As I noted yesterday, there's speculation swirling about the capitol regarding whether the Republicans "have the guts" to vote for budget cuts. And as I referenced last week, one of those cuts is a $218 reduction to the K-12 budget. So it comes as little surprise that the MIRS Capitol Capsule now reports a "source" who claims that the Michigan Education Association is cranking up the heat on some of them to "back away" from the $218 reduction.

The list of MEA "targeted" legislators is as follows:

Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton

Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge

James Marleau, R-Lake Orion

Cindy Denby, R-Fowlerville

Tim Moore, R-Farwell

Tom Pearce, R-Rockford

Sharon Tyler, R-Niles

Geoff Hansen, R-Hart

Jim Stamas, R-Midland

Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights

Kevin Green, R-Wyoming

Paul Scott, R-Grand Blanc

So, this reminds me of the November/December 2008 edition of Michigan Capitol Confidential, wherein we noted that 11 of the 43 members of the House GOP caucus were "recommended" by the MEA during the most recent election cycle. It is perhaps no coincidence that this list also includes Jones, Marleau, Moore, Rocca, Green and Scott. After all, why bother "recommending" them to your membership if you can't get them on the phone when your ox is being gored, right?

With the budget deadline looming within hours, it is perhaps useful to point out the others on the MEA recommendation list:

Richard Ball, R-Laingsburg

David Hildenbrand, R-Lowell

Gail Haines, R-Lake Angelus

Eileen Kowall, R-White Lake

John Walsh, R-Livonia

And also, quite related, here are some people keeping track of which lawmakers plan to do what when it comes time to raise taxes or not. The responses range in intensity from... 

"Don't waste your time calling me. I am a big NO on all tax and fee increases" -- Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township...

to... 

When I asked if I could tell folks he would NOT raise taxes, his reply was, “I don’t intend to.” -- the aforementioned Tom Pearce, R-Rockford.