THE BLOG

Don't Forget Michigan - It's Too Important

05/25/2011 11:55 am ET
  • James P. Hoffa General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters

While much attention has been paid this electoral season to Santorum, Lieberman, DeWine and others, Michigan voters have an important choice before them. Gov. Jennifer Granholm has been a loyal friend to working families in the state since she took office and is the only candidate guaranteed to always put Michigan first.

Granholm is dedicated to ensuring that all Michigan residents are afforded equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream and, despite a Republican-led legislature, her administration has made tremendous achievements for Michigan labor. She has worked tirelessly to secure and create employment for residents, increase workers' wages, protect their pensions and provide access to affordable health insurance.

She has secured and created jobs for Michigan workers
by meeting face-to-face with top business leaders worldwide. She retained thousands of jobs by fighting to keep plants open and has already brought nearly 3,500 new jobs to the state through various multi-billion-dollar job growth and tax relief funds.

While corporate America is outsourcing jobs, Granholm is one of the few politicians insourcing them. She went to Asia and brought jobs back from India. She has also secured more than 1,000 new jobs and over $200 million in new investments from companies in Japan. How many politicians can say they have brought American jobs back to where they belong?

Granholm has worked to improve Michigan's economy through development of the most aggressive jobs plan in the nation, and it is already beginning to turn the state around. Her "Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow" plan will produce thousands of new jobs for Michigan workers by speeding up infrastructure projects, retraining unemployed workers and diversifying the state's economy.

Granholm has fought to increase wages and protect and enhance benefits for Michigan workers. She signed into law legislation that raised the state's minimum wage for the first time in nine years and issued an executive order to safeguard state investments and protect pensions. She introduced the MiRx Card, which discounts prescription drugs for uninsured families, and lowered drug costs by introducing the nation's first bulk-buying pool.

In stark contrast, GOP candidate Dick DeVos' record proves he has unequivocally failed working families in Michigan by repeatedly sacrificing their wellbeing in order to make a quick buck. DeVos has created new jobs but, unfortunately for Michigan residents, those jobs were overseas. As president of Amway, Devos laid off nearly 1,400 state workers while investing more than $200 million in Chinese manufacturing plants.

DeVos also supports unfair trade agreements, such as NAFTA, that cost our state jobs. He has donated large sums of money to organizations and groups that advocate outsourcing American jobs. His foundation, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, has given thousands of dollars to The Action Institute, The Hudson Institute and The Heritage Foundation, all of which advocate outsourcing.

On November 7, voters will, in a very real sense, be choosing between job security and growth at home or overseas. Michigan residents should ask themselves which it is they want--a leader who will fight for labor or one who will lobby for whatever avenue most enhances his own interests. I believe the choice is clear.

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