MI Morning Update 11-13-08

718 Days until Election Day

November 13, 2008


"I couldn’t be happier with Sarah Palin, and she’s gone back to be a great governor, and I think she will play a big role in the future of this country."

– Senator John McCain


DEVOS ANNOUNCES HE WILL NOT RUN FOR GOVERNOR…Right Michigan broke the story today that Dick DeVos has decided against running for Governor.  In an email to Republican activists Dick said:  "After considerable thought, prayer and consultation with Betsy and our family, I have concluded that my ability to impact the future of Michigan will be more significant at this time from outside government, instead of inside. So to allow me to do what I have always done best, that is to create jobs and opportunity in the private sector, I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2010."

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMANSHIP…yesterday I announced my candidacy for the Chairmanship of the RNC.  First on Twitter, then Facebook, blogs, webpage and email – I announced my intentions…also sending out  a "snail mail" letter to my fellow members too.

As the son of an immigrant who found the American dream in a car factory in Detroit, I know that the American dream is still alive. It lives in every city and every suburb; and in every coal miner, accountant, school teacher, young professional, and yes, every auto worker – in every corner of this country. And you’ll never convince me that Republican ideas cannot win those Americans’ hearts and minds.

I can’t tell you what an honor and privilege it has been to serve as the Michigan Republican State Chairman.  I have made so many new friends, developed great relationships and helped put together one of the best political teams in the country.  Our State Committee members, County Chairs, and other Republican leaders make up the backbone of who will help bring Michigan back!  I look forward to continuing my work with all of you!  Thanks for the opportunity to serve you!





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The following stories and more are available at my Articles of Interest online.




Failure of auto industry could set off catastrophe

Advocates: Collapse of US auto industry could set off catastrophic chain reaction

Tom Krisher and Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writers

Wednesday November 12, 2008, 6:30 pm EST

DETROIT (AP) — Advocates for the nation’s automakers are warning that the collapse of the Big Three — or even just General Motors — could set off a catastrophic chain reaction in the economy, eliminating up to 3 million jobs and depriving governments of more than $150 billion in tax revenue.

Industry supporters are offering such grim predictions as Congress weighs whether to bail out the nation’s largest automakers, which are struggling to survive the steepest economic slide in decades.

"We’ve got to do this because the cost of inaction is so high to communities, to workers, to companies," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio. He was among many lawmakers worried that an industry collapse would be devastating for everything from school districts to small businesses.

Detroit auto mess turns toxic

Short of the subprime mortgage racket, perhaps nothing is more toxic right now than the Detroit car business.

The begging for taxpayer cash in Washington, led by General Motors Corp., is in overdrive. The equity values of GM and Ford Motor Co. are approaching zero. Their congressional protector, Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, is under siege by his own party, a testament to the industry’s weakened clout. And the bankruptcy vs. bailout debate rages, with either solution spelling trouble to anyone considering additional exposure — i.e., credit — to the Detroit business.

No wonder Jonathan Grant’s latest chats with bankers sound more like back-alley confabs with loan sharks than the business meetings they used to be. Two months ago, the principal of Central Avenue Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge in Yonkers, N.Y., tells me, a well-capitalized dealer like him could arrange a $10 million credit line to finance inventory without collateral. Wednesday, he checked for rates, and one bank said OK — provided there was $2.5 million to back it up.

Obama may name auto czar

Robert Snell and David Shepardson / The Detroit News

President-elect Barack Obama has raised the idea of appointing a so-called "auto czar" to oversee emergency federal aid to automakers, exact tough corporate reforms and ensure taxpayers earn a return on any investment in the auto industry.

The Obama transition team hasn’t identified who the car czar would be, but the president-elect has three auto advisers. They are economic adviser Jason Furman, Georgetown University law professor Dan Tarullo and Joshua Steiner, a former Clinton Treasury official, but none of them have emerged as the point person on autos yet. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former Michigan Congressman David Bonior also are advising Obama on the troubled auto industry.

It would be helpful, though not essential, for such an appointee to have an intimate knowledge of the auto industry or at least assemble a panel of expert advisers, said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.

