I live just outside Cadillac. I grew up there, went to high school there, and spend most of my money there. I am a subscriber and avid reader of the Cadillac News. The Cadillac News does a great job of covering local news stories. They also have a very active “Speak Out” section. In that section, they have always posted my left leaning rants along with rants from people from all across the political continuum. I guess my most recent letter crossed the line. I was told that it “doesn’t fit our guidelines regarding private business.” You see, private businesses are exempt from public criticism (and pretty soon taxes). I think we all know the rationale behind this rule. Thankfully we have the internet that allows for freedom of speech without “guidelines.” I hope you enjoy the following banned letter to the editor.
I read in the Cadillac News that Fox Motors is collecting backpacks and school supplies for “local public schools.” I believe that is a nice gesture and I hope many of you will donate. However, I think readers should know that the owner of Fox Motors is Dan DeVos. Mr. DeVos donated $5,000 to an organization known as the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP). The GLEP is primarily funded by Dan’s brother and sister in-law Dick and Betsy DeVos. Those two have given the organization almost $900,000. The GLEP have been using these donations to help elect conservative candidates that support using tax dollars for private schools. The GLEP did not endorse Governor Snyder, but one Richard Snyder did donate $2,000 to the GLEP in 2006. Snyder’s plan for public schools features multiple ways that tax dollars can be used for private instruction. Governor Snyder and the DeVos family seem to have little regard for the voter’s wishes. After all, the people of Michigan resoundingly defeated the voucher initiative in the fall of 2000. So back to Fox Motors. I’m sure that many quality people work there. We own three 3 Fords vehicles. I fully support buying Michigan made and locally sold products. However, I have come to realize that politics is more about raising money than courting voters. My power is in my wallet, and it is not my voter I.D. card. I cannot spend my money in places that will use their profits for causes I strongly oppose. How about you?
UPDATE: The editor of the Cadillac News sent me a followup letter explaining why private entities get different treatment: “Our policy is in place because of libel laws. We, and letter writers too, are more vulnerable to libel lawsuits in regards to private businesses and individuals than government and political groups.”