25 Days to Victory!!!
Broken Promises Calendar: No Results from Governor Granholm
PROMISE: “She will name a team of ‘blight busters’ empowered to tear down dangerous, abandoned properties” (Blueprint for Michigan, pg. 21, September 2002)
RESULT: No record of “blight busters,” but plenty of evidence of “promise busters”.
Dick DeVos hit a grand slam at the Detroit Economics Club Forum yesterday afternoon. This was the third joint appearance before over 1,200 business and civic leaders who packed Cobo Hall to listen to our two candidates for Governor.
Dick DeVos laid out a specific, aggressive and powerful set of arguments as to why the people of Michigan should elect him our next Governor with Jennifer Granholm sitting not 10 feet away from him listening to every word. This was the best speech I have ever heard Dick give. He was “on fire”!
The Governor gave us more of the same…and Dick pounded home why this Governor has provided the state with failed leadership and management has put Michigan at risk.
This speech is a must read. Go to:
So you ask…what did Governor Granholm offered during her speech…check it out:
But then again, I think Granholm’s own supporters said it best:
So, who said this:
“Talk about your double standard. If former Gov. John Engler had misled the media on a story, he would have been convicted on the spot.
When that, indeed, did happen to the current governor, she got a “Get Out of Jail” card.”
Tim Skubick, the “Senior Capitol Correspondent” when talking about the Granholm cover-up by the mainstream media over the Ricky Holland case.
You don’t believe it??? See this documentation and ask your local reporter why no one has written about this, or investigated the allegations even remotely as much as they covered the blatantly false “China outsourcing” or “Alteera scandal” stories???
To link to over 120 pages of documents about Granholm’s “management style” and all the background information, copies of letters, lawsuits and press articles detailing all these management problems, see the file posted at:
The national conservative blog RedSate has highlighted the new Mike Bouchard ad on it’s site. It’s being talked about as one of the best commercials of the season. To see the ad and comments go to:
National Republican leaders will be coming to Michigan again this weekend. Our RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman will be joined by Presidential hopefuls Governor Mike Huckabee from Arkansas and Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas as they travel throughout our state to different events.
Join us at a Victory Center near you. Door to Door efforts are in full swing and local candidates across our state need your help. Thanks for all you do!
Only 612 hours left until the polls close….612 hours!!!
Michigan residents line up for jobs in Wyoming
Michiganders lined up Thursday afternoon in Flint, anxious to grab something that's in short supply in the state: jobs.
More than 500 Michigan job seekers showed up within the first two hours of the Wyoming job fair at the Holiday Inn in Flint. Many Michigan job seekers arrived before the doors opened at 9 a.m., with resumes in hand, to apply for hundreds of jobs at more than a dozen companies in Wyoming.
Supplier C&A slashes jobs
Collins & Aikman will trim salaried workers, review factories in effort to emerge from Chapter 11.
Troubled auto supplier Collins & Aikman will eliminate 10 percent of its salaried work force this month and is evaluating its North American manufacturing operations as it cuts costs and tries to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
DECISION 2006: DeVos hammers Granholm record
Governor rejects slam as desperate
BY DAWSON BELL and KATHLEEN GRAY
Republican challenger Dick DeVos sharpened the tone and content of his case for replacing Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, telling an audience at the Detroit Economic Club the governor has been "MIA and BSE ... missing in action and blaming someone else."
Charlie Cain and Mark Hornbeck:
Granholm, DeVos put focus on economy
Gubernatorial candidates turn Economic Club event into debate as they trade barbs on crime, taxes.
DETROIT -- The Detroit Economic Club billed it as a "joint appearance" and not a debate. But that didn't stop Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Republican challenger Dick DeVos from coming out with guns blazing in a Thursday showdown before 1,200 at Cobo Center.
DeVos, who has trailed in recent polls, took the offensive and said the governor must take ultimate responsibility for high-profile crimes, such as the murder of three people by Patrick Selepak, who was wrongly released from a state prison; and the death of 7-year-old Ricky Holland, whose adoptive parents are accused of beating him to death. State child protective services workers repeatedly had been notified of suspected abuse.
Candidates differ on tax strategy
DETROIT -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos said cutting and overhauling businesses taxes could transform the state's business climate.
Incumbent Democrat Jennifer Granholm, preceding DeVos in twin speeches Thursday at the Detroit Economic Club, said that in a global economy with 50-cents-an-hour wages, cutting taxes to make "Michigan the lowest cost place to do business is a race that we will not win."
Mich. Gov. Granholm Goes on Charm Offensive in Debates
Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm’s re-election campaign has been hindered by both her state’s struggling economy, which is strongly dependent on the troubled domestic auto industry, and an unprecedented, mostly self-funded campaign ad blitz by her Republican opponent, super-wealthy business magnate Dick DeVos.
But even as the Detroit-based car companies continue to make job cuts, the strongest asset in Granholm’s political arsenal — her personal charisma — remains intact.
