Too Sexy For The Dems

May 2, 2002
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He-e-e's too sexy for the Dems, too sexy for them Dems…

The entire Michigan Democratic Party (well, headquarters anyway) late last week decided to make an issue of Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus' "record" regarding "women's" issues, like domestic violence. And in Women's History month, too, which illuminates the fact that his predecessors have failed on "women's" issues. The press release suggested that Posthumus has never signed legislation against domestic violence (but says nothing of other "women's" issues) and has, as a gubernatorial candidate, "taken advantage of recent media opportunities."

So far, so what? Dem spokesperson Ben Kohrman also tells Michigan media: "He's not very well known, and polls show that many women voters don't relate to him."

So, it's about the women, and the fact that fit-and-trim Posthumus looks very, very good, especially compared to the mugs of the other guys, who are not. He-e-e's too sexy for the Dems…

  • Let's see, signs of an economic recovery have been surfacing for about the last two or three weeks. Each day, more and more prominent economists — even including AlanGreenspan — have been sounding more and more vociferous notes of optimism.

Wall Street has responded by moving into bull territory for the first time in nearly a year.

And the U.S. Congress, always one to spot a trend at the outset, last Thursday decided to extend unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks.

Yes, West Michigan workers were particularly hard hit, especially in the office furniture, tool and die and automotive supplier sectors, and the extended benefits will be of value to many who already have lost their jobs.

But where was such assistance when thousands of people were laid off in the first and second quarters of last year?

That's like ordering more lifeboats for the Titanic after its maiden voyage.

  • Speaking of the automotive industry, it seems not everyone is down in the dumps.

Remember Benteler Automotive, which until last August was headquartered in that hotbed of technology, Grand Rapids?

Well, it seems the move to Auburn Hills is agreeing with the Tier One firm, which last week opened a new state-of-the-art technology center.

WalterFrankiewicz, president of Benteler Automotive North American Operations and the driving force behind the GR exodus, said the facility will play a key role in the company's efforts to expand its current reputation as a leading European automotive supplier to one as a leading global supplier.

"We have the technological expertise, experience and manufacturing excellence to become one of the world's foremost Tier One suppliers," he said. "Now, we have an advanced technology center right here in the automotive capital of North America to help us further leverage these great assets and maximize value for our customers."

Oh, it must have been that automotive capital of North America thing.

  • Michael J. Brennan, president of Heart of West Michigan United Way, and former U.S. Senator SpenceAbraham sure seem to have a lot in common. Both took on Michigan positions as stepping-stones to greater things.

Brennan, who on April 8 will head to Alexandria, Va., to become executive vice president of United Way of America, has groomed himself for such a national post since his arrival here.

His last day in West Michigan will be March 22.

"As executive vice president for community impact and resource development, Mike will bring with him a perspective of community building that will align both functional areas," said BrianGallagher, president and CEO, United Way of America. "Clearly Mike is one of United Way's brightest and most innovative leaders. The talents that Mike shared with Michigan for so long will now benefit all communities nationwide."

The only surprise locally is, what took so long?

Hopefully Brennan, unlike Abraham, remembers his Michigan roots when he arrives closer to the nation's political heartbeat.

  • PhilDeHaan, spokesperson for Calvin College, dropped a note to his journalist friends recently that we're sure will strike a chord among some readers.

"I'm starting to read a 'new' book that our Hekman Library at Calvin College just ordered. It's called 'America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction' and it's a collection of stories by JohnSteinbeck, many of which were done on assignment for various newspapers and magazines.

"In the intro to the book is a 1956 quote by Steinbeck on journalism. I thought you'd like what he had to say:

"What can I say about journalism? It has the greatest virtue and the greatest evil. It is the first thing the dictator controls. It is the mother of literature and the perpetrator of crap. In many cases it is the only history we have and yet it is the tool of the worst men. But over a long period of time and perhaps because it is the product of so many men, it is perhaps the purest thing we have."

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