Monday, October 30, 2006

Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #7 (or) The Truth Teddy

(Update: According to the LSJ's Election Blog, the infamous Teddy has been pulled from Quixtar's online store. And still, no word from the DeVos camp since the ad debuted.)

Jobs, jobs, jobs.
That's the single biggest issue in this election.
Michigan's people want to know that there are jobs out there.
The thing about us Michiganians, we don't like to be deceived.
Just give it to us plain, simple and honest.
Why did Dick DeVos send our jobs to China and lie to us about it?

7. Dick DeVos lied to us, the people of Michigan.
Not only did Tricky Dick cut 1,400 Michigan jobs, and invest $220 Million in China, but now those goods from China are being sold here in the US, even though Dick said that they weren't.

Facts Established:

  • Dick laid off 1,400 Michigan voters. (Detroit News 8/24/06)
  • Amway invested $220Million in China (Detroit News 8/24/06)
  • Amway created 4,300 new jobs in China (Alticor/Amway) Blog 4/13/06)
  • DeVos Campaign Says : Not one Michigan job has ever been shipped to China and nothing made in China is sold in the United States." (Setting the Record Straight, DeVos for Governor, 8/26/06)
  • Amway Teddy Bears sold in the U.S. are made in China. (Quixtar/Amway) Website)
Anyone else confused? (see below)

7. Governor Granholm has worked hard to create new jobs, bring in new companies and stop job outsouring, all successfully.
Jennifer Granholm is a non-stop Job machine, and she's doing it all for us, the people of Michigan.

Facts Established:

  • Governor Granholm has created over 7,100 new jobs in Michigan. (MI Dept. of Transportation) #24
  • Governor Granholm has continually fought successfully for new jobs for Michigan (Detroit Free Press) #20
  • Governor Granholm has worked hard to keep jobs in Michigan, and to bring in thousands more. (Site Selection Magazine) #12
Tricky Dick's Teddy Troubles

Dick DeVos eliminated over 1,000 Michigan jobs.
"Granholm is referring to the fact that DeVos, as president of Amway Co. parent Alticor, eliminated 1,400 jobs at the main plant in Ada, Mich." (Detroit News, September 22, 2006)

Amway built a factory in China while Dick DeVos was President.
Amway Asia Pacific dedicated its approximately 15,000 sq m (152,000 sq ft), state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in the Guangzhou Economic and Technical Development District on January 18, 1995, after extensive production trials. The plant -- a centerpiece of the company's initial U.S. $100 million dollar commitment to China -- has been producing inventory of five household cleaning products since the dedication. These products also are included in the starter kits. (PR Newswire, March 20, 1995)

Dick DeVos acknowledged Amway built a plant in China in his own television advertisement.
"We built a plant in China to sell in China." (Dick DeVos, Television Advertisement, September 6, 2006)

In their media blog, Amway/Alticor openly acknowledged the company invested over $200 million in China and created 4,300 jobs in China.
"Here are the numbers: An investment of $220 million in China (an investment required by the Chinese government as a prerequisite of selling our products there). Over time, this investment has grown into about 4,300 employees in China: including manufacturing jobs, office jobs, and retail clerk jobs, staffing the counters at more than 170 shops." (Alticor Media Blog, April 13, 2006)

On August 22, 2005, in a press release titled, "Governor is proven wrong regarding her attack on DeVos," the DeVos for Governor Campaign said: · "Not one Michigan job has ever been shipped to China and no Chinese products are exported to the United States. Period." (Press Release, DeVos for Governor, August 22, 2005)

The "Teddy Bear" was purchased through the Amway subsidiary, Quixtar, on September 21, 2006 from a Michigan address. The invoice of the transaction is below.

Quixtar Website

The Teddy Bear was purchased on this Amway/Quixtar Website.

Quixtar Teddy

Here's the Teddy Bear and it's tag that clearly says "Made in China"

Amway Bear

Teddy China

" shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

Live from Governor Granholm's Statewide Bus Tour - Lansing!

Monday mornings aren't usually the highlight of my week, but today was the exception to the rule, thanks to Jennifer Granholm.

This morning I headed out to the Coordinated Campaign Headquarters on Michigan Avenue in downtown Lansing with about 100-200 other folks from the area to see off the Governor on her Statewide Bus Tour. The chant Four More Years could be heard several times as the young, old, black, white, rich, poor, gay straight, we were all there, to wish the woman who's fighting for all of us the best of luck in the next 8 crucial days. The entire event was incredible!

Together with an all-star line up, including State Senator Gretchen Whitmer (S-23), House Minority Leader Dianne Byrum (67th District), MSU Trustee Joel Ferguson, Lansing Mayor Virg Benero, and a handful of House hopefuls including Mark Meadows (E. Lansing - running for 69th House Seat), Joan Bauer (Lansing - running for 68th House Seat), and Barb Byrum (running for 67th House Seat), not too mention folks there from the County Level - incumbents and hopefuls alike - from both Ingham and Eaton Counties.

Of course Lt. John Cherry got the crowd all riled up, and introduced our Lady Gov and First Gentleman Dan Mulhern herself. Neither one of them disappointed.

Jennifer Granholm told it like it was - she's a bread and butter Democrat, here for the people, not to make a profit or protect her own personal assets. A fiscal hawk, she balanced the budget, not once, not twice, not three times, but four times.

She's not lobbying for unfair trade policies with China, and she's not looking to repeal the Estate Tax, which would leave the taxpayers like you and me with a multi-billion dollar hole to fill with our own hard-earned dollars. No way!

Jennifer Granholm is there for us, the people, the blue and white collar folks, who are just looking to get by in life, pay our mortages, put our kids thru college and leave this state a little better than we received it.
Amway Guy? Well between crushing our rights, and preventing us from becoming a healthier society and leaving our kids in the dirt, I'm not quite sure what it is he's doing for us, other than trying to become our upline. If you ask me, Dick DeVos is a quitter! No thanks!

The Governor was off to Battle Creek and then Jackson later today. On Tuesday you can find her in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Livonia, among other places. To see when she's coming to your part of town, be sure to check out her campaign blog and she writes in it quite frequently. Four More Years!!!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #8

Equality, equal rights, anti-discrimination, a color-blind society...
All terms we hear a lot nowadays.
Do we hear it just because it's politically correct, or do our leaders truly believe in these concepts?
Michigan needs to work for ALL of it's citizens, not just the privileged few.
We've heard the soundbites from Amway Guy "I accept affirmative action as an effective, albeit imperfect solution." (Michigan TurnAround Plan, Vol. 5, pg 15)
Now we follow the money trail...
And surprise, surprise - once again Tricky Dick's money and actions sure speak a lot louder than his cute little 30 second ads.

8. Dick DeVos does not support affirmative action.

Despite his strong Christian conviction that he frequently touts, Tricky Dick apparently doesn't love all of his brothers and sisters as much as the rest.
The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation has given at least $209,900 to the Acton Institute, an extreme conservative think tank that openly opposes affirmative action. (Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation: IRS 990 Forms, 1999-2004; Anthony B. Bradley, The Acton Institute, September 3, 2003)
But there's more - there's the questions he won't answer, the word on the street, the advisers he chooses, and the running mate. They all have a clear history of anti-affirmative action behavior. (Check below the fold...)

