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Liveblogging Debate #3: Dick Devos vs. Jennifer Granholm

October 17, 2006

Scary Debate 3 Starring Dick Devos
I think the first thing the public saw at the third Michigan Gubernatorial Debate from Dick Devos was a bold new look, a look that said “I have glasses, I’m smart.” My handlers agreed that they made me look like a Goober, which is a clear step toward gubernatorial. Look for more exciting initiatives soon! Then there was some cheering for the local baseball club. Baseball? What’s the deal with that? Give me a rousing game of Jarts any day.

The Governor said she’d enact her 21st Century Jobs Fund as the one piece of legislation she’d pick to turn Michigan around. Then she challenged me to stop using the images of dead children for my commercials and to “pick on somebody my own size”. A low blow for sure as I believe size is judged by your works and my works at Amway and elsewhere are quite unique. Then I answered the actual question ’cause I’m not gonna dodge the tough questions and said I would adopt my economic plan that I put forth. It has 134 specific ideas ranging from #37: Keep sharp pencils AWAY from eyes to #113: Chinese workers will work for 1/50th of what a Michigan worker will. Food for thought, people! I also hammered the Gov for investing in research. Bunch of pointy-head geeks in a lab – like THAT ever produced anything.

Then Steven Clark asked me if I was insulted by being compared to George Bush in the morph ad. Hell yes! I mean no. I didn’t specifically mention That Guy in the White House by name (if I can’t show pictures of dead children, then she shouldn’t be able to mention him) but nobody should be insulted by being compared to any President. Except that guy. The Gov suggested that free trade agreements and a Bush Administration that is not standing up for our automotive sector are the root. She also said I have been one of George Bush’s biggest financial backers and personally lobbied for the passage of these free trade agreements that have so devastated Michigan’s economy. Well, true, but that’s not the point. The point is that companies in OTHER states are doing fine. The Governor’s saying that Michigan is the only state in the country that’s the automotive capital of the world, that it’s not “rocket science” as to why Michigan is uniquely challenged. I say “TOUGH!” – quit whining about Ford, GM & Chrysler all being in Michigan – you should have thought of that before you ran for Governor!

Then a bunch of people emailed that “they don’t trust Dick Devos” and “Dick Devos is trying to buy his way into the Governorship”. As a citizen of Michigan I would find insulting if someone suggested I could be bought. Sure, I’m spending more than any candidate ever has in Michigan, but that’s just because I’m rich and accustomed to buying anything I want. I then cite the Detroit News. I love that paper.

Wshew. Softball on smoking question. Dick Devos supports choice on smoking. Appeal to everyone, say nothing. The Gov then tries to shift the focus to healthcare. Dodging the softball and answering a harder question, typical. She asks me about my plan, so I shift the focus and attack her. Anyone see a pattern? Question > Governor Answer > Rebuttal > Attack Governor > Check Fly > Repeat.

The Jobs Killing SBT comes up. The Gov has some “plan” for replacing it and then attacks my $1 or $2 billion dollar hole I’d leave. I say “gross receipts tax” and “gross profits tax” and “replace the revenue”. That sounds like a plan to me! She then attacks me for incorporating my subsidiaries in Bermuda to avoid paying US taxes. I am profoundly disappointed. Not answering or refuting, but very disappointed.

Then it’s time for the voters to talk with us. We are instructed to stay behind our podiums for the safety of all. A woman says her family business and schools are struggling. Hey, I have a family business too! I point out that she’s never had the struggles that business people like us have faced. I can identify with this woman! I transformed a multi-million dollar company (Amway) into a slightly smaller multi-million dollar company (Alticor).

Then a young woman asks the Gov what she’s going to do about college education. She talks about her increased Merit scholarship, standards increases and then says she inherited a $4 billion budget deficit from my predecessor and had to cut more out of state government than any governor in the history of Michigan. Hello? Yesterday! I accuse her of cutting from education. I am not at all clear on this inherited $4 billion budget deficit thing. She asks how I will cut money and increase investment.

