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Thursday, March 25,2010

Virg Watch

A quirky fundraiser for Bernero, and a campaign stop in Kalamazoo

by Neal McNamara
Would you like to eat ice cream at 8 a.m. and pay $250 to have a private conversation with Virg Bernero? Well, you’re in luck.

Last week, the Bernero campaign sent out an invitation for an “un-breakfast” fundraiser on April 1 at Perspective2 in Old Town for the gubernatorial candidate, offering cold fried chicken, mashed potatoes, pizza, and peanut butter and jelly — for a suggested donation of $100. A $250 private conversation session starts at 7:30 a.m.

Motion Marketing and Media, a local communications firm, and C2AE, the engineering firm that does a lot of work on Lansing’s Combined Sewer Overflow project, are sponsors. Joni Rainbolt, 3M’s “agency maestro,” said that the firm has not been hired by the Bernero campaign, but is doing the fundraiser as a show of support. The un-breakfast idea was M3’s, Rainbolt said: “We wanted to do something different and unique with Virg’s approach being different and unique.”

UPDATE: It appears Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Cox is moving on legal action against Toyota over the recall crisis. Bernero's campaign has twice called on Cox to sue Toyota, and according to an Associated Press article today, Cox has sent a subpoena to the company related to a fatal car crash in Flint. In response to Bernero's calls for a law suit, a Cox spokesman said, "If (Bernero) had made a phone call instead of a press release, he would understand
we already secured extra help for recall victims and are working with
other attorneys general on our next steps."

Bernero missed an opportunity last Friday to speak to trade groups representing the state’s various agri-business interests at the Radisson in downtown Lansing. Republican candidates Rick Snyder, Tom George and Mike Bouchard were there. Cox was not, and neither were any Democratic candidates.

Bernero made a campaign stop in Kalamazoo last Thursday at Theo and Stacey’s restaurant to talk mental health and prison reform. A story in the Kalamazoo Gazette about the stop was light on specifics of what Bernero said, but they paraphrased: “Problems to be addressed, he said, include the placing of young offenders alongside hardened criminals and the imprisonment of substance addicts and the mentally ill.” Bernero also touted his work with George, a K-zoo area state senator, on “Kevin’s Law,” which was mental health legislation that Bernero helped get passed as a senator.

In other campaign stops this week, Bernero attended a dinner on Saturday in Greenville in Montcalm County north of Grand Rapids. Next Wednesday, Bernero is set to give a speech at Central Michigan University.

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