The Looting Continues Unabated

While All Is Not About ONE MAN, This Example Of Pay For Play Is Clear

pure-somethingThere is an explanation I have always used for my sincerest dislike of the MEDC, its mission, and how it takes advantage of the taxpayer for political payoff.

“If a business owner finds it necessary to take taxpayer dollars to start, maintain, or expand their enterprise, then that business model is already in trouble.  If there is no NEED for the money to survive, then it is simply a matter of theft.”

Its hard to be any clearer than that.

Any politico who uses the term “Jobs created” when discussing the MEDC grants, is trying to justify the stealing that must happen first, and is central to the MEDC program. In the history of subsidizing business, one would think that the predictions of ‘job growth’ with accomplished results would speak for itself.  In fact,  one might think such mechanisms insofar as they are touted, would make the news at least once a month if not weekly as a raging human interest success worthy of celebration.

Instead we’ve seen different versions of the play starring massive failure in the lead role, and fraud as its understudy. And while all that fun is happening, information is being locked down so that folks can’t find out what the score of this really bad performance is.

“There is no disclosure over who gets these incentives and how much they are receiving. The MEDC makes an announcement when the credits are authorized, but they do not report on how much the companies actually collect or when this money gets collected. This is especially problematic when only 29 percent of the jobs announced by the MEDC ever materialize.”

Yup.

So lets take a look at (only) one of the most recent ‘winners’ of the Michigan Economic Development Lottery; Kalitta Air. (seriously, I only single out Kalitta because he is being touted in such a high profile manner)

Kalitta Air is the re-incarnation of American International Airways, Inc; a company founded by Conrad Kalitta, and run into the ground after he left it in the late 1990s.  In 2000, Kalitta Air in its current form began generating revenue almost immediately with government contracts (USPS, DOD, etc.)

Those contracts are a pretty big deal already.  When Obama says “You didn’t build that,” perhaps he was talking about those businesses that rely on government to spend with them to grow and prosper. A former drag racer turned pilot, turned airline owner, Connie Kalitta is doing OK, and he is indeed living the American dream.

Yet he is quite awake.

Once upon a time, a business would make, or sell a product, offer service along side it, price it fairly enough to meet market demand and then live or die by the revenue generated minus the cost of doing business. Simple business practices of controlling expenses and maximizing revenues seem to be fading it seems.

Unfortunately, today’s business model involves discovering alternative ways of operating in which entrepreneurs can finance their endeavors with other people’s money.  The MEDC serves that model overly well, and Kalitta has been diligent in his pursuit of that method  to this happy ending.

In Oscoda Township, Kalitta Air received a $2 million grant to help them construct a new 80,000 square foot airplane hangar. The company, led by CEO Connie Kalitta, flies cargo to destinations across the world. The expansion is expected to create upwards of 200 jobs, and Kalitta said he’s happy to be growing in Michigan.

“We’re the largest employer north of Bay City,” Kalitta said. “I’d say that’s pretty significant. It takes quality people. We’ve got one of the best organizations there are.”
Richard Bray, the director of Kalitta Air Power Plants, said that he believes nearly 90% of the people that work at Kalitta Air are from the surrounding region.

The Michigan-based company has been aggressively expanding in recent years, finishing a new addition to their facility two years ago and building a new machine shop this year.
“We’re very proud of what we have here. It’s a good, well-oiled machine,” Kalitta said.

Of course it has been a long haul.

Through Multiple administrations the drag-racer-turned-air-magnate worked the system.  Aside from a number of earlier donations and starting in the early 2000s, the speaker of the house Andy Dillon, governor Jennifer Granholm, and other Democrats received their proper tribute from Kalitta. As the administrations changed, or were changing, bets were hedged, and access guaranteed.

 