Tim Skubick: DeVos does much better
In No. 2, challenger gets passionate about his opponent
Republican challenger Dick DeVos has finally removed his foot from the banana peel where it has been planted for the last month. Buffeted by Democratic ads on China jobs, suffering from a self-inflected wound over Intelligent Design, and whacked around pretty good by the governor in the first debate, a decidedly different DeVos showed up for debate No. 2.
He asked voters to "fire" the governor. He accused her of lying and griped that the state was moving backward on her watch.
BRIAN DICKERSON: Media culpa: How the press serves status quo
A couple of days ago in this space, I ventured some reasons why Michigan voters so obviously disturbed by their state's current trajectory seem poised to re-elect virtually every incumbent on the Nov. 7 ballot.
But I neglected to mention one of the most powerful forces working to preserve our state's sorry status quo: the Michigan media.
Ad claims Bouchard kept Canadian trash coming into Michigan
Who's it for: U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow
Who's paying: Stabenow campaign
Air dates, markets: Statewide
Produced by: Laguens Hamburger Kully Klose of Seattle
Claims: Stabenow has fought to stop 2.78 million metric tons of Canadian trash from crossing the border into Michigan and helped negotiate a deal with the Canadian government to halt the flow in the next four years. Her Republican challenger, Mike Bouchard, "was the deciding vote that kept the trash coming then took thousands from trash companies."
Social issues help shape Stabenow's political views
She's for stricter trade agreements, better health care
LANSING (AP) — Debbie Stabenow sat in a Michigan State University dorm in early 1970, watching classmates get assigned lottery numbers for the U.S. Army draft. The Vietnam War raged on half a world away. And Stabenow realized it soon would force her own world to change.
Democrat Stabenow for a second term in the U.S. Senate
It's a rousing race for Michigan's seat in the U.S. Senate as Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard pound it out on the television-ad airwaves.
Republican Bouchard, 50, of Birmingham, makes a very effective law-and-order candidate for a nation worried about war, terrorism and children's safety.
Comcast pulls anti-Andy Levin ad
Cable company takes action after information on former employer, voting record refuted.
CLAWSON -- A political ad that attacks state Senate hopeful Andy Levin's voting record and past employer was yanked from Comcast's rotation Thursday after company officials decided the ad included incorrect information.
Voters to decide on gender language
Farmington residents can change charter to make job duties include both sexes.
FARMINGTON -- It has been a long time since women began to be accepted into the work world, where they're free to become professionals, run for office and make headlines.
Video shows mentally ill prisoner's slow death
KALAMAZOO -- All Timothy Joe Souders wanted was a shower.
Instead, the 21-year-old mentally ill inmate was locked in a segregation cell and shackled to a steel table. Four days later, on Aug. 6, the Adrian resident was dead, apparently because of extreme heat and dehydration, a doctor appointed by U.S. District Judge Richard Enslen concluded.
Romney gets boost in S.C.
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is emerging as the favorite of hard-core conservative Republicans in South Carolina who want to derail John McCain’s straight talk express.
Their first pick, U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia, lost standing when he made highly publicized racial slurs during a heated re-election campaign.
US may bequeath Bush a hostile Congress
Republican party leaders in the US have lately been making it on to the television talk-show circuit not as guests but as jokes.
Party arsenals feature duelling databases
Saul Anuzis, chairman of the Republican party for the state of Michigan, opens his laptop over lunch. At his fingertips is a voter database. Pulling up his own file he scrolls through more than 100 pieces of information, including his support for an assisted-suicide prohibition bill, his boat licence, sports interests and Catholicism.
His profile is part of a database called Voter Vault, which will be critical in the Republican midterm election campaign. Using basic voter information, with data analysis derived from polls of up to 50,000 voters and consumer databases, the party hopes to apply algorithms to predict how groups of people intend to vote and craft a message that appeals to them.
Foley remains eligible for retirement benefits
WASHINGTON -- Now that he's resigned from office, just how much money can former Rep. Mark Foley expect to receive in the coming years?
Abramoff figure Rep. Ney to plead guilty
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation claims its first member of Congress with Rep. Bob Ney set to plead guilty to taking bribes.
CLINTON'S LATEST GLOW JOB
With the Democrats' full-throated moralizing of late, I'm almost tempted to vote for them — although perhaps "full-throated" is the wrong phrase to use with regard to Democrats and sex scandals. The sudden emergence of the Swift Butt Veterans for Truth demonstrates that the Democrats would prefer to talk about anything other than national security.
Unfortunately for them, the psychotic Kim Jong Il seems to be setting off nukes, raising the embarrassing issue of the Clinton administration's 1994 "peace" deal with North Korea.
What Will Stop North Korea
It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union .
-- President John F. Kennedy,
Oct. 22, 1962
Now that's deterrence.
