Where in the world is Chris Lewless?
|By Kyle Melinn|
Now, two weeks removed from a second-place finish in the August primary advanced him into the November run-off for the Lansing City Council’s Fourth Ward seat, the question folks are asking is, "Where’s Chris Lewless?"
An early favorite for the seat, Lewless sent out one mailer before the Aug. 4 primary. That’s the only sign of life coming out of the Lewless’ campaign between May and August.
He admittedly "took a step back" in the primary, but Lewless assured me, "We’re going forward as of right now.
"I’ll admit it. I have not run the same campaign as I did three years ago," Lewless added. "It’s also a different economy than it was three years ago."
In my opinion, another difference here is the money. In ’06 Lewless was running for a $79,650-a-year state House job. With Lansing City Council, he’s basically running for a full-time, $20,000-a-year job. Unless you’re retired, set your own work schedule or have a really understanding boss, it’s hard to put in the time to do right by the City Council job and its dozens of meetings a year.
Surprisingly, Lewless ran the primary to lose and still backed into victory because enough voters remembered Lewless Version 2006. At the same time, Truscott couldn’t shake the Republican label attached to his name in the progressive/ liberal Westside despite having the support of unions, including the UAW and the Michigan Education Association.
Unless the Fourth Ward sees a return of the Lewless of old after Labor Day — and he told me it would — this race is over. Congratulations, Councilwoman-like Yorko.
Over at the state Capitol, where state lawmakers and Gov. Jennifer Granholm are trying to figure out how to balance a budget next year that’s $2.8 billion in the red, the probability that Michigan’s bestin-the-nation film incentive credits will be cut has risen to "near certainty" levels.
Even though Granholm reiterated at a press conference an hour later that she wants to maintain the nation’s top film incentives, organizers from the Michigan Production Alliance are convinced that taking one penny out of the incentives (let alone the $10 million to $12 million cut from the governor’s proposal) will chase the industry out of Michigan, particularly since states like Alaska already are looking at bigger credits.
Also likely to see a cut is the planned state Earned Income Tax Credit, which is scheduled to be 20 percent of the federal credit in 2010. Granholm is willing to drop that credit to 15 percent.