Receiving
Committee Name
Committee ID-Type
Received From
Address
Occupation-Employer
City
State Zip
Date Amount
JENNIFER M GRANHOLM FOR GOVERNOR
510278-GUB
CONRAD KALITTA
48001 DENTON RD
OWNER-KALITTA AIR
BELLEVILLE
MI 48111-0000
04/21/04 $3,400.00
TONY STAMAS FOR STATE SENATE
510327-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
OWNER-KALITTA AIR
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
07/10/06 $225.00
GRANHOLM LEADERSHIP FUND
511667-IND
CONRAD KALITTA
48001 DENTON RD
OWNER-KALITTA AIR
BELLEVILLE
MI 48111-0000
10/05/06 $5,000.00
TONY STAMAS FOR STATE SENATE
510327-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
OWNER-KALITTA AIR
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
06/26/07 $250.00
DILLON LEADERSHIP FUND
512639-IND
CONRAD KALITTA
1681 HEADQUARTERS ROAD
OWNER-KALITTA AIR
PRUDENVILLE
MI 48651-0000
08/06/07 $3,000.00
RICK SNYDER FOR MICHIGAN
514347-GUB
CONRAD KALITTA
48001 DENTON ROAD
PRESIDENT/CEO-KALITTA AIR LLC
BELLEVILLE
MI 48111-1947
10/06/09 $2,500.00
PETE HOEKSTRA FOR GOVERNOR
514353-GUB
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
PRESIDENT-KALITTA AIR
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0899
06/11/10 $1,000.00
COMMITTEE TO ELECT MARK OUIMET
514508-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
OWNER-KALITTA AIR
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
10/19/10 $250.00
FRIENDS OF RANDY RICHARDVILLE
512613-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
OWNER-KALITTA AIR
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
10/19/10 $750.00
DAVID E RUTLEDGE ELECTION COMM
509274-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
OWNER-KALITTA AIR
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
10/25/10 $250.00
DAVID E RUTLEDGE ELECTION COMM
509274-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
OWNER-KALITTA AIR
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
10/25/10 $250.00
COMMITTEE TO ELECT JASE BOLGER
513541-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
OWNER-KALITTA AIR
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
10/31/10 $500.00
FRIENDS OF RICHARD HAMMEL
512884-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
OWNER-WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
YPSILIANTI
MI 48198-0000
10/31/10 $500.00
CITIZENS FOR JOHN WALSH
513658-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
48001 DENTON RD
PRESIDENT-KALITTA AIR
BELLEVILLE
MI 48111-0000
11/01/10 $500.00
COMM TO ELECT WOODROW STANLEY ST REP
514015-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
618 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
BUSINESSMAN-SELF
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
11/05/10 $500.00
FRIENDS OF ROGER KAHN FOR SENATE
512590-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
OWNER-KALITTA FLYING SERVICE
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
11/06/10 $250.00
FRIENDS OF JOHN PAPPAGEORGE
513120-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
PRESIDENT-KALITTA AIR
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
11/08/10 $250.00
JOHN PROOS FOR STATE SENATE
514321-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
PRES-KALITTA AIR
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
12/08/10 $750.00
JOHN MOOLENAAR FOR STATE SENATE
514203-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
OWNER-KALITTA AIR LLC
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
02/17/11 $250.00
FRIENDS TO ELECT BRUCE R RENDON
515058-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
SELF-EMPLOYED-CONRAD KALITTA
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
02/21/11 $150.00
FRIENDS TO ELECT BRUCE R RENDON
515058-CAN
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
SELF-EMPLOYED-CONRAD KALITTA
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0000
11/06/12 $50.00
RICK SNYDER FOR MICHIGAN
514347-GUB
CONRAD KALITTA
818 WILLOW RUN AIRPORT
PRESIDENT/CEO-KALITTA AIR LLC
YPSILANTI
MI 48198-0899
10/25/13 $3,400.00

Indeed, the man is a player!

This is not a contribution schedule of someone who supports Conservatives, Liberals, Democrats, or Republicans uniquely.  This is not an “I believe in what you stand for” type of donation list. This is one that reveals a clear desire for access and consideration. (sadly, its not the exception to the rule in the grant begging circles)

Also, In 2010 it was a little space for the [SARC ON] cash poor MEDC:

A special announcement was also made at the press conference. Kalitta Motorsports and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. have teamed up for a special promotion to stimulate economic growth as well as to retain skilled labor in Michigan. As part of the program, the Kalitta team has donated space on the  Kalitta Air Top Fueler for Michigan Economic Development Corp. decals at this weekend’s event in Norwalk.

Oh right. Its because he believes in the MEDC and its mission. [SARC OFF]

The MEDC for its part lauded the man with appropriate praise and recognition:

“The State of Michigan owes Kalitta Air a debt of gratitude for stepping up to provide jobs for Michigan’s heroes. Employers like Connie Kallita recognize the valuable skills these men and women earned through their military service.  We encourage all Michigan employers who have thrived in this time of conflict to give our returning vets a shot at a good job and a new start.”

However, a perceived debt for both his employment of vets and others over the years can seem a little overpaid when it requires pilfering the reward from other business operators who pay taxes in Michigan. A “little overpaid” of course, is a phrase that hardly concerns those who are capable of untold benevolence with other people’s money.

Influence along the way as described above has had its payoff.  Smaller grants from the MEDC, the Wayne county Edge, Aerotropolis incentives, valuable praise from the MEDC, and now a big $2 mill CASH payday along with a cool promo video (above) to build an 80,000 square foot hanger for his privately owned for-profit LLC business.

Tell me it wouldn’t get built otherwise.

I doubt anyone could.

Overran runway 2008

 

 

 

You Betcha! (12)Nuh Uh.(2)

  8 comments for “The Looting Continues Unabated

  1. March 20, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Despite the fact that Kalitta has a slew of 747s, they can't afford to pay for a hangar?

    You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • March 20, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Amazing isn't it?

      You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
      • March 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm

        Also, $2 Million for an 80,000 Sq. Ft. hangar seems a bit pricey..

        You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
        • March 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm

          Maybe not. Estimate

          You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
          • Corinthian Scales
            March 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm

            Sounds about right for a decommissioned Air Force base with a few foundations already where old hangers were torn down, and factoring in prevailing wage.

            Of course, here is another part of the story that is omitted.

            When the State of Michigan declared the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base a Renaissance Zone [see P.A. 376 of 1996], it created a unique tax haven for a new or expanding business. Under Renaissance Zone status, businesses within the zone are exempt from virtually all state and local taxes for 15 years. That means no Personal Income Tax, no Single Business tax, no State Education tax, no Real Property Tax and no Personal Property Tax. The only exception is locally enacted millages for debt retirement.

            Nice little added afterburner turned on for a d/b/a cargo airline to rise from the ashes, yes?

            Meh. The whole damn area's been greased palms for a few ever since Tony Decker's closed, and Third world voting Schostak built a Burger Whop.

            You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(0)

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