---- — LIBERTY TOWNSHIP (AP) — With the election just one week away, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder rode a hay wagon Monday during a dairy farm tour and Democrat Virg Bernero met with Detroit homeowners worried about lenders' foreclosure mistakes.
Snyder told about 25 listeners outside a barn full of dairy cows that he wants to spur jobs by creating monitorships for people getting into farming and starting businesses in Michigan. He also said the state needs to have fewer regulations holding back agriculture, one of the few robust areas in Michigan's economy.
"The goal here is not to have someone from Lansing come out and say, 'I'm from Lansing and I'm here to help.' That's not a good answer," he said after being introduced by farmer Hank Choate in Jackson County's Liberty Township.
Bernero met at a bank branch at Detroit's Renaissance Center with homeowners unhappy with lenders who failed to take the proper stops before threatening foreclosure. Federal banking regulators are checking to see if mortgage companies cut corners on their own procedures when they moved to foreclose on homes, and Bernero said foreclosures should be frozen until an investigation is complete.
The Lansing mayor is encouraging homeowners to send letters to their lenders requesting a copy of their mortgage note and demanding that their banks stop foreclosures in Michigan until they can tell the owner of every home in their loan portfolios who owns that loan.
"Michigan homeowners can't rely on Wall Street banks to follow basic rules," Bernero said in a release. "They must be held accountable." Bernero's other Monday stops were at a Dearborn plant gate to shake hands with workers and in Ypsilanti, where he was to speak to a group of pastors.
Snyder left the Choate farm in his "Nerdmobile" bus for stops in Quincy, Niles, Paw Paw, Portage and Kalamazoo.
A crew from Japanese television network TV Asahi was following Snyder for the day as part of its election coverage. Producer Mariko Fukuyama said the crew was focusing on Michigan because it appeared some Republican candidates would do well in the state despite the state's Democratic tilt in 2008 and Democratic President Barack Obama's efforts to boost the state's economy through grants for battery production and other federal help.
The crew plans to cover a tea party meeting in Holland later in the week.