So much for that particular "distraction"

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Cross-posted on Right Michigan at

Dillon, D-Redford Township, wasted no time in denouncing the (recall) effort as a distraction from the state's serious problems...

--Detroit Free Press, May 2, 2008

The commitment required to fight the recall is "growing now," said Dillon, a Democrat from Redford Township. "Up until now it's been a lot of money. But now it's time, too."

Time is a precious commodity for Dillon, who typically works 12 or 13 hours per day. In addition to regular House sessions, he's deep in discussions about how to change Michigan's energy policy and other issues that temporarily were sidetracked last year because of protracted budget and tax negotiations.

--Battle Creek Enquirer, March 5, 2008

Andy Dillon was distracted alright.  By margaritas and Cuervo.  

Lansing insider publication Gongwer reported last night what Rose discussed yesterday afternoon in her piece Getting Out of Dodge.  Looks like Andy Dillon traded in the ongoing budget process and appropriations gridlock of Lansing for the sun and surf of Mexico and residents in his home county just lost out on over one-hundred million dollars because of it.

The House floor yesterday saw a vote taken on SB511, a portion of the Capitol Outlay budget that would have spent $280 million on construction projects over the next handful of years.  Of course, that's money we don't have in the coffers these days so in essence it was a $280 million charge on the State's credit card.  

The Democrats like the idea.  The Republicans, God bless them, not such big fans.  

And why wouldn't the lefties love it?  The bill took care of Wayne County like nobody else, with nearly a third of the spending going to that one county.  Projects included...

University of Michigan-Dearborn Science & Computer Center Renovations. Cost $36,000,000 with the State share being capped at $27,000,000.

Livonia's Schoolcraft College - Public Safety/Homeland Security Classroom Building. This project is estimated to cost $15,000,000 with the State share being 50% or, $7,500,000. This project entails construction of a new facility to consolidate all of the college's public safety/homeland security training in one location.

Dearborn's Henry Ford Community College - Science Building Renovations. This project is estimated to cost $15,000,000 with the State share being 50% or, $7,500,000.

And so the board opened... Dems voting YES.  Republicans voting NO.  There'd been a few GOPers who'd gone along with the bill in the past but suddenly they weren't so sure and declined to back it.  But that shouldn't have been a problem.  The libs have more than enough seats in the House to move whatever they want.  Remember, you only need 56.  

Only one problem.  Andy Dillon is in Cancun.  Or Mexico City.  Or somewhere south of the border.  (By the way... so much for Pure Michigan, huh?  What's with the Democrat Speaker of the House outsourcing his vacation dollars to a low-wage work environment outside the United States?  Just asking...)

The board sat there.  And it sat there.  And it sat there.  55 votes.  Literally ONE vote short of passage.  ONE vote... Andy Dillon's vote... would have sent over $100 million to Wayne County.  Would have slapped $280 million on the State's credit card.  But Dillon wasn't there to cast it.

All that talk about the recall effort being a distraction and it's his time on the beach that costs his constituents nine figures worth of investment.  Go figure.  I don't begrudge the man a family vacation but if he's going to miss votes that result in the failure of his pet legislation he might want to go easier on the distraction hyperbole next time around.

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