPPLEX® fabric TACTEL® fiber TACTESSE® carpet fiber TERATE® polyols TERATHANE® polyether glycol THERMOLITE® fabric PHENREZ® resin POLARGUARD® fiber and LYCRA® fiber


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

WOW those guys are pretty successful. Do you have a (much shorter) list of your accomplishments we could review?

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

Thanks for that list. I'm going to buy extras of all that this weekend.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

The author has spent his working career in government and politics. Now he is a business consultant in both the U.S. and China? I get it now. He is helping China and its businesses over there to navigate our system and government so we can send even more of our money to the Chinese. Nice.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

Depends if the lame stream media is in the tank for the Dem........


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

Snyder needs his PR person to say that his position on Right to Work "evolved", like Obama's position on Gay Marriage did.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

Here's a shocker: All the people that haven't voted for a Republican in 20 years won't vote for Snyder. he lays awake nights worrying.

Linda Peck

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:37 a.m.

There is a lot of anger around the RTW issue and it is coming out here in this forum and through this opinion article. It is fine to express that and make some bold assumptions. It will be interesting to see, though, what happens over the next two years, and I will base my next vote for Michigan's Governor after that time period has passed. I am in favor of RTW. We need a new approach, we need personal responsibility in the realm of financial management. We need government to get out of the business of doing business.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:53 a.m.

Snyder needs to be recalled now...he is a disaster for this state. Acting under the guise of helping Michigan, he has bullied thru such things as the bridge, stopping the movie industry in the state, removing price tags from grocery store items (which took us forever to obtain), portraying public state workers (firemen, teachers, police) as greedy and overpaid in retirement, and now RTW. I would vote for Donald Duck before I would vote for the Nerd again. He needs to go before he causes any more damage and upset to the residents of Michigan. I am proud of our State and our workers and our unions.....but I am NOT proud of having Snyder as our Governor, actually he is a shame on us all and our State.

Fred Pettit

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:52 a.m.

So far we have votes against Snyder and for Donald Duck and a Kangaroo. It's amazing what you liberals and democrats will vote for but not surprising as many of you voted for Grandholm and Obama.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.

"Teabag waving challengers" Okay, I have no idea why this was allowed to be in this article. Clearly Mr. Watkins and whomever proof read this article do not understand the connotation. It is derogatory and in poor taste to say the least.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

They most certainly DO understand the implications. It's typical and intentional liberal potty-mouth, cultural-decline language.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:53 a.m.

Watkins loses all credibility with his juvenile use of "teabaggers". I keep hearing on this board how it's only the Republicans who are the party of hate and divisiveness, incapable of civilized discourse. Tom? Have you come over to the dark side?


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

I love this governor. He is doing a great job! We are a republic, and as such, if you don't like him, vote for someone else! As I did vote for him, I thank the good Lord everyday we have his leadership here in Michigan. Too many years of "what will YOU do for me?" He gets it! Your reap what you sew. No gravy train with this governor!

Always Amazed

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:40 p.m.

That would be "sow".


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

Arre you kidding -- Detroiters and Ann Arborites might not be intereated in re-electing Snyder -- but that's why a Governor isn't elected by Detroit or Ann Arrbor -- he would win in a landslide for a second term statewide -- even in Ann Arbor/Detroit folks are pretty much evenly divided between supoorters and those against. Snyder has accomplished more in his years in Lansing that any other Governor we have had in decades...two years is a really long time in politics -- but Democrats are deluded if they thing they have majority support....


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

Sorry about the typos -- I absolutely hate the ipad touch keyboard...

David Cahill

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:30 p.m., why was Gretchen Whitmer featured in the article but not listed in the poll?


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

I don't agree with anyone who says people will forget over the next two years what Snyder has done. Given his newest move, women are mad as hell too. I'm for a recall right now.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:17 a.m.

I agree! (i can't remember where I got this but ) the saying too bad that some people have a short attention and memory span


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:51 p.m.

How has this governor possibly hurt women in this state? I actually have one that moved back here from NYC because she sees great possibilities here now! Gosh, young people returning! And she WORKS for a living! No public dole here.

Great Lakes Lady

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

Please explain: Why is it OK for Obama to change his stance on an issue, but not Snyder? Perhaps our governor doesn't personally believe in an issue, but signed a bill that "we the people" were in support of? After all, the voters in Mich voted NO on Prop 2. I have a lot of respect for any politician who has the integrity to do what he did. I agree with Mitch Albom; let's give it a chance and see what happens, and if it does indeed bring businesses back to this state. When I grew up Mich was #1 economically; we are now #30. We pay taxes to educate our kids, who then have to leave the state to find jobs. Mich was the ONLY states to LOSE population in the last census...55,000 fewer taxpayers, folks. You were willing to give Obama another 4 years so he could "finish what he started"; I'm willing to give Snyder the same.

