Thursday, August 28, 2008

Walberg On Michigan Business Success: "Bummer"

A lot of people don't know much about a man named Homer Stryker, but they should. Raised in Athens, Michigan, he was a teacher, a World War I soldier, a doctor, and an inventor. As an orthopedic surgeon in Kalamazoo, he began building devices that improved the comfort of the patients he was treating. The company he founded-- Stryker Corp.-- has grown into a Fortune 500 company and a leader in medical technologies.

But best of all, they're still in Kalamazoo, Michigan. With nearly 19,000 employees worldwide, the world headquarters and much of the manufacturing is still in Michigan.

This is the perfect Michigan success story. It shows that Michigan businesses can thrive and be successful and stay in Michigan. It shows that hard work and creativity can lead to great results. This is the sort of success story politicians should be talking about all the time.

So what does Tim Walberg say about it while touring a hospital?

Matt Davis, a Marshall Realtor and Walberg supporter, noted the room contained a bed made by Stryker Corp. of Kalamazoo.

Walberg said he'd had surgery in 2007 at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

"I looked at the bed and it said 'Stryker,'" Walberg said. "Bummer."

(Emphasis added.)

"Bummer." That's his reaction to a Michigan success story. Why?
Jon Stryker, one of three billionaire grandchildren of Stryker's founder, has in recent years funded numerous liberal causes, and his Coalition for Progress has contributed to Schauer's 2008 campaign.
Yup. Tim Walberg doesn't like Stryker because one of the grandchildren of the founder is a Democrat. And it's true-- Jon Stryker has spent a lot of money on his political activities. It's much like the many members of the Club for Growth, who funded the congressman's 2006 campaign.

To his credit, Walberg eventually acknowledged that he was wrong:
In the end, Walberg noted that the company is a separate entity and said, "If Stryker makes the best hospital bed, that's the one I want to be in."
But an initial reaction says a lot. In the comments on the Battle Creek Enquirer article, user DSMi59 wrote:
His comment about Stryker and it's politics is a good guage of how he values Michigan businesses. It isn't the business he appreciates, one who chooses staying in Michigan and making local employment possible, it's that Stryker supports the wrong political party. He resents being in a hospital bed manufactured in his own state. Bummer, indeed!
And Michigan Liberal's Eric B. wrote:
He could have said that he was proud to have been in a bed made by the nation's best workers, right here in Michigan, in one of the nation's best hospitals. He could have said that. Didn't.
Congressman Walberg, perceptions mean a lot, and as a public figure, you're in a position that attracts a lot of attention. "Bummer" doesn't convince businesses to stay in Michigan. It's possible that we're all being a little too sensitive, but seriously, "bummer"? That's the most intelligent thing you can think of?

For the record, I've got no problem buying cabinetry from Merillat, despite the numerous times that the Merillat name shows up in Walberg's FEC filing. For that matter, Battle Creek Unlimited still does plenty of great things for that city, so don't judge them harshly just because their CEO contributed $500 to Tim Walberg's re-election campaign.

Business is business, and politics is politics. In a state like Michigan, I don't care who you vote for, as long as you're providing jobs and helping your community. It's too bad Tim Walberg doesn't feel the same way.

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Marrilat is another Michigan success story and the Marrilat family are huge supporters of Walberg. Just go to Opensecrets and see the massive amounts the Marrilat family has pumped into his campaign.

I recently remodeled my kitchen and made quite sure no Marrilat products were used. I did however insist on Whirlpool products.

Make sure you stress that it is, not dot com.

But although I've seen some websites that showed the Merillat's showing strong support only to the Republicans, I do not see a listing for Merillat on Opensecrets.

Do you have a link?

Here's the link, I misspelled the name, it's Merillat
Thanks. I even looked before under individual donors and still didn't come up with the information that your link provided.

Well, at least she has given Timmy on $2300 in '07 and nothing yet in '08.

What really ticks me off is that AC prez Docking has donated to Walberg. Here's someone who is the head of a college who's giving to a politician who doesn't give a whit about education.

It's really mind-numbing.
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