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Bottom line in the argument over transparency and advocacy financing is that government has too much power over our lives.
The financing by shadow entities wouldn't matter a whit if the negative effect on our personal liberties by government action wasn't a risk. Isn't that the truly scary thing, that someone could literally buy an effect on your freedom, promote higher taxes for corporate, or individual welfare, advocate laws stealing property rights, or elect someone to see that you pay for another person's healthcare and personal 'choices?' (abortion, body mutilation, tatoos, sexual deviancy, etc.)
If we could stop such things as MEDC or other subsidy programming, complete streets, pure Michigan taxpayer subsidized cronyism, unchecked welfare, forced medical issues, controls on private business, and apply free market principles along with a consumption based (fair tax) revenue system, it wouldn't be so important to have great amounts of money spent to drive opinion. The need for some 'free speech' anonymity would be reduced or eliminated,
.. and the argument made moot.
I want to know who is coming for our liberty, and would like to celebrate those who would keep us free. I want to know who is attempting to cage us in and applaud those tearing down the walls. It would be nice to have a motivational perspective on why any issue is important enough to spend massive amounts of money to promote.
In the end, SB661 will pass. The house will possibly restore the struck out lines that allow funding from political party sources in contested primaries as a compromise. What I would like to see will not happen. Government is probably recognized appropriately as having too much power by enough legislators to stop it its passage, but it won't happen. Some of those who agree with my view on transparency will still vote for it because they will be convinced that power of government can be turned on those (perhaps appropriately) who would challenge its subjective benevolence all too easily.
Frankly, we need to concentrate on replacing a governor who embraces all of the above BAD things with a true Conservative Republican, and this has taken too much time.
So said the headline August 14, 2013 on the front page of the Record Eagle in Traverse City.
It starts off:
The chamber's Board of Directors decided to back the district's millage proposals Tuesday morning.
I have saved that particular issue (and took the 1000 word photo) as a reminder of what happens when sleepy oversight meets an aggressive enemy, particularly in an advocacy organization. Today's chamber of commerce in particular is a far different creature than it once was. Traditionally an advocate of business and growth of a community by promoting lower cost of dealing with government, fewer regulations, and growing a customer base. The model has been altered by pro-regulatory, anti competitive and progressive high tax types who have infiltrated and merely put a face of business over their anti business operations.
The article which spawned the headline touches on the example of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, and its support last year of a $100,000,000.00 boondoggle, and even more easily this year's reduced ($47,000,000.00 total) offering. It supports putting more of a burden on its members and those who bear the increasing liability of property ownership.
taxable properties the school receives funding from has several classifications.
Estimated Taxable Value (ad valorem) $4,230,649,648.00, the Homestead Taxable Value is $2,518,975,070.00, leaving the Non-Principal Residence Exemption Taxable Value $1,711,674,578.00 or 40.5% of the taxable value is outside of homestead residential ownership.
Remember those numbers highlighted above.
And then continue on below the fold.
(3 comments, 1219 words in story) Full Story
By JGillman, Section News
Curiously, Michigan Capitol Confidential has a story about school millage advocacy.
"In an effort to drum up support for an upcoming millage, Alcona Community Schools Superintendent Shawn Thornton is quoted in a local newspaper claiming teaching and support staff have been cut almost in half."Which was of course misleading.
The first line says 'curiously' because today is the day I received the response from the SOS to my complaint of advocacy by TCAPS (Traverse City Area Public Schools) for its millage request. It included the district's denial that they were violating campaign finance 57. It claimed they didn't know that there was a violation. But interestingly, as they were denying the charge of violation, it should be noted they significantly re-worked their literature when 'caught' by the original complaint and a subsequent newspaper article highlighting the complaint.
Right up to that line without stepping over it is typical for school systems begging for more, but this was pretty clear. The Superintendent approved the mailer, but then had it changed when caught. Then had their hired guns respond to the complaint. Then another 'curious' event where the public relations manager resigns an $84k/yr job out of the blue.
I have 10 days from the date of the SOS response to add anything. The SOS response was dated Dec 21, 2012. (Envelope shows to be mailed the 27th) I suppose the violation should/could stand on its own, but will an additional argument weigh on the process any?
(2 comments) Comments >>
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