Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Michigan Dems upset about AG's Proposed Gym make a Mountain out of a Treadmill

Much Dem ado about fitness, signifying how petty Michigan politics continues to be.

The Detroit Free Press Reports in Gym pumps up anger of Dems, that the Democrats are in a tizzy as Attorney General Michael Cox has plans to install a fitness center in the Attorney General's Headquarter's office in Lansing.
But it's Democrats who are exercised over Attorney General Mike Cox's plans for a gym, noting that the state faces a $686-million budget shortfall and that Cox plans to let go of 21 full-time secretarial and clerical workers, effective April 20.

"It's just outrageous that he would spend tens of thousands of dollars on facilities like this when he's laying off attorney general employees," said Mark Brewer, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.
Talk about apples and oranges, a deficit for the entire state in the amount of 686 Million, a deficit that is certainly not AG Cox's fault nor of his making, but rather than of the current Democrat Governor 9and to be fair others as well), and "tens of thousands of dollars" for excercise equipment for which there is a perfectly good reason:
Rusty Hills, a spokesman for Cox, a Republican, made no apologies. He said the gym would be geared, initially at least, to the 37 gun-toting investigators on staff.

"We buy books for attorneys, we have no problem buying weights for cops," Hills said. "We want the cops on our payroll to be in better shape than the criminals they're chasing."

Hills said the investigators' cases include child support, cold-case homicides, Internet predators and consumer and health-care fraud.

"They execute search warrants, transport prisoners, conduct interviews in the field," Hills said. "They are in situations that are dangerous with people who are very dangerous. We don't make a lot of arrests in Bloomfield Hills."

Hills said the Attorney General's Office has yet to determine where the funding will come from in its budget, or how much the gym will end up costing.
Indeed, excercise facilities for use by the entire Ag's office, not just the investigators would make sense: fit employees equals lower occurences of injuries and health problems and thus lower insurance claims, thus reducing health costs for the department and saving the department money. Given that health care is a major expense statewise and always a large compoent of employee expenses, its amazing Cox is not being lauded for progressive thinking by encouraging his employees to get in shape and offering them an oppotunity to do so.

The tens of thousands of dolaars will likely offer a far greater savings in reduced health costs and lost time from work accidents.

In addition, it appears in the comments accompanying the article in the Free press that the money for the gym may not even be from public funds but from private sources. If so, its not just the Dems making a mountain out of a treadmill, but a wholly false smear by the Dems against a very popular and effective Attorney General.

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