By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
In last week’s issue, this writer incorrectly identified Amway founder Richard DeVos as having tossed his hat into the ring for the Michigan gubernatorial race.
In fact, it is Dick DeVos, Richard DeVos Jr., who is the candidate.
BTL correctly identified Richard DeVos Sr. as being a major funder of extremist right-wing organizations. However, pending a review of tax information we have been unable to find many direct links between the younger DeVos and the extremist organizations that are funded by his father.
Dick DeVos is the husband of Betsy DeVos, former chair of the Michigan Republican party. According to the web site MediaTransparency.org, their foundation, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, has supported the anti-gay group Focus on the Family. DeVos and his wife were major supporters of the movement to create taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools, including religious schools, in Michigan.
And, according to a May 26 Associated Press report, “Republicans Dick and Betsy DeVos of Michigan were the nation’s largest individual campaign donors during the 2004 election cycle … A report by the Center for Public Integrity said the couple, of Ada, contributed more than $2.3 million in 2003 and 2004, including more than $1.8 million to party committees registered in Michigan.”
Despite funding other right-wing causes, however, a search of the Michigan Secretary of State’s campaign finance reporting site shows that Dick DeVos did not, unlike his father, directly contribute funds to pass Proposal 2.
State Senator Nancy Cassis and State Representative Jack Hoogendyk are also contending for the Republican nomination.
BTL and this writer regret the error.