Political News and Commentary with the Right Perspective. NAVIGATION
  • Front Page
  • News
  • Multimedia
  • Tags
  • RSS Feed

  • Advertise on RightMichigan.com


    Get the RightMighigan.com toolbar!



    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    You're in the money! You're in the money! You've got a lot of what WE want to get along!

    By KG One, Section News
    Posted on Sun Oct 06, 2013 at 11:50:00 AM EST
    Tags: Detroit, Bankruptcy, Gov. Rick Snyder, EM Kevyn Orr, DIA, Art Tax, "New" Art tax?, Guess who is going foot the bill this time?, What ever happened to the Macomb County Art Institute Authority?, Oakland County Art Institute Authority?, Wayne County Art Institute Authority?, DIA Shakedown, Graham Beal, Annemarie Erickson, Eugene Gargaro Jr, Cynthia Pasky, Saul Green, Sen. Randy Richardville, Rep. Jase Bolger, Mark Hackel, L.Brooks Patterson, big-government republicans, republican kakistocracy?, Rep. Frank Foster, Rep. Rob VerHeulen, Tell me guys it isn't so? (all tags)

    Most people here are well aware of the fact that the City of Detroit has filed for bankruptcy.  Most people are also aware of the fact that Lansing has assigned an Emergency Manager to financially clean house.

    Long-time readers are aware that this inevitable outcome was as plain as day to most local observers like myself, and borrowing a page from the President, want to make this as process as painful as possible to the principles involved, so that the actions which have caused it are never repeated again.


    Yes, the EM appointed by Gov. Snyder has brought some baggage with him.

    Yes, he has made a few enemies along the way.

    Yes, even the Governor himself has drawn himself into the fray by how the EM is compensated and most importantly by whom.

    But in his defense, he has made some tough decisions which needed to me made.

    Staffing is being addressed.

    Benefits are being brought to a manageable level, given the resources available to the Detroit.

    Assets are being looked at. And when appropriate, are being used to pay off the debts incurred by the city due to it habitual fiscal ineptitude.

    The latter isn't really making any new friends with those in charge of overseeing Detroit's Art Museum, a collection wholly owned by the City of Detroit.

    Yes, I'm talking about the DIA.

    Long-time readers may also recall how the DIA managed to successfully con the Tri-County Region into believing that the DIA was in the poor house and ram through a regional art tax to fund their little operation.

    With their meal ticket now in jeopardy because two of those counties aren't keen on taxpayer money going to bailout Detroit, a fact they were repeatedly warned about when the respective county boards placed this tax on the ballot, the DIA Board is looking at new ways to pull their collective fat out of the fire.

    You're going to love what scheme they have come up with this time.

    {Details after the fold.}

    Multiple local news sources are reporting that the DIA has a one doozy of a plan to save their collective behinds: The Michigan Taxpayer.

    According to a rough draft of the DIA's proposal; Lansing will write the DIA a check from anywhere from $20-25 million per year for at least the next 20 years.

    The DIA figures that this will offset the $500-million that EM Orr is looking in revenue from selling their collection.

    In exchange for this government coerced charity, the proposal also mentions the idea of Detroit handing over ownership of the art to the state, but it will physically remain in Detroit. The also threw out the possibility of statewide traveling art shows to sweeten the deal.

    I'm not so sure how the UMMA, KIA, GRAM, or FIA members (just for starters), will feel about their own tax dollars being used to compete again themselves for visitors and potential donors?

    I'm also not so sure how this will play out in Detroit.

    Just last week, Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson compared the state contract to run Belle Isle as, well, I'll let the good councilwoman speak for herself:

    "It's an absolute treasure, and Belle Isle is ours. It flies in the face of all the public pronouncements of the state trying to help the city. It sounds like a rape to me. It should never be touched. It's a disgrace before God to have this outrageous seizing of an asset."

    To be fair, the protest on Woodward last week by the Socialist Equality Party had a fairly good turnout.

    Finally, I'm not so sure about the Michigan taxpayer being on the hook for $500-million, with some of us already paying a DIA tax, when the collection itself was initially estimated to be anywhere from $10-billion to $20-billion.

    Shame on you, Ms. Erickson, for not wanting to do your part to help Detroit emerge from bankruptcy.

    Detroit owes an estimated $20-billion to creditors.

    And with the potential for more taxpayer money coming in, comes an important question: Does the DIA know how to manage the money it already has?

    Competent financial leadership has always been the DIA's Achilles Heel.

    I've mentioned this before in an earlier post, but it strongly bears mentioning again.

    Back in February of last year, the Detroit Free Press did a write-up on the "Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus" Exhibit at the DIA. In the article, Detroit Institute of Arts Director Graham Beal let slip a very damning quote on how he feels about DIA generating money on its own:

    "The strong box office for Rembrandt is a boon to the bottom line. An especially expensive show to mount, it was budgeted at $1.8 million and was always expected to lose money", Beal said.

    This is a very important quote from DIA Director Beal that bears repeating:

    "...it was budgeted at $1.8 million and was always expected to lose money."

    Must be nice to spend other people's money and not need to be responsible whatsoever.

    One would think that on the surface, the DIA's proposal is DOA in Lansing.

    I'd highly caution against that quick conclusion.

    Aside from Speaker Bolger & Sen. Richardville, two republican representatives also feel that the proposal "merits discussion".

    Quoted in the LSJ, Rep. Frank Foster said, "We need to put all alternatives on the table. The only alternative that's unacceptable is just selling the art to the highest bidder."

    Rep. Rob VerHeulen quote was also a little disconcerting.  He said, "Historically, there has been funding for the DIA from the state. Of course, our budgets are always tight, but we need to look at all options. It depends on particulars. Is there a local match? How does it mesh with the tax millage from the three counties? It's a very complex thing, but it's a worthwhile discussion to have."

    Yes, in true politician fashion, they both provided waffling, non-answer answers to the reporter's question.

    But the correct answer should have been let the DIA stand on its own merits.

    The Toledo Museum of Art has done this for decades.

    So has the Henry Ford.

    The same can be said for the Cranbrook Science Center.

    What have they been doing for all of this time, that the DIA will not cannot replicate?

    I wouldn't be very surprised if the DIA sent its big guns, Eugene Gargaro, Jr, Annemarie Erickson, Cynthia Pasky and Saul Green up to Lansing to do some "convincing" of state legislators. After all, we all know how weak-kneed republicans can easily be swayed when intimidated by the well-connected.

    One final note: The DIA was well aware of the possibility for years that their collection was in jeopardy in the event of a Detroit bankruptcy, yet chose to do nothing without appearing to be political.

    So True Believers, the choices here are:

    Should stupidity be painful?

    Or should people be forced to contribute to something that they have no interest in supporting?

    The answer should be plainly obvious.

    < 2012-2013 ACU Michigan Legislature Ratings | State Representative Announcement - Tom Barrett >

    Share This: Digg! StumbleUpon del.icio.us reddit reddit

    Display: Sort:
    Display: Sort:


    Make a new account

    Tweet along with RightMichigan by
    following us on Twitter HERE!
    create account | faq | search