News Story

Former Campaign Manager Cites Granholm's Job Creation Despite Loss of 596,000 Jobs

Granholm took credit for every worker at Ford

David Katz was the campaign manager for Jennifer Granholm’s first campaign for governor, from January 2001 until she won the office in November 2002. In a recent article by MIRS News, Katz said he welcomed the efforts of critics to cite Granholm’s record as a way of making unflattering comparisons to current Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Gretchen Whitmer.

"I hope they do" recall her record, said Katz, now an executive with the Detroit Medical Center.

Katz was also quoted as saying that Granholm created 650,000 jobs during her two terms as governor.

The figure appeared seven years ago in a YouTube video of Granholm. When asked where she got the number, Katz said various state departments did research to produce it.

The video states: “In eight years, Gov. Granholm and her team created or retained more than 643,000 Michigan jobs.”

But it is unclear whether Katz is referring to actual jobs or simply job announcements. The deals that the state awards rarely meet their targets. Under the discontinued MEGA program, only 2.3 percent of job creation deals that were awarded between 2005 and 2011 met their job announcements. If the state referenced job announcements, then his figures would be inflated.

The video was posted on Granholm’s personal YouTube page, and doesn’t cite a source for the figure. Katz said he sent the video to MIRS and in his remarks should have included the reference to “retained” jobs.

The word “retained” implies that the state awarded tax credits to keep jobs that existed in favored firms. It contains an implication that without the state money, those jobs would have disappeared.

To cite one example, in 2009 Ford Motor Company was given a large subsidy deal. In a 2015 article on the statewide news site MLive, economic development officials who worked under Granholm took credit for retaining 40,200 Ford jobs. In essence, they claim that but for Granholm’s giveaways, Ford would have shuttered all its Michigan facilities, eliminating or transferring every one of the 40,200 jobs it provided.

A month before Granholm took office, 4.49 million worked in the state of Michigan. By December 2010, Granholm’s final month in office, Michigan had 3.89 million payroll jobs - 596,000 fewer than eight years before.

Editor's note: This story was changed to more accurately define a "retained" job.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.