This morning the Detroit Free Press, no friend of the right, ran a puff piece on Dick DeVos, the Republican candidate for governor. The article waxed what a regular guy Dick is, despite his status as a scion of the Amway empire. The article also promoted his competency as it detailed his career. Well, maybe "detailed" isn't the right word, because the Free Press was a little skimpy on some of the facts.
For instance, the article mentioned that DeVos was vice president of Amway's international subsidiary from 1984 to 1989. What it didn't mention was what happened during DeVos's watch -- namely, the Canadian tax scam that threatened to put his father, Amway founder Rich DeVos and partner Jay Van Andel, in the federal slammer. In the end, it was determined that Amway was not scamming the Canadians on taxes, but instead was inflating profits it reported to lenders. (Not incidentally, those inflated profits also served as proxies for the valuations of Amway-Asia and Amway-Pacific when the elder DeVos and Van Andel took those companies public on the Tokyo stock exchange, that later went bust when the truth was learned.) Like a lot of top managers involved with this fiasco, Dick exited Amway.
Moreover, the prosecutor on the Canadian tax fraud case was then-U.S. Attorney John Smietanka, whose run in 1998 as the Republican candidate for Michigan attorney general against Jennifer Granholm the DeVoses sabotaged. In fact, Dick's wife Betsy wielded the longest of the long knives against Smietanka. Of course, Granholm's victory against Smietanka was her stepping to the governor's office. So, in an odd way, Dick and his family are responsible for both sides of this year's match-up in the governor's race.
Oh well. Who actually needs news in the newspaper, right?