The latest TV ad by Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos claims that "Dick turned Grand Rapids around." Not surprisingly, it’s caused some grumbling in Grand Rapids, at least among Democrats.
Even DeVos’ father, Amway cofounder Rich DeVos, told the Grand Rapids Press last week that the ad takes "a little political license" in bestowing credit on his son.
Still, the elder DeVos, who poured millions of his personal wealth into downtown Grand Rapids projects, said: "If Dick wouldn’t have been there, we wouldn’t given that kind of money."The ad credits Dick DeVos with turning Grand Rapids from an urban eyesore into a prospering, lively town. Among the big developments are Van Andel Arena and the DeVos Convention Center — named after Amway cofounders Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos.
Dick DeVos was a cofounder of the Grand Action Committee, which convinced well-heeled local business leaders to put their money and their time into the downtown projects.