Once again, a Michigan governor his stepped forward to rally states on behalf of the auto industry.
In the 1970s, Democratic U.S. Rep. James J. Blanchard of Oakland County, later elected governor in 1982, wrote the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act and was otherwise instrumental in winning adoption of the federal portion of a financial rescue plan for the ailing automaker.
At that time, Republican Gov. William G. Milliken rallied auto state governors, at a meeting in Missouri, to support the act, also supported by then-Sen. Don Riegle, D-Mich.
"They paid off for the states and the economy," Milliken said Friday of that effort and the more recent auto industry rescue efforts of the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. (Both Blanchard and Milliken had stints on the Chrysler board after leaving office.)
Now comes Republican Gov. Rick Snyder with announcement of creation of the bipartisan National Governors Auto Caucus to promote "robust auto manufacturing." The other founding governors are Democrat Jay Nixon of Missouri and Republican Bill Haslam of Tennessee.
Snyder's announcement came at a Traverse City meeting of a group of community and industry leaders at the 2012 Center for Automotive Research seminars.
He said: "Since August 2010, Michigan has added more than 23,000 automotive manufacturing jobs, an increase of 20 percent and the auto industry will produce two times the number of cars it did three years ago.
"Working together, we can further build a future of economic strength and security for families across our entire state and region." Snyder also used his Traverse City visit to tout the New International Trade Crossing agreement which he signed in June with Canadian partners for a second bridge between Canada and Michigan--sought by Canada to ease congestion in Windsor.
The project is opposed by owners of the Detroit-Windsor Ambassador Bridge, whose extensive and widely discredited broadcast ad program against the proposed project is one of the most deceptive pitches I have seen or heard on the airways.