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Dear Ye Olde Emm Ess Emm: Internal government costs are still costs

by: Eric B.

Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 10:42:42 AM EDT

Hey, guys, money isn't money if it's taxpayer money!

Yearout stressed that those figures are "not outside the mainstream for expert costs in litigation," noting the AG's office paid a single witness $155,000 for her work in a national tobacco settlement case.

She also noted that assistant attorneys general working the case are on salary and do not bill by the hour or case.

I would ask why we don't have a better media, but that would be so 2007 or something. Instead, I'll just point out that you don't need to take an advanced course in data journalism or whatever we're calling what used to simply be known in the old days as "journalism" to figure out the pretty simple math formula for calculating internal costs of Michigan's finest legal mind defense of our same sex marriage ban. Ask how many people put in time on the case, ask what their salaries are, and divide salary by time spent.

Not hard, this data journalism. Not hard.

Eric B. :: Dear Ye Olde Emm Ess Emm: Internal government costs are still costs
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In addition to the monetary cost
...there's also the opportunity cost.  All that time spent on this case could have been used for something that the state could have won and that could have made Michigan residents' lives better.  Even Cox's suit four years ago to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes was a better bet.

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

Bottom line: Schuette is playing with house money
That, plus the fact that he's an elected Republican, means that his number-one priority is pleasing the Religious Right, the Tea Party, and similar groups that have disproportionate influence in party primaries.

In the real world, lawyers would balk at taking on obvious-loser cases--which would eventually put them out of business--and hiring "expert" witnesses--who make them look silly in front of judges and their colleagues. At present, Schuette doesn't inhabit that world.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

On a tangentally related note
I really, really think that the Republican blockading of Democratic districts' road projects funding is abhorrent and in need of further 'sunshine' from the media.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

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