Lost Confidence: Survey Shows Low Support for Gov't Leaders

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

The grades on government are in. And they're not good.

"If this was a high school graduating class, there would be nobody graduating," said the man behind the "insider" survey on government, Ed Sarpolus. "They all failed."

Failed, he says the survey shows, at leading the government with cuts looming to schools and healthcare -- the result of a budget crisis for the current year.

Just who failed? Gov. Jennifer Granholm had close to an 80 percent negative job rating. "Negative" ratings include those who consider her job "fair" or "poor," a standard polling practice.

House Speaker Andy Dillon? The Democrat from Redford Township had a 57 percent negative rating. And Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) faces 39 percent job disapproval.

Former house speaker and current Minority Leader Craig DeRoche (R-Novi) had higher negatives than the governor. Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek) did not fare well either.

"There is a crisis there and people want to know: why is nothing be done?" Sarpolus said. All that negativity comes from insiders, those work work in state government or with it regularly.

"Elected officials, lobbyists, city and township officials, department heads in the state," Sarpolus said. "The people who are working to get things done on a regular basis."

So what do those criticized in the survey have to say?

"I think the ratings are fair," Dillon said. "We have not produced results and that's what we should be judged on."

He says those numbers will turn around when the budget compromise he predicts is reached. A spokeswoman for Granholm says the governor is focused on fixing the budget and worried less about insider support than the support of the people.

But the man behind the survey says those insiders represent real people with a message.

"We elected you not to play partisan politics, not to play games, worry about re-election," Sarpolus said.

"We're hurting. Do something."

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