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DeVos Breaks Donation Record

Phoning me from his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., this morning, Peter Secchia was breathless.

“[Republican gubernatorial candidate] Dick DeVos just broke all the records for campaign donations at one event — at least here in Western Michigan,” said Grand Rapids industrialist Secchia, past Republican National Committeeman and U.S. Ambassador to Italy.

Secchia noted that DeVos, also a Grand Rapids businessman and the likely GOP nominee against Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granhold next year, had just raised more than $270,000 in one breakfast in their common hometown — all from friends and community leaders and not members of his family (which helped found the Amway Company).

“Up until this morning, the biggest take at a campaign event here that I can recall is $120,000 we raised at a [Republican] event where the guest was Dick Cheney,” recalled Secchia, who organized the breakfast in which DeVos made fund-raising history. Secchia added his view that this was a clear signal “that Dick has grass-roots support from community leaders” and would make a formidable challenger to Granholm.

Once considered a possible Democratic prospect for national office (but her Canadian birth kept her out of the presidential picture), narrow ’02 winner Granholm has been dogged by the fact that at a time when the U.S. economy is vibrant, the state still sports higher unemployment percentages than the national average.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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