Skubick: Lansing mayor tees off on in-street charity donation law

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The angriest mayor in America has another reason to be angry.

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero wants to undo what the governor and lawmakers just did.

He bluntly describes a recently passed law in one word. “Dumb. Dumb as hell.”

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero recalls the death of a lansing firefighter who was collecting charity donations at a south Lansing intersection when a distraught motorist killed him with his car.

The death prompted the state attorney general to rule that fundraising in traffic was illegal.

Then the firefighters and other non-profit charities asked lawmakers and the governor to make it legal and they did.

Mayor Bernero argues with all the road rage, distracted driving and more pedestriancar accidents this law, even with a provision that safety vests be worn, is stupid.

“At a time like this, what a great time to put more citizens into the road,” said the mayor. “We’ll give them vests ’cause that will solve everything. I have heard some stupid things come out of the legislature, this is right up there.”

The mayor believes local government should make this decision, not the legislature.

“I think thats pretty much a local concern that we can handle. Obviously they can’t,” Bernero said. “Somebody will be hurt and somebody will die.”

The mayor singles out former Lansing fire chief, Rep. Tom Cochran, for voting “yes” on the measure. Cochran says he did so because the firefighters asked him to do it. “I think it’s a good thing..its a way to raise money,” said Cochran at the time.

The mayor sarcastically counters, “they could do sky diving without parachutes. People would pay for that.”

The mayor is looking for ways to undo what lawmakers and the governor just did.

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