LANSING — Yesterday, former Governor John Engler was quoted in a Washington Post piece speaking favorably about James Craig’s candidacy – a surprise to no one after he launched a PAC for Craig just last month and is serving as its treasurer.
It’s yet another sign that party insiders want this primary to be a foregone conclusion with no regard to the will of Michigan voters, but a look at Engler’s history shows just how deep the relationship is between James Craig and the special interests now propping up his campaign.
Immediately after exiting the governor’s mansion in 2003, Engler started a career as a well-paid executive and lobbyist for special interest groups. For six years, he served as the CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington DC, which sports a mammoth lobbying operation to the tune of nearly $200 million since 1998. As of last year, the Association ranked as the 11th largest lobbying spender, and was noted alongside Koch Industries as one of the major organizations working to “prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission or Congress from requiring them to disclose donations to politically active nonprofits.”
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“Former Gov. John Engler has been professionally out of touch with the concerns of working Michigan families for nearly two decades. James Craig seeking out and accepting a career special interest lobbyist entrenching himself into his campaign this early should tell Michiganders everything they need to know about who Craig will be taking advice from and seeking to protect the interests of throughout this cycle. Michiganders won’t fall for Craig and GOP insiders’ transparent attempt to return to business as usual that keeps our working families from having a seat at the table.”