Basic Bob

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

Right - and which people left the state? The ones who are most educated, skilled, and flexible. We are left with far too many unemployables. It's going to be a tough road.

wolfman jack

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

You write this article and post this poll in the Communist Republic of Ann Arbor ? There is a reason Michigan was the only state to decrease in population in the last census. I suggest a big part of that is the corrupt entitlement infrastructure which in this state. It is present in the per-diem and retirement benefits for elected (and in some cases appointed) positions. It is present in the union infrastructure. Clean house. Bring on a low-service/low-tax model. They'll be jobs which in the end is the ONLY cure for poverty.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

I can`t wait to vote against Rick in two years. In fact, if he runs against a a kangaroo I`ll vote for the roo

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

If you're truly interested in living in an area governed by a kangaroo court, I can suggest some other countries.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

I am not going to vote for Snyder in 2014. With the right to work law, the debate over the anti-abortion bill that is going on right now, he really is hitting the bee hive with a stick. I can't believe there is still a long way to go before he can get out of office. If only there was someone good to run against him...

Rob Pollard

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

This is pretty easy for the Dems: it needs to be a young-ish professional woman or Mike Duggan (based on his business background). That's the list. It can't be a died in the wool, older liberal. Snyder, frankly, won in 2010 based on appearances: people didn't know hardly anything about him. But b/c he sounded like a reasonable, moderate business guy who would be a welcome difference from Granholm, that was enough. People were ready for a change. But for independent voters, the "moderate" part of that equation (based on the laws he has/will sign) has turned out to not be the case. At all. Dems can't just run on being anti-RTW. They need to think broader. They will need to run on Snyder being (in their minds) anti-worker, anti-woman, anti-gay, an elderly/middle-class tax raiser, and a cutter of services (e.g., libraries, schools after PPT "relief' is passed). This legislature, particularly in lame-duck, is throwing up so many bills that will hang around him like a millstone, attacks along those lines will stick. It's going to be Gretchen Whitmer (if she can shake being compared to Granholm) or Duggan (if he doesn't get bogged down by McNamara ties).


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

@GreatLakesLady..Give him a break?! Your joking right? He's divided our state in two over these right wing social engineering laws. WAR is upon us


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

Snyder has made two glaring errors: the helmet repeal law and the right-to-work law. The former is costing Michigan in increased injuries. The latter was a shockingly dishonest maneuver. He is poised to make other glaring errors including signing a new EFM law when voters just rejected the last (for full disclosure, I actually liked the last EFM law - but there's a reason we vote and that idea lost out). He is making errors of commission - these things have nothing to do with Granholm. If you read my posts on this site, I have supported Snyder on most everything (save the helmet repeal). No more. I'm in the "fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on you" camp. Any good he has done is now outweighed by the harm and division he has generated as well as his bowing to the altar of the fringe.

Great Lakes Lady

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

Give the guy a break; Snyder inherited a mess from Granholm and is trying to fix it. He's not even drawing a salary. Mich lost almost 55,000 people in the last census....(taxpayers). Where are the funds supposed to come from to get everything you want? If more businesses come to this state, the tax base will increase....then maybe there will be more funds in the budgets to improve services.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

The Watkins bio is in there, Granholm affiliation and all....scroll up ^


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

Some balance is needed and this administration's narrow, business-only agenda, on the backs of everyone else is causing damage that they seem arrogantly oblivious to. Government needs to take into account all of Michigan's citizens, not just one exclusive segment. When a governor and legislature alienate the majority of the electorate, how long can their extreme measures survive? When what is accomplished at any cost subsequently gets undone in the backlash, we ALL lose..................


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

4Bells, Which majority of the electorate are you talking about? Care to let us know which majority?


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

Seems to me Snyder is following he Romney election path, alienate lots of groups then wonder why you lost. So far he has alienated labor, parents with kids in school, townships, residents whose property taxes will go higher. On the agenda to day for additional alienated groups will be woman concerned about the legislature's war on women, people concerned unfettered gun sales, and pretty soon a lot of people if the projected mentioned today comes to pass.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

How about we all wait and see where the next two years takes us? I would expect dozens of submissions to Michican's economic development department now that we're right to work and business should be flocking to MI just like Indiana, or at least Snyder better hope so, or else he'll be caught in a lie that will result in an epic downfall. 1. Labor wil say "I told you so" RTW does not create jobs, and 2 his supporters will have to deal with him lying 2x. First him saying RTW wasn't on his agenda, and secondly, its passage didn't work like he promised. Only time will tell, until then sit back and enjoy the ride.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

If any union jobs did not hold up forever it definitely means all unions are bad, just like if any company ever did not succeed all capitalism is a failure...


