Inman likely no more guilty than many others in the legislature.
I was driving through St. Louis when I got the news that Larry Inman had been indicted.
It was pretty big news. Disappointing, yet it didn’t surprise me. In fact, there has been so much ‘questionable’ activity going on in Lansing for decades that it was not surprising that a representative with a record of poor instincts would be the victim of a sting operation.
At least that is my assessment of what happened. Clearly there is pay for play in our state politics. The existence of the MEDC, and by extension any organization that profits from doing business with the state would have incentive to fill campaign coffers. Ask any one who still raises money after they have been term limited why they do so. If they don’t tell you directly, then look at their campaign statements on the debt side.
It’s not for charity.
Mistakenly express the the wrong sentiment, in a way that is contextually vulnerable, to the wrong people, in the wrong format. Then whammo! You get a Representative Larry Inman indictment.
But the GOP led house, wishing to remain unscathed in a (heavens forbid) scandal of such magnitude would prefer to let Larry off the bus, ask him to inspect the rear brake lights, and …well as one might see by now, the bus does have reverse.
It’s true, why not turn our government bureaucracies into full blown business incubators? Buy a number of corner buildings, land, ready spaces, and turn em into a new 7-11 chain, tux shop conglomerate, or CBD syndicate. Then, turn em over to someone willing to fill out the paperwork, stand on a stage with a governor, and swear allegiance to the bureaucracy and our sacred Eco-Dev Central!
the MEDC is having a birthday. In fact it is apparently ready to graduate from simple cronyism, to full blown Fascism. Government determining which component of the economy it will promote with taxpayer money is certainly bad, but when it actually does the site work? From Crains:
Are there are some areas outside of your control and domain that you think we ought to be focused on as a state in order to improve our chances to land the next company from San Jose?
The one that’s in our domain that we have started doing some work on — working with our local partners — and that’s having ready sites. Whether it’s just raw acreage that has the right infrastructure available in terms of electrical capacity, water and sewer. …
We are not a state that has a lot of available spec buildings — the 180,000-square-foot size buildings that have been built speculatively by developers that we can immediately turn to a prospect and say here’s a building you can move into in 60 days. We’re doing some work in that space both on the spec building side … as well as on the raw land site improvement to help get us better prepared or ahead of the curve to take advantage of some of the opportunities that are out there.
Did a main street deplorable disrupt some Biddle Marsh big club backroom quid pro quo shenanigans?
Roughly three weeks out from a state convention, and ordinarily I’d be armpit-deep in some to-do list, but I’ve spent most of the past nine weeks considerably preoccupied. (If you really want to know why, then the obituary is here, and the funeral is here.) However, about four weeks ago, I had reason to have a rather lengthy and interesting conversation with one of the candidates for Michigan Republican State Committee Chair (the actual full title). I gotta tell you, it’s kinda nice to see that certain things really don’t change.
It was previously demonstrated how the John James for Senate campaign had been taking his competitor Sandy Pensler out of content for the purposes of releasing misleading attacks about him. While that was bad enough, James has resorted to outright lying in the final days of the campaign as he tries to win in what looks to be a close race.
This meme was posted on John James’ campaign page a day following Pensler’s announcement that he received an endorsement from tea party favorite Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has one of the top conservative voting records in the Senate according to many popular conservative watchdog organizations.
“I’m pleased to endorse Sandy Pensler for U.S. Senate in Michigan. The Senate needs more outsiders who have created jobs and who won’t be part of the Washington, D.C. swamp. Sandy supports term limits, smaller government, lower taxes, and a constitutional conservative foreign policy, and he will stand up and fight in Washington,” Paul said.
Pensler’s understanding of market economics also prompted him to release a plan to end the deficit by making specific cuts to foreign aid, the department of education, domestic welfare, healthcare expenditures, and subsidies toward NATO. Will Pensler be able to implement this plan as soon as he is elected? Of course not, but he will be able to coherently articulate a solid fiscally conservative plan that can put America once again on solid ground.
