It’s official. Republican Gov.-elect Rick Snyder has picked Democratic House speaker Andy Dillon to be Michigan’s next state treasurer. Snyder also named Republican former Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus as a senior adviser.
Snyder made the announcement Monday.
Dillon is the first Democrat Snyder has appointed since winning the governor’s race last week. A lawmaker for six years, Dillon has been House speaker the past four and ran for governor this year, losing the primary election to Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.
“Dillon had to think long and hard about this,” said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick. “He wasn’t sure he wanted the job, but he said he likes Rick Snyder’s vision, so he’s on board,” Skubick said.
It was not clear Monday whether Dillon would have to step down as House speaker for the final weeks of the 2009-10 legislative session.
Dillon played an instrumental role in drafting the Michigan Business Tax, which Snyder now wants to replace with a 6 percent corporate income tax. Dillon said Monday that he looks forward to simplifying the state’s business tax structure.
Snyder said he isn’t worried about political labels as he picks his administration.
“This is just a fabulous group coming together and we’re going to continue on that path,” Snyder said at a press conference announcing the appointments.
Skubick said not everyone in Lansing is pleased with Snyder’s choice.
“He [Dillon] calls himseld a true blue Democrat, but there are some Democrats who question his credentials. Obviously, Mr. Snyder doesn’t care one way or the other. He wants to get rid of all labels in politics, so he’s comfortable with Dillon. There will be some flack, however, aimed at this decision,” Skubick said.
Skubick reports that Postumus will be working as a lobbyist in the Snyder administration.
“Mr. Posthumus will be in Lansing every day, putting to work his legislative experience. But, here’s his major problem: He doesn’t know anybody in the legislature anymore. All of those people he served with are gone, except one person. He has a daughter in the Michigan House,” Skubick said.
Posthumus has retired from his position as CEO of Compatico Inc., but remains a partner at the office furniture system manufacturing company in Grand Rapids. He has extensive legislative experience, having served in the state Senate from 1983-1998, including eight years as Senate majority leader, representing the Kent County community of Alto. A longtime farmer, he was Republican Gov. John Engler’s lieutenant governor from 1999-2002 before losing to Democrat Jennifer Granholm in the 2002 governor’s race.
Snyder has said he chose his lieutenant governor, state Rep. Brian Calley, in part for his legislative experience. But Calley, a former banker from Portland, has served in the House for only four years. Posthumus’ deep knowledge of legislative rules will make him invaluable in his new role as adviser.
Posthumus said he had urged Snyder to recruit people with legislative experience for his team, but didn’t expect to wind up with part of that job himself.
“Michigan is suffering, people are suffering,” Posthumus said. “We are in deep need of leadership, and innovative leadership.”
(Copyright 2010 WWJ Radio. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)