8. Governor Granholm has been a life-long supporter of civil rights and has worked tirelessly to promote equality all over Michigan.
From high school to Law School, to her job as Michigan's Attorney General, to Governor, Jennifer Granholm has a proven record of fighting for equality and strike down the chains of discrimination. (See the details below)

Tricky Dick DeVos

With Dick, its not always about the money. As usual Dick's playing political dodge ball, dipping, diving and dodging all the tough questions...

While speaking in April, Dick DeVos was asked directly if he supports affirmative action. DeVos responded, “If you define for me what affirmative action means then we can have that conversation.” (Dick DeVos, Freedom Forum, April 28, 2006)

And there's the word on the street from his cronies...

According to Ward Connerly, the man behind the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative that would ban affirmative action, Dick DeVos personally supports banning affirmative action. “DeVos is opposing the ballot proposal for political gain, Connerly said, because he doesn't want his opponent, Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, but suggested DeVos personally supports MCRI.” (Detroit Free Press, August 25, 2006)

And that's not all folks!

There's the staff he hires...

Dick DeVos hired infamous race-baiter Alex Castellanos to advise his campaign. “In 1990, he created for [Senator Jesse Helms] what is widely viewed as one of the most racially charged political commercials ever, with white hands crumpling a job rejection letter while a narrator criticizes Mr. Helms's black opponent, Harvey Gantt, for supporting ‘racial quotas’.” (The New York Times, September 15, 2000)

and the person he picked as his running mate...

Dick DeVos’ running mate, Ruth Johnson voted YES on a GOP amendment to ban affirmative action. “No state institution of higher education shall receive funding under this act if the state institution of higher education discriminates against, or grants preferential treatment to, admission applicants on the basis of race, religion, creed, or national origin.” (RC 451, 6/9/04, SB 1067)

Dick DeVos' record on equality STINKS! How can we trust him to do what's best for Michigan?

Gov. Jennifer Granholm

As a high school student, when racial integration brought racial strife to her school Governor Granholm served as a mediator. (Granholm Campaign)

In law school, Governor Granholm was editor-in-chief of Harvard’s Civil Rights-Civil Liberties law review. She was a student activist leader on the issue of divestment from apartheid South Africa, organizing daily protests that shut down the Harvard President’s office and pushed the administration to divest its multi-billion dollar endowment from any investments in companies doing business in South Africa. (MSU 3/20/03)

After law school, Governor Granholm was the first white law clerk to work for the great Judge Damon Keith, who to this day thinks of her as a daughter. Judge Keith first introduced her to the Detroit NAACP and other racial justice groups in Michigan, and she has been a constant supporter ever since. (MSU 3/20/03)

As Governor, she has been vehemently and publicly opposed the so-called “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative” since the day Ward Connerly suggested it.

Governor Granholm was a strong supporter of the University of Michigan in its landmark affirmative action case. As Attorney General, she filed a brief supporting U of M on behalf of the State when the case was in the federal court of appeals. When the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Governor Granholm asked the Republican Attorney General Mike Cox to again file an amicus brief on behalf of the State of Michigan. Despite his role as the Governor’s attorney, Cox refused. So the Governor did something extremely rare - she went around the Attorney General and filed her own brief.

In three years, she has appointed 84 African Americans to state commissions and boards. In twelve years, John Engler appointed only 44 African Americans to state commissions and boards.

Governor Granholm appointed a cabinet that reflects 'One Michigan'. Women make up 23 out of the 44 policy leaders in the Governor's administration, including department directors.

When African Americans complained of voter fraud and intimidation in the 2004 election and during the signature collection process for the MCRI, Governor Granholm’s Civil Rights Commission investigated the abuses and stood up to Republicans in the Legislature who opposed these investigations. (Detroit Free Press 8/16/06)

Governor Granholm gave an extremely moving speech at the funeral of civil rights giant Rosa Parks, calling her a war hero and noting that the war is not yet over.

I, like you, imagine the day when the war will be won. The day when a brilliant 8-year-old chess player has the same chances in life, whether she lives in Livonia or off Livernois. We know that this war will be won when the son of a barber on Grand River receives from each of us the same looks of hope and words of encouragement as the son of a doctor in Grand Rapids. We know that the war will be won when the city of Bloomfield Hills and the city of Detroit have the same college graduation rates and the same low prison incarceration rates as well.
We know we will be winning the war when people in the state of Michigan do not have to vote on whether diversity in our university classrooms is a good thing. (WZZM-13)

So who do you trust to uphold YOUR civil rights?

Meet Your Elected Official - Ingham Co. Commissioner - Curtis Hertel Jr.

Part of what makes the Lansing area such a fantastic place to live and work is our local elected officials. Few people realize what a powerful impact our city council and county commission have on our day-to-day life. Even fewer know who actually dictates local governmental policy.
In order to change the tide, I'll be regularly bringing you profiles and interviews with some of these folks, another Liberal, Loud and Proud exclusive!!!

For our first installment, I'm pleased to bring you one of Ingham County's Commissioners, Curtis Hertel Jr., hailing from the 9th District (NE City of East Lansing, and NW Meridan Township).

Curtis has lived in East Lansing since 1996. Married to Amy, they have one son and are expecting another child in December. He received a Bachelors degree in Social Relations from the James Madison College of Michigan State University. Currently Curtis is the Legislative Liasion for the Department of Health.
On the Commission, Curtis serves as the Chair of the Human Services Committee, and also serves on the Finance Committee.

Curtis has been very active within the community, serving on many boards and has been spotted at many local charities and community events, pitching in a hand with the rest of us. Curtis knows that a little old fashioned elbow grease and perseverance is the way to get things done, and has always been known as a true servant of the people. Some of the groups he's worked with include:
  • Capitol Area Health Alliance
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
  • Great Lakes Folk Festival
  • Ingham Health Plan Board of Directors
  • SE Marble Neighborhood Association
  • Maral Pro-Choice Michigan
  • Michigan Association of Local Public Health
  • Sierra Club
I recently had a chance to speak with Curtis, and he was kind enough to answer a couple questions solely for this LLP installment.

LL: What is it about Michigan, and your district that makes you want to serve the people?

CH: I believe in public service. I grew up in a household where I learned that public service was noble and government can still do good things. I am 28 years-old but I still have a very old-school opinion of politics. I believe loyalty and hard work are more important than clever answers and focus groups. Michigan has given me and my family at opportunity to serve them and in many ways big and small made us who we are.
I love serving my district because it is home. I went to school at Michigan State and met my wife there. My son was born at Sparrow Hospital. Who wouldn't want to live and serve in a place that felt like a small town community but still had access to MSU sports, cultural events and the Wharton center, and great ethnic food.

LL: What's the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome as an elected official over the past year?

CH: In many ways the biggest challenge has been in balancing being a good public official with also being a new dad to our son C.J. Serving the people takes time. County Commissioner is a part time job and my full time job as Legislative Liaison for the Department of Community Health also is time consuming. I probably on an average week work 60 hours, and that is not
including campaigning. I am lucky that I had a good role model in my father and a good partner in my wife Amy. Even when he was Speaker of the House my dad still found time for his children, and he had four of us. So Amy and I make it work. We have rules. We always have dinner together no matter what the schedule is. I try to always be there for bath time. I take CJ to the Potter Park Zoo, MSU to feed the ducks, or the science center every weekend.
Most nights CJ falls asleep on me while watching the Tigers. I am sure I am missing things, and public service is important to me but it is always a struggle.