Pensler’s issues page offers a great deal of substance. He wants to defund planned parenthood, supports judges “who interpret the law as written,” and supports free market solutions on healthcare. Some of his policy positions are more detailed than others. His healthcare page for instance is particularly substantative covering issues like price transparency, malpractice reform, competitive pricing for prescription drugs, health savings plans, living wills, and so on. He shows an incredible depth of knowledge on the pressing issues facing Americans, something that is very rare in a politician.
That’s right. Healthcare isn’t even listed as an issue of concern on his page! Not even a basic, rudimentary policy position is listed. On the issues James does cover, he remains deliberately vague as much as possible. James thinks we should do a “better job preparing our service members for life outside of the military.” That is certainly a nice platitude, and it’s hard to disagree with that, but how precisely are you going to make that happen?
James says he “will work to eliminate poverty, not just make it more comfortable.” No further explanation is given. James believes that “hard working and honest Michiganders of all generations are owed a return on their lifelong investment into the System.” That sounds like it was written by a public relations consultant contracted by the MEDC, rather than an authentic sentiment. James claims he “will approve justices who will interpret the constitution as written” so he has the exact same position as Pensler in that regard.
The fact that James had to resort to outright lies in the end game of the campaign suggests that voters may be seeing that one candidate offers actual substance while the other offers nothing but fluff. Pensler’s candid comments on Trump, portrayed by the James campaign as Pensler slamming Trump, were actually complementary in their full context. Pensler’s comments about supporting a “living constitution” were in reference to the Convention of States, a project pushed by constitutional conservatives to amend the Constitution in an attempt to reign in the federal government. These misleading attacks missed the mark, so James had to push deliberate falsehoods in the final stretch. If James’ campaign is this dishonest, how can you trust the candidate when he talks to you on the campaign trail?
James is certainly offering his brand ‘Hope and Change’ to the voters without much in terms of specifics. I remember in the not too distant past when voters elected a similar candidate who promised the world without demonstrating any qualifications, competency or a real record. America really regretted that decision, and we should not duplicate that mistake here in Michigan. Pensler’s record is far from spotless, having ran as a moderate Republican back in the 1990s before ‘evolving’ and becoming more conservative over the years. But at least he has a record, other than bumper sticker slogans and corny taglines about being a fighter pilot.
We can be better than the Democrats, can’t we? Support the qualified candidate a week from today, not the empty suit.
Michigan Gubernatorial candidate Pat Colbeck was interviewed earlier this year on a number of issues.
A couple of choice quotes:
Essentially the state has deemed it upon itself to play venture capitalist with taxpayer money to the tune of about a billion dollars. It’s about halfway split between MEDC and Michigan Strategic Fund. … I propose broad-base tax incentives that honor Article I, Section I of the Michigan Constitution, which means that our policies are meant for the equal benefit of all of our citizens.
Right now, with these venture capitalist approach to economic development, like the ones you mentioned, the only people that get the deals are the ones with the ears of the power brokers up in Lansing, … it’s turned into more of an “old friends and family discount” than something that benefits all the citizens of Michigan. It’s something that I’m vehemently opposed to.
Businesses thrive when you lower the total cost of doing business. One of the major costs for businesses is the cost of government, and we can get into some of the other costs here down the road here, but health care is another one and energy is another one, and if you can lower all three of those costs, you actually create an economic development incentive package that’s not picking winners and losers; that applies to everybody equally.
When folks ask if it is possible for someone to represent ‘everyone.’ I say this last part is how its done.
Only SANCTIONED thievery is allowed in Michigan's cronyism environment.
It wasn’t just Granholm.
Rick Snyder got the ball rolling back not too long after Jennifer Granholm was blushing behind a privacy screen on the dating game, but well before she became our state’s executive Monte Hall.
Rick Snyder was the first CEO of the MEDC, and don’t let this fact escape anyone.
The MEDC has given BILLIONS of dollars to ‘winners’ since its inception in the 90s. Granholm was certainly more embarrassed however, to find out that it was the MEDC under her watch which gave $9 million to a guy running an international corporation out of a trailer in flint. He justgot out of prison.
That guy didn’t really have a business, and he went to jail. He didn’t create the jobs and suffered penalties for fraud.
