This election story out of Michigan is what you might call “democracy in action.”
The good people of Green Charter Township, a small rural community north of Grand Rapids, ousted all five of the board members in a special election held Tuesday. They swapped the five, all Republicans, for candidates who ran without party affiliation. To show they meant business, the townspeople immediately called in locksmiths to change the locks on the main government building.
They are not wasting any time — new elected leaders are changing the locks at the main government building after the entire board was voted out over support for Chinese affiliated EV battery plant. https://t.co/cLGCMZxsWi pic.twitter.com/oGAHjm0gv0— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) November 8, 2023
Although it is backed by Volkswagen with operations in Germany, Gotion’s parent company is based in China, and has been accused of links to the country’s Communist Party.
Voters were angered that the now-ousted board moved forward with the project despite severe backlash from the community. At a hearing last year, one resident remarked, “My family members fought communism, and you’re bringing it right here.”
Another resident, Harry King, said, “Right now, we are not on friendly terms with China. They are threatening us. I consider them the enemy. I don’t want them here, either.”
The plan for the Michigan plant, and another targeted for Illinois, has reportedly caught the attention of congressional Republicans, who have called on the Treasury Department to investigate Gotion. In response, the company remarked, “We are a multinational company and don’t believe in political posturing and are still committed to bringing thousands of jobs to the state of Michigan.”
There is speculation that the Green Charter Township vote could have an effect on Joe Biden, who has advocated for more EV battery plants in the U.S. in the hopes that they will bring a rush of new jobs. The hope is also, of course, that those news\ jobs will translate into votes for Biden in next year’s presidential elections.
Political newcomer Corri Riebow, who ran for the clerk position in the special election and won, said of the town’s brand new government, “We just plan on making it as difficult as possible for them to continue their process. They don’t even have a sight planned, they don’t have permits yet, so, we’re not their friend.”