LL: What's your biggest accomplishment since being elected to serve?

CH: My biggest accomplishment is increasing access to health care. Ingham County is now on our way to 100% access to basic preventative care by 2010. We will most likely be the first county to reach this important goal. I have led the fight to make access to care a priority in our budget process. There is nothing the County does that in the long run will have a greater effect on our community.

LL: What do you want to see changed in your next term?

CH: We are on a good track in Ingham County. The nice thing about having a 12-4 Democratic Majority is we have already set a progressive agenda. We have a Living Wage law to protect workers. We have a domestic partnership policy to give equal rights to our LGBT employees. We have made funding for access to health care and preventative programs a top priority. I want to continue to invest in these progressive ideals and work to make Ingham County a
positive place for people of all backgrounds. I want to increase protection of our farmland and green space. And if the voters agree on November 7th I look forward to taking over the running of Potter Park Zoo and continue to improve on this wonderful asset to our community.

LL: What's your take on the Internet political community like this blog?

CH: First off I like that it gives real people the power to comment on issues without being censured or spending thousands of dollars. Blogs can be very powerful in building networks of supporters and in energizing the base. The only thing we have to remember is the internet is a passive medium. People only find a blog or website if they are looking for information already. The internet cannot be used as a replacement for traditional politics. Knocking doors will always be the most important way of reaching voters. Television and direct mail will always be a better way to reach an unengaged public. As long as blogs are used in addition to these traditional ways of communicating they are very positive thing. I also would like to say we as elected officials need top thank bloggers. We read you, appreciate you hard work, and sometimes we post on your site anonymously.

You can also read more about Curtis at the LSJ's Voters Guide.

Curtis has this girl's vote for multiple reasons, but I have been most impressed by his continued dedication to making sure the people of this county have great healthcare, and with as little financial burden as possible to the taxpayers.
If you’re poor or struggling, thank your lucky stars you live in Ingham County. Across the state, Ingham is looked to as a model of how to create positive relations between state government and private sector, as well as how local governments can help fill the increasing void created by welfare changes.

“We’re even filling more gaps than the state has intended,” says County Commissioner Curtis Hertel Jr. with a grin. For several years now, Hertel says he and his fellow commissioners have watched as welfare “reform” “…just pitched people out on the street. This isn’t reform at all. What we now have to do is make up for some of those gaps.”

As an example, Hertel points to the $12 million Ingham Health Plan. It may sound like supplemental insurance, but it isn’t. For those who can’t get medical coverage under Medicare, Medicaid or other programs, IHP provides basic preventive medical care at no or minimal cost to the client. IHP is funded entirely by general county funds and presently assists some 13,000 county residents to obtain basic medical coverage.

IHP was so successful that the commission recently created the Capital Area Prescription Program, or CAPP. “It’s something like a buying club,” describes Hertel. By enrolling large numbers of people without prescription coverage, the county can negotiate bulk contract for reduced treatment costs with local pharmacies. The pharmacies get a guaranteed increase in business, the clients get cheaper medicine, “…all at no cost to the county,” says Hertel. “Clever, huh?” (Lansing City Pulse 1/12/05)

Of course, that's just one reason out of many. You can see yourself, as Curtis has been endorsed by the following organizations.

  • UAW
  • MEA
  • Greater Lansing Labor Council
  • Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Michigan Association of Police Organizations
  • SEIU
  • Lansing Association for Human Rights - given a Very Positive Rating
I could go on and on about Curtis and why Ingham County needs him for at least another term. Like all good representatives of the people, Curtis loves to hear from his constituents, and you can reach him at
I am confident that Curtis Hertel Jr. is one of our rising stars, and I wish we had more candidates like him, a real public servant, dedicated to serving the people, particularly those that don't always have a voice from high-powered, big money special interest groups.
Vote November 7th!


Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #9

What's Dick DeVos' biggest complaint about Michigan?
Business Taxes.
He says they are preventing new businesses from coming to Michigan and setting up shop, and creating new jobs. He says it's 'disappointing' and 'tragic'.
If that were the case, it'd be true.
Too bad Dick doesn't really know Michigan.

9. Dick DeVos doesn't really know about Michigan enough to fix it.
A recent study by the non-partisan Upjohn Institute found that changes in Michigan's business taxes would have very little, if any, impact on Michigan’s unemployment rate. Michigan’s economic problems are a result of: 1) slow national economic growth under Bush; and, 2) more importantly, the slump in the U.S. auto industry and the fact that Michigan is far more dependent upon the auto industry than any other state, according to a recent report by the respected Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo. (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, “Michigan’s Economic Competitiveness and Public Policy,” August 11, 2006)

9. Governor Jennifer Granholm knows exactly what Michigan needs, she's been working hard on it and getting results.
Since taking office, Governor Granholm has signed 72 targeted business tax cuts. What's more, Michigan’s business taxes are very competitive. Michigan currently has the 13th lowest state and local business tax burden in the country, according to the Council on State Taxation, a non-profit trade organization of 670 multistate corporation. Michigan’s tax burden is significantly better than other states in the Midwest.

Among the 72 Tax Cuts enacted by Governor Granholm, here are just a few. Chances are, you or your employer have benefitted by one or more of these tax cuts. (View full list here)

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Tax Cut

Public Act


Effective Date



Tax Abatement for Bio-Diesel Manufacturing

2003 PA 5

HB 4010


Extended the tax abatement under the Plant Rehabilitation and Industrial Development Act (PA 198) to businesses engaged in the creation or synthesis of bio-diesel fuel.


Removed Health Cares Costs from Single Business Tax Base for 2004, 2005, and 2006

2003 PA 240

SB 672


Cut single business tax obligations by removing from a taxpayer’s tax base a portion of the payments a taxpayer makes for health benefit plans that benefit Michigan residents. 5% percent of health care costs are exempted from the base in 2004, 20% 2005 and 40% in 2006.


Removed Health Cares Costs from Single Business Tax Base for 2007 and after

2003 PA 241

SB 673


Cut single business tax obligations by removing from a taxpayer’s tax base a portion of the payments a taxpayer makes for health benefit plans that benefit Michigan residents. 50% percent of health care costs are exempted from the base in 2007 and after.


Single Business Tax Credit for Distressed Businesses

2003 PA 251

SB 821


Authorized the Michigan Economic Growth Authority to approve a single business tax credit for a distressed business equal to up to 50% of unemployment taxes for qualified new jobs and up to 25% of unemployment taxes for other jobs.


Doubled Single Business Tax Credit for Apprenticeship Training

2003 PA 273

SB 814


Allowed tool and die manufacturing companies to claim a single business tax credit of up to $4,000 per apprentice or special apprentice trained in a tax year. Prior to enactment such credits were capped at $2,000.


Personal Property Tax Changes for Special Tools and Standard Tools

2003 PA 274

SB 811


Modified “special tool” and “standard tool” definitions to reduce personal property tax obligations under The General Property Tax Act.


