Chamber Meeting To Feature DeLay

June 5, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — The New York Times wrote that if U.S. Congressman Tom DeLay, R-Texas, didn’t already exist, former President Bill Clinton would have had to invent him. Time magazine dubbed the House Majority Whip as the Republican Party’s “chief money-pumper” and added that he was “too nuclear to be elected Speaker.”

Supporters view DeLay as an avenging angel, while opponents describe him as an attack dog. In Congressional aisles he is known as “The Hammer,” and the Friends of West Michigan Business, the political action committee (PAC) of the local chamber, is bringing him here.

DeLay will be the guest of honor at the 6th annual “Salute To West Michigan Business,” the PAC’s largest yearly fundraiser and awards ceremony. Monday, May 7, from 5 until 7:30 p.m. in the new Imperial Ballroom of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

“The attendance of such a prominent political figure as House Majority Whip Tom DeLay is truly a testament to the growing strength and influence of Friends of West Michigan Business,” said Doug DeVos, PAC Chairman and COO of Amway/Quixtar.

DeLay serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee, the panel that produces all the spending legislation for the House.

Over the past 17 years in Congress, DeLay has earned the “Taxpayers’ Friend” award from the National Taxpayers Union and has received 100-percent ratings from The New American and Christian Voice magazines for his conservative voting record. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also given DeLay consistently high marks for his pro-business stance in Congress.

DeLay began his legislative career in 1978, when he became the first Fort Bend County Republican elected to the Texas House. Eight years later, he was elected to Congress. DeLay is a native Texan, born in Laredo in 1947.

The salute to business will take place on Monday, May 7, from 5 until 7:30 p.m. in the new Imperial Ballroom of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Awards will be given for excellence in business, world-class manufacturer and nonprofit of the year.

“Thanks to the tremendous support of our PAC investors and their commitment to establishing a pro-business majority at all levels of government, the Chamber PAC has grown to become one of the largest, most comprehensive political forces in Michigan,” said DeVos.

“The Chamber PAC plays an essential role in our efforts to attract state resources and improve the business climate and quality of life in West Michigan,” said John Brown, president of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets are $250 per person for the VIP reception and include a photo opportunity with DeLay. The cost for the general reception is $75. For more information, contact John Helmholdt at (616) 771-0359 or at helmholdtj@grandrapids.org, or log on to the chamber’s Web site at www.grandrapids.org.

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