It was announced this past week that Michigan House Speaker Kevin Cotter would be the grand marshal at the Homecoming festivities for my alma mater, Central Michigan University.
On the one hand, you can't begrudge University administrators for this. As long as I can remember (going back ten years now), alumni who have done well in their fields have been grand marshals - TV personalities like Larry Joe Campbell, Amy Roloff, and Carter Oosterhouse; CMU officials like ex-Trustee John Kulhavi; and even another State House Speaker, Craig DeRoche. So at first glance, Cotter is the kind of person you might expect to be grand marshal.
Except, well... he isn't.
See, unlike even DeRoche - whose stint as grand marshal came just weeks before the 2006 election - Cotter is leading (and responsible for) a House in more chaos and controversy that I can ever remember. The Courser-Gamrat affair, the ability to find a road-funding solution, the desire to repeal prevailing wage, the deep chasm between Lansing politicians and ordinary Michiganders - all are taking place under Cotter's watch.
And he's done next to nothing about any of these problems.
Tony Trupiano this week laid into the mess that has become of the House under the speakership of Kevin Cotter:
The failed attempt to find and fund a roads package that all can find acceptable was never realistic. I am not suggesting that he was assuming that, not even he is that naïve, or so I believe. But I am suggesting that the Speaker, who himself does not seem to be dealing with reality these days, and I will get to that shortly, is once again in the sights of both parties for very good reason: he is not only NOT leading, he seems to not have the support of his Republican colleagues, the Governor, his much needed partners in in Democratic House and anyone else, for that matter. Why? That is something that he needs to answer to but I will say from where I am sitting it is because he allows his mouth to work much faster than his brain.
Back in 2002 then-student Kevin Cotter was pulled over for speeding in Gratiot County and was found to have open intoxicants in the car, for which he paid a fine and admitted guilt. I think we can all agree that is a crime, a misdemeanor, but a crime nonetheless, right? Fast forward to 2014 and when asked through his survey through MLive.com if he had ever committed a crime, he answered no. When further given the opportunity to clarify his statement that he had never committed a crime, well, click through here and read his statement. Denial, classic Republican denial.
But, it does beg the question: If he is willing to lie about this, and clearly he did lie, is he capable of lying about anything else? That I will leave to your own filters. But, in my world, once a liar. Or at least the potential exists to be a liar once again. Just a real thought about someone who has a whole lot to lose.
Progress Michigan’s Hugh Madden, who is their Communications Director, wrote a blog post back in April of this year, wisely suggesting that Mr. Cotter was NOT ready for prime time as the House Speaker, and his vision is proving to be not only accurate, but potentially career ending. Think about that as he twists and turns and as the mainstream media continues to ignore his role in this horrific scandal, and again, what he knew and when he knew it.
CMU administrators, are you sure you still want this guy as Grand Marshal?