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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    The Politics of Public Safety

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 07:01:23 AM EST
    Tags: (all tags)

    Strange, the way things are handled differently in the first of a four year term in office than they are during campaign season the year before.  The Detroit News reports this morning that Michigan Department of Corrections officials are now admitting, on the record, that after the brutal mass murder spree by Patrick Selepak, a prisoner released early, the DOC went on a spending spree and started locking up everyone and their mother.  

    In fact, they blew through an extra $30 million and locked up an extra 1,300 people.  1,300 more than they'd anticipated or projected earlier that year.  Why?  DOC Spokesman Russ Marlan says it's "almost a direct link to Patrick Selepak."  And then there's the fact that last year was an election year... you left that part out, Russ.

    Maybe I'm being too cynical.  Maybe I'm just plain being too hard on the Governor.  She hasn't earned the benefit of the doubt on anything but maybe I should give it to her anyways.  There's just this one little thing that really bugs me about the whole situation and gives it the strong stink of politics.  If the surge in incarceration and the surge in corrections spending that sent the department well over their budget last year was strictly because of rational concerns over public safety then it would stand to reason that that sort of spending would signal a pattern or even a new norm at the department.  If it was truly a matter of public safety and only public safety they'd be doing the same thing this year.

    Read on...

    There wasn't something mystical about 2006.  When the calendar changed to 07 there wasn't some sort of spell cast over prison inmates that would prevent them from re-offending or even, God forbid, bringing about a repeat of the Selepak murder spree.  In other words, if it was good and right and just in 2006 it should be good and right and just in 2007.  We should be seeing a pattern.  But are we?  Let's take a look.

     According to the News:

    In the 14 months before the Selepak rampage, Corrections took in 66 more prisoners per month than it released, records show. Marlan said the rising population was considered manageable at the time because the overall prison population fell slightly in 2003 and 2004.

    In the first three months after Selepak's crimes -- March through May 2006 -- the prison population grew by 280 prisoners a month.

    Alright, I get it.  Bad guy gets out, bad guy does horrible things, good guys form up a posse and start rounding up all the other varmints that might cause problems for the good people of Dodge City.  Might as well be an episode of Gunsmoke.  

    But now that it's an off year the governor's got a new plan for corrections... let felons out on the street!  Oh, and as a bonus, go ahead and fire a few hundred corrections employees.  Whether it's closing prisons in Jackson County or siphoning off a dozen felons here and another couple dozen there, the results are the same.

    No election, no concern for public safety.  Suddenly the only concern at the Governor's office is preserving tax dollars for her special interest friends and programs.  Heck, witness the DOC budget moved through House Appropriations.  It included millions of dollars in new spending for dry-cleaning union supervisors' uniforms!  We might not have safe streets but darn it all if the governor's union buddies won't look good.

    Law enforcement officials get it, as illustrated in the News article:

    "What's driving this debate is dollars, but it should be public safety," said David Gorcyca, Oakland County's prosecutor and recently the president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.

    It's really more than ironic when you sit down and think about it.  Last fall the administration was quick to jump down anyone's throat who mentioned the names Patrick and Selepak in that order.  `You're politicizing a very serious issue,' the Governor would scold.  Turns out she was politicizing it herself from day one.  

    Now her own DOC spokesman is telling the press that the surge in the lock-up rate is a direct result of Selepak.  But apparently we're supposed to believe the danger has passed.  Passed to the point where we can let thousands of felons roam the streets.  Oh, yeah, she's not playing politics with people's lives.

    To quote Jeff Richards doing Bill O'Reilly on SNL... "Sorry, counselor.  I'm not buying it.  I'm just not buying it."

    < If You STILL Support Governor Granholm, You're Just Plain Stupid! | A big WELCOME HOME to Mark Schauer and George Cushingberry >

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    Nick, you're not too cynical (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by A2 Conservative on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 07:41:51 AM EST
    I got the same impression when I read this. I was going to try and post a link to this story, but I came here and it was already posted. The first thing that comes to mind is the one debate last year when DeVos brought up the failures of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Human Services, and Granholm scolded him not to "play politics with dead children". Unfortunately, that is EXACTLY what she has done. This Selepak nonsense proves that.

    Wasn't the Department of Corrections one of the departments that was overbudget last FY? It now appears this was due exclusively to helping the Jenny Granholm re-election campaign.

    As far as your point about Granholm no longer caring about fighting crime after she was safely re-elected, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that she was ready to lay off 29 State Police Officers.

    Finally, here's a classic youtube video from last October that is relevant to Granholm's incompetence in dealing with crime: http://youtube.com/watch?v=oCseJT_rYWY

    A2 Conservative (none / 0) (#2)
    by LX on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 10:14:13 AM EST

    Let us not forget Governor Jennifer Granholms appointment of Ismael Ahmed, Founder and Executive Director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services to head the State of Michigan's Department of Human Services.

    Granholm has put the fox in charge of the hen house.

    In 2002, ACCESS was raided by federal agents in a Medicaid fraud investigation. A television report and several newspaper articles said ACCESS was involved in helping foreign Arabic women fraudulently obtain Medicaid to have their babies here in the United States.

    Granholm knows a lot about this because she was Michigan Attorney General in December 2002, when agents of her office and the FBI raided ACCESS in connection with a Medicaid fraud investigation her office oversaw. That is why it was strange when she hired her friend, Ahmed, to Co-Chair her Gubernatorial Transition Team, since she knew of Ahmed's organizations involvement in this scam.

    Ahmed's agency was also raided this year for immigration fraud.

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