When Republican Gov. Rick Snyder gives his fourth State of the State address on Jan. 16, Michiganders are likely to have some strong opinions about the substance of his speech.
We recently asked Patch readers to grade the governor after three years in office. You sounded off on everything from Right to Work legislation to jobs creation to education, and gave the governor both passing grades of “A+” and failing grades of “F-.”
Here’s a sampling of what you said:
Jim Dundas gave Snyder an “F” on Birmingham Patch: “Unemployment overall has increased not decreased. He cut funding for education then restored part of it claiming he increased funding for education. He cut retirement benefits for public employees. Overall his grade should be ‘F’ – unless of course you own a large business and received a cut in taxes.”
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On Fenton Patch, Denise Toop and Pat Lozano praised the governor.
Toop gave Snyder an A+ “for having the backbone” to push through the Right to Work law so workers won’t have to join a union to get a job at a union shop.
“Everyone blames the banks and Wall Street for damaging our economy, yet never look to the unions,” Toop posted, blaming organized labor for a host of problems from creating a workplace climate where drug users can keep their jobs to auto industry losses to foreign manufacturers.
“Hemendalli,” a user on Plymouth-Canton Patch agreed, giving the governor an “A+”:
“... There have been some changes made that now preclude labor from wielding the 'big stick' and his efforts to try and help the people of Detroit overcome their past failures of voting a ‘straight ticket’.”
“Finally, a man who understands business,” Abraham Keisoglou posted on Royal Oak Patch. He said Snyder “got rid of (the) regressive Single Business Tax” and balanced the budget within three months after many years of deficit spending.
But readers like Dave Schuler on Hartland Patch ask if there’s a letter grade lower than an “F-.”
“As for Rick Snyder … he and his cohorts are destroying this state,” Schuler posted. “The sad thing is, the full effect won’t be seen for a few more years.”
Larry Mitchell also gave the governor failing grades for a long list of perceived failures on St. Clair Shores Patch and said that “2014 will hopefully put someone in that office that cares about residents in this state and not his rich contributors from out of state.”
“Give him an 'F', for first ignoring Detroit's bankruptcy, then hastening its demise, and then looting and privatizing its assets to his owners, his rich donors,” Mitchell said. “Add that to ignoring creating jobs, tax breaks to corporate interests, ignoring environmental issues, voter suppression legislation and not setting up (Affordable Care Act) exchange and you get a failing grade.”
On Clawson Patch, Michael W. Smith gave Snyder a “D-” for signing a series of “extreme right-wing GOP” bills that Smith believes will hurt seniors, women and education, yet do nothing to promote jobs. In his comments, he Snyder and the GOP-dominated Legislature “conspired to put the burden of taxes on those least able to afford it – and gave the rich and powerful nearly a free ride.”
“That is the grade I gave as well,” Clawson reader K. Scott posted. “It went that low because this week he signed a bill to allow more dark money into elections; when he ran, he said the opposite. He's incapable of keeping his word and is being led around by special interests.”
Also on Clawson Patch, Joseph Boledovich thinks Snyder “has done a fine job, all things considered,” and isn’t a right-wing extremist, as some of his detractors have suggested.
“If he runs again, he needs to have the support of his party which, unfortunately, means playing the political games that are necessary to do so,” Boledovich posted. “During a second term I believe he will show his true colors, and, go down in history as one of the good governors.”
On Ferndale Patch, a reader using the name “Ferndale” gave the governor an A. “Considering a collapsing and evil welfare state which the clueless dolt Granholm left behind, it’s amazing that Snyder has been able to breathe life back into Michigan,” the user commented.
On Huntington Woods-Berkley Patch, user “Beasley Twigs” said the governor is “destroying our public schools” and gave him a “D-”, mostly getting agreement from A. Wills, who said a “D” is “a bit generous.”
“Schools cannot be run like a business, Rick,” Wills posted. “Our children are people with individual needs, not products to be turned out on an assembly line!”
On Saline Patch, Jan Tombeau gave Snyder below failing grades.
“He taxed pensions of seniors, he reduced unemployment, he robbed the school aid fund for students, and he rammed through legislation to make Michigan a right to work state hurting union families,” Tombeau posted. “He promised to reinvent Michigan. What has he reinvented? He boasts accomplishments which were paid for by seniors, low income families, union workers and the students of Michigan. Snyder needs to go.”
From Grosse Pointe Patch, Jan Murphy gave him a “D-” because “he gets a little credit for his preschool focus.”
Dale Murrish, posting on Troy Patch, gave him a “B+”, ranking him “good on economic issues” and “lukewarm on social issues,” but “just right for Michigan.”
What do you think? What letter grade do you give Gov. Rick Snyder as he enters the final year of his first term? Tell us below in the comments.
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