Then some guy asks about trash from Canada. I am opposed to trash dumping. I blame the Governor. She blames the Feds. I say “we need to go to Washington to get things done”. Dick Devos knows Washington and how to get things done there. It’s a complex thing involving briefcases and drop points and lots and lots of junkets. Junkets for junk! Then she talks about the Interstate Commerce Clause in the Constitution and says raise fees and increase recycling. I attack her for a drop in recycling. I don’t answer HOW I will get it done, but I will get it done. Trust me.

Next is a question about education funding. The Gov talks about investing in K-12 is at record levels and making sense of health care through her Michigan First health care initiative. She also asks me how I will balance the budget. Hello? Balanced budget? I say the K-12 system is suffering and struggling. I tout my involvement in K-12 education. She comes back and attacks me on my involvement in the voucher movement and says that even now I am investing in the voucher movement in seven other states. True, but not in Michigan … yet.

Then I proceed to whomp the Gov’s butt on manufacturing. She says she’ll reduce the Personal property tax by 35% but I say it’s gotta be all of it. Not gonna tell you how I’ll pay for it. Think of it as a “tax surprise party”.

The next topic is Detroit, she points out a lot of specific things like Tech Town and Next Energy, investing in affordable housing, cost of insurance. I say education is the key. People argued, the Governor did nothing. She then asks if I would support a reinstatement of the inheritance tax for the 800 wealthiest families in the state so that that funding can go to hire police and fire firefighters. Yeah, that’s me. Not gonna dignify that with a response.

We then offer our closing statements. I go first and attack, attack, attack and rain doom and gloom on Michigan. I point to less police officers on the street, totally unaware that the Federal policing grant is the reason. It’s not my job to know facts, it’s my job to be the Promiser!

Governor Granholm closes with “There are tremendous, large contrasts in this race. Large contrasts. I’m somebody who has fought for you, for all citizens. He’s somebody who has stood on the other side of the things I’ve fought for. I’ve fought to create jobs here and diversify our economy here in Michigan—he’s eliminated 1400 jobs in Michigan when he was CEO of Amway. I’ve fought the policies of outsourcing and unfair trade of George Bush. He’s George Bush—one of George Bush’s biggest backers and has supported those unfair trade practices that have hurt us. I went to Asia to bring home 22 companies, 1000 jobs and $200 million in investment—he went to Asia and invested $200 million and created thousands of jobs there.”

She says I’m George Bush when in fact it’s easy to tell the difference between Dick Devos and Dubya.

I win – 3 for 3, baby! I’m like the Dimaggio Ordonez of debating! MVP!!

Some Debate Links (for the masochists)

  • Granholm – DeVos 3rd debate transcription Kommie Kittie turns my own words against me.
  • Outside it’s America: 3rd Debate Links Whacko Zacko DID watch Wife Swap but has all the links. Crap, if I had known I could just read or watch it today, I could have too. The Trackback Zack then disses the Detroit News for writing: “What’s the problem with cutting another $1 billion in the budget to attract more jobs to Michigan with lower business taxes if she already has cut $4 billion in a $41 billion budget?” saying “Gee, what’s a billion here, a billion there?” I don’t get it either. A billion here, billion in Bermuda. It’s only money people and have plenty of it. If the state comes up short, I’m sure we can find some places to cut. Schools, roads, police, who cares. The important thing is to CUT TAXES FOR DICK DEVOS AND HIS RICH FRIENDS!
  • The Michigan Moderate Militia has the full debate transcript (boring!) Flight Commander Ferguson says “Word on the street is that Amway Guy walked away pissed after taking questions about him using the names of deceased children in his attacks. Supposedly he hit or punched the car as he was getting in.” Yeah. The Governor attacks me for dragging dead children through the mud. If we can’t use dead children in our attack ads, then this isn’t the America Dick Devos wants.
  • Christine Barry went toe-to-toe with Raging Bullard himself. I’m not kidding, he’s “Raging Bullard” with a little De Niro guy and everything. It’s kind of sweet, really. Christine sums up my platform well: “If you want a Governor who is going to gut Michigan and declare every man for himself, then you should vote for DeVos.”
  • The Isabella County Democratic Party says Last Two Minutes Wins Governor Re-Election. I wasn’t aware that Diebold was a Democrat donor. Zing!

Fear the Head, people!

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