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Barrett calls claim in new billboards 'sensationalized' as campaign ads descend on Lansing

Tom Barrett
Posted at 6:50 PM, Feb 17, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — Campaign season is here. It's easy to tell because of billboards like the one on Michigan Avenue calling out State Sen. Tom Barrett for voting against the incentive package that helped bring General Motor's new battery manufacturing plant to Lansing.

The incentive package helped lure a $7 billion investment from GM. The billboards say Barrett voted against "5,000 Michigan auto jobs."

“What they are doing is like they always do," said Barrett. "They're sensationalizing or exaggerating. Part of my voting record and what they are pointing out in that ad or in that billboard that they have up is that I voted against on principle of mine, voted against a direct supplemental fund of money to go directly to one beneficiary.”

Barrett, who is running against Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin in the newly redrawn 7th House District, says he would rather see that sort of money go towards infrastructure, talent development, and the cost of energy in the state— even though the move was widely celebrated by union workers in the area.

“We know the auto industry is a major component of our economic growth here and stability in Michigan and having another massive investment like what GM recently did, $7 billion is only a good thing," said Mike Huerta, president of Local 602. "So I'm not sure what he's thinking, but that's something for him to answer.”

The billboards are not endorsed or paid for by Slotkin. The money comes from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

A committee spokesperson says the billboards will be up for the next couple of weeks and are meant to hold Barrett accountable to his voting record.

“I take a very principled position in the votes that I cast," said Barrett. "I said that I was opposed to these types of direct corporate welfare incentives and that held true to that. I have voted against over 99 percent of corporate welfare that's come through the Legislature in the time that I've been elected."

Slotkin declined to comment on the billboards.

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