Democrats urge federal stake in big auto companies

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Associated Press Writer – Wed Nov 12, 6:48 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation to send $25 billion in emergency loans to the beleaguered auto industry in exchange for a government ownership stake in the Big Three car companies.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., hope for quick passage of the auto bailout during a postelection session that begins Monday.

Legislation being drafted by Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Sen. Carl M. Levin, D-Mich., would dip into the $700 billion Wall Street rescue money, approved by Congress last month, for the auto aid.

Dick DeVos surprises observers, announces he will not run for governor of Michigan in 2010

by Ken Kolker | The Grand Rapids Press

Wednesday November 12, 2008, 2:40 PM

GRAND RAPIDS — Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos surprised political observers today when he announced he will not run for governor in 2010.

DeVos made the announcement by video on a conservative Web blog RightMichigan.com.

"I’m not going to be a candidate in 2010," he said in the interview.

DeVos, who lost in his 2006 bid against Gov. Jennifer Granholm, said he made the decision after talking with his wife, Betsy, other family members and friends.

Paulson broadens federal bailout

By LISA LERER & DAVID ROGERS | 11/12/08 9:26 PM EST 

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson broadened the reach of the $700 billion financial rescue program on Wednesday, but resisted pressure from top Democrats to allocate money to struggling automakers and homeowners.

Paulson said the bailout fund would not buy up asset-backed securities, as the plan was originally sold to Congress, but shifted the focus to give the Treasury Department broader discretion in how to spend the funds and focus more directly on consumers.

"Over these past weeks, we have continued to examine the relative benefits of purchasing illiquid mortgage-related assets," said Paulson. "Our assessment at this time is that this is not the most effective way to use TARP funds."


Lobbyists swarm the U.S. Treasury for a helping of bailout pie

By Mark Landler and David D. Kirkpatrick
Published: November 12, 2008

WASHINGTON: When the U.S. government said it would spend $700 billion to rescue the American financial industry, it seemed to be an ocean of money. But after one of the biggest lobbying free-for-alls in memory, it suddenly looks like a dwindling pool.

Many new supplicants are lining up for an infusion of capital as billions of dollars are channeled to other beneficiaries like the American International Group, and possibly soon American Express.

Of the initial $350 billion that Congress freed up, out of the $700 billion in bailout money contained in the law that passed last month, the Treasury Department has committed all but $60 billion. The shrinking pie – and the growing uncertainty over who qualifies – has thrown Washington’s legal and lobbying establishment into a mad scramble.

Gingrich says GOP is outmatched

By ROGER SIMON | 11/13/08 4:29 AM EST  

How bad off is the Republican Party right now? Ask Newt Gingrich.

"The Republican Party right now is like a midsize college team trying to play in the Superbowl," Gingrich told me Wednesday. "It is pretty hard to say our losses were because of John McCain’s campaign. McCain performed way above plausibility compared to where the Republican president was in the polls. We have to look honestly at what went wrong."

Gingrich, Republican speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999, declined say who he wanted as the next chairman of the party. He said his main concern was the rise of what he called the "modern left," which just a few years ago was thought to be moribund in this country but now looks alive and kicking.

Saul Anuzis announces bid for RNC chair, embraces Web

Republicans’ poor performance in recent elections may be sticking point in his run for seat.

Gordon Trowbridge / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Saul Anuzis, who has led the Michigan Republican Party through two tough election cycles, said Wednesday he will seek election as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Anuzis, the subject of months of speculation over a possible bid, set up a Web site, anuzisforchair.com, and announced his candidacy over Internet social-networking services YouTube and Twitter. The signal to RNC members: Republicans must embrace the Web as a tool just as aggressively as Democrats.

"Never again will our party lag behind in using the latest technology to advance our message," Anuzis said in a letter to RNC members courting their support.

Russia rejects U.S. missile proposals

Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:22pm EST

By Guy Faulconbridge

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin on Wednesday rejected U.S. proposals aimed at easing concerns over a missile defense system in Europe and said it would try again to resolve the row once Barack Obama is in the White House.

Russia says the planned U.S. system will threaten its national security and that the administration of George W. Bush, which leaves office in January, has failed to allay its concerns.

"Russia is ready to cooperate with the United States on European security but considers the proposals that were sent are insufficient," Itar-Tass news agency quoted an unidentified Kremlin source as saying.