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Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Special Thank You

1-24-09 Apex NC... I simply had to put the Mayor's remarks in my commentary this morning. PLEASE read the following...


Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your kind and encouraging notes of support for my efforts
on behalf of the American Auto industry. I am grateful that former
President Bush agreed to provide vital federal assistance in the form of
a bridge loan to keep our domestic industry viable until President Obama
was sworn in.

Still, we face monumental challenges in this new year. And while I
have high hopes for the new administration, I am convinced that the
policy changes necessary to ensure success will require continued
engagement and advocacy by citizens from across the once-prosperous
industrial heartland of America.

The ailing conditions of virtually the entire U.S. manufacturing sector
was not brought about by a lack of productivity or greed on the part of
working men and women. Nor even can it be fairly blamed completely on
“bad management.”

An unholy alliance of Washington and Wall Street interests have
colluded to create Free Trade Agreements that have brought American
manufacturing - and indeed our entire economy - to its knees. They have
created a competition that Americans cannot win.

It is a race to the bottom that pits American firms against impossible
obstacles that include tariffs, subsidies (including health care),
currency manipulation, lax environmental standards and even child labor
in some parts of the world. The governments of our competitors rush to
the aid of their manufacturers in a myriad of ways, while ours is guilty
of exporting our standard of living.

It is Wall Street and Washington that should be ashamed of what they
have created, not the American worker, who is still among the most
productive on the planet. I will stack up the record of achievement of
the American Auto industry against that of the U.S. Congress or the Wall
Street wizards any day of the week. These people have been living on
borrowed time (and money) and cheating ways for decades while the
American Auto industry has been busy trying to reinvent itself, with no
help or leadership from the power brokers.

For these reasons, I am grateful for your commitment to this industry
and our nation’s future. It is only with the involvement and support
of everyday citizens that we may begin to turn things around and reclaim
the American Dream.

With proper leadership in Congress, the Obama Administration has an
opportunity to re-invest in American manufacturing and give working
people a fair chance. The President has said he will go “line by
line through the federal budget” searching out wasteful spending. I
hope you will join me in asking the new President to also go line by
line through each and every trade agreement, and work for FAIR trade
agreements that are fully enforced.

With vital federal support now and fair trade in the future there is
every reason to believe that the American Auto industry and other key
manufacturing sectors can again be the envy of the world, making the
cleaner, greener products that will help set us on the path to energy
independence and economic security.

Thanks again for sharing your support at this critical moment. Please
don’t give up hope. Together, we can and must reclaim the American
Dream for our children and grandchildren. May God bless you this new
year.

Yours for a better America,
Virg Bernero
Mayor of Lansing, Michigan

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