Bangladeshi Economist, Grameen Bank Win Nobel Peace Prize
Bangladeshi banker and economist Muhammad Yunus, whose system of micro-credit loans reshaped development efforts in poor nations, won the Nobel Peace Prize today, along with the bank he founded.
Yunus, 66, founded Grameen Bank in 1976, and was praised by the Nobel Committee yesterday as a man who paved the way for helping economic development among the poorest of his nation -- particularly among rural women.
GOP Redirects Funds From Faltering Races
Faced with a deteriorating political climate, Republican Party officials are hoping to keep control of the House and Senate with a strategy aimed at shoring up enough endangered incumbents to preserve their majorities, while scaling back planned spending on races that now appear unwinnable.
In recent days, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has given back television time it had reserved in Democratic-held districts in West Virginia, South Carolina and Ohio -- apparently concluding that those races are beyond reach unless something dramatic changes the national political environment in the 25 days before the Nov. 7 election.
Democrats Work to Fill Ideological, Electoral Void
Sen. Bayh Seen as Gaining Most by Warner's Decision
Former Virginia governor Mark R. Warner's decision to bow out of the 2008 Democratic presidential race yesterday left the remaining candidates scrambling to fill the ideological and electoral void left by the candidate long considered a leading alternative to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential bid.
The most obvious Democrat to benefit from Warner's surprise announcement, in the view of many party strategists, is Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.). He cleared his schedule yesterday to make phone calls to donors and party activists who had tentatively signed on with Warner for 2008 and are now free agents.
Mr. Reid's Nondisclosure
The Senate minority leader's incomplete financial filings
THE BEST CASE for Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) is that he was sloppy about financial disclosure rules in accounting for a real estate deal on which he made a $700,000 profit. The more unattractive case is that the senator's inaccurate description of the investment was an effort to disguise his partnership with a Las Vegas lawyer who's never been charged with wrongdoing but whose name has surfaced in federal investigations involving organized crime, casinos and political bribery since the 1980s. As of now, the evidence points toward sloppiness; Mr. Reid's friendship with Jay Brown isn't exactly a secret in the state. But either way, an Associated Press report about Mr. Reid's dealings doesn't cast the senator in an attractive light. Neither does his response to the AP story, which indicates a casual disregard for the importance of accurate reporting of lawmakers' financial affairs.
Mr. Reid bought undeveloped property on the outskirts of fast-growing Las Vegas for about $400,000 in 1998 -- one parcel outright and a second jointly with Mr. Brown. In 2001, Mr. Reid sold the land for the same price to a corporation he co-owned with Mr. Brown, who in the meantime was getting the land rezoned from residential to commercial use. But the senator didn't report the sale on his annual financial disclosure form. When the new company sold the land to developers in 2004, yielding $1.1 million for Mr. Reid, the senator did not accurately list the transaction or go back and fix the previous forms to reflect the new arrangement.
Korean test seen as only partial blast
Four days after North Korea tried to set off its first nuclear bomb, U.S. intelligence agencies think the blast detected by seismic sensors was a plutonium-fueled device that did not fully explode.
"The working assumption is that what happened, more likely than not, was an attempted nuclear test that fell far short of being successful," said one U.S. official familiar with the latest intelligence assessment.
GOP focuses on taxes again
President Bush and Republican Senate and House candidates are talking more about taxes in speeches, debates and TV spots after polls showed it is the Republican Party's best issue in a tough midterm election season.
"One of the most important issues on the ballot this November is taxes," Mr. Bush said this week in stumping in Georgia for former Rep. Mac Collins, seeking to unseat Rep. Jim Marshall, the incumbent Democrat. "There is a fundamental difference between the Republican and Democratic parties on this important issue."
Rove raises $12M in the 2006 cycle
White House politico Karl Rove, whose legacy as a strategist hinges on Republicans’ fate at the polls on Nov. 7, has raised more than $12 million for GOP candidates this election cycle.
The total is remarkable for a White House staffer, more than any aide has been known to raise before, and confirms Rove’s place among the most celebrated strategists in American political history.
N.H. Poll: McCain, Clinton Most Popular
John McCain and Hillary Clinton are the most popular potential candidates in New Hampshire for their parties' nomination for president in 2008, a poll released Thursday found.
A total of 515 likely voters were asked about 20 potential presidential candidates in the latest Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center for WMUR-TV.
Making Good on Bush’s Vow Will Require Detective Work
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 — Making good on President Bush’s vow this week to hold North Korea “fully accountable” if it shares nuclear material will pose a major challenge to American intelligence and diplomacy, requiring new equipment and a high level of international cooperation, administration and military officials say.
Mr. Bush’s declaration on Monday, in his first public comments after the North announced that it had detonated a nuclear device, underscored the importance of monitoring North Korea’s nuclear program, tracking its exports and investing in technology for “fingerprinting” nuclear materials.
No '08 White House Run for Ex-Va. Leader
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democrat Mark R. Warner, the former governor of Virginia, has decided not to run for president in 2008, saying he wanted "a real life" and feared the impact of a drawn-out campaign on his family.