Lots of stuff to discuss. Hope you all have the patience and time to digest it all.
Interesting perspective on Proposed Senate Bill 97 in your forward. My analysis is it is typical “fear mongering”. See discussion below.
Enclosed for your convenience is a copy of House Fiscal Legislative Analysis pertaining to Senate Bill 97. Permit me to comment on the Bill and ancillary issues pertaining to Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) and infrastructure investment.
Senate Bill 97
The Bill authorizes the State and its various agencies to participate in Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as a means to acquire private investment and management participation in state infrastructure projects. The objective of PPP’s is to facilitate private investment in infrastructure upgrades and repairs as a substitute for using taxation and state financed bonds as the sole remedy to pay for infrastructure needs. For example: The legislature raised the state taxes on fuels to pay for highway maintenance, construction and repairs, or alternatively, it could issue bonds secured by the State to be repaid with revenue either from the project (AKA TOLLS or USER FEES,) or increase taxes on the proletariat! Gas taxes or sales taxes.
As the Analysis confirms many states (other than Michigan) have now passed legislation authorizing their respective state agencies to enter into PPP’s as a basis to fund various transportation and other infrastructure needs (water and sewage). In the past I have referenced these projects as an alternative means to fund transportation and infrastructure needs in various letters to the media and others with copies to our relevant representatives.These copies are numbered and itemized below to refresh your memories. Several of the letters contain similar allegations and claims. My apologies for any redundancy. It is apparent the letters were of little interest to the recipients. So be it! It hasn’t been the first time. But, I digress. Mea Culpa!
Orwellian titles alone should give pause to voters given the 'pitch.'
Traverse City has apparently honored the wishes of the voters last night.
Good. They did the ‘right thing’ by allowing a requested exemption of the local library district from their TIF2 district renewal.
Some of you may be aware that the Traverse Area District Library received a solid 75.5% renewal vote for the millage last August. Some of you might also be aware what type of management and board makes up the library. Suffice it to say, the operation operation has in the past 6 years has found efficiency, improved technological services, and better staff competence and ability.
The district as a whole is an outstanding model of how government operations should run. We have addressed the pension gorilla successfully, stopped any growth (for-the-sake-of-growth) plans, and lowered the cost per taxable dollar. Technological services are so advanced, that the library has literally been able to market out some of its advances to neighboring library systems, providing them with value added (and lower cost) services and recovering taxpayer ‘investment’ at the same time.
We have done our part, but still have expenses, and every dollar matters in crafting the best possible response to voter intent.
And some of those who did not vote yes in the last millage made it clear why they did not support the millage. It wasn’t because they had misgivings about tax dollars being used to promote community literacy, but rather as an objection to the way in which that singular philanthropy doubles as a sieve to water ‘economic development’ efforts they have zero interest in supporting.
But with big government comes the sugar for the ants. For all the tax dollars we donate for the elected class to spend, there are a number of said class who believe they are smarter than free markets.
But certainly, the MEDC provides a lot of high paying jobs for otherwise failed business leaders and political partisans. No way in hell will it willingly surrender the family secrets and threaten the taxpayer goldmine. Indeed, no dog and pony show of ‘allowing’ bids for outside agencies to measure it’s (the MEDC’s) effectiveness will ever meet the threshold of honest brokering.
Anyone paying attention to what has been going on in Lansing for the past decade or so may be thinking the same thing: Our State government is out of control…and totally unaccountable to the people they are supposed to represent…
After Jennifer Granholm promised to “blow us away”, she did…laying the foundation for government cronyism by establishing the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, basically a slush fund which the government uses to pay back friends and donors with State contracts…The absolute best example of this would be the new Senate building, sold by a former MEDC Commissioner to the State for three times its appraised value…
Now comes Senate Bill 97, designed to expand this practice right down to the Township level…This bill (http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billintroduced/Senate/pdf/2017-SIB-0097.pdf) authorizes any government authority to designate taxing authority to any private business or group that develops infrastructure for health care, transportation, or ‘other’ development purposes…It also includes the use and enforcement of ‘eminent domain’…Think about that for a minute…