Republicans who control the state Senate got a pep talk Tuesday from GOP businessman and 2006 gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos.I guess the party feels obligated because the man spent millions of dollars of his own money trying to unseat Gov. Granholm, but the fact that he was trounced should be a clue that the public finds him as irrelevant as George Bush.
DeVos, who lost to Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm in the November election and is rumored to be eyeing another bid, spoke for 20 to 30 minutes during a Senate GOP caucus meeting at the start of session. [...]
DeVos said Republicans outside Lansing support the GOP's stance that significant structural changes in government must be made before there is any consideration of a tax increase.
Seriously. DeVos based his election on somewhat dubious, if not downright untruthful claims. He ran around crowing that, "49 other states are doing great. 49 other states are moving forward. 49 other states are adding jobs. And yet, Michigan is the only one lagging behind," and he placed the blame squarely on Gov. Granholm.
That's not how several papers saw it. As the Ludington News Daily said, "The near collapse of the Big Three is not the fault of the Legislature nor the governor. It’s in part the fault of the Big Three for failing to adapt to a global economy, work together with their unions to comply with that increased competition and changing consumer desires."
It wasn't how the voters saw it either. CNN reported that the economy nearly tied Iraq as the reason voters across the country came out to vote last November.
DeVos also ran a series of ads about our depressed housing market and the glut of homes on the market. The implication was that housing was doing great in 49 other states. Yeah, right. Foreclosures rates have been growing across the country since last spring, right about the time DeVos started running his first campaign ads.
From ABC News:
New data released this afternoon indicates that one in every 656 homes in the United States went into foreclosure during May. [...]Michigan currently ranks eighth among states, with one in every 448 homes in foreclosure, but we're certainly not alone in our misery like DeVos wanted us to believe.
"The principal source of the slowdown in economic growth that began last spring has been the substantial correction in the housing market," said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in a speech in late March. [emphasis added]
Aside from the misleading and disingenuous twisting of facts, why are state Republicans listening to DeVos on taxes? He supports the GOP's stance that structural changes in government must be made before there is any consideration of a tax increase, yet he and his family are willing to let taxpayers help build a new stadium for their basketball team in Orlando. If they don't see this as a double standard, shame on them.
And what about the millions of taxpayer dollars that benefit his brother-in-law, Eric Prince, owner of Blackwater Security? I've never heard DeVos raise objections about that money, not even when it came to light that Rep. Henry Waxman wrote Sec. Donald Rumsfeld requesting answers as to why taxpayers paid exorbitant prices for Blackwater's services. Waxman is still waiting for those answers (and so is the public).
And why are state Republicans listening to DeVos when they should be questioning him and his family about Blackwater's lack of transparency and accountability: Blackwater Heavies Sue Families of Slain [Fallujah] Employees for $10 Million in Brutal Attempt to Suppress Their Story.
If taxpayer money provides funding for Blackwater Security, then taxpayers deserve to know if the company cut corners in order to maximize profit - and in the process jeopardized those mens' lives. Surely, Michigan's GOP believes in accountability and transparency, right?
Whatever their reason for listening to DeVos, there's an old adage they might want to consider: When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. They need to ask themselves if that's a risk they're willing to take. It hasn't worked out so well for many Bush loyalists and it just might not work out so well for them either.