Personal Property Tax Exemption for Pharmaceutical Companies

2004 PA 79

HB 4472

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Allowed the governing body of a local tax collecting unit to adopt a resolution exempting from personal property taxes all new personal property owned or leased by eligible pharmaceutical companies located in that local tax collecting unit.


Single Business Tax Exemption for Start-up Businesses

2004 PA 126

HB 5331

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Provided a “qualified start-up business” a credit against its single business tax obligation equal to its tax liability if the business is without business income for two consecutive years. The credit could be claimed in the second of those years. The credit is available for tax years beginning after December 31, 2004 and cannot be claimed for more than five tax years.


High-Technology and Manufacturing Job Creation Single Business Tax Credits

2004 PA 319

SB 1274


Allowed businesses with annual gross receipts of $10 million or less to claim a credit against their single business tax liability equal to the following percentages of compensation paid by the taxpayer to employees who performed "created jobs" (in high-technology or manufacturing in Michigan):
-- For annual Michigan capital investment of less than $150,000, 0.5%.
-- For annual Michigan capital investment of $150,000 or more, but less than $750,000, 1.5%.
-- For annual Michigan capital investment of $750,000 or more, 2.0%.


City Utility Users Tax Exemption for Start Up Businesses

2004 PA 322

SB 1303


Authorized an exemption for up to 5 years from the city utility users tax for a qualified start-up business.


New Tax-Exempt Redevelopment Renaissance Zone

2004 PA 430

SB 1453


Authorized new Redevelopment Renaissance Zones in addition to currently authorized Renaissance Zones to promote the development of existing industrial facilities.
A “Redevelopment Renaissance Zone" means a Renaissance Zone that contains an industrial site of 200 or more acres located in a city with a population of more than 7,500 and less than 8,500 and in a county with a population of more than 60,000 and less than 70,000.
A businesses in or a resident of a Renaissance Redevelopment Zone receives exemptions, credits, or deductions from the single business tax, state and local income taxes, the state education tax, property taxes, various specific taxes, and, in Detroit, the city utility users tax.


Targeted MEGA Tax Credit for to Retain Jobs at a Rural Business at Risk of Closure

2005 PA 185

SB 798


Allows a targeted MEGA tax credit against SBT liability for a rural business facility to retain 300 jobs (to benefit a Cadillac manufacturer).


Venture Capital
Investment Income Tax Reduction

2005 PA 214

SB 521


Exempts gains from venture capital investment from income tax if proceeds are reinvested in another venture capital firm.


Manufacturers’ Personal Property Tax Credit for 2006

2005 PA 289

HB 4982

Provides a refundable 15 % personal property tax credit against SBT liability for industrial property in 2006.


Manufacturers’ Personal Property Tax Credit for 2007

2005 PA 290

SB 909


Provides a refundable 15 % personal property tax credit against SBT liability for industrial property in 2007.


Special SBT Provisions For Delphi/Visteon

2005 PA 296

SB 203


Extends the provision that disregards sales of a spin off corporation (Delphi/Visteon) to the parent (Ford/GM) in calculating the SBT tax base apportionment formula. Modification limits the sales that will be excluded to sales from plants located in Michigan to a parent location in Michigan.
In addition, provides that future buyers who purchase a Michigan Visteon plant owned by the Ford holding company will have sales from that plant to Ford in Michigan disregarded in calculation of their apportionment formula.


Expand Historic Preservation Single Business Tax Credit

2006 PA 53

SB 570


Authorizes Single Business Tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic resources located within a municipality without a historic preservation ordinance if the resource is located in a summer resort and family association. Retroactive to January 1, 2005.


New Brownfield Tax Credits

2006 PA 111

HB 4733


Create a new category of brownfield tax credit against single business tax liability with a less onerous approval process for projects with a cost of less than $2 million. Up to 100 projects per calendar year could be approved for these new brownfield tax credits.

2006 PA 112

HB 4734


2006 PA 113

SB 599

91 days


Expand Renaissance Zone Tax Credit Eligibility for Pharmaceutical Companies

2006 PA 116

SB 922


Expand definition of eligible pharmaceutical companies to include companies that employ 4,800 persons engaged primarily in research and development of pharmaceuticals.


Expand Rural Businesses Qualified for Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) Tax Credits

2006 PA 117

HB 5640


Expand definition of a rural business to include two additional counties, increasing eligibility for MEGA tax credits against Single Business Tax liability.


New Renaissance Zones for Renewable Energy Facilities

2006 PA 270

SB 1078


Authorizes up to 10 additional renaissance zones for renewable energy facilities.

A businesses in or a resident of a Renaissance Zone receives exemptions, credits, or deductions from the single business tax, state and local income taxes, the state education tax, property taxes, various specific taxes, and, in Detroit, the city utility users tax.


Research and Development Compensation Tax Credit

2006 PA 323

HB 4971


Creates a new research and development compensation tax credit against Single Business Tax liability for persons engaged in research and development of a qualified technology.

Lansing - Rally with Governor Granholm on Monday!

Calling all you Lansing-ites...our fantastic Governor needs your help!

On Monday morning, she'll be departing on a state-wide bus tour from her Coordinated Campaign office - 1703 E. Michigan, Lansing 48912
Be there at 10am to help send off her in style and show her your support. Call 517-482.7250 for more info.
Hope to see you there!

Don't live in Lansing? Don't fret! She's on her way to a town near you!

Later on Monday you can find her in Battle Creek - 11:45am
Shranks Cafeteria and Catering
85 Michigan Ave. W
Battle Creek, MI 49017

And then in Jackson at 2pm
Jackson Coffee Co.
201 S. Mechanic
Jackson, MI 49201

Cities that she'll be hitting up shortly include:
Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Portland, Detroit, Dearborn, Macomb, Charlotte, Lansing, Flint, Oakland, Southfield, Caro, Marlette, Saginaw, Rochester, Holland, Muskegon, Taylor... and many more!

Check back on her campaign website for as they update times and dates!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Countdown is on!!!

Well here we are - entering the Top Ten!! Fifteen days ago when I started the series, I prayed I could make it to #20 (I'm a bit guilty of being the eternal optimist!).

I've never fought so hard in my life for a candidate, but Jennifer Granholm is an incredible woman, and an equally incredible leader. So much to respect in the hard work she's put in these past four years, I could only wish that our country had more leaders like her. There's no doubt in my mind that Michigan will become a very dangerous place to live should Dick DeVos be put into office come January.

If you believe in our great state, the incredible human capital and the potential for our state, then do yourself, your family and friends a favor - encourage everyone to vote for Gov. Granholm on November 7th. And to put in a shameless plug, perhaps you should print off/email the entire 25 Reasons Why to Just Say NO to DICK and YES to JEN to everyone. :-)

As you head to the polls on the 7th, remember my mantra - "It's about what's best for MI, not just me."


Friday, October 27, 2006

Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #10

Abortion is one of those hot-button issues that really isn't comfortable to think about or discuss.
But when it comes down to it, the majority of voters believe that a women has a right to choose for herself, particularly in cases of rape and incest.
Not only is Governor Granholm protecting a women's right to choose, she's actually being pro-active on stopping unwanted pregnancies all together.
Dick DeVos' plan? Other than interfering with a women's right, he hasn't said boo.
So why would we vote for a guy that doesn't stand for what we do?

