Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Collegiality, Livingston County Style

There have been quite a few articles of late discussing Mike Rogers' $1.4 million in earmarks for Livingston County.

This is the same Mike Rogers who railed against the omnibus spending bill as mortgaging "our children and grandchildren's future... Congress continues to wastefully spend their hard-earned tax dollars."  You will no doubt recall that Mr. Rogers is a veteran player of the"criticize and take" game in previous budget cycles.

Leaving aside the, ah, oddity of voting against a bill into which you had stuffed $17.6 million for your district, isn't part of a representative's job to direct spending to his or her district?  This is especially true when you represent a long-time donor state

On the whole, these earmarks are sensible and useful (not to mention co-sponsored with Democrats).  For example, Livingston County drivers -- regardless of party affiliation -- can agree that the Latson Road interchange is long overdue for completion.  Likewise, funding for research on sustainable agriculture, biotechnology projects, public transportation and water treatment is a smart and productive use of federal dollars.  

While fairly certain that I'll refrain from taking LivCo Road Commissioner Mike Crain's suggestion,
I believe the majority of Mike Rogers' earmarks will help our district in both the short term and the long term.  

And yet...  

... of the $1.4 million coming to Livingston County, over $800,000 of it is going to Cleary University, a private institution with branches in Livingston and Washtenaw Counties.  

Take a closer look at the way Mike Rogers allocated his earmarks for higher education:


Rogers earmarks


(earmark $/per student)





1,100 students

($727.27+ )



Lansing CC


20,394 students


3rdlargest in MI


Oakland CC


46,579 students


Largest CC in MI; 14th largest in U.S.


So while I'm almost used to Mr. Rogers' general double standards, this little ploy to throw major public money to a minor private institution -- at a time when community colleges are educating roughly 45% of undergraduates nation-wide -- is a new low in hypocrisy.

(cross-posted at Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood)


Donna said...

It's terrific that Mike Rogers' hypocrisy is revealed. Thanks for this and Judy's posts.

If we have to depend on the local media to do this, we'll wait a long time because they are in the Rogers' family's pockets.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...Most of the Cleary earmarks were also requested by Sens. Levin and Stabenow. Why don't you have a problem with that?

As for Donna's ridiculous comment, it was the local media where I read about the Rogers earmarks Cleary. Your whining is predictable but so very boring.

I also see in the "local media" that the governor who has suggested 3 new taxes (gas tax, extended drinking hours tax and graduated income tax) within a month after saying that she wasn't going to go for new taxes ever again. Never, ever isn't as long as it used to be I guess. Odd that you never criticize your governor for her rapid-fire flip-flops. I guess she gets the same pass you give Stabenow and Levin.

Judy said...

Why don't we have a problem with Levin and Stabenow requesting the earmarks?

Because they voted FOR the bill.

Anonymous said...

Yes I understand your criticism of Rogers for adding items to the earmark list and then voting against the entire list.

But you also criticized the fact that public money was being thrown at a minor private institution.

Stabenow and Levin also threw money at Cleary and yet you excuse them from criticism. You are the your world, it's not the action but whether it is done by a Republican or a Democrat. In this case you criticize a Republican for doing exactly the same thing that 2 Democrats did...threw public money at a private institution.

Anonymous said...

John Dingle has also requested and received money for Cleary U. The money that was in the bill for Cleary was from last year. It was not acted upon by the Senate last year and was thrown into the omnibus bill. Mike voted against that bill because of the all inclusive nature of that bill with much pork added in beyond what was budgeted last year. So, either Judy and the rest of her merry band does not understand how congress works, or she does no this and thinks the residents of Livingston are stupid enough to be manipulated with her propagda. Both explanations are not acceptable!

Anonymous said...

You folks are quick with the cheap shots and accusations. But when posters accurately question your logic, arguments, facts and conclusions, you go strangely silent.

The shrill trio of local Dems says Cleary shouldn't get public money. But Stabenow and Levin endorsed Cleary funding. What is your response to that?

The local media reported the Rogers earmarks to Cleary. Yet Donna criticized them for not doing that. Odd.

In the few short weeks that the governor vowed no new taxes, she had advocated at least 3 tax increases. What is your response to that?

Here's another. You keep harping on hypocrisy. Well, Dems are against public funds to religious institutions. Yet your Democratic senators endorsed funding for a private and religious college (Adrian).

Your position is clear. It's the devil's work if a Republican does exactly the same thing that you praise Democrats for.

One more: Are you in favor of not buying Domino's pizza because its CEO is a Republican? That's what your state party chair endorses.

kevins said...

Still waiting. Do you agree or disagree with Levin/Stabenow Cleary earmarks?