This will sound weird. In fact nobody has ever written this before, but the citizens of Detroit owe Republicans in the legislature a huge thank you.
That's not a misprint.
For years the norm has been Republicans made political hay by beating up on the city and getting re-elected by opposing anything that even looked like help for the state's most desperate city.
In fact years ago, Republicans piece by piece dismantled state aid for cultural institutions in Detroit and shifted those funds to Grand Rapids.
But wonder of wonders, the GOP has provided some 3M: Major Motown Momentum.
The Mike Ilitich family got assistance from the state for a $650 million project that, if it gets off the ground, could provide a new home for the Red Wings, assuming they ever play hockey again. It will also supposedly result in $1.8 million in economic growth.
Because the majority of house Democrats from Detroit refused to vote for the bill, it took a boat load of Republicans to join with four Detroit lawmakers who did vote yes, to get it passed.
Put another way, without GOP help, the project sits on the drafting board.
Detroit and Southeast Michigan have steadfastly refused to put their parochial interests aside to bring a modern mass transit system to the region. 40 years of bickering may now be over, but one is never sure on this one, because Republicans provided the votes to create a new authority with a means to raise money to finally get this done.
Detroit will also get a new lighting authority to begin the slow process of turning back on the 40% of the street lights that don't work. Republicans got that job done, too.
Give the governor credit here, too as his legislative arm twisters worked long and hard for the city and now as the dust settles, Mayor Dave Bing and company have some renewed hope which has been sorely lacking.
Of course Detroit lawmakers are not so pleased with the new Emergency Manager bill but it really doesn't impact the city right now. The governor already has the authority to send in a czar to takeover the city if the current tenuous talks to avoid that don't pan out.
But three out of four for the city ain't bad. And Republicans should take a bow for doing something positive for a change.
KDFW FOX 4
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