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GR Press continues with fluff for Election Coverage

April 10, 2010

Today, the Grand Rapids Press posted a short story online about gubernatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra and his so-called “jobs campaign.”

The article highlighted Hoekstra’s visit to a Holland business owned by a life long friend whom the Press calls liberal, because he also supported Governor Granholm in the 2006 Election.

The Press story states, “Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra brought his “100 Jobs” campaign tour to de Boer Brothers Dutch restaurant.” The article also says that Hoekstra has been traveling around the state, “working at different jobs across the state to get input from business people and workers on what the state needs to improve the economically.”

What the Press writer never asks is how does doing someone’s job for a few hours help anyone understand how to improve the economy? The reporter also could have asked Hoekstra if this is just a PR tactic to appear like the candidate cares about working people?

There is nothing in the article about what Hoekstra’s plan is for dealing with the Michigan economy, job creation or helping working people out in general. On the Hoekstra for Governor site his 100 jobs campaign tour only provides little antidotes about what he did on these so-called jobs, but no hard information on what he would do as Governor in relation to the economy. In fact, Hoekstra has no platform information on his website as of this writing, just information on how to volunteer, donate money and biographical material.

On practical journalistic question to raise would be what has Hoekstra’s voting record on economic and labor issues been since he became the 2nd Congressional District Representative? We know that Hoekstra has voted for both NAFTA and CAFTA, trade agreements, which have cost Michigan workers thousands of jobs. A report from Jobs with Justice shows that as early as 2000 Michigan had already lost at least 46,000 jobs.

Hoekstra voted for the Wall Street Bailout, which has cost taxpayers an estimated $4.6 Trillion according to the Center for Media and Democracy. On top of that, Hoekstra has voted for almost every funding bill for the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which according to the National Priorities Project, has meant that over $26 Billion in tax dollars have left the state to fund those wars.

These are basic questions that any journalist could be and should be asking of candidates who are running for office.

GRIID will continue to track local media coverage for Election 2010, analyze the coverage and when possible provide independent coverage of the candidates and ballot initiatives for voters in Western Michigan.

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