Dick DeVos Shows Lack of Respect for Coast Guard; Blasted by Grand Haven Tribune

Dick DeVos, who has lost his lead over Jennifer Granholm, was the target of an editorial in the Grand Haven Tribune. Every year Grand Haven has a parade to honor the United States Coast Guard. This year Dick DeVos used the event to campaign, even after his request to be present was denied by the festival organizers:

But it’s still the Coast Guard Festival and we shouldn’t forget about the intent of the celebration.

That’s why we find it upsetting that some candidates for political offices felt the need to campaign in Grand Haven during the festival.

Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos and U.S. Senate candidate Mike Bouchard, both Republicans, were two candidates who were in town during the festival stumping for votes.

DeVos representatives, in fact, had asked if they could participate in the Grand Parade.

Festival Director Michael Smith denied them permission. The festival’s policy is that any candidate seeking office can’t be part of the parade. Incumbents are allowed to participate in the parade.

DeVos’ people found a way to circumvent the rule by walking the parade route prior to the parade. DeVos worked the crowd like any good politician would.

We believe that DeVos’ appearance at the parade was inappropriate. He should have found another time to visit our city.

The festival should be void of politics. We’re honoring the men and women of the Coast Guard – not people seeking political office.

Recent posts on Dick DeVos here and here. Two years ago supporters of John Kerry were given permission to appear in the Coast Guard Parade and entered a float of John Kerry’s swift boat to honor the Coast Guard. My report, along with a photograph (which had also been included on the official Kerry campaign blog), is below the fold.

West Michigan Shows Support For John Kerry and US Coast Guard

Last Monday we saw tremendous support for John Kerry with record attendance for a political rally in Grand Rapids. Today was the day of the annual Coast Guard Parade in Grand Haven Michigan–Coast Guard City, USA. In a week in which John Kerry has pointed out George Bush’s failures in defending the country from terrorist threats, and others tried to distort Kerry’s military record, it was fitting that a replica of John Kerry’s swift boat was included in the Coast Guard Parade.We knew it was a going to be a good day when driving into Grand Haven, which sits in the midst of Republican West Michigan. We passed numerous cars with Kerry bumper stickers and gave each other thumbs up (and the opposite to the rare cars with Bush stickers). While actually at the parade, we saw many people wearing Kerry stickers and badges, but other than for the county Republican Party float, not a single Bush badge.
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  1. 1
    battlebob says:

    The parade will allow political floats to show their candidate, but not actual political campaigning. Kerry didn’t campaign with the crowd. The Republican party had a float.
    This shows DeVoss will say anything and do anything to get elected. He is in favor of anything that benefits the wealthy. More press is needed on his desire to replace public schools with charter schools. His desire to remove the Single Business Tax (SBT – 1.9 bil of tax revenue) and not tell how to replace it.
    The Repub legislature voted to remove it by the end of 2007 without specifying how to replace the money and the Michigan bond rating dropped.
    Gov Granholm has said she will remove in when the legislature has a viable plan to replace it.
    In Grand Rapids, there are a lot of negative DeVoss articles. There are the usual ‘the DeVoss family has done so many good thing..Dicky deserves it’. The locals know most of the real community activity was done in previous generations.
    DeVoss is an empty suit with money and no real accomplishments other then inherit family wealth and shove jobs to China which cost Michigan jobs.

    In a way, he is a dumber Bush…Another variant of Dumb and Dumber?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:


    The number of people wanting to get into the parade seems to grow every year, with a lottery now being used. They have tightened up on political candidates so I’m not even sure if they would have allowed the pro-Kerry float this year. The important distinction is that the Democrats were given permission to be in the parade in 2004 while DeVos was denied permission this year but circumvented their decision.

    There were also a number of people passing out DeVos stickers this year. One happened to ask if anyone wanted a DeVos sticker when I was passing. I asked if they had any Granholm stickers instead.

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