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You Don't Know Dick

Whatta Dick
It's not getting much national coverage but the Michigan gubernatorial campaign is an exercise in classic money politics v. an incumbent hog-tied by economic situations beyond her control. The story of the Republican candidate is fascinating to anyone with an interest in how money and religion are fusing to establish a new morality in American society and how it drives conservative politics. Detroit's Metro Times digs in.


Detailing the web of far right-wing connections that date back decades in the DeVos family, The Metro Times' Curt Guyette gets into the political history and ideological bent of one of Michigan's most prominent families.

As the son of Amway founder Richard DeVos, Sr., Dickie DeVos may just have enough money to buy his way into the Governor's mansion and all without having to tell the voters who he is. Running his campaign on virtually ONE issue (revision of Michigan's tax code), voters barely know the billionaire son of Michigan's wealthiest family, despite being inundated with $17.9 million worth of his TV ads. So, who is Dick DeVos?

He's not much on explaining his positions, but Guyette teamed up with Russ Bellant, who has been following the right-wing movement in Michigan for 30 years, to try and detangle the web of thinktanks, foundations, and ballot initiatives financed by the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation.

You can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps and you can get a pretty good idea of where he stands by how he spends his money. Guyette sums it up:

The DeVoses keep getting richer, giving them more money to fund the think tanks that provide the scholarly reports and position papers that support their free-market economic philosophy, and more money to fund the fundamentalist Christian groups that turn out the voters to support the hard-right conservative politicians whose campaigns the DeVoses also fund, gaining the sort of access and favors those voters can't even begin to imagine.
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