Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s governor and aspiring presidential candidate, UAW president Shawn Fain, Michigan’s featherweight attorney general Dana Nessel, and President Biden should count their blessings that Donald Trump has a poor command of critical issues, and his advisors are bereft of strategic initiatives and ideas. Trump had an opportunity to deal his nemeses some potentially fatal blows during his visit to Detroit last weekend, but as usual he stuck to his signature shuck and jive.

For the past several years, Whitmer has been regaling Michiganders about the legions of “good paying” automotive industry jobs she’s supposedly been creating, using their taxpayer monies as barter. GM, Ford, and the UAW abetted the con, with senior company executives and union leaders smooching Whitmer at news conferences and hailing her claimed job creation initiatives.

This news release is representative of the hype that woman from Michigan served up.

The release claimed that Whitmer was responsible for GM investing $7 billion in Michigan on new and existing plants, which seems like a big deal unless you happen to know that CEO Mary Barra is spending $16 billion to buy back her stock and enrich herself and other GM shareholders. The release made no mention that in addition to the new grants and subsidies Whitmer showered on GM, the company previously received $3.5 billion in potential taxpayer subsidies to cash in between 2010 and 2029, as well as other financial incentives.

Whitmer and GM had hoped to keep their sweetheart deal a secret, which is how politicians roll in Michigan, ranked among the least transparent states in the union. Unfortunately for them, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that Michiganders had a right to know how their taxpayer monies were being squandered.

Whitmer’s release quoted former UAW President Ray Curry and Terry Dittes, the UAW’s former GM point person, hailing Whitmer for GM’s investments, while taking some of the credit themselves.

Here’s the UAW’s statement:

In a fast-evolving industry that advances toward technologies like electric vehicles, UAW members in Michigan knew they could face challenges or benefit from opportunities as the auto industry evolves. Today, through the work of Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her administration, General Motors, and the hardworking women and men of the UAW, Michiganders seized the opportunities of the future. Today’s announcement positions Michigan to remain at the center of the auto industry’s evolution and positions UAW members and their families to benefit for decades to come.” 

On the eve of Trump’s visit, the nonpartisan Bridge News published this story exposing Whitmer for the job creation fraud she is.

Jobs? What jobs?

Bridge reported that Whitmer had already spent $1 billion of Michigan taxpayer monies, for which only 200 likely factory jobs have been created. That works out to $5 million per job. It would be more fiscally prudent for Whitmer to tell Barra to take her jobs and shove them you know where and simply give the displaced workers their salaries from Michigan’s Treasury.

To be clear, I meant Mexico when I suggested where Barra could shove her Michigan factory jobs.

Adding insult to injury, a trade publication reported that Ford has scaled up to 300 employees the team it put together in southern California to design a low-cost EV. Meanwhile, Barra announced plans to open a tech center in Silicon Valley where at least two of the company’s top executives will be located. I can assure that Ford’s and GM’s California employees are earning considerably more than the “good paying” jobs Whitmer created in Michigan.

GM also disclosed on the eve of Trump’s visit that it would build its crossover Cadillac Optiq in Mexico, where Barra also builds her electric Blazer and Equinox vehicles, along with some of her gas guzzling trucks and SUVs. GM is Mexico’s biggest automotive manufacturer.

UAW Under Investigation

As for UAW’s Fain, who has endorsed Biden because of the president’s supposed commitment to union workers and automotive jobs creation, the “historic” contract Fain claimed to have negotiated last fall is proving to be a major job killer. Stellantis opted to fire thousands of supplemental card-carrying UAW workers, and the company is expected to soon throw many of its Michigan white collar workers to the curb.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has signaled that he also plans to deal with his problem plagued plants outside Detroit, and it’s a safe bet that he won’t be handing out raises to deal with the chronic absenteeism these factories have long been experiencing.

It was also reported that the UAW’s court appointed monitor is investigating some damning charges by two senior union officials who have alleged they were pressured to approve improper expenditures benefiting the president’s office. These executives, who were directly elected by the union’s rank-and-file, perhaps are merely disgruntled but the optics are further clouded by the monitor’s claim that the union hasn’t turned over the bulk of the documents he wants to review. The monitor also disclosed that he’s turned over two investigations to the Department of Justice, which suggests he’s found potential criminal behavior.

Not a great look for a union where two of its previous leaders landed in jail because of corruption.

Dana Nessel’s Democracy

A key message point of Biden and his media enablers is that Trump is a major threat to democracy. Trump blew an opportunity to highlight how Whitmer and AG Nessel regard the democratic rights of Michiganders.

While in Michigan, Trump would have been wise to meet with restaurant owner Marlena Hackney, who defied Whitmer’s state lockdown during the pandemic. After learning that Hackney planned to go on Tucker Carlson to tell her story, Nessel said in a March 12, 2021, email to her staff: “Do we know (Hackney’s) whereabouts? We should just have her picked up before she goes on (Carlson’s show). This is outrageous.”

Hackney was arrested by the Michigan State Police seven days after her appearance on Carlson’s show. Nessel’s email was obtained by The Mackinac Center for Public Policy after filing a Freedom of Information Act request. Say what you want about Tucker Carlson, but he was spot on in his assessment of Nessel.

Had Trump traveled about 100 miles west to rural Marshall, I’m certain area residents would have thrown him a parade and talked his ear off about their experiences with democracy under Whitmer. Marshall, an area famous for its rustic scenery and historic barns, is where Ford is building an electric battery plant, the scope of which has been significantly downsized.

Fertile farmland and century old trees were destroyed to build Ford’s battery plant, which the automaker will operate in partnership with a battery company based in communist China. Area residents are fighting mightily to derail the project, for which Whitmer spearheaded $1.7 billion in subsidies. An economic accountability group deemed the giveaway the biggest taxpayer rip-off of 2023.

The Detroit Free Press reported that political groups tied to Whitmer spent an estimated $100,000 in “dark money” to run a PR campaign discrediting Marshall-area residents who opposed the deal because of environmental concerns, particularly fears that a lithium battery plant could harm their local water supply and potentially the Kalamazoo River. Underscoring the ruralness of Marshall, some area residents still get their water from wells. 

Posing with Marshall residents where Ford is building its plant would have made a powerful photo op showing how Whitmer is spending billions destroying the planet to save the planet.

In another blow to Nessel, Trump could have publicized that she’s seeking proposals from private law firms to prosecute the fossil fuel industry for weather events she claims result from the Earth’s changing climate. Nessel’s lawsuit is another example as to why few major companies want to remain or invest in Michigan.

Governor Whitmer and Professor Potato

Finally, while doing some research, I stumbled on the video below of Whitmer promoting a proposed free tuition initiative for community colleges. Hard to believe that Whitmer fancies herself as presidential material, and even more alarming, so does the media. Indeed, in a recent commentary, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens proposed that Biden step aside so that either Whitmer or Pennsylvania governor Josh Shapiro could run instead of the president in November.

Stephens forgot more than I’ll ever know about Israel and the Middle East, but it’s clear he’s not all that knowledgeable about the goings on in Michigan.

Enjoy the video. Greg Gutfeld’s take is also quite amusing.

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