Turning our attention to local politics, news came out today that GOP gubernatorial candidate Rich DeVos has already spent $2.5 million in his quest to be Michigan's next governor. One has to wonder the wisdom of spending this kind of money for a job that pays considerably less than this per annum. And this from someone who is sure to make the state's budget deficit a campaign issue. Of course, what he won't mention is that when John Engler took office in 1988, the state had a balanced budget as well as a surplus, something burned off in the next twelve years of the Engler administration, handing Jennifer Granholm a budget deficit when she took office six years ago. Of that money, most was spent on cut and run politics, cutting taxes for the likes of Dick DeVos so they run their businesses out of Michigan.
Devos' wife (and former Nation GOP Chair) Betsy did so, by selling her families company, Prince, to Wisconsin-owned Johnson Controls, who closed much of the operation in the state. Then Ms. DeVos had the audacity to claim that Michigan workers were "overpaid" (as opposed to CEO's of Michigan companies, such as her husband) . DeVos also promised George W Bush she would deliver him Michigan in 2000, a promise broken by the DeVos' insistence of putting their school voucher scheme on the ballot in the same year, sending record numbers of Democratic voters to the polls to defeat it.
And the voucher program is what this campaign is all about. Even after being resoundingly defeated by the voters in 2000, plus DeVos' failed Senate Campaign, they just don't get the message that the people of Michigan don't really want them in charge, or their voucher plan to use tax dollars to fund religious education. Taking more money away from public schools, that'll make them better. Or better yet, privatize them and have your school children being auctioned off to the highest paying bidder in their effort to imprint children with their product brand. Because just having commercials on tv, billboards, t-shirts, above urinals, parking lot spaces, city buses, semi-trailers, isn't enough, now they want to start surrounding our children with their product statement. Just how our children are supposed to get an education with all the distractions is anyone's guess.
DeVos' experience comes from his job as Alticor president, a job he got because.. His daddy started the company. And while he managed to keep the business going, how hard is it to run a glorified pyramid scheme. You see, Alticor is the parent company of Amway, which is enough said around these parts as the company's founders have ponied up enough dough to put their name on a slew of local public buildings.
So while Jennifer Granholm plans on making a voluntary financial disclosure on April 17, DeVos has chosen not to, as everything in this campaign is designed to have DeVos ("the workers of Michigan get paid too much money") as a friend of the working man, the people who are losing their jobs as more and more Michigan companies fold. The state congress, run by the Republicans, have even passed a measure to raise the state's minimum wage in a bid to keep a proposal off the ballot that would likely bring more Democrats to the polls. And that, in a nutshell, is how our political system works, only doing something for people when it serves your needs.