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Wednesday, March 3,2010

Virg Watch

by Neal McNamara

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero made at least two public speaking engagements across the state last week on his quest for the governorship.


On Wednesday, Bernero appeared at a luncheon at the East Lansing Marriott hosted by the Greater Lansing Business Monthly where he told a roomful of locals that he would very soon launch his economic plan for Michigan titled, “The Michigan Way.”


Bernero did not reveal many details about the plan, but he did speak about a need to rework the state’s economic development tools, which he says are outdated. He also said that the state’s tax system needs to be more attractive to businesses. He said that government alone could not provide jobs, but can make the state’s climate more attractive to business.


“We need to move at the speed of business,” he said. “In government, we adapt or we start to suck.”


At the same luncheon, he explained his reason for wanting to run for governor using a nautical metaphor: that his leadership in Lansing is like running the engine room of a ship, but said that he wants to be up deck steering the vessel.


During at a Saturday appearance in Pittsfield at a gubernatorial forum held by the Washtenaw County Democratic Party, Bernero used the same metaphor to explain his run for governor before sparring with Dan Kildee and state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith.


According to the online Rochester Citizen, Bernero again touted his work lobbying for the auto industry, the fact that Lansing has a superlative bond rating, and that he has not laid off any city workers. In a YouTube video of the event, Bernero also took time to harp on state government for “not getting the job done.”

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