10. Dick DeVos has extreme views on abortion, even in the case of rape and incest.
Dick DeVos does not support a woman's right to make personal medical decisions and opposes reproductive choice — even in cases of rape or incest. (MIRS Capitol Capsule, July 20, 2006)

10. Governor Granholm supports a woman's right to choose, and is working hard to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Governor Granholm has vetoed two bills that would have restricted the right to choose.
Jennifer Granholm established the Talk Early & Talk Often program designed to offer resources for parents to discuss abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases, and other issues regarding sexuality with their middle-school aged children. (MDCH)

Here are the facts...

Governor Granholm says that she supports a woman's right to choose, but she believes we need to be pro-active when it comes to unwanted pregnancies.
  • 40.6 percent of all pregnancies are unintended – (MDCH 2001 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System)
  • The total cost to Medicaid for the delivery of a baby and first year of life is $11,528 – with the cost of delivery averaging $6,197 and the cost of first year of life services averaging $5,331. (MDCH FY07 Budget Projections)
  • In FY 2000, the state Medicaid program paid for prenatal, delivery and post-natal care of roughly 26,000 unintended births. Each birth cost Medicaid $11,000, which translates to $286 million in costs for Michigan. (MDCH FY 2000 Budget)
  • If Michigan can reduce the number of unintended pregnancies by 10 percent, it would save the state over $27 million in Medicaid expenditures annually. (MDCH F707 Budget Projections)

Dick DeVos says he's opposed to abortion and would be thrilled if it were banned. Amway Guy has no plan for preventing un-planned pregnancies.

What exactly does that mean?
Amway Guy won't elaborate.
He won't tell us, but he'll sing like a canary when it means he gets an endorsement potentially worth thousands of votes and even more in terms of campaign dollars.

Right to Life of Michigan, for example, has strict criteria for endorsing candidates, and the group isn't averse to "parsing" the issue.
To get Right to Life's endorsement -- as DeVos did months ago -- a candidate must "be pro-life with no exceptions other than the life of the mother."
Incest? Not an exception.
Rape? Not an exception.
Health of the mother? "Nope," says Larry Galmish, who heads the Grand Rapids-based group's political action committee. "When you get into health, you can make exceptions for a broken fingernail."
DeVos filled out the group's extensive and "confidential" questionnaire, and submitted to a lengthy interview before getting an endorsement, Galmish said.
But Galmish does say that "we endorsed Dick DeVos early and we found him to meet all the criteria we have. We have no questions," about his position on abortion. (Detroit News 7/22/06)

But that's not the end of the story. Just a couple weeks ago, while being interviewed on Michigan Catholic Radio, Dick DeVos mentioned that he'd be "thrilled" if Roe v. Wade was overturned. (Associated Press 10/13/06)

Amway is Coming to Lansing!!! (Will DeVos follow??)

In honor of Halloween, Lansing's getting a lot more Trick then we are Treat this weekend...

Amway is Coming to Lansing!!!!

Okay, okay, so it's technically Team of Destiny/TEAM, but really, feel free to substitute Amway/Alticor, it all works.

That's right, Friday morning will see thousands and thousands of Michiganians walk into MSU's Breslin Center. I have it on good word they usually fill the place each year. They'll fork over hundreds and thousands of dollars for motivational tapes, videos, promotional products, and Amway products that researchers have found, never really make it past their shelves at home.
Makes me want to drive over there and just hold up a sign that says "Please Stop Lining Your Upline's (Dick DeVos) Pockets and Open Your Eyes!!" Do they have any clue how dangerous "Soap and Hope" has come to be?

Expect Chairman Steve Van Andel to stop by and give a rousing speech, but don't expect Sir Hosis of Da-Liver to be asked to play their new song "Quixtar - Team of Destiny".(But you should definitely check it out!)

For the ushers (most of them MSU kids struggling to pay for college) this is a sad, sad time. Just ask Scott Lanphear from MSU about it. Poor guy's so upset, his letter to the editor was published in Wednesday's State News (MSU's paper).
I work at Breslin Center and every year, this event is met with a sense of amazement and sorrow for those who are duped into attending.
Ohe thing I am most surprised with every year is the church service at the end of the weekend. After a couple days preaching greed, they hold a session on religious intolerance. The Sunday morning preacher said last year, "I've been around the world and seen other religions. Believe me, they're bankrupt."

I was amused by the clever word choice, but was extremely offended. Not offended by the person, but offended that MSU would allow these people on our campus to rip people off and preach religious intolerance.

Amen to that!

So, I wonder, does this mean Tricky Dick himself will come and solicit the sheep for a couple more votes? Will his posters line the walls? Or will Chairman Steve just throw in a good word here and there during his pep talk? Perhaps he might continue to distance himself from his prize cash cow?

I'd offer to do my signature Live-Blogging from the event, but I'm not sure I could even bring myself to enter the event without asking for forgiveness from all I hold dear.

For those of you movie fans, you might recall the movie Requiem for a Dream. You might also recall the delusions of a scamming pep rally that frequent the film. I swear, that's the only thing I picture when I think of such an event. People clapping and shouting, "Be excited, be be excited!" :gag: Delusions of grandeur for sure.

But back to Steve from MSU to echo thoughts from a lot of us...

There isn't one thing in this whole situation that should make anyone involved feel comfortable including the university, Team of Destiny and most of all, the king of this sleazy empire, Dick DeVos. If we elect him, he will have completed his pyramid and we'll all be suckers.

God help us, please vote.

:shudder: indeed.

Let's hope that the nightmare of Dick DeVos having control over our way life never comes true, and a simple pinch on our arms will wake us up from it.

Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #11

Michiganders already know how Tricky Dick has dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into groups who support destroying Michigan's precious environment.
We're fiercely proud of being part of such a beautiful state.
They don't call us the Great Lakes State for nothing...
So why would we ever elect a man who is out to destroy it?

11. Dick DeVos will cut needed environmental funding.
DeVos called for the elimination of the Single Business Tax and refuses to explain what will replace the nearly $2 billion in state revenue. DeVos said he "wants to focus on tax and regulatory policies" with agencies such as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. (The Grand Rapids Press, March 17, 2006)

11. Governor Granholm has successfully funded vital environmental projects. Jennifer Granholm fought for funding and accomplished many projects including
  • Protecting more than 270,000 acres of forests.
  • Safeguarded more than 60,000 additional acres of farmland, wetlands, and wildlife habitat on private land.
  • Protecting more than 6,000 acres of shoreline along the Great Lakes.(Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lansing City Council - A (possible) Step in the Right Direction

Who says freshman politicians can't get excellent things done? Proof is in the pudding...and it gives me extreme pleasure to applaud my fellow female Lansing Liberals for their hardwork...

Ingham County Commissioner Tina Weatherwax-Grant
Lansing City Councilwoman Kathy Dunbar
State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer
US Senator Debbie Stabenow
and I would be amiss to not mention the Lady Gov herself...
Governor Jennifer Granholm

This post hails from MichLib and my good friend and fellow blogger extraordinaire - Quaker21 - for this post.