A Growing Free-for-All
By approving the merger between AT&T and BellSouth unconditionally, the Bush administration has again abdicated responsibility for protecting consumers when huge companies combine.
Fierce competition between private companies is at the core of the nation’s economic strength. But government still has an important role to play as referee, making sure that the rough-and-tumble game of capitalism doesn’t become perversely uncompetitive through significant concentrations of market power in the hands of a few companies.
Koreans take dimmer view of 'Sunshine'
SEOUL – On a sparkling morning in a villa high above the broad Han River in Seoul, Hyundai Automotive Vice Chairman Kim Dong Jin marvels over his company's new luxury utility vehicle - and weighs the possible impact of North Korea's nuclear blast on sales.
"Do you notice any scare?" he asks. "Koreans are very calm. They regard this situation as they did past North Korean scare tactics."
GOP mantra this fall: Keep politics local
Vulnerable incumbents are focusing on their longstanding connections to their districts.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R) of Pennsylvania once looked like a top-tier target for Democrats in their drive to take over the House. He's a freshman, which in a typical election year would make him more vulnerable to defeat than longer-serving members. And his district, north of Philadelphia, has an increasingly Democratic tilt to it.
But Mr. Fitzpatrick has worked hard to distance himself from President Bush, particularly on Iraq. As a popular, longtime Bucks County commissioner before his election to Congress, he maintains a strong local identity.
The Sounds of Silencing
Why do Americans on the left think only they have the right to dissent?
Four moments in the recent annals of free speech in America. Actually annals is too fancy a word. This all happened in the past 10 days:
At Columbia University, members of the Minutemen, the group that patrols the U.S. border with Mexico and reports illegal crossings, were asked to address a forum on immigration policy. As Jim Gilchrist, the founder, spoke, angry students stormed the stage, shouting and knocking over chairs and tables. "Having wreaked havoc," said the New York Sun, they unfurled a banner in Arabic and English that said, "No one is ever illegal." The auditorium was cleared, the Minutemen silenced. Afterward a student protester told the Columbia Spectator, "I don't feel we need to apologize or anything. It was fundamentally a part of free speech. . . . The Minutemen are not a legitimate part of the debate on immigration."
After $1.65 billion, it's time to learn.
"Google to acquire YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock."
Probably the world can be divided in our time between people who really know what YouTube is and people who don't. No need to be embarrassed if you're clueless about YouTube. It's hard to keep up. That's because there is one fact no one will ever challenge: The earth still spins on its axis every 24 hours, and work and sleep own most of them. Thus we may posit an iron law of the universe: You can do whatever it is you choose to do with your few free hours, or you can spend them with YouTube.
Millions prefer YouTube. So on Monday Google bought it for $1.65 billion. Should you care? I think so.
MIRS Capitol Capsule, Thursday, October 12, 2006
John Reurink (517) 482-2125
DeVos Presents Vision
(Detroit) Today GOP gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVOS, who was sporting reading glasses, delivered a 15-minute speech at the Detroit Economic Club luncheon, in which he displayed aggression and wit while painting a vision of how a DeVos administration would get off the ground.
The following is his speech in summary:
"I apologize that the governor has had so many job interviews," DeVos quipped. "I wish her luck with her next one."
This was followed by laughs and a few groans.
"I believe the job Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM has done is something you're not very happy with," DeVos said. "You like the Governor but just don't know if you want more of the same thing. But at the same time, you're not too certain about me. You're not certain where I'll lead Michigan."
DeVos then said there would be ten things he'd do immediately after taking the oath of office. They included:
- "I'd take charge of the MEDC (Michigan Economic Development Corporation) myself," DeVos said, adding that it was time for a governor to take direct responsibility for MEDC decisions.
"It would be my department," DeVos stressed.
- "I'd call the Legislature into special session where they'd stay until they find a replacement tax for the SBT," DeVos said. "It should be something simple and fair."
- In addition, DeVos said he said believes he could find $1 billion in budget fat from the state's education bureaucracy. "Money that doesn't get to the classrooms," he said.
- He said he'd start converting the state into a "one-stop-shopping" place, where citizens could conduct business with government in an efficient manner.
- DeVos said he'd open 10 state trade missions, beginning with one with Japan.
- He said he'd work on improving Michigan's child protective services.
- He said he'd invest more money in Michigan's tourism industry. "We get $3 back on every dollar invested in tourism," DeVos explained.
- DeVos said he'd have his Lt. Gov. Ruth JOHNSON head a review of every department in state government and eliminate any unnecessary programs and make necessary changes to other programs.
- He also said he'd meet with Detroit Mayor Kwame KILPATRICK and tell him Detroit's success is necessary to Michigan's success. He also said he'd put 500 more police on the streets of Detroit.
"There will be more changes in the first 45 days of my administration than under this Governor in 45 months," DeVos said. "And, if I make a mistake I'll take responsibility for it."
