In a November 1, 2006 Detroit Free Press Op-Ed "Don't Forget Betsy
", Rochelle Riley questions
the role of Betsy DeVos in a potential Dick DeVos governorship, describing what might become Michigan's first "Team Governor
Throughout the campaign, DeVos staffers have been very careful to keep Betsy DeVos, well known for her blunt comments and tough handling of the Michigan Republican Party as its former Chairman. Betsy's career spans decades and her tactics and controlling management style have been more feared than admired.
In a previous posting "The Doctrine of Dick DeVos: Wife Betsy DeVos Deliberately Gagged" her history and long list of political experience and exploits were examined.
DeVos' campaign has attempted to keep Betsy muzzled and away from of the press. But what Betsy's role would be in Lansing, as 'Co-Governor' is now clearly `out of the bag'.
Crossposted at MichiganLiberal.
More on Betsy as 'Co-Governor' below...
From Riley's Op-ed in the Detroit Free Press "Don't Forget Betsy
Remember Betsy DeVos?
She was chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party for two terms, a member of the Republican National Committee and a delegate several times to Republican National Conventions -- all over a 20-year political career.
She was a nationally known Republican strategist who state political observers once thought would someday make a great governor.
So the woman who might have run the state is instead running around the state, a ghost of her former political self, speaking on her husband's behalf as he tries to unseat Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Despite repeated entreaties to speak to me about her own aspirations and the role she would play if her husband is elected next week, three different spokes-people declined an interview on her behalf, including Dick DeVos' spokesman John Truscott, who said Betsy DeVos "doesn't see a role for herself in any policy- or decision-making positions. ... She is fine staying in the background. This race isn't about her at all."
The heck it isn't.
Dick DeVos keeps telling voters he's "not that smart" but will surround himself with team of "wiser" and "smarter" advisors. That's his style as "businessman" and former CEO of Amway. Dick has never, even now in the mist of his own campaign, gotten out of the shadow of his much more politically savvy and active wife Betsy DeVos.
The fact is voters in Michigan have no idea who will actually be running the state.
Under the subheading "Maybe a cogovernor?":
Being first lady might be Betsy DeVos' only chance to push Michigan to be more conservative, friendlier to families and corporations, and more dedicated to educating children in quality schools, even if those schools are private. So we should pay attention to every Betsy DeVos opinion, past or present.
Because if her husband wins, Michigan could have its first Team Governor.
If you were entranced by the leadership team of Bill and Hillary, you will go bonkers over the tag team of Dickie and Bet DeVos.
What Michigan needs and what can be "bought" from a gullible public by record personal financing of DeVos's governor's race (now over $39 million, $35 of which is from Dick & Betsy's personal funds, with much more from other family sources like Dick's dad, Rich's $1 million funneled through the Republican Governors' Association) will be clear only after the tag team of Dick and Betsy spend their way into the history books and into the appointive and discretionary powers of the Michigan governorship.
One has to only take a look at the harsh ideological "set" of this Amway clan couple historically to see that they have some very strong and very radical hard right agendas and purposes. Don't let their Onassis tans mask their emotional and personal intensity, their personal philosophies, or blind you to their misbegotten ambitions.
The Amway/Alticor philosophy is one thing, the other is Amway "gifting" of "servant" tax-exempt foundations (the state level Mackinac Center and the national level Heritage Foundation) as well as other similar endeavors, including the insidious Michigan Foundation for Traditional Values--disseminating misinformation about the real history of church/state separation. Favorite agendas include: so called "right to work" anti-unionism, harsh Puritan beliefs that poverty and "laziness" are synonymous, and that public service -- especially public schools is a failure and needs to be replaced with sectarian church school vouchers funded by taxpayers.
Dick exudes affability, but Betsy is a well-known and feared political street fighter -- a bare knuckle scrapper -- no holds barred. The DeVoses have bragged that their money and organizations -- especially behind closed church doors--has the power to move mountains -- and within the Michigan GOP that's been the case.
There'll be a mountain of trouble for Michigan's workers and families if this "real world naïve" nouveau riche platinum and diamonds couple is allowed to become the royal governing team by the acclamation and adoration of voters bamboozled by Amway's vast billions and raw power lust.
If Betsy becomes de facto governor-in-chief, due to the fact Dick is a quitter, there will be a lot more people on the receiving end of Betsy's personal power trip, not just poor Alan Trummel.
Be prepared for a classic Amway style bait and switch.