Lansing insiders launch primer on state government for candidates

LANSING, MI – A bipartisan group of Lansing insiders has launched an online effort directed at whoever is elected governor next year. The Next Michigan Governor Project is made up of retired political advisors, ex-cabinet officials, lobbyists, and a university president.

Their document is meant to outline the challenges facing Michigan, and serve as a primer on how state government operates. The document runs 21 pages and has more than 200 questions that the group says the next governor will have to be ready to answer on January first-2011.

Richard McLellan was an advisor to Governor John Engler. He says once the campaign season is underway, it's too late for candidates to get up to speed on everything state government does.

"That's what we're trying to address early on in the process," he says. "The election's a year from now. The person takes office 15 months from now, and there's a lot of work to be done to address those issues the next governor is going to have to face."

There is also a web blog where members of the public can add their questions that the next governor will need to answer. But McLellan says the project is not supposed to be a candidate questionnaire.