Cronyism

Dark Money

Hidden donors keep the swamp critters alive.

Cronyism is alive and well.

Clearly there are people with financial stake in certain players gaining the governor’s seat.  Some interests might be as innocuous as self preservation, and some may be to game the system.  But it’s all in play and the hidden stuff can be spooky.  From Crains this morning:

Three of the leading candidates to be Michigan’s next chief executive have benefited from large sums of cash that can’t be easily followed to their original sources because of federal laws allowing not-for-profit organizations to influence elections outside of the state’s campaign finance law.

Former state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor has been aided by $550,000 in concealed donations from two entities that don’t appear to exist in public records.

Attorney General Bill Schuette’s bid for the Republican nomination in next Tuesday’s primary also has been boosted by $1.2 million in untraceable donations flowing from two so-called “dark money” front organizations that can legally conceal the identities of their donors.

And Lt. Gov. Brian Calley got $1.3 million of free advertising through a TV commercial promoting his work with Gov. Rick Snyder turning around Michigan’s economy that was paid for by a Snyder-led group that doesn’t have to disclose its funding sources.

The last guy listed here knows who is footing the bill for his spots I imagine.

He stars in those ads.

In any event, Blue Cross Blue Shield was let off its leash in 2013 walking away with Michigan taxpayer money and made untouchable.  It’s relationship with those who would restore much of its monopoly power should be noted.  However they are not squealing:

Those donations to the pro-Whitmer group have fueled questions from her Democratic opponents as to whether those mystery entities are operating for the sole purpose of concealing corporate money from a big business like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which has allied with Whitmer but not made a traceable donation to her bid to be governor.

“Build a Better Michigan is nothing but a shell for dark money PACs and unlimited money from corporate CEOs who have interest in a Whitmer-led Michigan,” said Adam Joseph, spokesman for El-Sayed. “There is only one reason these corporations and secretive groups are shelling out thousands of dollars to try and get Gretchen Whitmer elected: they want to keep their privilege in a Whitmer administration.”

But whether Blue Cross Blue Shield played any role in helping bankroll the pro-Whitmer group Build a Better Michigan is a lingering question the state’s largest health insurance company won’t answer.

Of course BCBS won’t answer.

Being un-collared, (Former AG Mike Cox was their best handler to be honest)  they don’t have to.  Once upon a time they were beholden to the legislature, but now run free-range and can bundle money where it serves their board of director’s interest best.  Anyhow they have been feeding the GOP as well.

Playing the field is not a hard thing to do when flush with unequaled cash reserves.  BCBSmi DID walk away with $Billions given to them by a GOP legislature and governor.

As for the complainer Abdul?  I suspect there is plenty of dark cash ready to fund his efforts.

The swamp is alive and well friends.  Read the complete piece.

 

You Betcha! (8)Nuh Uh.(0)

The Devil is DEFINITELY in the details.

Multiple news outlets have reported that the Michigan Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision upheld the democratic party “independent/grassroots” Voters Not Politicians petition initiative to create a non-partisan commission to redraw every voting district in Michigan.

In writing for the majority Justices Viviano, McCormack, Bernstein & Clement said;

“Here, that approach leads us to conclude that a voter-initiated amendment under Const 1963, art 12, § 2 is permissible if it does not significantly alter or abolish the form or structure of our government, making it tantamount to creating a new constitution.”

Yeah that’s sounds great on paper, but exactly how did they intend on accomplishing this nigh impossible feat?

{Well, I’ll go into that more after the fold}

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You do know that whole “The Wall”- thing could’ve stopped all of this (or at the very least significantly reduced it).

So in the latest distraction in our 24-hour News Cycle World, the latest “outrage” is coming from a surprising source?

And just whom that might be, you may ask yourself?

{Click below to learn the answer}

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Pardon Me?

Former Detroit mayor seeks unlikely relief from well earned berth.

Things that make you go hmm..  Many times over.

