DeVos Goons Try To Silence Web Site

Dick DeVos, who is trying to use the Amicare/Alticore fortune to buy the Michigan Governor’s office (as a stepping stone to the White House) doesn’t seem to like bad publicity. In July the Grand Rapids Press ran a story entitled Alticor leaders cheated investors, suit says, with the suit naming Dick DeVos. Quixtar Blog and Michigan Liberal are reporting on a letter received from Scott Larsen who runs the AmQuix.info website. The letter was from attorneys representing Alticor denying the validity of the suit, accusing Larsen of bias, and request that he “Please take immediate action to correct your website’s misleading impression of the Wardrop lawsuit.”

I am not in a position to judge the merits of the case. Perhaps DeVos is innocent of this. It is even possible that Scott Larsen is biased. What a shocking discovery this would be: there are biased web sites out there which take sides in a political race. Who would have thought this could happen? It is even conceivable that such biased web sites would link to articles with negative information about a candidate from local newspapers. Who would have guessed that this could take place out on the internets?

Enough sarcasm? After the DeVos attorneys, who apparently are unaware of the First Amendment, harass little web sites, will they next go on to try to prevent editorial writers from writing biased editorials opposing DeVos or supporting Jennifer Granholm? As Quixtar wrote:

The First Amendment allows us to be biased. People may not like that but it’s our right to be as biased and unfair in our coverage of public figures and corporate entities as we desire. As long as that coverage is true (and sometimes when it isn’t) our speech is protected. There’s absolutely nothing obligating us to be fair and balanced and communicate all sides of any given issue.

It’s that very freedom that allows companies like Alticor and Quixtar to publish reams and reams of rosy reports and testimonials without sharing less rosy reports and complaints. No law requires Alticor, Quixtar or Dick DeVos to publish criticism or unfavorable reports in publications they control. It’s their right to be biased. That’s the American Way!

Such disregard for civil liberties is just one reason to be very afraid of Dick DeVos succeeding in his political ambitions. I’ve previously reported on the far right wing organizations he supports with an agenda to increase the role of religion in public life and government.

Don’t think you’re safe from Dick DeVos if you don’t live in Michigan. John Kerry has warned, while campaigning for Jennifer Granholm, that Dick DeVos has already purchased the DeVosforPresident.com web address (copy of email below). I verified this at whois:

Domain Name………. devosforpresident.com
Creation Date…….. 2004-12-18
Registration Date…. 2004-12-18
Expiry Date………. 2007-12-18
Organisation Name…. Richard Devos Iii

Note the date. Well before winning the nomination for Governor, DeVos was looking ahead to other offices. Besides purchasing this domain, he has also purchased several others, including for Senate as well as President.

I’ll reprint my old posts on Dick DeVos under the fold. Before doing so I must type DeVoss, DeVoss, DeVoss. Back at the Democratic Daily I mistakingly spelled his name as Dick DeVoss (that’s DeVoss with an extra s). I found that many people doing web searches also spelled his name incorrectly, and by having mispelled his name in the blog post we received many links in such cases.

Granholm Challenges DeVos on Jobs and Values

Posted by Ron Chusid
February 16th, 2006 @ 12:42 pm

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s reelection campaign is raising money to respond to attacks from challenger Dick DeVos on the economy by pointing out DeVos’s record on outsourcing jobs as CEO of Amway:

DeVos is trying to be someone he is not. He is not a job maker. Dick DeVos is a job exporter. DeVos cut jobs in Michigan but invested millions in China. DeVos has spent money lobbying for the trade, outsourcing and economic policies that Bush has put in place and that have hurt Michigan. Dick DeVos isn’t the solution, he is part of the problem. In addition to backing the policies that have sent our jobs overseas, DeVos has stood shoulder to shoulder with George Bush fighting against the values and principles we hold dear.

Granholm in Tight Race

Posted by Ron Chusid
June 15th, 2006 @ 3:23 pm

Last week an EPIC/MRA poll showed Granholm down by eight points to Dick DeVos. It’s hard to tell how seriously to take polls since DeVos is spending a fortune on ads. It’s hard to believe Michigan residents will really be suckered into voting for him. That’s as crazy as being suckered into those Amway deals his family came up with. Or perhaps it would be best to say that DeVos for Governor is just another Amway con. Dick DeVos has a secret plan to revive Michigan’s economy which reminds me of Dick Nixon’s secret plan to get out of Vietnam.

Reportedly this poll is not consistent with other polls. I’ve heard (but can’t verify as I’ve dropped my premium subscription) that Rasmussen has Granholm up by two. Even RedState warns against taking this poll seriously. They quote the Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party as saying, “The bottom line is that this poll is not consistent with other numbers we have seen. So we’re excited by the prospects, but political reality tells us that this is going to be a close election, an uphill battle all the way to the end…so don’t let the Dems fool anyone into believing anything else.”

Free Press Reports on Dick DeVos’s Far Right Wing Views

Posted by Ron Chusid
June 18th, 2006 @ 8:53 am

The Detroit Free Press looks at the race between Jennifer Granholm and Dick DeVos for Governor of Michigan, noting DeVos’s history of contributing to far right wing organization, including the religious right. DeVos’s family made their fortune from multilevel marketing at Amway by means which amount to a legal pyramid scheme which enriches those at the top while the vast majority make minimal amounts–hardly the business model to revive Michigan’s economy. As DeVos has not divulged his financial information we are forced to go by estimates. According to the Free Press, “Estimates of his net worth start in the $500-million range, but no public figure is available. His father has an estimated net worth of more than $3 billion, according to Forbes Magazine’s latest list of America’s richest people.”