If you get a chance, drop a line to Councilwoman Dunbar for her great work, and urge your city councilmembers to stand up for all of Lansing's citizens with a Yes vote on this proposal.

Without further adieu....
Kudos to Kathie Dunbar!

On Monday, Oct 30th, the freshman City Council member is proposing a "human rights" ordinance, protecting Lansing residence from discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity expression.

“When I was running for office, it was something that I was always interested in doing, because I knew we didn’t have a civil rights ordinance in the city,” said Dunbar, who has been in office for less than a year.

“Although we’ve made a ton of strides in recent years to curtail discrimination, it still occurs,” she said.

Dunbar said she hopes the ordinance will move rapidly through the committee process and have the ordinance in place by the end of the year.

Council President Harold Leeman Jr. said he expects the ordinance to pass easily. “Hopefully, everybody will make it a high priority,” Leeman said.

A great step in the right direction for Lansing.
As the Lansing City Pulse points out, Ingham county was one of two in Michigan that voted No on 2004's Proposal 2, the "gay marriage amendment." The other county was Washtenaw, home of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan -- UofM being the first University to offer partnership benefits in 1993.

Mad props to Kathie Dunbar for standing behind all of Lansing! Remember: the City of Lansing was one of a very few cities that had a law prohibiting discrimnation toward gays and lesbians, until it was overturned in 1996.

Thankfully, we're making strides forward.

Kudos to Kathie!

Here's the link to the story Quaker was referrencing...thanks Quaker and keep up the GREAT work!

I'll close with a little mantra I wrote in an earlier post, and I'll probably echo time and time again, because I couldn't agree with it more.

The great thing about Liberals - we don't care who you share a bed with, where your ancestors hail from, or how many zeros are on your paycheck, and we really don't care what you call yourself...just as long as what you do, you do it for MI, and not for just me.


Politics + Cooking = Democracy Cookies!!!

Overall, I'm a pretty light-hearted person. I'm a wise bird for my age, but only because of life's tribulations and trials that I've had my fair share of. One thing is for sure - life is too short and too precious to be taken too seriously.
Exception to that rule is two things - 1) my personal civic duty and 2) my cooking.
Sounds like an odd combination, but I love my politics and I love my cooking. So far, most of my friends and family would agree on both of those, but they are especially big fans of the latter.
What could be more perfect than finding a combination of the two? Or, even better - find a way to promote Democracy right here at home?

Well, I think I have.Introducing Liberal Lucy's Democracy Cookies!!! Tested and approved for Democracy Goodness by MichLib's very own Matt and lpackard.

That's right, homemade sugar cookies, made with tender loving care and fueled by a passion for promoting civic duty among all of Michigan's citizens and sprinkled with a little patriotic pride!

Here's how they work. My friends and co-workers have been alerted that if they show up with an "I Voted" Sticker on November 7th (or promise they filled out an absentee ballot) they get some Democracy Cookies. This is not a bribe, and I'm not asking people to vote for any particular candidate or any particular way on a ballot/millage proposal. This is just a way of saying how much I appreciate people participating in the democracy process by voting, period.

So, the kitchen is stocked, the oven's piping hot, and I'm ready to bake. Who's ready to vote?

Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #12

No doubt about it, the #1 factor in this race for Michigan's governor is about Jobs.
The voters in Michigan want to know who's going to bring in the most jobs for the state.
A great way to stack the candidates up is by looking at the their records.
One quick look and it's pretty clear.
Who's fighting for you?

12. Dick DeVos has a clear record of supporting the outsourcing of Michigan jobs.

Dick DeVos supported NAFTA. Michigan lost more than 63,000 jobs due to NAFTA. (Christian Science Monitor, September 20, 1993; Economic Policy Institute, “NAFTA’s Cautionary Tale,” July 20, 2005)
Dick DeVos advocated for a Michigan company to move out of state to Tennessee. DeVos said the company’s decision to build a plant down south “shouldn’t be considered a bad thing.” (Monroe Evening News, July 19, 2006)

12. Governor Granholm has worked hard to keep jobs in Michigan, and to bring in thousands more.
The Governor has signed 59 targeted tax cuts for businesses, including a $600 million cut for our manufacturers that encourages the insourcing of jobs..
Michigan has been rated as the 8th Best Business Climate in the nation, and 5th Best State for Small Business. (Site Selection Magazine and The Small Business and Entrepreneurial Council)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #13

Public Health - it's an important role of the state government.
With services such as
  • School Lunch programs
  • Parenting Tools and Resources
  • Senior Citizen's Services
  • Disability Services (Commission for the Blind)
  • Health and Nutrition programs
  • WIC (Women, Infants, Children)
Public Health Services are used by virtually all of Michigan's citizens at one point or another in our lives. Black, white, young, old, straight or gay, there's something for all of us.
Of course, if you're Amway Guy, chances are you can just buy whatever you need to stay healthy instead of relying on the State.
So it comes as no surprise that Tricky Dick thinks Michigan needs to cut those programs that so many have come to depend on.

Just Say NO to Dick because...
13. Dick DeVos is going to cut public health services. If elected, Slick Dick has made it clear that he will cut necessary public programs such as the Office of Michigan's Surgeon General. (Detroit Free Press 6/08/06)

Just Say YES to Jen because...

13. Governor Granholm has helped create top-notch public health programs that work for Michigan's citizens. Jennifer Granholm appointed the state's first Surgeon General and launched a plan - Prescription for a Healthier Michigan - to help make Michigan citizens healthier. To date, many Michigan citizens have accessed the Michigan Steps Up website, creating more than 16,000 personal health plans and more than 1,700 health risk appraisals.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Governor Granholm - My Champion Advocate for Stem Cell Research

This week has been a tough one for me.
I lost my grandfather on Sunday to an illness. I'm lucky to still have another set of grandparents still with me, but they are each fighting a losing battle with a terminal illness. That's on top of monitoring my own health, because living with severe Crohn's Disease for 12 years now has taught me how quickly my own health can suffer from stress.
So why does this concern Michigan voters?
All three of my grandparents and myself have illnesses that could be cured and/or prevented through stem cell research. Governor Granholm has been fighting an up-hill battle with the Republican-controlled State Legislature to ease restrictions on stem-cell research. *You can even sign her online petition to the Legislature here.*
Dick DeVos? Not one to stop his extremism now, he's breaking with fellow Republicans like Nancy Reagan, Sen. Orin Hatch, and Arnold Schwarzenegger who all support the research.
Isn't ignorance a powerful tool used by those willing to deceive for personal/professional reasons?
Governor Granholm has my fierce support because of the all hard-work she's been doing, and it's not going unnoticed.

