More Obama Pandering to Voters

Ed Lasky
In  our retail politics department: Barack Obama's campaign today is announcing a plan -- with five points and $5 billion to be spent over 10 years -- to clean up the Great Lakes," writes Stephen Koff at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who goes on:

"You're forgiven if you think this sounds like a lot of other Great Lakes restoration plans, all announced to fanfare over the years. The difference, say supporters of Obama, including Sens. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, is that this plan would get funded. President Bush has made similar proposals but has never followed up with actual dollars, the lawmakers said. Bush even proposed a budget last year that would have cut Great Lakes funding by 16 percent, Stabenow said in a conference call with reporters this morning.


Rick Moran adds:

The problem isn't necessarily funding but getting the governors of states affected all on the same page. Lake Superior in Minnesota has different problems than Lake Erie in Ohio which is different than Lake Huron in New York.

And then there's the international angle. Only Lake Michigan is entirely within the borders of the United States. All the other Great Lakes are partially in Canada which makes treating problems a matter for the State Department; And you can guess how THAT goes.

Much has been done in the last 30 years to clean up and protect these beautiful and commercially vital waterways. National parks have been created to save sand dunes while sensible use regulations have been passed to allow for exploitation without destruction. It really is a government success story.

Much more needs to be done, however. And unless a president is truly committed to getting the job done by knocking some heads together, it is doubtful anything like what Obama is proposing will be realized.

In  our retail politics department: Barack Obama's campaign today is announcing a plan -- with five points and $5 billion to be spent over 10 years -- to clean up the Great Lakes," writes Stephen Koff at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who goes on:

"You're forgiven if you think this sounds like a lot of other Great Lakes restoration plans, all announced to fanfare over the years. The difference, say supporters of Obama, including Sens. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, is that this plan would get funded. President Bush has made similar proposals but has never followed up with actual dollars, the lawmakers said. Bush even proposed a budget last year that would have cut Great Lakes funding by 16 percent, Stabenow said in a conference call with reporters this morning.


Rick Moran adds:

The problem isn't necessarily funding but getting the governors of states affected all on the same page. Lake Superior in Minnesota has different problems than Lake Erie in Ohio which is different than Lake Huron in New York.

And then there's the international angle. Only Lake Michigan is entirely within the borders of the United States. All the other Great Lakes are partially in Canada which makes treating problems a matter for the State Department; And you can guess how THAT goes.

Much has been done in the last 30 years to clean up and protect these beautiful and commercially vital waterways. National parks have been created to save sand dunes while sensible use regulations have been passed to allow for exploitation without destruction. It really is a government success story.

Much more needs to be done, however. And unless a president is truly committed to getting the job done by knocking some heads together, it is doubtful anything like what Obama is proposing will be realized.