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

Ask anyone in Flint that used to work for Autolite, Champion Spark Plugs or Chevy / Buick, how well unions worked for those jobs! Sit down strike, wages over the top for little education, and products that could be made any where else by anyone else...and well, you now have Flint. Not to smart to keep pushing the business out of your town.

Great Lakes Lady

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

Lie?!? It's OK for Obama to change his stance on issues, but not Synder? Hypocrital partisanship.

Tom Whitaker

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:42 p.m.

Why was Gretchen Whitmer not included as a choice in the poll?


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

Snyder and his band will be surprised when in the Fall of 2014 they all are walking out the exit doors. He lied about his position on the RTW, and he has raised taxes on senior citizens - all of which he said he would not do. He and his right wing band have shown their true colors and have polarized the politics in the State of Michigan. He should resign now, and avoid the embarrassment! He has ignited a nest of hornets, and will get stung severely.

Great Lakes Lady

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

Substitute the word Obama for Snyder.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

If there is a democratic governor, then there will not be a lot of work done with republicans having the majority in both houses. I wish Snyder was out of office, there needs to be someone good who could beat him

Fred Pettit

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

League Bus, Michigan voted against labor in droves! Keep drinking the Obama kool aid!

Fred Pettit

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

Agreed Macabre Sunset...and the temper tantrum yesterday was heavily attended from out of state labor supporters.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

Oh yes, and Michigan voted for Romney in droves! Keep drinking the cool aid.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:57 p.m.

Usually, when someone refers to igniting a nest of hornets, they're referring to a temper tantrum. This childish behavior on the part of Democrats is, indeed, just a temper tantrum - albeit a rather violent one in Lansing this week.

Fred Pettit

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:54 p.m.

With the 16% and 14% margins in the defeat of ballot proposals 2 & 4, do you have any information that supports your claim, other than what our aged Congressman John Dingell has to say. In my opinion, John Dingell is an embarrassment to the state of Michigan.

Fred Pettit

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

Voters overwhelmingly rejected both ballot proposals supported by labor and democrats, 2 and 4. With a 58% vote for proposal 2 and 57% for proposal 4. That's even more of a mandate that Obama claim he received with a less than 3% margin in the popular vote. A recall of Snyder on RTW is laughable. The recall didn't pass in Wisconsin. I don't think it even has a chance of making it on the ballot.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

Run Fieger run...PLEASE run again! It was SO much fun to watch the first time around! What a crackpot!

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3 p.m.



Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

Surely you jest, Macabre, Snyder was elected to enact the Koch Brothers/ALEC legislative agenda? The wording of the RTW law was right out of the ALEC legislative primer, word for word. Democracy by and for the rich is not exactly what I was bargaining for.

Great Lakes Lady

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.

Leaguebus: you got your "democracy by and for the rich" when you voted for Obama to enact the Soros legislative agenda.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

Actually, when you factor in cost of living, wages in RTW states make about $500 more, per capita, than in closed-shop states. The "analysis" that the pro-union people are throwing around this week is biased by the fact that there's a more than 50% correlation between cost of living and closed shop.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9 p.m.

So Alabama, having been a RTW state for years is what Snyder is looking to emulate? There is no proof that RTW makes a state better for business, actually, it just the opposite in most cases.

Fred Pettit

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

Snyder didn't write the RTW bill and Snyder is looking to improve the economy in Michigan . What are union leaders actually accomplishing other than getting workers that booze it up and smoke dope during lunchtime reinstated at Chrysler?


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:33 p.m.

As if any of the pro-union folk voted for Governor Snyder in 2010 in the first place..............

Blue Eyes

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

This is one Republican who will vote for anyone other than Snyder. Lie to me once, shame on you - lie to me twice, shame on me. No wonder Roger Fraser was welcomed in Lansing!


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.



Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

I am not a huge fan of the Governor, but I can say this with all sincerity he is a breath of fresh air when it comes to most politicians. He doesnt base his policies on which way the political winds are blowing. He decided rightly or wrongly what he thought was the course of action for the state and proceeded at his own political peril. Most of our politicians base all of their moves on how am I going to get reelected and how am I going to feed at the political trough for the rest of my life. I am not sure if you ment anything deragotory by the use of the word tea bag but so many people from your political perusasion do It might be nicer of you to select some other symbol to describe the tea party. Perhaps the TEA PARTY would suffice.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:01 p.m.

Yes, like it or not, Obama is our fairly elected president. I have no patience for those who refer to him as "Barry" (who aren't his own school-days friends) or "BHO" and mean this, clearly, to be derogatory.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

I would feel the same about the people that call the President of the United States "Barry"


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:57 p.m.

The last time I knew, our elected officials were elected by us, the people, not the Koch brothers or ALEC. Worrying about reelection is more about doing what the people that elected the politician want, not what the politician wants.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

I missed the teabag comment. This blog used to have a policy against using that term for the Tea Party, as "teabagging" is common slang for a certain sexual act. Watkins is a rather unpleasant man. I see the blog edited the story to reflect Watkins' connection to the Granholm administration (at the bottom, where most won't see it). Probably shouldn't have run the pitch piece regardless, though. Given the obscene reference to his political opponents, it's completely inappropriate.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

any one except Snyder. i would even vote for the chairperson from the art commission.

Top Cat

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

"Two years is a lifetime in politics..." and that says it all. Politics proves two things over and over...people have short memories and you can't beat somebody with nobody. Snyder's re-election will hinge solely on whether on election day, people perceive his policies are "working." How does the author miss Grethen Whitmer as a possible contender ?

Ed Kimball

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1 a.m.

Whitmer is listed second -- right after Stabenow.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

None of the above. Snyder started his tenure bu being his own man. He won the primary without the help of the Republican Party. Until the election in November he always said he was against Michigan being a right to work state. Now he turns out to be just like the most of the rest of the republicans.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Snyder never said he was against Michigan being a right to work state. Never. What he said was it is NOT on his agenda. When he was running for governor, he had an agenda and he laid out his agenda. He never said he was against RTW. The media didn't ask a follow up question to Snyder when he was asked if he favored RTW. All he said was, it is not on my agenda. The media should have followed up on that, but they took the easy way out and didn't. Ever notice how all politicians never answer the question asked of them? If you ask them a yes or no question, they won't answer with a yes or no and then explaination. They just start rambling and avoiding the question altogether.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:55 a.m.

Great Lakes Lady: Wow. You really need to look up "false equivalency" in the dictionary. The "other side made me do it" argument is fine if you are a preschooler, but not if you are an adult. And, last I checked, Prop 2 had nothing in it saying that if voters vote it down that the Governor would sign a right-to-work law. In fact, he said exactly the opposite.

Great Lakes Lady

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:18 p.m.

Jaime, have you stopped to think that maybe Snyder personally is against RTW, but that he signed the bill as a representative of "we the people" of Mich who voted NO to Prop 2? politicians are supposed to do, to represent us? Mich is the ONLY state to have lost population in the last census...55,000 fewer taxpayers. Give RTW a chance; see if it works....


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:05 p.m.

Like the rest of the republicans, they will be voted by one. "The campaign to make Michigan a right-to-work state also benefitted from deep-pocketed support from the Koch brothers and Richard DeVos. DeVos was cited in the article as helping to sway some Republican lawmakers who were not 100 percent on board with the legislation" right-to-work-legislation-for-michigan -has-been-in-the-works-for-years/

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

Keep in mind that Watkins is a hard-core Democrat who was on the short list as a running mate for Jennifer Granholm. It's rather dishonest of the blog to run his commentary without listing his affiliation. It's also rather irresponsible for someone with his kind of power to try and foment a recall effort. Snyder is trying to do the job he was elected to do. This notion that opponents must work 365 days a year to mount a recall effort for every lost election is divisive and nasty. Watkins should be ashamed. Of course Democrats are mad right now. They went for broke with Prop 2 and lost badly. The Republicans were angry and went for broke themselves with right-to-work. And now it's time to start the 2014 campaign. Just be honest about it.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 5:01 a.m.

Politics 101 - you claim someone else is proposing something to see how the public reacts. If they react positively, you move forward. Watkins is one of those people who could lead such an effort if he felt it benefited him politically.

Ed Kimball

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:59 a.m.

Saying "The are even rumblings of a recall drive" is hardly the same as "fomenting" a recall effort. Or did that change since your earlier post, too?

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

There was heavy editing to this story after I posted. The Granholm reference was not there before.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

The Watkins bio is in there, Granholm affiliation and all....scroll up ^