"I've been asked if I believe this Governor is responsible for [the Patrick SELEPAK release and children subject to child protective services who died.] I do. If elected I expect you to hold me accountable."
DeVos said if an incident such as the Selepak release took place under his administration, he'd immediately fire the head of the Department of Corrections (DOC). He said if an incident like the Ricky HOLLAND murder took place under his administration, he'd immediately fire the head of the Department of Human Services (DHS).
"They'd be gone," DeVos said. Then he went into the review of Granholm's history at Wayne County involving the juvenile detection center (See "MRP: 'Granholm Has Failed Leadership Pattern," 10/10/06).
"We can't expect a governor to be perfect," DeVos said. "Sometimes good people who are nice are not right for the job."
DeVos also said that Michigan may no longer be in a single-state recession.
"It may now be becoming a single state depression," DeVos said, listing all the statistics that show the state is struggling economically. "I ask again, are you better off now than you were four years ago?"
"I want this job, not because I want to have the job, but because I want to do the job," DeVos said.
He said the Granholm administration was full of "would've, could've and should've" and making excuses like "the Legislature wouldn't do it,"or "the president didn't return my call."
DeVos said that Granholm, in regard to getting results, had been (MIA) Missing In Action and blamed it on everyone else. He then made a parallel with the Detroit Tigers.
"The Tigers have made a great comeback this year," DeVos said. "They changed leadership and it changed their attitude."
Granholm 'State Can't Win Low Cost Race'
(DETROIT) Today Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM delivered a 15-minute speech at the Detroit Economic Club luncheon, knowing that her opponent Dick DeVOS would be able to follow her a few minutes later.
The following is her speech in summary:
"I suspect my opponent may follow me by suggesting that I should be fired. But I won't be fired. My term will be up and so I am here, in a sense, interviewing for a job."
"I do have a feeling that I may have more experience interviewing for a job than my opponent has," Granholm added - and laughter followed, considering her opponent is from one of the richest families in the state. "At a job interview you're supposed to tell what you're all about and [not] run down the other guy."
Granholm said that she does not believe Michigan will ever be successfully competitive in a global economy based on being the cheapest place to do business.
"We're never going to be the lowest cost place to do business," Granholm said. "If it (someplace cheaper) isn't Mexico, it will be Vietnam or someplace else. I'm not willing to do things that lower our quality of life. We have to attract businesses here with a highly-educated, high-skilled workforce."
"Now I believe my opponent wants to try to make us the lowest priced place to do business," Granholm continued. "I believe that's a race this state cannot ever win."
Granholm then went into what she considers to be her accomplishments regarding education, primarily the statewide curriculum. She also pointed out that she had proposed tax restructuring. She said the Legislature had only seen fit to do some parts of this plan, but that the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) called it the most significant change to the state's business tax in 30 years.
Granholm also said her administration has sped up the state's regulatory processes.
"I even received a letter from one of Mr. DeVos' companies praising us for this," the Governor said.
In addition, Granholm maintained that she is actually pretty fiscally conservative.
"I've signed 84 targeted tax cuts," Granholm said. "I am a fiscal hawk."
She then called on DeVos to explain the details of how he'd replace the $3 billion in revenues that would be eliminated if the state gets rid of its Personal Property Tax, as DeVos suggested in Tuesday night's debate.
She ended her speech by asking those present to help defeat Proposal 2, which is the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI).
(This request may be interesting because of rumors in Lansing that the anti-MCRI campaign is hurting for money.)
Granholm then asked for those in attendance to choose her in the polling booth.
"I ask for your vote," the Governor concluded.
Econ Club - New Cars and Scrums
(DETROIT) In what was called a "joint appearance," the two major party candidates for governor figuratively shared the podium at today's Detroit Economic Club Luncheon.
The format was that each candidate would give a 15-minute speech. As the result of a coin toss, Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM was to go first. It was generally presumed, but not verified, that this meant that she was the loser of the coin toss.
In addition to a coin toss being the basis for establishing the order of the speeches, today's "joint appearance" featured other unique rules. One of these was that each candidate was to be introduced by someone who supported their candidacy.
The lead up to Granholm's speech amounted to a long, favorable campaign ad for the Governor. About two minutes in to this oration, one reporter sarcastically suggested in whispered voice, that the time taken up by the introductions should be deducted from the candidate's 15-minute allotted speech time.
At the end of her speech Granholm attempted to "call out" Dick DeVOS on giving specifics of how he plans to replace $3 billion in revenues that would be lost if the state eliminated its Personal Property Tax and Single Business Tax (SBT). DeVos, during his debate in Grand Rapids Tuesday night, had called for ending the tax.
DeVos didn't immediately follow Granholm to the rostrum. First, there was that rule about each candidate being introduced by a supporter. The DeVos supporter who introduced him was Oakland County Executive L. Brooks PATTERSON, who eventually got around to saying some nice things about the GOP gubernatorial hopeful, but only after eliciting repeated laughs from the audience — some at DeVos' expense.
