U.S. Senate candidate Michael HOOVER turned his attention to the state’s political system, and how best to salvage it from what he called self-serving politics, after he said he had salvaged 500 million pounds of plastic waste from landfills through a recycling center for auto parts.

Hoover, a long-time Dow Chemical Company employee and business owner, said his career began with changing the design and increasing the aerodynamics of the front end of vehicles, earning him the Dow President’s Award, but he said his attention recently turned to politics, which included a near run for Michigan governor, and a decision to run for U.S. Senate.

In between his work at Dow, which earned him global attention, and his political interests, Hoover partnered with a team in Alabama to convert plastic waste into automotive parts, which resulted in about 500 million pounds of waste being recycled. 

Hoover said he arrived at the huge Alabama plant, which was approximately four to five football fields, with the idea he would be working with recycled batteries. Instead, he was led to a large grouping of 10-foot bales of plastic waste. 

“I’m starting to get the picture,” he said. “Do you want to figure out a way for us to reconstitute this and use it in the automotive industry?” 

He said it took about two years, but they got the material to where it was approved for use in automotive parts, and have since been able to recycle around 500 million pounds of plastic to make car parts. 

“So instead of going into our landfills across America, it’s getting shipped up here and being used to make our cars,” Hoover said.

He noted that it was one of the highlights of his career. 

He also took over the operation of his local recycling center after it was on the path to closing. 

“We created a model whereby we could take everything from mattresses to Styrofoam, glass bottles, metals, all the different types of paper and cardboard, and we made it into a profitable business,” he said.

He said after 12 years, his son runs the business today. 

Now, Hoover said he’s turning his focus towards Michigan’s political system, a passion he’s held since his time at Northwood University, but that became necessary to pursue during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hoover said he’s always understood that politics was a self-serving system, but “I saw it go to the next level during COVID-19, where we were shutting down churches, shutting down schools, taking people’s rights away.” 

“I got real vocal,” Hoover said.

He said he was  especially vocal when it came to the shutdown of small businesses.

The response was: “OK, Mr. Hoover, why don’t you do something about it,” he said, and he was soon after approached about running for governor. Hoover said he seriously considered it, and all the feedback he received was very positive. With a background in both small business and large corporations, with experience living in Detroit, rural Michigan and suburbia, Hoover said he felt like “exactly the kind of people we need to have coming into government.” 

But with two renovations and the sale of one business, Hoover said he recognized the need to pause. 

“Then, as time went by, things cleared up,” he said. “We sold the business, we finished the two projects and what it allowed me to do is kind of a deep dive into where we are, where we’re going today.” 

He said that in the months since, what he’s learned most of all is that pretty much everyone wants the same thing: Safe cities, economic opportunity and stability, and less “traditional government.” 

That means traditional, multi-millionaire politicians that run and end up becoming richer off taxpayer money, he said. 

“There’s so many examples on both sides,” he said.

He noted that his campaign has had over 200 registered Democrat voters sign his petition. 

“Now, we’re doing this nonsensical thing where we’ve given billions of dollars to Ford, and Consumers and Detroit Edison, so they can go buy out farmland and put in new plants,” he said. “People are tired of it…Do it on your own nickel, don’t do it on ours.” 

Hoover extended that same sentiment to UAW workers currently on the picket line, as both a former auto industry employee and the son of two factory workers. 

He said in our lifetime, the cost of living, or the devaluation of time, is the number one problem facing the working class, and is only increasing with inflation.

“Dollars that you’re earning today will be worth a whole lot less, and in about three or five years, you’re going to be right back where you (started),” he said. “You’re aiming at the billion dollar corporations, Ford, GM… and trying to make them look like the bad guys.

“I’m not saying they’re the good guys on the block,” he said, “but I’m just saying the biggest, baddest guy on the block is the government, and all the people you’re voting for are continuing to misguide you.” 

He used the example of President Joe BIDEN and U.S. Rep. Elissa SLOTKIN (D-Holly), who made public statements of support for striking UAW workers.

“These are the same two people that are going to continue to spend like crazy and create more inflation,” he said. “We just have to educate the voters, and we have to make sure they understand who’s really causing their pain.” 

Hoover is one of nine GOP candidates tentatively in the race for U.S. Senate, after an unofficial announcement from former Detroit Police Chief James CRAIG has been teased, along with already-announced candidates including former U.S. Rep. Mike ROGERS; Oscoba School Board member Sharon SAVAGE; former congressional candidate Dr. Sherry O’DONNELL; Board of Education member Nikki SNYDER; attorney Alexandria TAYLOR; and former Berrien County Commissioner Ezra SCOTT (See “GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Field May Be Swelling To 10,” 9/1/23).

On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Elissa SLOTKIN (D-Holly), actor Hill HARPER, former Rep. Leslie LOVE, Board of Education member Pamela PUGH, business owner Nasser BEYDOUN and technology transaction professional Zack BURNS have filed with the FEC (See “Dem U.S. Senate Primary Shaping Up To Be 6-Person field; More news On Race,” 6/23/23).

Reported by Michigans Independent Source of News & Information, October 3, 2023 by Danielle James