In reviewing DeVos’s record spending on television ads, the Free Press notes the contradictions between how DeVos portrays himself and reality. “DeVos’ TV image shows a nonpolitical successful businessman. In fact, he and his family have been among the nation’s biggest donors to Republican and religious-conservative causes — a partisan generosity that could both reap returns for Dick DeVos’ candidacy and make him a very large target for Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s reelection team.”

The Free Press looks further at the organizations DeVos has contributed to:

The DeVoses have supported such right-wing advocates as the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Council for National Policy and the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in Grand Rapids, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and Michigan Right to Life.

The organizations promote conservative economic and social agendas: free trade and less government regulation, school choice including vouchers, the infusion of Christian beliefs into public life and opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

Granholm spokesman Chris DeWitt commented on DeVos’s far right wing views:

“Dick DeVos is so far to the right it would make Rush Limbaugh blush,” DeWitt said. “He has supported groups that oppose all abortions, oppose stem cell research, oppose affirmative action, support outsourcing and unfair trade agreements, school vouchers, worked against the environment.

“The DeVos camp has gone out of its way to avoid answering any questions. What they can’t hide is the fact that DeVos’ actions in support of these groups speak very loudly.”

John Kerry Campaigning for Jennifer Granholm

Posted by Ron Chusid
July 20th, 2006 @ 7:54 am

Email to supporters from John Kerry:

An important July 23rd fundraising deadline is fast approaching — and I’m urging each and every johnkerry.com supporter in Michigan to act right now to help Governor Granholm as she prepares for the final 100 days of her campaign.

Beat DeVos. Beat the Deadline. Donate Now.

I know I don’t have to tell you that Michigan needs Governor Granholm’s leadership. That’s why I will be visiting the state on Sunday, less than 24 hours before the deadline, and spending the day with Governor Granholm.

Her $6 billion Jobs Today economic plan is just what Michigan needs to fight its way out of the economic mess she inherited — and to recover from years of neglect from Republicans in Washington.

You and I both know what a disaster it will be for Michigan’s economy if Amway heir Dick DeVos — with his bad ideas and his close ties to those who have caused Michigan’s problems in the first place — were to replace Jennifer Granholm November 7th.

During her tenure, Governor Granholm has developed one of the nation’s most comprehensive and aggressive economic plans. Her 21st Century Jobs Fund is diversifying Michigan’s economy and her Jobs Today program is investing in needed infrastructure improvements to put people to work right now.

Governor Granholm knows that two of the best paths to a bright economic future are high-quality education and affordable health care. She has increased K-12 funding to record levels and she has created rigorous new curriculum standards to ensure that Michigan students are prepared to succeed. In addition, she introduced the nation’s first bulk buying pool for prescription drugs and extended prescription drug and health coverage to 292,000 Michigan citizens. Her Michigan First Health Care proposal will extend affordable health insurance to 500,000 uninsured people in her state.

Don’t let DeVos devastate Michigan. Stand with Jennifer Granholm now.

How wrong could one man be? DeVos is a major donor to a slew of divisive, right-wing causes, including the most extreme opponents of women’s rights. And he has poured millions of dollars into the school voucher movement, undermining Michigan’s public schools.

The DeVos family was the single largest contributor to Republicans in 2000. A long-time Bush ally, DeVos has put the full weight of his personal fortune behind people and policies that have made life harder for Michigan families — from shipping jobs overseas to trade agreements that hurt Michigan’s economy.

As CEO of Amway, he invested over $200 million in China while laying off nearly 1,400 workers in Michigan. And the DeVos family was among a group of ultra wealthy families that ran a “stealth campaign” pushing the repeal of the estate tax, which has resulted in record deficits and could save the Amway heirs over $1 billion.

Don’t let him get a stranglehold on Michigan’s economy. Help Jennifer Granholm run an aggressive, all-out campaign. Donate now before the crucial July 23rd deadline.

There’s another reason why it’s so critical to make sure that Dick DeVos doesn’t get a grip on power in Michigan. In 2000, we saw how vital it was for Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris to hold power in Florida. In 2004, we saw the influence in Ohio of Ken Blackwell, a highly partisan Secretary of State.

Jennifer Granholm’s leadership in Michigan helped my presidential campaign immensely and kept the state in the blue column. In 2008, we can’t afford to have Michigan in the hands of an extreme, right-wing Republican Governor. For the sake of the nation, I urge you to do everything you can to keep Michigan blue.

With a crucial fundraising deadline — and the final 100 days of this race — fast approaching, I urge you to act right now. Rush a generous donation to support my close friend and your extraordinary Governor, Jennifer Granholm.

Thank you for acting quickly.

Sincerely,

John Kerry

P.S. If you want one more reason to act, try this: DeVosforPresident.com. Dick DeVos has already purchased the web address. With his vast wealth and enthusiastic support from extreme right-wing groups, he wants to use the Michigan governorship to become a force in national politics. Don’t let it happen. Stop him now. Stop him in Michigan.

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