POLITICS & PREJUDICES
Messing with a Key Election
Duggan and Dugeon
Published: July 31, 2013
the Little Guy?
Gerry Hoffman of Kalamazoo was not alone in being stunned by news that Michigan AG Bill Schuette would intervene in Detroit’s bankruptcy wars — on behalf of those who don’t want their pensions eliminated or reduced.
Last week, the attorney general said he would step in “on behalf of southeast Michigan pensioners who may be at risk of losing their hard-earned benefits.”
This caused a few gasps among our tattered liberal community. “WTF!!” Gerry Hoffmann of Kalamazoo wrote to me. “I have never (before) agreed with Schuette about anything! What’s his angle? There must be some ulterior motive!”
Hoffmann can be excused for the cynicism; indeed, it’s hard to remember any right-wing cause our attorney general wasn’t hot to embrace — from right-to-work to wasting taxpayers’ money by refusing to comply with the national health care law.
What’s he now doing posing as “the people’s attorney,” as he called himself? Simple: As Frank Kelley, the longest-ever serving Michigan attorney general, reminded me, the AG is legally obligated to defend the interest of state employees.
Sometimes, when departments of government have sued each other, an AG appoints two different assistant attorneys general to argue each side of the case. There’s something else going on too. Schuette badly wants to be our next governor.
Messing with people’s pensions is very unpopular. If Schuette can appear to be on the side of the people, without really doing much for them, in his world, that’s all good. mt
Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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