"I met U.S. Rep. Sander LEVIN (D-Royal Oak) in that hallway here," Patterson said. "He told me he has finally given in and gotten a hearing aid. He told me it was an environmental hearing aid. I asked him what kind it was. He answered that it was about 11:45."
"But I'm supposed to introduce Dick DeVos," Patterson continued. "Or as Beth (CHAPEL, of the Economic Club) calls him - Mr. Dick. Actually, I don't know what I can say about Dick DeVos that hasn't already been said about Kenneth LEY."
Patterson also said that he was supposed to hurry up and make the introduction so he'd have time to sneak out of the ballroom and put DeVos bumper stickers on all of the parked cars belonging to those attending the event.
"Dick asked me why I'd bother to do that instead of just getting all new cars with stickers already on them," Patterson quipped.
Following the introduction, DeVos opened his speech by saying —"I'm not someone who is afraid of taking risks — just look at who I asked to introduce me."
What followed was arguably the best public speech DeVos has delivered this campaign season. In a couple of notable instances particularly on her job interview quip, he used the fact that he got to follow the Governor to the stage to his advantage (See related story). That display of spontaneity had some observers wondering if this was really the same candidate who debated Granholm last Monday.
In answer to Granholm on the Personal Property Tax challenge, DeVos did mention that with him as governor, the Legislature would consider alternatives to the Personal Property Tax at a special session convened by him to take up the topic of developing a business tax to replace the Single Business Tax (SBT). The SBT is scheduled to disappear on Dec. 31, 2007.
Another rule of the event was that the candidates would be available briefly to the press immediately following the proceedings —but they'd be located at opposite ends of the large ballroom, which meant that reporters had to choose which candidate they preferred to see.
Reporters didn't complain much about the divided response periods (referred to as scrums) because initially there was to have been no news media availability following the speeches, and it was only after both campaigns agreed to it (with certain conditions) that the "scrums" were included. Whether just one of the campaigns or both had insisted on the "scrums" being widely separated was information not made available to the press.
Gongwer News Service, Inc.
Larry Lee 517-482-3500
Volume #45, Report #197, Article #01 --Thursday, October 12, 2006
DE VOS UPS STAKES IN CRITICISM OF GRANHOLM LEADERSHIP
DETROIT - Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos raised the stakes in his criticism of Governor Jennifer Granholm's leadership, saying Thursday she should take responsibility for murders committed by a mistakenly-released parolee, the death of a boy in foster care and other instances which he said were tied to mistakes by the state. Granholm supporters called the attack during a joint appearance at the Detroit Economic Club a low blow, and she said she has taken responsibility by shaking up departments after the problems occurred.
Both candidates offered more specifics on how to move the state out of its economic problems, with Ms. Granholm saying "a new Michigan is just over the horizon," and Mr. DeVos refining his call to repeal the personal property tax by saying all of it must be replaced and that it will mean some businesses will have to assume some of the burden now borne by manufacturers.
But the buzz of the day surrounded the declaration by Mr. DeVos that the governor is "one thousand percent responsible for the functions of state government" and referring to parolee Patrick Selepak who committed three murders, the dead foster child Ricky Holland and other tragedies during the Granholm tenure.
Mr. DeVos noted he had earlier called for the voters to fire the governor, with the state's jobs climate reason enough but he said a "disturbing pattern of mismanagement" and "incompetence" is an even bigger reason. "I've been asked if I believe the governor is responsible for these tragic events and my answer is yes. You cannot solve a problem if you will not take responsibility for it," he said.
Mr. DeVos said he would have immediately taken corrective action and fired the directors of the departments of Corrections and Human Services. He also referred to criticism leveled Wednesday by state Republicans regarding Ms. Granholm's handling of problems at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility when she was county corporate counsel.
As part of his 10-point action plan, Mr. DeVos also said he would meet with Department of Human Services officials and employees and pledged to give them the resources needed to protect children who are the victims of abuse.
Ms. Granholm told reporters she does take responsibility for what happens in state government, adding, "So when there was a mistake made in the Department of Corrections, those who were responsible were terminated and the department reorganized. The question is you cannot legislate away evil and so you can do everything you can as governor to insure that the citizens are protected and I have."
Mr. DeVos also stepped up the rhetoric describing the condition of the state's economy compared to national trends that include record-setting stock market values and lower unemployment rates. "We are no longer in a single state recession; we are now in a single state depression," he said, adding he would accomplish more in his first 45 days than Ms. Granholm has in 45 months.
He held himself out as the same kind of rescue agent who made postseason baseball in Michigan relevant again. "If we need inspiration, look at the Detroit Tigers. They have succeeded against all odds because they were able to change. Most importantly, they changed their leadership and their attitude," he said.
