You Had Hair Transplants?"
people are always incredulously asking GARY COCHRAN,
owner of Beau Jacks Restaurant . . . .
Returning Doug Ross
Considers Governor Job
JENNIFER FINER STAFF WRITER
t was just over two years ago
when Doug Ross accepted
President Clinton's appoint-
ment as the assistant U.S. sec-
retary of labor for employment
Mr. Ross was second in corn-
mand to Labor Secretary Robert
Reich until he returned to his
home state in late August, leav-
ing before his term was up.
Doug Ross talks like a candidate.
The former assistant labor sec-
retary now works for the Pro-
gressive Foundation, an
center for public policy research.
Mr. Ross took the job, as director
of the foundation's Third Way
Project, with the stipulation that
he could work from Michigan. He
set up an office in Southfield.
In the three months he's been
back, Mr. Ross has landed a WJR
radio talk show, and he lectures
at the University of Michigan
school of public policy.
And Mr. Ross, the former state
commerce director, is now con-
sidering a bid for the governor's
office in 1997.
"It (a run for the governor's of-
fice) didn't motivate me to come
back," Mr. Ross said. "But it's
something I'd seriously think
about if I felt I developed a pow-
erful, compelling message. The
old Democratic message isn't an
In fact, Mr. Ross, a longtime
Democrat, said he is turned off
by much of the Democratic Par-
"The party fails to understand
the importance of economic
growth," said Mr. Ross, calling
the party anti-business and anti-
growth. "The party also reached
a point of not taking a stand on
matters of basic values. We've
lost our ability to take funda-
mental positions on right and
While harsh toward his own
party, Mr. Ross is also critical of
"The Republicans don't have a
heart and the Democrats don't
have a brain," Mr. Ross said.
Add the variable of the "in-
formation age" and neither
party, according to Mr..Ross,
will be able to address issues
that will allow the nation to
These factors propelled
Mr. Ross to get involved with
the Third Way Project.
"The Third Way Project
gets beyond the right-left de-
bate," Mr. Ross said. "It's a
new approach to the govern-
ment in the information age.
It rejects both the liberal idea
that government is the solu-
tion for our problems and the
conservative concept that
government is the source of
The project is trying to de-
velop a different approach,
"not entitlement and not
abandonment, but empow-
erment," Mr. Ross said. "It's
about creating an opportuni-
ty for all people to solve their own
The project is being conducted
in three stages. In a few months,
Mr. Ross hopes to complete the
first stage, developing a mani-
festo. The project will then ex-
amine how its philosophy can be
applied to some of the issues fac-
ing the nation. Finally, the Third
Way Project will draft an agen-
da with proposals for domestic
and foreign policy issues.
Although Mr. Ross is critical
of the Democratic Party, other
state Democrats praise Mr. Ross
for his initiative. Steve Gools,
spokesman for the Michigan De-
mocratic Party, said the party
commends Mr. Ross for his com-
mitment to define "fundamental
solutions to a complex range of
social and economic issues.
"The Michigan Democratic
Party welcomes input, creative
debate and pragmatic ideas on
ways to advance a progressive
agenda for Michigan and the na-
tion," Mr. Gools said.
As Mr. Ross considers a run
for the governor's office, he said
he will base his final decision on
the public's response to the pro-
ject's outcome. He may then use
its findings to build a campaign
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