By Connie Cuellar
PLYMOUTH, MICH. -- The quiet suburban Main Street here burst into a political “flash mob” Friday when more than 100 protestors marched down the sidewalk outside the office of presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s (R-Mich.).
The protestors chanted, “We want good jobs now!”
The grassroots organizations We Are The People and Good Jobs Now, with support from American Federation of Government Employees, organized the protest to bring attention to concerns about Rep. McCotter’s legislative agenda and its impact on jobs.
Michigan’s economy was hit hard during the recession and its unemployment rate still hovers at 10.5 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Ed Klein, vice president of AFGE Local 1658, said McCotter’s vote to cut 10 percent of federal jobs would mean losing another 2,000 jobs in his district, or more than $80 million in revenue.
“McCotter has also supported policies to cut funding for programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while rejecting efforts to raise revenue by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations,” Klein said. “His policies have led to these large number of unemployed people, many of whom are here with us today. They are a primary reason why we are here. Our groups came here with the same message. We need good jobs right now, not job killing budget cuts to vital services.”
Martin VanValkenburg, Michigan director for the McCotter presidential campaign said the candidate would stick to his objectives, regardless of the protest.
“Rep. McCotter is going to reduce the size of big government and continue to send Washington’s power back to the states and local units of government where it belongs,” said VanValkenburg. “Americans know its prosperity is with the private sector, not the public sector. His campaign is focused on creating jobs and without forcing the Wall Street banks, which were bailed out, to recapitalize to help entrepreneurs create jobs. Tax cuts and regulatory reform won’t create jobs if entrepreneurs don’t have access to the necessary capital.”
McCotter, who announced his presidential candidacy on July 2, 2012, was not at his office during the protest, as he is in Iowa until Aug. 27.
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