"If our nation is serious about improving both the cost and quality of health care, we must tap the full power of modern science to combat life-threatening illnesses in an ethically responsible manner," Granholm wrote. (Associated Press, 7/18/06)
“Talented researchers and businesses around the world are working right now on cures for these devastating diseases through the promise stem cell research holds. These cures could have tremendous impact on the lives of Michigan citizens who live with these illnesses and could ease the pain felt by their families.” - (State address 10/3/06)

Here in Michigan, Rep. Andy Meisner and my very own Senator Gretchen Whitmer have both introduced bills to allow for easier restrictions on stem cell research.
It's not just about curing illnesses though. Hundreds, possibly thousands of jobs could be created by opening up research opportunities in Michigan. One study even estimates that $440 Million dollars goes into stem cell research each year. That's a big part of the pie that we're missing out on. The Lansing State Journal is just as confused as the rest of us why the Republican's aren't doing more to help out us, their own constituents.
These politicians (Republicans) are playing to the emotions and rhetoric of the anti-abortion crowd. In doing so, they stymie the chances for expanded stem-cell research, which holds great promises for finding cures to some of humankind's more debilitating diseases
No wonder Nature Magazine says Michigan has one of the most restrictive stem-cell laws in the country. No wonder Michigan will continue having trouble attracting and retaining top-notch talent in the life sciences, if such laws remain on the books. (Lansing State Journal Editorial 1/30/06)

With medical bills the number one cause of personal bankruptcy, why wouldn't more of our elected leaders fight to help alleviate the financial burden? We keep hearing about the fiscal responsibility that Republicans like Dick DeVos and Ken Sikkema preach. Where is the walk to accompany the talk?
Gov. Granholm has been working hard fighting for us, the middle and lower classes, the people who can't buy their way out of an illness, and are stuck with our insurance co-pays, if we're lucky enough to have insurance at all. Her hard-fought fight on stem cell research is just another reason why we need her for at least another four years. If not, who's left to fight for me and my family? Or better yet, you and your family?


Monday, October 23, 2006

Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #14

Michigan is a state full of blue-collar workers, farmers, small businesses owners, craftsmen, etc.
Most of us are just ordinary folks paying off our mortgages, raising our kids, and at the end of the day, we'd like to do more than just scrape by.
We want to be able to achieve our own American Dream.
We want to have someone who's walked in our shoes to be fighting for us in Lansing.
How in touch can a person be who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth?

Fact is - Dick and Betsy (Prince) DeVos both came from two of the wealthiest families in the country. Middle class is just something they've heard about. Working poor is an even stranger concept for them.

Just Say NO to Dick because...
14. Dick and Betsy DeVos are out of touch with Michigan. As Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, Betsy DeVos said that Michigan's economy was hurting because our workers make too much money. (Associated Press, 5/20/04).

Just Say YES to Jen because...

14. Governor Granholm has been fighting for Michigan workers non-stop. The Governor called for and signed into law an increase of the state’s minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.40 per hour over the next two years, which will increase a minimum wage worker’s annual salary by $4,680 (Detroit Free Press, 10/1/06).

Dick DeVos - Too Far Right for Even His Own Party

Polarization of the Michigan Republican Party is sending thousands of Michiganians running...directly into the arms of Jennifer Granholm, thanks to Republicans for Granholm.

They are a 1,500 member strong political action committee (PAC) formed by long-time Republican, Gil Ziegler, a Livonia businessman. Their website was expecting to hit 100,000 visits by this past weekend.
They've been profiled in the Detroit Free Press, the Observer and Eccentric, the U.P.'s MiningGazette, but you won't find a mention of them in the Detroit News, but then again, who's really surprised?

Other than the obvious reasons why this group is Loud and Proud on their own supporting our Lady Gov, here's a bit from their website...
We are a group of like-minded progressive Republicans and will continue to support the Republican party. But after careful and thoughtful consideration, we have concluded that the best course for our State of Michigan is to re-elect Governor Granholm. This was a hard decision and we’re going to disappoint some people in the Republican party. But, those are the extremists in the party who want to block stem-cell research and who turned out of office a good man like Congressman Joe Schwarz (MI-R7).

They support Granholm's stance on
  • 21st Century Jobs Plan
  • Education Funding (they don't have anything to say about Dick and Betsy's school voucher plan, but it's fun to read!)
    What about school vouchers?
    Schools…. That’s right, hey, didn’t Dick and Betsy DeVos pretty much single-handedly fund the disastrous school voucher campaign of 2000 and did so without the support of most Republicans, including Governor Engler. Yes!
  • Taxes and State Spending
  • Stem Cell Research
  • Abortion
Props must also go to the group for their sense of witty humor on Tricky Dick's business experience, Amway.
Take our THREE FRIENDS CHALLENGE. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7. We cannot begin to emphasize how important every single vote will be! You can make the difference! Now, we urge you to recruit three new members to our team.

Normally, we'd blame the MRP's polarization just by shouting "That's Saul, folks!" in honor of their extreme-right mouthpiece, but this definitely can be blamed on a nasty Dick, served with a dish of ice-cold Betsy. A heartfelt thanks to the DeVos family and their billions for scaring their own base into the open-arms of the Granholm/Cherry Team.

The great thing about Liberals - we don't care who you share a bed with, where your ancestors hail from, or how many zeros are on your paycheck, and we really don't care what you call yourself...just as long as what you do, you do it for MI, and not for just me.


Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #15

(Today's post is dedicated to my grandfather who lost his fight yesterday with an illness that could have been prevented through stem cell research. A man who served his country in WWII, a leader in his church, proud of the family he raised in Detroit, he worked hard for every penny he earned, and was just as proud of his state as I am.
I was humbled to know that one of his final acts before succumbing to his illness was to vote by absentee ballot. He told my mother to make sure that I knew that Governor Granholm had his vote because he knew that she was the only one fighting for the real people of Michigan.
Despite my immense grief and loss, I know that this list and this fight must continue because of people like my grandfather, who believe in this state, and the power of what we can become if we continue to fight for the people, and not for special interests. To my grandfather, one of the greatest men I ever knew.)

In Michigan, over 1.3 million of us were hospitalized in 2004 for various illnesses, that left many of us with expensive medical bills/insurance co-pays. (Michigan Dept. of Community Health)
There are thousands and thousands of Michiganians that suffer from illnesses that could be prevented and or cured by stem cell research.
Stem cells offer the possibility... to treat a myriad of diseases, conditions, and disabilities including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. National Institutes of Health
Stem cell research could create more jobs in Michigan and offer more hope for all of us.
But Amway Guy still doesn't think this is a good idea for Michigan.
Why not?

Just Say NO to Dick because...
15. Dick DeVos opposes embryonic stem cell research, but he's afraid to talk about why. Dick DeVos opposes embryonic stem cell research. (Detroit News, June 23, 2006)
“When asked to clarify his position on embryonic stem cell research, he said it ‘presents significant challenges. (Gongwer, July 31, 2006)

Just Say YES to Jen because...

15. Governor Granholm supports stem cell research because of its multi-facted power to help Michgian's citizens. “Stem cell research holds the power to improve the lives of thousands of Michiganians,” Granholm said. (Weekly radio address 10/6/06)
Granholm launched an online petition asking the state Legislature to ease stem cell research in Michigan and is currently supporting bills in both the state House and Senate.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Local Lansing Flavor - The Creole Gallery + Goran Ivanovic Group

The very first local spot to be featured on LLP's Local Lansing Flavor is a special place that's near and dear to my heart. The Creole Gallery

Creole is located in historic and beautiful Old Town
About Creole Gallery
From the joyous jazz of Wynton Marsalis to the political art of Tyree Guyton, Creole Gallery has become known as an inviting place where different communities gather for art, concerts, theater and poetry.

