“According to the company’s own figures self-reported to Crain’s, it failed to create a single job in Michigan during James’s tenure.”
In case you missed it, a new report reveals that failed politician John James lied to voters about his record of being a Michigan job creator.
Despite saying for years that James created “100 jobs in Michigan and East of the Mississippi,” new reporting exposes that while James originally began making this claim in 2017, self reported data confirms he had not created a single job in Michigan and has been lying to voters.
John James must answer why he cut jobs and then lied about it to Michigan voters.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- According to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and reviewed by Metro Times, under his tenure James’s company took nearly $2 million in tax breaks from the state, a condition of which was that the company had to create 108 jobs. In fact, according to the documents, James’s company actually lost more than 30 jobs under his leadership, and the MEDC revoked its tax-exempt status after it failed to create the jobs it promised.
- James — the future Senate candidate — became president and CEO of Renaissance Global Logistics in the beginning of 2015, the year of the jobs creation deadline. But the promised jobs failed to materialize by the end of the year: according to the MEDC, the company lost 32 jobs. In February 2016, the state warned the company that they had 90 days to meet their end of the bargain, or else they would have their tax status revoked.
- Despite the job losses, by the fall of 2017, James launched his first Senate campaign, where he began saying that line — that he created “100 jobs in Michigan and east of the Mississippi.”
- According to the company’s own figures self-reported to Crain’s, it failed to create a single job in Michigan during James’s tenure. Data from Crain’s shows that James’ company cut 35 jobs in Michigan from 2012, the year he joined the company (when the company reported 142 jobs in Michigan), to 2017, the year when he first claimed to have created 100 jobs (when the company reported 107 jobs). The James campaign declined to provide Metro Times with company-wide employment numbers.
- It’s worth pointing out that the Renaissance Zone deal was inked long before candidate James, now 39, joined the company. But he certainly benefited from the deal all the same. According to the MEDC documents, James Group International received at least $1.75 million from the Renaissance Zone deal under James’s tenure, from 2012 to 2017, according to Metro Times’s calculations based on the annual tax savings reported in the documents. (The reports did not include figures for tax savings in 2012 and 2017, so the actual number is likely higher than $1.75 million.)
- All the while, James lined his pockets. According to financial disclosures James filed when he launched his Senate campaign, he received at least $1.6 million in salary and up to $2 million in stock dividend income from his family’s company since 2017, the earliest year the figures were available.
- Lee DeVito: “It’s a very straightforward story revealed in these documents. You know, the terms of the tax break was that they had to create 100 jobs in Michigan, in that zone, on top of a baseline of about 100 jobs. And there’s a lack of transparency in the figures, the employment figures of the company. But in the company’s own figures that they self-reported to Crain’s Detroit Business in their annual reports, it looks like they lost jobs in Michigan.”
- Republican John James — who’s running for U.S. Senate against Michigan’s Gary Peters after a failed bid to unseat Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018 — has cast himself as a nothing-for-free jobs creator.
- But a new report by Metro Times reveals that picture is incomplete, if not entirely inaccurate. James, following in the footsteps of his ally Donald Trump, sought government aid and screwed up.
- The terms of the deal applied specifically to a Renaissance Zone in Detroit. Beyond its boundaries, Metro Times reports James created no jobs in Michigan before he began claiming he’d added 100, based on figures provided by his company to Crain’s.
The Michigan Democratic Party launched JohnJamesRevealed.com to hold the failed U.S. Senate candidate accountable for his positions – including those made over the course of the 2018 campaign that he then tried to delete after losing that campaign. For the first year of his campaign, James was largely in hiding from Michigan press and voters to try to paper over his out-of-touch record, and has only come out of hiding after facing scrutiny from Michiganders.