Michigan State University

State Rep Brian Elder blames I-75 overpass pothole on Betsy DeVos

Jon Harrison

State Rep. Brian Elder linked U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to a gaping pothole that gives an aerial view of Interstate-75 this week, arguing "insider tax cuts" to families like the DeVoses, take money away from proper infrastructure maintenance across the state.

Elder, D-Bay City, who was elected in November, said he is frustrated by the road issue, but not "remotely surprised."

"Despite taking our tax dollars, with no cuts for working people, Michigan has yet to produce a single road-related bill that will deal with our immediate needs," he said in a prepared statement. "It is unacceptable that the overpass was so worn down that an actual hole was able to emerge in it, over one of the most frequently traveled highways in the state."

Elder then brought up the recently confirmed education secretary and her family.

"This is what happens when you give billions of dollars in tax cuts to families like the DeVoses instead of maintaining what we taxpayers own. Betsy is able to buy her way into a presidential cabinet position, while the rest of us are left to deal with this kind of damage. Those insider tax cuts are why the state budget doesn't have room to fund proper infrastructure maintenance in the first place."

John Truscott, spokesman for the DeVos family, said the family has advocated for better roads and stronger families.

"I won't dignify the inaccurate and false political attacks because they are not factually based," he said.

Last weekend, the Michigan Department of Transportation closed the 50-year-old Mackinaw Road overpass above I-75 Sunday, Feb. 12, after a a 4-by-6-foot hole was discovered, exposing the highway underneath. There's no danger to those traveling on I-75, officials have said.

For the full article, see Andrew Dodson, "State Rep blames I-75 overpass pothole on Betsy DeVos, 'insider tax cuts'", MLive, February 15, 2017.

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