Granholm Truth Squad Replies to DeVos Ad

Jennifer Granholm continues to strike back at the dishonest, Bush-like campaign run by challenger Dick DeVos. DeVos initially took a lead due to spending part of his Amway fortune on ads, but Granholm has recently moved ahead. The campaign has started The Truth Squad to respond to the false claims from the DeVos campaign. The Truth Squad has responded to an ad put out by the DeVos campaign attacking Granholm over a plant Honda decided to build in Indiana. No comments here from DeVos on the jobs Granholm recently brought to Michigan from her deal with Google.

“In Michigan, we’re tearing down auto plants. In other states, they’re building new ones. Indiana just landed a new Honda plant.”

We all know that the American automotive industry, which is based in Michigan, is facing enormous challenges and that Michigan is harder hit by George Bush’s unfair trade and outsourcing policies than any other state. Honda is just about the only auto company that does not have and has not historically had facilities in Michigan, so it was a long shot that they would locate a new plant here. Thanks to Governor Granholm’s efforts, almost every other major automaker has invested and expanded in Michigan in the past four years:

· Nissan has opened a new design studio in Farmington Hills.
· Ford is touting a plan to invest $1 billion in manufacturing and powertrain technology in Michigan.
· Hyundai Motor Co. is building a technical center in Superior Charter Township.
· Mitsubishi and DaimlerChrysler are partnering to build a $380 million engine plant in Dundee.
· Toyota is investing $150 million to build a research and development facility.
· GM is upgrading and investing in plants in Warren and Ypsilanti.

In the last four years, the Big Three alone have committed to investments totaling $9.5 billion. Honda is investing $550 million in its plant in Indiana.

“The press reports Indiana’s governor pursued Honda for a year, while Gov. Granholm was blindsided, only got interested at the 11th hour.”

Honda made their announcement in June 2006. Governor Granholm traveled to Japan to meet with Honda in August of 2005, and her economic development team met with company leaders again in 2006. Honda has never built a facility in Michigan and made it clear that it was interested in building this new plant near its existing facilities. Governor Granholm told the Associated Press, “Michigan did have a bit of an uphill battle because for years before I got there we didn’t go to Japan, and we didn’t aggressively and effectively recruit. If we had been doing that like Indiana had been for years, we might have been in a different position.”

“The New York Times says Granholm didn’t actively compete for Honda.”

The New York Times said no such thing. The Times reported that the Governor had been criticized along these lines; however, the criticism came from partisan sectors, including DeVos himself, looking to score political points rather than share facts.

This is not the first time that DeVos has purposely misled voters about what is reported in newspapers. In July, the Lansing State Journal was inaccurately cited in a very similar way. They wrote the following in response: “Dick DeVos and his campaign for governor have tried to pull a fast one on mid-Michigan viewers with a new ad that makes reference to the Lansing State Journal. This ad, designed to erode Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s image, does quite the opposite. It illustrates DeVos’ unwillingness to play straight with voters.” The Detroit Free Press similarly complained when DeVos portrayed the paper as criticizing the Governor, using the words “phony” and “demagoguery.” In fact, a Free Press columnist wrote an opinion piece advising that the Governor should avoid engaging in tactics of that nature. The Free Press reprimanded DeVos, noting that the point the columnist made is “different from criticizing the governor for engaging” in those tactics.

“Granholm admits she didn’t meet with Honda when she went to Japan.”

Governor Granholm DID meet with Honda personally in 2005. In 2006 she dispatched her economic development team to meet with them this was not an oversight or a mistake. When DeVos originally criticized Governor Granholm for not personally meeting with Honda officials during her 2006 Japan jobs mission, the Associated Press investigated the accuracy of his claims. They found that Governor Granholm sent her economic team to meet with the company, and they reported that even Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels did not personally meet with Honda executives when he traveled to Japan in 2006, because the company does not look favorably on meetings with Governors in the latter stages of their decision making process.

“Michigan is being left out of a game it should be best positioned to win.”

Again, under the Governor’s leadership, Nissan, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Ford, GM and Daimler Chrysler have all invested in Michigan and created jobs here. Thanks to the Governor’s ongoing efforts to bring jobs to our state, Michigan has has 215 research and development centers and more auto-related R&D activity than the remaining 49 states, Canada and Mexico combined. Far from being left out, Michigan remains the automotive capital of the world.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Governor Granholm has an economic plan that is beginning to work. The DeVos campaign has gone negative and is fabricating this story. Everyone knows that the American automotive industry is facing enormous challenges, and that Michigan, as the center of that industry, is disproportionately and adversely impacted by those challenges. The real problem is that American workers continue to compete on an uneven playing field because of the unfair trade policies that Dick DeVos and George Bush lobbied for and support.

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