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RE: E-M:/ Sen. Joe Mack -- Dead at 85

I recall one of Joe's favorite comments was to refer to wetland vegetation as "ditch grass"  but since he often wore flamboyant sport coats he also would dare people not to say the pattern looked like "ditch grass"
I also recall him going toe to toe with Tom Washington who was a full head taller than Joe - and with a gleam in his eye he would not back down - but then again neither would Tom!
Joe was probably the best rallying call for the early environmental movement in Michigan - and Dave Dempsey needs some space in his next book to credit Joe with rallying the forces to oppose him !   He may have been Michigan's James Watt

From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net] On Behalf Of Sadewass@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 4:54 PM
To: Mark.Richardson@macombcountymi.gov; enviro-mich@great-lakes.net; ajs@sagady.com
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Sen. Joe Mack -- Dead at 85

I was privileged to have been poked in the chest by Joe's finger and declared to be an "environmental Son of a Bitch" while testifying in front of "his" committee on a wetland issue.  He had this aide named Jake who would do stage whispers in his ear (Joe was hard of hearing) telling him what to say next (e.g. "tell him you're going to have him fired" - Joe would shout: "I'm going to have you fired").  The last time I saw Joe was after he was retired, living in Florida.  A developer friend of his flew him up here in a private jet to lobby for a golf course/condo development in west Michigan.  He ranted and raved and still had enough clout to get a meeting witn Engler.  When asked what to do about it, my boss said "nothing".  Apparently, Joe's friend wasn't that big of a contributor to Engler.  The project was denied and as near as I can tell, it was Joe's last foyer into lobbying. 
But my favorite story about Joe was when he was quoted on the record as saying that a wetland is "wherever a DNR employee takes a piss".
In memory
Steve Sadewasser
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