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For The Week Of June 17, 2018 Through June 23, 2018

Stating The Obvious: Campaign Emails Don’t Tell Full Story

By Alethia Kasben
Staff Writer
Posted: June 18, 2018 3:36 PM

In a fundraising email from the Michigan Republican Party sent Monday, the GOP seeks to tie a Democratic state representative calling the most recent school aid budget “crumbs” to U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, but the email doesn’t talk about the Republican representative who also opposed the budget and make some similar points on the House floor.

Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township) did call the school aid budget crumbs during her House floor speech opposing the budget bill. She said it was bigger than the crumbs passed last year, but still not enough. She brought up studies showing the state’s per pupil funding amount is not enough. And she criticized the $900 million transferred from the School Aid Fund to the General Fund for uses outside of K-12 education.

Speaking right before her was Rep. Dave Pagel (R-Berrien Springs), who also opposed the budget. Mr. Pagel, although not calling the budget crumbs, spoke about Proposal A passing in 1994. He said no School Aid Fund dollars were used for community colleges or higher education after it passed.

He said in the eight years following the passage of Proposal A, the per pupil funding grant rose 60 percent. He said in the last 15 years, it has increased only 14 percent. And he also brought up studies showing schools should be funded at more than $9,000 per student instead of the current level $7,631 per student.

Now, the Michigan Republican Party is attempting to use Ms. Lasinski’s remarks to fundraise. Though not naming her, the GOP said in a fundraising email boasting Republicans increasing the foundation grant to a record high level without raising taxes with “one desperate Democrat” calling the spending “crumbs.”

“That is the exact same word Nancy Pelosi used to describe the Republican tax cuts that will save the average Michigan family $2,000 per year,” the email said.

Republicans have been putting a big emphasis on Ms. Pelosi’s “crumbs” comments to paint her as out of touch and not realizing how taxpayers appreciate the extra money in their paychecks since the tax cuts took effect.

Tying Democrats to officials perceived as unpopular will certainly be a key play this cycle for the Republicans. Just remember there is probably more to a story than a fundraising email, from either party, is telling.

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