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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-04-06 10:59 AM
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G4G Talking points for 10/4
OCTOBER 4, 2006 (34 Days until Victory 2006)

Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie signed Governor Granholms petition urging action to allow stem cell research in Michigan. Ali, who was diagnosed with Parkinsons in 1982, has long advocated stem cell research as a possible way to cure many life-threatening diseases.
Governor Granholm has called for an overhaul of outdated laws that restrict stem cell research. Dick DeVos takes the extreme position of opposing such measures. His position hurts our economic advancements in the life sciences, and blocks potentially life-saving research from happening in Michigans world-class research hospitals.
The Truth About Dick DeVos Investments: A whistle blower from Ohio came forward yesterday to discuss the truth about DeVos undisclosed investment in Alterra. The assisted living company abused residents in multiple states.
DeVos claims that he only owned 1% of the common stock, but he is not mentioning his investment groups leverage over the Series A stock. Series A shareholders had the ability to appoint enough members of the board of directors to control any major corporate decisions like approving budgets, appointing a president or chairman, and many others. The chairman of Alterra was Jerry Tubergen, the manager of the DeVos family fortune and an old family friend.
DeVos did not disclose his stake in Alterra, and the whistle blower criticized DeVos for not taking actions to protect patients as abuses mounted.

Headlines from Around the State

Booth Newspapers: Dems go after DeVos on Alterra investment
A $173 million investment by DeVos and others in May 2000 bought control of Alterra Healthcare Corp., Democrats asserted, and responsibility for the company's treatment of residents. Granholm charged during Monday's debate that that was a big investment "even" for DeVos Mark Brewer, chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, said Tuesday that common stock ownership aside, DeVos, members of his family and family associates controlled 91 percent of a separate May 2000 issue of debt instruments designed to keep the company afloat. Citing Securities and Exchange Commission documents, Brewer said that investment gave them effective control over Alterra's board of directors and ultimate responsibility of facility operations Alterra's chairman of the board when the company was undergoing financial struggles was Jerry Tubergen of Grand Rapids, a close associate of the DeVos family and chief executive of RDV Corp., the financial management arm of the DeVos family One of Alterra's assisted living facilities, Alterra Clare Bridge, is located in Portage, 60 miles south of Grand Rapids, the center of the DeVos family business holdings. In July 2000, the administration of Republican Gov. John Engler sought the removal of 10 residents at the Portage home after state inspectors charged that their medical needs exceeded the staff's abilities. The transfer order affected one-third of Alterra's residents. Alterra, state regulators said in a Sept. 7, 2000 press release, employed "legal maneuvering" for six weeks to block patient removal. Alterra officials told the Kalamazoo Gazette in September 2000 that they were following the wishes of the residents' family members. From the initial regulatory order for removal to the time a state court ordered removal, five of the 10 residents died, the state said in the press release In the summer of 2000, Michigan CIS regulators launched an investigation into the care of residents at the Portage facility. They concluded, in a July 24 report, that care delivered at the facility was neither adequate nor appropriate given patients' health conditions "He made a huge investment in this company," Brewer said. "Did he not care about how the company operated? Did he not care about the press stories that were going on while he had this huge investment? And if he didn't know, he should have."
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Metrotimes: You dont know Dick the hard-right face candidate DeVos isnt showing voters
But there's another side to Dick DeVos, the hard-right face of a social and economic conservative who, not all that long ago, would have been considered extreme even among Republicans. But his views have largely become part of the political mainstream; many of the causes supported by DeVos are championed by the man currently sitting in the Oval Office, and he is there, at least in part, because of the financial support provided by the DeVos family. (If that sounds like hyperbole, consider that DeVos was offered the ambassadorship to the Netherlands as his reward for the role he played in the 2000 presidential campaign.) This political shift is testament to the quiet efforts undertaken by the DeVoses and other extremely wealthy right-wingers for more than three decades. Using donations from private foundations they control, as well as personal contributions and money kicked in from their companies, these people have been funding conservative think tanks, activist groups and fundamentalist Christian organizations in an attempt to direct America's political mainstream further and further to the right The agenda has been clear-cut: tax cuts that primarily benefit corporations and the wealthy, industry deregulation, school privatization, militarism, the promotion of so-called "traditional values" that cover everything from undermining the rights of gays to re-criminalizing abortion to breaking down the wall separating church from state, opposition to the environmental movement and organized labor and affirmative action, and cuts in funding to social services And when liberal activists challenged the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative in Court, CIR defended the initiative and successfully fought to keep it on the ballot. That group received $35,000 from DeVos' foundation in 2001 "The governor of Michigan, it's not that great a job," says Bellant. "My guess is he wants to be president."
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