Monday, March 23, 2015

2nd District Dem Chair Dean Vanderstelt Blasts Secret Huizenga Japan Trip

Huizenga, left, Vanderstelt, right (graphic by MLive)

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at
In a statement to West Michigan Politics, Dean Vanderstelt, the new Chairman for the Second Congressional District Democrats, blasted Rep. Bill Huizenga for his recent secret trip to Japan. The trip was funded by a group with connections to a shady forced sterilization scandal where hundreds of thousands of women and young girls were sterilized against their will in Peru. 

Huizenga hid the trip from constituents on all his social media accounts, did not issue a press release, nor did he or talk to any media. Instead, Huizenga made it seem like he was in D.C. or back home in his district, posting random stories.

Vanderstelt called Huizenga "disconnected" from the West Michigan residents he is supposed to represent.

>>>Breaking: Huizenga Concealed Recent Trip To Japan Paid For By Group With Ties To Disgusting Forced Sterilization Scandal
Vanderstelt believes the trip was inappropriate and notes that the overwhelming majority of Huizenga's constituents couldn't afford the nearly $20,000 in first class airfare Huizenga and his wife spent on the luxurious trip, which Huizenga calls "official government business."
 Vanderstelt wrote:
 "During our 2014 campaign we noted that while Representative Huizenga's constituents struggle in this rough economy to make ends meet, the representative seems to enjoy fine dining at expensive restaurants, travel (i.e. his trip to a Disney resort with his family), golf outings at exclusive resorts...and travelling first class on airlines.  In this, and many other ways, he seems to be very disconnected from the people in West Michigan he represents.

In your March 18th article "Huizenga Concealed Recent Trip to Japan..."  you show an air fare of $9,768.38 for the representative and $9,992.98 for his wife*.   The coach air fare (per kayak,com) from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Tokyo, Japan is $1,145.00

In review of his FEC reports you will note that the majority of his air travel seems to be at first class cost, surely something that few of his West Michigan constituents have been able to afford."
Huizenga defeated Vanderstelt in November 2014, giving Huizenga his third term in Congress.
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
Email him at
Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

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