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Thursday, August 19,2010

Virg Watch

Would endorsements keep you from voting for an old friend?

by Andy Balaskovitz
virg.jpgU.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero used to hang out together at Adrian College in the 1980s. They got to know each other quite well then and stayed in touch as they moved up their respective political ladders.

So is Bernero guaranteed Rogers’ vote in the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election? No way, Rogers said.

On Tim Barron’s morning radio show on 92.1 and 92.9 FM Wednesday, Rogers said that old personalities “absolutely” fall by the wayside this election and the real factor is policies, specifically when it comes to small businesses.

“At some point, policies do separate these two candidates. I look at the policies of which are going to get the state up off our knees,” Rogers said. “I think policies of Rick Snyder are going to be much more aligned with getting people back to work, getting respect back to Michigan.”

Rogers added that Bernero is indebted to large union endorsements, which is inherently bad for small business owners.

“(Unions) don’t do that (endorse) because you’re a nice guy and you did good things in the city of Lansing. They do that because they expect something at the end of the day,” Rogers said.

Later that day on the City Pulse radio show on 88.9 FM, Bernero countered that being tagged with large union support isn’t the worse thing in the world in a gubernatorial race.

“This is something that they’re going to try and tag me with and if you gotta be tagged with something, I guess it could be a lot worse,” Bernero said.

Bernero is “delighted” to have support from large unions and also the business community in Lansing, including the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m a Democrat who understands there is no labor without business,” he said. “I care about Michigan businesses, that’s where jobs are created.”

Rogers said it isn't about voting along party lines, either. He just hopes Michigan ends up with a “pro-business governor,” and that this issue comes to the forefront this election season.

“That’s a fight we should absolutely have on the campaign,” he said.

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