[Former?] Thugmaster K wants “to go home.”  He says he doesn’t like prison, and is now praying for a pardon from the president. He is a changed man:

Our country has always been the land of 2nd Chances! I am hoping, confidently expecting, that I will have the opportunity to boldly move into the next season of my life; outside of these prison walls. Also, that I will have the opportunity to help someone else get off the floor of despair, failure, brokenness and calamity…then walk courageously, confidently, and powerfully into their own new season, their own destiny.

By God’s grace, I have received a pardon from Him, through Christ Jesus. I pray that I will receive the opportunity for Pardon/Clemency from the President of the United States as well.

Changed.

“White Jesus” notwithstanding, change carries with it some personal responsibility, yes?  Just a couple months ago, we saw how he is willing to own up to his former life as a corruptotician.  From Click on Detroit

Kilpatrick was also ordered to pay  $1,637,087 in restitution. He told the court in February that he doesn’t believe he should have to pay because it’s impossible to calculate the amount of money he took from taxpayers.

No comment necessary.

Other than even the folks out West aren’t writing scripts as good as this.

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Quis Solvet? MSU Settles With Nassar Victims For $ 500 Million

Michigan has the least elite elites in the nation

Who exactly is going to pay the $ 500 million that MSU just agreed to pay to 332 victims of Dr. Lawrence G. Nasser?

MSU says they can’t tap their $ 3 billion endowment, which was the focus of former President Lou Anna K. Simon (and why she wasn’t paying any attention to Nassar and Strampel).

This bleed will probably eclipse that of the Flint water fiasco. From the Detroit Free Press:

The settlement, which covers all 332 current claimants, will cost Michigan State $500 million. The school will pay $425 million now and hold $75 million in reserve in case other Nassar victims come forward.

MSU will now work on how it will pay the settlement, MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant told the Free Press.

Survivor attorney James White said this is a chance for the survivors to begin to move forward.

“I don’t think they can ever be made whole, but this is a step in the right direction,” he said.

The settlement was announced Wednesday, after the Detroit Free Press published news of the settlement, following two days of closed-door mediation sessions between lawyers for the university and the survivors.

Terms of the settlement are as follows:

• $425 million dollars will be paid to all current claimants

• $75 million dollars will be set aside in a trust fund to protect any future claimants alleging sexual abuse by Nassar

The settlement was approved by the MSU board in a conference call Tuesday night.

I underestimated the costs here by $ 25 million, when adjusted for the additional claimants who have come forward.

Strampel’s cases are not part of this settlement, so there is more bleeding to come.

This disaster is on the Democrats, exclusively.

Michigan has the least elite elites in the nation.

You Betcha! (12)Nuh Uh.(1)

SEN. RICK JONES: Why Regulated Online Gambling Is Right for Michigan

Michigan’s legislature is considering a bill that would allow the Great Lake State to join a growing roster of states that have legalized online gaming.  Legislators would be right to ignore the scare tactics of legislation opponents, much of which, ironically, is funded and supported by gaming interests in Las Vegas.

For decades, the Department of Justice (DOJ) imposed a blanket ban of states legalizing online games of chance.  Thanks to pressure from states and some court cases, the DOJ in late 2010 reversed course and allowed states to make the determination themselves.  New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada were the first to legalize online gaming for their residents.

Opposition to the effort has been funded almost exclusively by Las Vegas billionaire and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.  Mr. Adelson has funded an organization dedicated to fighting legalized online gaming.  A group called the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling magically appeared.  Lobbyists, like former Democratic Senator Blanch Lincoln, were hired and poll-tested and focus group language were employed to restore the federal prohibition.

You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(1)

Employing a tried and true tactic…holding a tax hike vote during the lowest voter turnout.

...or worse yet, when Taxpayers aren’t even made aware of it by a complicit local media.

Even though this is affecting strictly Macomb County, I would HIGHLY recommend that readers contact their local clerk’s office to see if there is anything similar occurring in their part of Michigan.

Despite the fact that their current millage hasn’t even expired yet, the local community college not only decided to place a millage hike/renewal on the ballot, but they have done a slam-bang up job of letting everyone know about it.

I cannot imagine why?

{Continued below the fold}

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