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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Devos take two

       When he first ran for governor it was painfully clear that while Dick DeVos said he had a plan to revamp Michigan's ugly economy, he didn't put much meat on the bones on how to do it, beyond his mantra of, "I'm a business man and I know how to do this."
       Of course, he had a spiffy and multi-colored 68 page document, "The Michigan Turnaround Plan" but while it looked good and had plenty of pictures, it contained a ton of vague generalities such as the need to reduce health care costs, increase funding for education, cut government red tape, etc. etc. etc.  In other words it was long on the what we need to do, but woefully short in many instances on how to do it.
       Now comes Dick DeVos for Governor Take Two with the hint that not much has changed.
       The reference here is to an editorial he sent to the Michigan Chronicle entitled "Moving Michigan Forward."
       He suggested he had a few "specific" ideas to offer that would produce "real change."
       Some were very specific and he gets high marks for taking a stand.  For example: "It's time for you to step aside, Kwame.  You did some very good things for the city and we are grateful, but you are hurting us, not helping us."
       It took political courage to wade into the Kilpatrick mess.
       Likewise as he spoke to local governments, he was clear. He told them to consolidate or cooperate to reduce costs and "get to work."
       But then his rhetoric gets a little less direct and reminiscent of the last campaign.
      "We better fix our tax system now…"  But how?
      "No more excuses, just fix our roads."  But how?
      "We have too many violent criminals on our streets…and it doesn't need to "get a little better"…it needs to end!" But how?
       A DeVos defender argues there is plenty of time to lay out the "hows" and his editorial was not a campaign document.  Plus this source says on the energy issue at a recent conference, DeVos had plenty of specific ideas.
      O.K. let's give him the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe he will offer more specifics as 2010 rolls around.  After all he is not even a candidate, yet.  But interestingly his commentary was paid for by "DeVos for Governor."


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