Michigan truth squad analysis: "Companies like Mine"
Who: Stabenow for Senate
What: TV and Web ad
Truth Squad call: No foul
Questionable statement: "At American Expedition Vehicles we have over 500 employees and their jobs are in jeopardy due to counterfeit parts coming out of China."
American Expedition Vehicles is a Livonia-based company that builds custom vehicles and products for the Jeep aftermarket. The company says it has been a victim of low-quality knockoffs from a variety of countries, including China, Germany and Malaysia.
"Counterfeit products harm our customers and our company. Due to quality concerns, many of the counterfeits we have found entering the market can impact vehicle performance and make them potentially dangerous to operate," the company says on its website.
It has posted photos of counterfeit products, including information about a Chinese counterfeit front bumper. Michigan has lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs over the past decade, and both business leaders and many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle say counterfeit parts and unfair trade practices contribute to the problem.
Questionable statement: "That's why Debbie Stabenow wrote the bill cracking down on unfair Chinese trade violations and currency manipulation that hurt American businesses." When the narrator asserts that Stabenow "wrote the bill," he would more accurately say she "wrote a version of a bill." The screen cites S1830 of 2011 (The Protect American Innovation Act) and S1027 of 2009 (The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act), both sponsored by Stabenow.
A bipartisan version of the currency reform law passed the Senate, but not the House. The Protect American Innovation Act hasn't been considered, although Senate committee chairman Sen. Max Baucus said he would take it up later this year after Stabenow agreed not to try to attach the measure to other legislation.
Questionable statement: "Senator Stabenow understands the threat of counterfeit products coming out of China and she is working with companies like mine all over Michigan saving manufacturing jobs."
Stabenow has worked a great deal on legislation to combat unfair trade practices, including counterfeiting and currency manipulation. In 2006, she called for the creation of an international trade prosecutor's office. She has proposed an American Competitiveness Plan that targets currency manipulation, creates a trade enforcement office to hold countries accountable for violating trade laws and strengthens penalties for counterfeiting and technology theft.
When she introduced her television ad in Grand Rapids, she had the backing of a Republican businessman, Alexander Dodds' CEO Mark Chappell, who says his company has been hurt by Chinese counterfeiting and he is supporting her because of her efforts to fight counterfeiting.
There is disagreement over whether Stabenow's approach would be effective. For instance, on the issue of currency sanctions, Derek Scissors, a research fellow in Asia Economic Policy at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, contends the jobs would instead shift to other low-wage countries such as Bangladesh or Vietnam, rather than come back to the U.S.
Overall impression: In launching her first television ad of her re-election campaign against Republican Pete Hoekstra, Stabenow casts herself as a fighter for Michigan businesses and workers. After a decade of struggle, Michigan's recovery is under way, and Stabenow believes fair trade practices will serve to strengthen the economy. It's largely a noncontroversial ad because no one will support counterfeiting.
Foul or no foul: No foul.
Michigan truth squad analysis: "Companies like Mine"
To the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Clean Vessel Act program for providing $200,000 to the state of Michigan for projects that help recreational boaters properly dispose on-board septic waste.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 07/28/2014
War machines troubling; Transfer of taxes; What cuts will result?Continued ...
- Poll: Has city done enough to find out what happened with Splash Pad?
Editorial: TC's Splash Pad report effort short of the mark
It reads like a bad whodunit with a lot of loose ends and too many holes to be acceptable - or credible.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 07/27/2014
Broadcast the parade; Our polar differences.Continued ...
Forum: Promote an equitable, safe environment for all
The Record-Eagle on July 14 published a misinformed, misguided opinion piece by syndicated columnist Mona Charen headlined “Culture of Sex.” The column suggested that victims are somehow responsible for sexual assaults.Continued ...
Jack Lessenberry: At 90, judge still learning
Nearly everyone in Michigan’s legal community knows U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn, one of the most colorful, fascinating, and occasionally temperamental justices on the federal bench. Brilliant and hard-working, he turned 90 last week.Continued ...
George Weeks: Financial filings raise campaign issues
Money — who has it in abundance and uses it most effectively — almost always is a major factor in political campaigns.Continued ...
- Friday, July 25, 2014
Fact Check: Michelle Obama said Declaration signers not 'born American'
Claim: Michelle Obama noted that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were not “born American.”Continued ...
Another View: New Michigan law will keep moms out of jail
You wouldn’t take your sandwich into a restaurant’s restroom to have your lunch, would you? So why should a public restroom be a place for a young mother to feed her baby?Continued ...
Fact Check: Fact-checking immigration claims
The surge of unaccompanied children at the U.S. border, primarily coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, has overwhelmed border security officials and pushed the limits of the U.S. legal system.Continued ...
Another View: Libraries = summer learning
The sun is shining, the fish are biting and bicycles are more than ready to ride.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 07/26/2014
Are shoppers safer?; No info monopoly.Continued ...
Another View: Malaysian jet crash, aftermath expose Putin
There’s little that’s known about the shooting down of a Malaysian jetliner near the Ukraine-Russian border.Continued ...
No Headline Provided
Online PollToday’s question: Are sidewalk cafes in downtown Traverse City being properly controlled?To vote in today’s poll or to see results from previous polls, visit www.record-eagle.com and click on the opinion button.Online Poll Results Are sideContinued ...
- Thursday, July 24, 2014
Editorial: Exchange students offer a look at wider horizons
The issue: Traverse City schools still looking for families to host Chinese exchange students. Our view: While not for everyone, the exchange experience can be rewarding for students and families alike.Continued ...
Editorial: Division Street strikes again
By pure luck, the debate over what to do about Division Street doesn’t today include a double pedestrian fatality.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 07/25/2014
Vote for what matters; No benefit to residents.Continued ...
- Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Forum: Boat launch editorial overly simplistic
The July 17 editorial portraying the dispute over a proposed boat launch in Old Mission as being about open access is overly simplistic and inaccurate.Continued ...
Another View: Macomb Township wrong to target political signs
It’s election season, and races for the Aug. 5 primary and the November general election are heating up.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 07/24/2014
Teach the truth; Ethical and honest.Continued ...
- Tuesday, July 22, 2014
- Poll: Are sidewalk cafes in TC being properly controlled?
Another View: Sex offender case will force policy change
Evidence emerging from a federal case is showing Minnesota’s policy on sex offenders must change.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 07/23/2014
Earned, not given; A license to talk?Continued ...
Editorial: Sidewalk dining changes should take effect now
You’re usually supposed to look before you leap, but in Traverse City this summer you also need to keep an eye out for tables, chairs, strollers and dog leashes as you walk along some stretches of downtown.Continued ...
- Cheers: 07/28/2014