His 10-point plan of action includes an immediate 2007 special session of the Legislature to come up with replacement taxes for the Single Business Tax and personal property tax, which combined yield some $3.6 billion in revenues. He has suggested as much as a $1 billion cut in the SBT.
The DeVos plan also calls for new spending items, including 500 new police officers for local communities by the end of 2007, more money for higher education, merit pay for teachers (saying he would tap $1 billion that could be saved from the education bureaucracy) and creating 10 new trade offices in his first year beginning with one in Japan.
Ms. Granholm laid out a clearer vision of what the state is facing in a globally-competitive economy and what the state must do to create good jobs and be an attractive place for business, and continued to paint her approach as the new way of dealing with that reality rather than using tax cuts as a way to lure businesses. She said the approach by Mr. DeVos would try to make Michigan the lowest-cost state.
"We will never be the lowest cost place on the planet," she said. "The way we compete is by offering job providers with the best workers, the most innovative workers, the skills you can't get elsewhere and a quality of life that will attract those businesses and workers to this state."
After noting the cuts in state government that have already taken place over the past three years, Ms. Granholm said Mr. DeVos should have the courage to tell voters before the election how he would replace the SBT and the personal property tax or what services would be cut due to lost revenue.
"I would like to know how another $3 billion will be eliminated from the budget without hurting universities, police and fire and schools," she said. "The people of our state demand a governor with the courage to look them in the eye and tell them the consequences no matter how bad because that is what a leader is all about."
Ms. Granholm said the plan she has put in place will yield a "deep and systemic change" and said she agrees that business tax restructuring is continuously needed.
The governor said the state is given high marks for management and that it has already done much to cut down the time it takes to obtain permits. The campaign released a 2004 letter from Access Business Group, a subsidiary of Alticor that Mr. DeVos used to run, praising the state's Air Quality Division for "superb service" in issuing two permits in one month and two months respectively.
Also cited by the governor as key components to turning the state around are new high school curriculum standards, $4 billion in accelerated infrastructure projects, a fund to invest in new technology companies, job retraining, a pending plan to provide access to health care for 500,000 low-income persons,
Other points in the DeVos plan include:
Both candidates departed from the general direction of their speeches to point out that they oppose the proposed constitutional amendment banning race- and gender-based affirmative action programs by public entities.
PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX: Although aides had said Wednesday "most" of the revenue from the personal property tax would be replaced, Mr. DeVos said Thursday local governments and schools could count on continuing to get all of the revenue they currently get from the tax. He said both tax issues would be dealt with in a special session the first of the year and he would not let legislators go home "until the job is done."
Mr. DeVos again told reporters he has not devised a plan of replacement taxes and would not before the election, pointing only to such proposals as that by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, which he said include some good ideas.
"The personal property tax has to be replaced," he said. When asked if he meant all of it, he said, "Yes. The problem is not the amount, it is the method. There will be sub-movements, but we have to position Michigan for all industries."
Asked about businesses that would pay more taxes in a replacement plan, Mr. DeVos said if the state gets a plan that helps the economy, "business people will stand up and cheer."
Rob Fowler, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, said trying to replace the entire personal property tax and to spread it out more to non-manufacturers would be a concern for his members. The association favors the replacing several current taxes with the so-called Fair Tax system that is essentially a consumption tax on all goods and services.
"I think it's a little bit dangerous to say we're trying to lift this burden from manufacturers," he said. "Anyone with business equipment pays personal property tax."
But he agreed the personal property tax should be eliminated. "The personal property tax is a disadvantageous tax for the state of Michigan," he said. "We want companies to invest here. If you tax the investment, you discourage it."
He also said there is not necessarily the need to replace all of the revenue lost to eliminating the personal property tax. "It's not our objective to replace dollar for dollar those taxes," he said. "Our objective to make sure government is appropriately funded but not over funded."
Charles Owens, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business which also supports the Fair Tax, said his group had not yet polled its members on the issue and so did not have an official position, but he suspected that his members would want to see a tax cut as part of any change.
"We would agree that the personal property tax, like the Single Business Tax, needs to be addressed," he said. "However, I would suspect that we would not be supportive of just keeping the locals whole and spreading the personal property tax burden over all businesses."
Michigan Chamber of Commerce Vice President Rich Studley said both candidates do recognize the burden imposed by the personal property tax, and said chambers around the state took note of what other states are doing to reduce or replace the tax. He said Ohio's plan did include a higher sales tax, but that "typically that isn't the sort of thing we'd advocate because it discourages capital investment."
He said the Chamber would advocate replacing a business tax with another strictly business tax.
Chuck Hadden of the Michigan Manufacturers Association said he is not concerned if an overall cut is not built in to a replacement to the personal property tax. "We've been advocating to get rid of the personal property tax not to get rid of the tax per se but to make it a better system," he said.
REACTION: Lt. Governor John Cherry said the remarks by Mr. DeVos did not go over well with the Economic Club crowd, saying he "crossed the line in the nature of his personal attacks. It's a desperate move."
