Hoekstra is currently touring the district on his annual "Remember when this got me elected? I'm just like you!" bike tour titled "Agriculture: Helping to Drive the West Michigan Economy". But this past Thursday (Aug. 2) Pete was a no vote on H.R. 3161: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2008, joined by fellow hack Michigan republicans Walberg, Knollenberg, Miller and McCotter. But wait! In a recent interview about the bike tour he proclaims:
“Agriculture has historically played a significant role in supporting the economy and shaping the character of West Michigan," Hoekstra said. "The health of the local industry greatly impacts the ability of our region to compete and succeed in the dynamic new free market economy.”
It gets even better! The bill contains $750,000 for research on combating Phytophthora capsici, a non-native fungal-like pathogen that lives in soil and causes plants to rot.(Read as: "health of the local industry") Of that amount, Michigan State University will receive $495,000 for research to combat the pathogen. In a press release on the bill Pete says:
"Phytophthora poses a threat to one of the biggest drivers of the West Michigan economy. It is capable of ruining a crop year or infecting an entire farm, rendering it useless."
In the same press release Roger Victory, president of the Ottawa County Farm Bureau says:
“We need to build upon the significant advances in disease management to develop measures that will help to eradicate it before it ruins more growing seasons.”
So if you are a farmer, and see him on his media stunt, you might want to ask him that if he's so concerned about your industry, why can't he vote to support you? Or at least show up.