AS IF STANDISH HASN’T SUFFERED ENOUGH…. Few communities have been as hard hit by the recession as Standish, Michigan. With an unemployment rate for nearly 25%, Standish’s economy has been kept above water, barely, by the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility. The prison generates one-fourth of the revenue for the town’s budget and is easily the largest employer.
In June, the state announced it would have to close Standish Max, and the struggling town realized things were poised to go from dreadful to abysmal. In August, however, there was a glimmer of hope — the Obama administration was considering the prison as a location for Gitmo detainees. Most locals were thrilled at the prospect of a lifeline, and area politicians, from both parties, hoped desperately that Standish would be selected.
But then the right-wing politicians decided to intervene. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R), who’s inexplicably running for governor next year, decided he’d fight to prevent the White House from “bringing terrorists to Michigan.” This week, Liz Cheney’s new political operation kept the demagoguery going.
Cheney’s group, Keep America Safe, has released a short documentary starring several residents of little Standish, Michigan, slamming the Obama administration over a proposal to transfer some Guantanamo detainees to the town’s maximum security facility, one of several facilities being discussed.
The vid … ominously warns that unnamed “politicians” want Gitmo detainees placed in their “small farm town,” without saying who the politicians are or whether they’re Federal or local. A resident says those politicians “aren’t listening to us little people in Standish.”
But Standish’s City Manager tells us that local leaders and residents want the facility, and dismissed Cheney’s efforts as “fearmongering.”
Cheney is “certainly not representing the views of our community,” the City Manager, Michael Moran, told our reporter, Amanda Erickson.
Standish’s city council recently approved a resolution encouraging the transfer of Gitmo detainees to the prison. The vote was unanimous. It’s almost as if local officials think they understand what their community needs better than Liz Cheney does. The nerve.
For more on this, Chris Bodenner had a terrific item on the Standish issue last month. It noted that, thanks to Republican efforts, the community will probably not be chosen by the administration. The community will suffer terribly, but Hoekstra will no doubt claim “victory” for taking away the struggling town’s last hope.