Detroit Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference 2015 Starts Today - You Won't Like The Outcome
Is that a donkey in front of the Grand Hotel?
Later today Michigan’s Self Very Important Persons start checking in at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference held on Mackinac Island. At $ 2,150 per person for Chamber members and $ 2,925 for Chamber wannabees, average Michiganders will not be much in evidence. The attendees list reads like the last itemized contribution report for SafeRoadsYes!, along with the clueless Michigan politicians who endorsed Proposal 1.
The Detroit Regional Chamber’s “Vision and Pillars” for the 2015 Conference is innocuous enough, but the Conference’s agenda is far less oblique. A host of left luminaries and crony capitalists orbiting Michigan government will be plotting higher taxes, bigger spending, and more vexatious regulations. When they are not drinking.
The official agenda is all about Detroit, Michigan schools, alternative business subsidies, and the roads, but there is also the transformation of Detroit Water & Sewerage Department into the Great Lakes Water Authority lurking in the background. Roads are the most interesting part of the official 2015 Conference agenda, given the near universal support for Proposal 1 amongst the attendees. Despite touting ‘vision’, expect the Conference to endorse new taxes over improved efficiencies and better engineering.
SafeRoadsYes! has evidently burned through the $ 8 million plus they received in contributions during the regular reporting period and is now heading towards a $ 9 million cash burn. Hard to tell how much SRY have spent with any exactitude, the latest figures from April 24th show expenditures of $ 7.212 million. But they had a balance of $ 843,482 on that date which is presumably gone or going quickly. Expect more thrilling stunts and stimulating advertising in any event. Their war chest just got reloaded.
The paltry late contribution from MITA, taken together with the outsized contribution from the Detroit Regional Chamber, suggests that MITA is scraping the bottom of their member’s bank accounts. Or that they are employing a new form of campaign contribution concealment, feeding contributions through DRC’s Powering the Economy so contributors’ identities won’t be reported until after the election. Their servants in Michigan’s media reported the outsized involvement of road constructors in pushing Proposal 1 this week and it hasn’t played well with the voting public.
Will the Proposal 1 fight decapitalize Michigan’s road constructors? Will they raise their bids to recoup their political expenditures, further draining Michigan’s road funding? Are MITA and DRC gaming Michigan’s campaign finance laws to avoid any further embarrassing disclosures? Or have we just found out what $ 1.2 billion in additional annual contracts are really worth in profits to Michigan’s road constructors?
Best guess, the merry screw ups at the Detroit Regional Chamber have created a new ballot question PAC to replace their recently terminated – and heavily cited – ‘Detroit Regional Chamber PAC II‘ ballot question PAC. DRC PAC II earned eighteen citations from the SoS since 2013 for filing screw ups. DRC PAC II filed a dissolution notice on 02 April and paid the $ 875.00 dissolution fee on 07 April. ‘Powering the Economy’ has the same address as the Detroit Regional Chamber, One Woodward Avenue in Detroit – which used to be known as the MichCon or ANR Building before Dan Gilbert bought it. And DRC has trademarked ‘Powering the Economy’ as one of their signature catch phrases.
Somebody is ignoring Michigan’s campaign finance laws. Not just ignoring them, trampling them. But this has been a routine practice during the Proposal 1 proponents’ campaign. Our Attorney General is supposed to enforce these laws, but he hasn’t been exactly active on this front despite Schuette ostensibly opposing Proposal 1. So all we can do at this late date is tell you about another scam behind Proposal 1 and let you spike this dragon at the ballot box. Sweet revenge is $ 9 million of your opponents’ money down the drain. Vote May 5th.