GOP Senator Takes a Risk - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

GOP Senator Takes a Risk

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There he goes again.

The sometimes maverick GOP senator from Saginaw was featured in this spot weeks ago as he stuck his political neck out and offended every anti-tax minion in the state by pouring hogwash on Proposal 5, the two thirds super majority tax hike.  It was bad government he protested.

Obviously not having taken enough abuse for that bravery, here comes Senator Roger Kahn on another front which is sure to cement his standing with the anti-taxers even more.

He wants to raise revenue for the roads.  Oh no. And he's rejecting the mantra of house Republicans that you can somehow squeeze more dollars out of the system by eliminating the waste, fraud and abuse. What's wrong with this guy?

Senate budget chair Kahn, who knows a thing or two about state spending, calls it what it is, "over rated as a possible source for spending."

For a year the House Republicans have been hiding behind this notion that you can find a pot of gold inside the current road building system to come up some cash.  There is some but not enough.

Because it was an election year, the House R's trotted out this notion every chance they got for two reasons:  One, it was not a tax hike which they were loathed to support even though their governor wants more dough.  And two, it gave the illusion that they were doing some to help repair the roads.  Fact is they have doodled (sp) and done nothing and the roads and bridges continue to crumble.  Maybe you've noticed.

Senator Kahn, who is not running for re election, has three bills that would raise revenue.  The governor thinks $1.4 billion is needed to slap more than a few band aides on the infrastructure problem.

Mr. Kahn is ready to go with that, but he can't go it alone.

Come to find out, if the road building lobby is right, he may not be alone.

Lobbyist Mike Nystrom, who is trying to twist some arms was asked, "Could you pass it in the senate?  "I think we could." Could you get to 56 in the house after the election?  Again, "I think we could."

Ah but.  If voters approve the aforementioned Prop 5 making it tougher to pass new revenue, all bets may be off and Senator Kahn may find himself a minority of one on raising road dollars anytime soon.

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