Payne: Granholm’s big payoff ( The Michigan View 3.25.11)

Posted by hpayne on March 25, 2011

After years of funneling millions in taxpayer money to Big Business as governor, Jennifer Granholm cashed in Thursday as Dow handed her a six-figure position on its board. Granholm’s administration handed more than $200 million in tax breaks to Dow and its subsidiaries.

In short, this smells to high heaven like a payoff.

“Granholm’s track record fits very well with Dow’s focus,” said Dow Chemical spokeswoman Rebecca Bentley. That’s an understatement. Dow used Granholm to funnel millions to its green projects such as batteries as well as getting the governors’ signature on a bill that gave rate subsidies to subsidiary Hemlock Semiconductor. In addition, Granholm helped steer a $161 million in Obama Administration energy grants to build its new Midland battery plant. Granholm chipped in $180 million in state tax breaks to the project.

And given those ties to the president ” and Obama’s shared vision of a radical American green reformation” Dow knows the continued value of its Granholm investment. Dow board members typically receive compensation of between $150,000 and $200,000 ” as much as Granholm made as governor.

The stench was so bad from the board deal that even liberals blanched.

“Gov. Granholm walked out of office and right onto the (Dow Chemical) Board of Directors,” said Michelle Hurd Riddick of theLone Tree Council, Bay City-based environmental group. “There’s a revolving door between government and industry.”

“During Granholm’s time as governor,” reported the Saginaw News, “Dow benefited from hundreds of millions of dollars in state tax credits, including more than $100 million in 2010 for Dow Kokam and Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle development.”

Dow spokesman Bentley laughably added that the governor who presided over a doubling of Michigan’s unemployment rate “has a proven track record of creating jobs and understanding economic development.” Well, Dow jobs and development, anyway.

“During her tenure as governor, Granholm launched initiatives focused on diversifying and transforming the state’s economy by adding new, emerging sectors such as clean energy to Michigan’s economic portfolio, “said Dow CEO Andrew N. Liveris.

Democrats are the party of the little guy? Jennifer Granholm is laughing all the way to the bank.

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