Former Governor James Blanchard said the criticism was "pretty low," noting the actions taken against corrections employees in the Selepak matter and saying the Wayne County juvenile system, which Republicans began to attack on Wednesday as an indicator of Granholm management failures, is now a national model.
Republican Party Chair Saul Anuzis said Mr. DeVos showed the audience a side of him that is "bold and aggressive. One of the things they wanted to see was a sharper Dick DeVos. His pitch is leadership and management and that is a nebulous concept unless you make it specific."
The 1,200 who attended the luncheon were divided in their partisan leanings and gave both candidates standing ovations.
The two candidates have one more opportunity together: a town-hall style debate Monday at WXYZ-TV that will be carried at 8 p.m. by ABC affiliates around the state and will be made available to CBS affiliates.
Volume #45, Report #197, Article #02 --Thursday, October 12, 2006
STATE'S REGISTERED VOTER TOTAL SPIKES
The number of people registering to vote in Michigan's upcoming general election has surpassed the 2002 tally and has closed in on how many people were registered during the presidential year of 2004.
Typically in gubernatorial years the number of residents registering to vote dips compared to presidential years, which is the case this year as well, but the approximately 7.12 million folks signed up with the state is just shy of the 7.16 who registered in 2004, according to numbers released by the Department of State on Thursday.
In 2002 during the last gubernatorial race, 6.79 million people signed up to vote and in 2000, the number of voters in the state was approximately 6.8 million.
Sarah Anderson, spokesperson for the state Republican Party, said the increasing number of residents who want to vote shows how much Michigan is at a turning point and how many people want to be involved in shaping the state's future through the electoral process.
"The more people involved in the process the better," she said, adding that the party did work diligently on registering people to vote.
Jason Moon, spokesperson for the state Democratic Party, agreed that Michigan voters are engaged in the candidates and issues of this election.
"I think the high number of voters is good news for Democrats," he said, adding that the party works closely with its college and youth groups to get people registered to vote.
Volume #45, Report #197, Article #08 --Thursday, October 12, 2006
ANTI-REPUBLICAN GROUP UP WITH NEW AD
Republicans who voted against a measure that would stop tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs or a proposal to protect people harmed or killed from faulty pharmaceutical products are the targets of television and radio ads put out Thursday by the anti-Republican Coalition for Progress.
"Republicans in the Legislature are standing in the way of moving Michigan forward," Kerry Ebersole, executive director for the Coalition, said. "We need a Legislature that is going to put Michigan first - not big drug companies and the corporations that outsource local jobs."
The ads were launched in districts currently represented by Rep. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw Township), who is running for a Senate seat; Rep. David Law (R-Commerce Township); Rep. David Palsrok (R-Manistee); Rep. David Farhat (R-Fruitport); Rep. Neal Nitz (R-Baroda); and Sen. Gerald Van Woerkom (R-Norton Shores).
A script for the ad "Closer" (another is called "Serious") begins with an announcer saying, "Tax, tax, tax breaks for corporations that move off shore. Tax breaks for companies that outsource our jobs. So what else has (insert lawmaker's name here) been up to? He's been protecting the big drug companies. (Insert name here) voted for big drug companies, making sure they don't have to pay a dime when a drug they sell harms or kills someone."
The Coalition cites votes on amendment to a House bill offered by Rep. Kathy Angerer (D-Dundee) in December 2005, a Senate resolution (SR 130
But House Republican spokesperson Matt Resch said the coalition's ads continue to be hypocritical, adding, "We've known for a long time that Jon Stryker and (House Minority Leader) Dianne Byrum (D-Onondaga) are in cahoots to buy the Legislature."
Mr. Resch said Stryker's Coalition is taking direct talking points out of Ms. Byrum's playbook, but that voters will see through the radical tactics of buying legislators.
STRYKER DONATION: The House Republican Campaign Committee on Thursday called on Ms. Angerer to return a campaign donation from Mr. Stryker, saying the money is associated with Medicaid fraud.
Mr. Stryker along with a South Dakota health clinic recently agreed to pay $345,000 to Medicare after a violation of the anti-kickback statute was claimed. It was alleged that Mr. Stryker forced doctors to use his company's products only, which inflated the price on products sold in that region.
Former Rep. Matt Milosch, who is running against Ms. Angerer, said it was wrong for her to declare a need to ban lavish gifts from pharmaceutical companies at the same time she received money from someone violating the Medicare program.
"Stryker is part of the problem facing our healthcare system, and by accepting this money, Kathy becomes part of the problem as well," he said.
Dan Farough, a spokesperson for the House Democratic Caucus, said if Mr. Milosch is looking for corporate rip-offs he should look to Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos and Amway (which is now Alticor).
"It's ridiculous," Mr. Farough said. "Milosch is so intoxicated by his brief stay in the Legislature that he is swerving to get his campaign back on the road (with this type of claim). He's completely out of touch with his district."