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Johnson Presses Huizenga’s Hypocricy on Erik Prince/Blackwater Support

Emptywheel recently wrote a post about a debate where Candidate Fred Johnson taking Bill Huizenga to task about his support for Blackwater Security/Xe. An excellent post…and it bears emphasizing that the ties between Hoekstra-clone Huizenga and Blackwater Erik Prince run very, very deep.

If Huizenga replaces retiring Pete Hoekstra, we’ll have a staunch, long time ally and bosom buddy for Erik Prince calling the shots in DC — Add in the thousands in campaign contributions from the American Bankers Association AND the Family Research Council and we have one of the most conservative, fundamentalist people setting up shop in congress with relatively little fanfare. As the Dems mock the goofy and scary O’Donnell for her extreme ways, Huizenga is sitting below the radar.

Somebody who will not only Not Regulate these villains, but who will actively, ACTIVELY work to endorse them.

From the local paper:

HOLLAND — Former state Rep. Bill Huizenga got the news before most: Holland native Erik Prince will step down as CEO of the embattled security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide.

"You can tell it’s been a tough couple of years. I don’t mean just because of the controversy, but rapidly growing, diversifying across the globe," Huizenga said.

Huizenga, a friend and former classmate of Prince at Holland Christian High School, got an e-mail from Prince late Sunday night alerting him to Monday’s announcement.

Huizenga said he was "a little surprised" but not shocked.

Huizenga’s congressional campaign to re-take Pete Hoekstra’s seat is heavily funded by billionaire Besty DeVos, Erik Prince’s sister.

Here’s what Fred Johnson said:

When that one question [about Blackwater] came up [in an earlier debate], we have a private corporation, that is taking taxpayer dollars to basically making profit off of war, they all agree that yeah, they should keep on using those kind of entities. If we’re going to have everything on the table–if you’re really serious about spending, if you’re really serious about cutting back, trimming the budget–those kind of things have to go too. Not to mention that those kind of corporations are beyond the purview of the US Constitution, the US Code of Military Justice, and they often times present as much a headache when it comes to diplomacy and when it comes to good relations, some of those countries being our defense partners.

So it’s kind of disingenuous to say, you know, we have a prioritization. I’m talking about, not just talking about it, I’m talking about actually doing it. I’m talking about going down there with the vision and the courage to make those cuts.

Emptywheel said:

Johnson’s call on Huizenga’s hypocrisy is interesting for two reasons. First, MI-2 includes Holland (where Johnson lives). That’s Erik Prince’s home town.

But just as interesting–the reason why Huizenga and other Republicans in this part of the world are particularly vulnerable to this claim of hypocrisy–since they’re reliant on funding from Prince’s sister Betsy and her hubby, Dick DeVos, and boast about being high school friends with Prince.

Dr. Fred Johnson, American History Professor and prior US Marine captain, is a true, grass roots progressive in West Michigan, currently working hard to get out the vote among the youth and the disenfranchised minority votes in West Michigan…

Please show him some love.

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