Jason Kruse, a Michigan man who led the campaign to eliminate the entire local government of Green Charter township over Chinese-affiliated EV battery maker Gotion’s plans to build a factory, says efforts prove that ‘democracy still works’
A Michigan man who led a grassroots movement to oust a local government after it supported a China-linked company’s plans to build an electric vehicle battery factory nearby has said his actions proved that “democracy still works’.
Jason Kruse led a revolt against Green Charter local government council on Tuesday after they supported China-linked company Gotion.
In a special election, five incumbent board members, all of whom are Republicans, were voted out in favor of candidates who ran without any party affiliation.
Kruse, who is now the newly elected supervisor of Green Charter Township, has since told Fox that “democracy still works” and that voting in local government matters.
He told the outlet, “Everyone across America needs to step back and understand that you have the power. It’s still there.’
Jason Kruse, pictured here, led an uprising against Green Charter local government township on Tuesday after they supported China-linked company Gotion
A rendering shows the planned Gotion battery factory in Michigan. The company plans to invest $2.3 billion in the plant and create 2,350 new jobs
Kruse continued, “Government works and your voice matters – especially at the local level – and it’s super important.
‘We really need to be reminded every now and then that public servants work for the public.
‘It is very nice to see that we can contribute to that insight. It’s really sad to have to go through a recall. But that is our democratic process, and we have chosen to invoke it.
“What we realized through all of this is that whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican, it’s a matter of national security.
‘It’s like balloons are flying over our country. We have Chinese people trying to set up their own police forces across the country, and we want to do business with these people? That’s how we look at it.’
The board had previously served the best interests of the community, but Kruse told Fox that support for the board was beginning to create skepticism among some.
He added: “We asked ourselves, ‘Are they being bought and paid for by this company? Were incentives promised somehow?” We’ll never know.’
The community of just 3,219 residents is Republican, and the surrounding county voted for Donald Trump by a margin of 22 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election.
The petition that launched the recall election accused city officials of ignoring voters’ concerns about Gotion’s plan to open the $2.3 billion plant there, which is expected to create 2,350 jobs.
Voters in Green Charter Township, Michigan, recalled all five city council members (circled) on Tuesday over their support of a Chinese-linked company’s plans for a battery factory.
Green Charter’s new board quickly called in a locksmith to change the locks on the main government building after Tuesday’s vote
Hours after the vote, the city’s new leaders wasted no time in changing the locks on the municipality’s main government building.
Although the company is backed by Volkswagen and operates in Germany, Gotion’s parent company is based in China and has been accused of having ties to the country’s Communist Party.
By ousting the council from Green Charter, voters in the community also sent a message to President Joe Biden, who has touted EV factories and other clean energy projects as key to his economic growth plans.
China is a leader in the global supply chain for advanced batteries and other green technologies, raising thorny questions about what impact partnerships in that area will have on U.S. interests.
Gotion’s plans for the plant in Michigan, and another in Illinois, have drawn criticism from Republicans in Congress, who urged the Treasury Department to conduct a security investigation into Gotion’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Side.
Public records show that Gotion, headquartered in Fremont, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gotion High-Tech Co., Ltd., a multinational company based in Hefei, China.
Gotion High-Techs Articles of associationlast updated in 2022, states that the company will maintain a Chinese Communist Party unit charged with “implementing the Party’s guidelines, principles and policies in the company.”
The company has publicly denied its allegiance to the Communist Party, but China has taken steps in recent years to increase the CCP’s influence in Chinese companies, where maintaining party unity is often required by law.
Gotion did not respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com, but told NewsNation: “We are a multinational company and do not believe in political views and are still committed to bringing thousands of jobs to the state of Michigan.”
Locals were against the company installing the factory near the city, despite the promise of jobs
In Green Charter, local residents said they were concerned about the possible communist connections of the planned Gotion factory.
“My relatives fought against communism, and you’re bringing it here,” an unnamed voter told NewsNation.
Resident Corri Riebow, who has no experience in politics, ran for city manager in the recall election and defeated incumbent Janet Clark.
“We just intend to make it as difficult as possible for them to continue their process,” Riebow said of the new board’s attitude toward Gotion.
“They haven’t even planned a location, they don’t have permits yet, so we’re not their friend,” she added.
Also voted out of the recall were Supervisor Jim Chapman, Treasurer Denise MacFarlane and Trustees Roger E. Carroll and Dale Jernstadt.
In September, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Republican representatives from Michigan and Illinois sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to investigate Gotion’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party to revise.
Voters at a watch party will celebrate when the results of the recall election are announced Tuesday
Resident Corri Riebow (above), who has no experience in politics, ran for city manager in the recall election and defeated incumbent Janet Clark
The lawmakers alleged that despite Germany’s Volkswagen AG being the largest individual shareholder of about 30 percent of Gotion’s parent company, Gotion High-Tech, China retained “effective control” through multiple individual shareholders.
They include company founder Li Zhen and his son, who they say were members of CCP organizations.
Most of Gotion High-Tech’s other top shareholders, they wrote, were owned by Chinese government-linked entities, and the articles of association promise to implement the party’s key strategic decisions.
That should prompt the review and, if necessary, divestment of Gotion High-Tech, the lawmakers said, especially as Biden has identified electric vehicles and batteries as critical parts of transportation infrastructure.
“It is not in the interest of the United States to allow the CCP to control facilities that produce an estimated thousands of these batteries, let alone provide it with hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidies to do so.” , they said.