Located in Lansing, Michigan's historic Old Town, Creole Gallery began as a full-service art, performance and rental space in 1999. It takes its name from the Creole Cigar Co., the first business in this late-19th-Century building at 1218 Turner Street. Employees rolled tobacco into fine cigars after it was delivered by train or boat on the nearby Grand River. Ironically, the Creole is now a no-smoking venue.

The Creole doesn't disappoint. You can stop by the Portable Feast next door for coffee and delicious home-made treats before the show or during intermission. With seating for up to 100, it's cozy enough to see the musicians really dive into their music, but large enough that you can slip away into the music and enjoy the ride without feeling cramped by the other patrons. With extremely affordable ticket prices ($14-$20 per show) it's a great place for a date, time with friends, or a night by yourself to soak it all in.

Last night, I stopped by the Creole and was enthralled by the incredible Goran Ivanovic Group. Otherwise known as Eastern Blok featuring Goran Ivanovic, this quartet quite simply blew my mind away.
The Goran Ivanovic Group is a pan-cultural ensemble with a sound that combines jazz and classical music with leaping rhythms and distinctive tonal palette of Balkan music. The band includes Goran Ivanovic (Guitar), Doug Rosenberg (Saxophone), Matthew Ulery (Bass), and Michael Caskey (Drums). The members of the group have a diverse and experienced background. Each musician brings a unique musical perspective to the band including jazz, classical, Balkan, Gypsy, and klezmer sensibilities. Formed in 2003, the group’s orthodox instrumentation has forged a sound which ignores borders that traditionally separate nations, cultures, and epochs. The group has created a musical idiom of its own imagining.

Couldn't have said it better. The music was so incredibly powerful, it could have you anywhere from weeping to jumping up and dancing and everywhere in between. Stop by their website and check out their music, I'm sure you'll agree.
Another great thing about the Creole is that you typically get a chance to meet the artists afterwards, and these guys were no exception. So I bought a couple CD's, got their autographs, and shot the breeze. :sigh: And you wonder why I love the Creole so much.

Do yourself a favor, discover yet another reason to treasure Lansing, and stop by the Creole Gallery!


New LLP Feature - Local Lansing Flavor

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I love Lansing!

Our great state's capital, Lansing is an amazingly and richly diverse community that is so unique. So much to offer, so many little treasures hidden away on its streets, so many wonderful people all working towards one goal, the betterment of each other and our town. How can you not love Lansing?!

A new feature to LLP will be 'Local Lansing Flavor' that will regularly feature some of the great places that make Lansing so incredible. The criteria for making the list is simple - it's a place we're proud to call our own because it's a part of what makes Lansing so wonderful. :-)

If you have an idea for Local Lansing Flavor, feel free to submit it!

Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #16

In Michigan, we don't ask for too much.
We just want our elected leaders to be working for us, and only us.
There's a Michigan Tradition where all candidates running for governor disclose their tax information to prove this.
Republican and Democrat alike, they've all done it.
Except for Dick.
Does Amway Guy have something to hide???

Just Say NO to Dick because...
16. Dick DeVos is hiding his tax returns from Michigan voters. Dick DeVos is the only candidate for Governor in modern Michigan history not to disclose his tax returns to the public. He refuses to provide detailed information on his financial holdings or any potential conflicts of interests. “I will be disclosing to the people of Michigan that which I think is appropriate to understand as they look to make a decision about their next Governor.” (WILX-TV, January 11, 2006)

Just Say YES to Jen because...
16. Governor Granholm has nothing to hide from Michigan voters. Granholm, former GOP Gov. John Engler and 2002 Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick Posthumus have all made their tax returns public. (Muskegon Chronicle, January 31, 2006)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #17

Michigan is an incredible state with abundant natural beauty, particularly our Great Lakes.
Our Great Lakes are a priceless asset.
To destroy our Great Lakes through drilling and pollution would be irresponsible and catastrophic.

Tricky Dick says "As governor, I will protect MichiganĂ‚’s environment from pollution and abuse."(Michigan Turnaround Plan pg 31)

But if there's one thing that Michigan voters have learned...
Amway Guy says one thing, and his money does another.

Just Say NO to Dick because...

17. Dick DeVos supports drilling of the Great Lakes.

Dick DeVos contributed over $100,000 to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, an extreme right wing think tank. The Mackinac Center opposes water restrictions aimed at protecting ground water and supports drilling in the Great Lakes, it once said, the "“threat of oil spills off the Great Lakes is a phantom menace." (Detroit Free Press, January 21, 2004; Oil and Gas Journal, September 26, 2005)

Just Say YES to Jen because...
17. Governor Granholm has worked hard to protect our Great Lakes from drilling and other harmful measures.
Governor Granholm signed legislation that for the first time protects Michigan waters from large-scale diversions and withdrawals. The landmark legislation fulfills a commitment Michigan made more than 20 years ago to join with other states and Canada to protect and preserve the waters of the Great Lakes Basin. (Michigan Water Legacy Act of 2006)

Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #18

Amway Guy's entire claim as to why he'd be the better Governor is because he's a businessman. He's said time and time again how Michigan needs to be run like a business.
Tricky Dick has even asked us, the voters to hire him so he can be our CEO.
CEO's have proof and get results.

Just Say NO to Dick because...
18. There is no proof that Dick DeVos has actually created jobs in Michigan. His campaign has been unable to turn over any proof that he actually created jobs here, while CEO of Amway/Alticor. It has now been over seven months since the DeVos Campaign told the Associated Press they would "“have documentation in a few days to back up how many jobs DeVos has created." (Associated Press, February 27, 2006)

Just Say YES to Jen because...
18. Total employment in Michigan is up 24,000 since Governor Granholm took office. Despite how Amway Guy may spin it, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tell it like it is.

Who would you rather have as your CEO?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

If You Could Talk to Your Local Legislator/Elected Official....

...what would you say?

Several Lansing elected officials (state and local level) have been kind enough to sit down with me in the coming days and chit chat for another LLP exclusive. I've got lots of questions, but I know you do too.

So, what do you want to know about? Is there a burning question you'd just love to ask, but never thought or had the chance to ask? Ask away!!


Just Say NO to Dick and YES to Jen - Reason #19

The people of Michigan are a smart bunch.
We're straight-forward and we believe that a firm handshake means you give your word.
We don't need $3,000 suits and fancy cars to sell us on an idea, we just need to know that the person we elect has a plan that's solid and is going to work for us.
We've got mortgages to pay, kids to put through college and food to put on the table each day.
We work hard for our money, and we expect our leaders to work even harder for us.

Just Say NO to Dick because...
19. Dick DeVos's tax plan will destroy Michigan's communities.
Dick DeVos's plan to slash taxes has been called irresponsible, and would only ruin our cities and schools that depend on that money to survive. (Detroit Free Press, 10/12/06)

Just Say YES to Jen because...
19. Governor Granholm is strengthening Michigan's communities constantly.
The Governor is constantly securing money from the federal government to build up our cities and towns. In September, the Governor brought one grant for over $15.3 million split between 37 different communities. (Michigan Economic Development Corporation) Of course, that's only one example of 8 new projects that she's brought in the last 3 weeks alone. (MEDC)