Monday, August 30, 2010

Snyder Celebrates Battery Jobs Created by Granholm, MEDC and the Recovery Act

The hypocrisy. It burns. Republicans enjoying the fruits of job creation they have criticized, tried to obstruct, and would eliminate if they were elected.

Riddle me this: If Rick Snyder is this big "jobs creator" - why in the world would he have to introduce the Republican ticket at a site for a battery plant that Granholm and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation brought to Michigan? No jobs of his own that he can point at? Hmmm? DeVos is probably kicking himself right about now for not trying to pull something like this off...

Count Republican gubernatorial nominee Rick Snyder as a supporter of Michigan’s move to dominate the domestic vehicle battery industry.

Snyder — the self-proclaimed “tough nerd” and winner of the bruising August GOP primary for governor — selected Bayer CropScience as the backdrop Monday to introduce the Republican general election candidates to Muskegon.

Bayer’s 400-acre chemical park development is the future home of fortu PowerCell, a $623 million, 734-job advanced battery plant planned by a Swiss-German startup company. Groundbreaking for the initial 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is expected in April 2011.

“Batteries are important to our future,” said the Republican candidate, who faces the Democratic nominee, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, in the Nov. 2 general election. “Our automotive industry is critical to the state.”

For a guy who wants to criticize "happy talk", he sure knows how to sling the vapid statements. But I digress.

Governor Granholm brought fortu PowerCell to Michigan, the result of a overseas jobs trip made in July 2009. As you probably remember, Republicans have frequently criticized these missions as "little more than public relations opportunities after the groundwork for business expansion has already been laid by state economic development officials" (DNews 2008), amongst other various partisan attacks over the years. Even if they want to claim these jobs are the result of MEDC's legwork, keep in mind that Snyder is very critical of our economic development efforts, and is threatening to eliminate the very same tax incentives that gave him this photo-op today. From Snyder's site:

The MEDC has been mismanaged by the current administration. When Rick Snyder was appointed by Gov. Engler to be the first chair of the MEDC, Michigan was ranked No. 1 in the nation for five years for new business expansions by Site Selection Magazine. Now the state has dropped to the bottom in business-friendly rankings and is just ahead of Mississippi for new business expansions according to Site Selection.

Actually, John Engler wanted to eliminate incentives as well, and quickly put them back when Michigan gained the reputation of "having unilaterally disarmed" in the war for economic development. As far as the claim abut Site Selection, in March of 2010, the magazine ranked Michigan No. 3 in the nation for major new corporate facilities and expansions in 2009. We placed No. 3 in 2008 as well. Snyder goes on to say...

Lansing’s career politicians have wasted tax dollars on expensive ad campaigns and false incentives while promising job creation – without fixing Michigan’s tax and regulatory system. With a million jobs disappearing this decade, Michigan’s economic troubles can’t be solved through television ads or taxpayer-funded credits. Lansing politicians need to get out of the business of picking winners and losers through incentives.

Geez Rick, without these incentives, where would the Republicans hold their campaign events? Chances are fortu PowerCell would have gone somewhere else had it not been for the tax incentives, efforts of the Granholm administration, MEDC, the wonderful people in Muskegon, and, according to this story, the "political climate" in North America that would bring the electric car to market, wants to end a dependency on fossil fuels, and also address climate change. Interesting. Wonder which "political" entity has been touting those measures - because last I heard it was "drill, baby, drill", and Rush claiming no one wants a Volt coming from the Republican side of the aisle. Good thing no one mentioned that to fortu CEO Alan Greenshields.

Michigan became the prime location for the company’s planned manufacturing plant based on the understanding and assistance of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., a personal visit by Gov. Jennifer Granholm with company officials in Germany last summer and the reception received by Muskegon Township and local economic developers, Greenshields said.

“The Michigan MEDC has been first class,” Greenshields said. “I find the people here in Muskegon down to earth and refreshingly friendly. We have found an attractive location with a great quality of life for our future staff.”

And on top on the state battery tax incentives, let's not forget that the Recovery Act - which no Republican voted for - brought Michigan $1.35 billion for advanced battery research and production. We now have 16 battery companies setting up shop here - and that's expected to create upwards of 62,000 jobs.

So, yes, Rick, "batteries are important to our future" - a future that was made possible by Granholm, MEDC, President Obama, and the votes of Democratic lawmakers in Congress. Might want to mention that the next time you use one of these sites for campaign purposes.