Tag Archive for Detroit Regional Chamber

Mackinac Policy Conference At The Grand Hotel: Protect Your Wallet!

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?

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.

You Betcha! (13)Nuh Uh.(0)

Cost of Lies Rising – Has the Threshold of Pain Been Reached?

Has MITA's Spending Now Slammed Into Its Members' Financial Limits?

liar-liar-pants-on-fireMITA (Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association) just added $ 205,000 to the SafeRoadsYes! war chest yesterday.  Not much when you consider that they have already lavished $ 5.19 million on SRY. The Detroit Regional Chamber‘s ‘Powering the Economy’ PAC political committee, on the other hand, went one better and added $ 250,000 to the SafeRoadsYes! war chest yesterday. Dwarfs their $ 125,000 in contributions during the regular reporting period. The Detroit Regional Chamber contribution far exceeds the $ 17,105 DRC reportedly had on hand only a few days ago. Someone has given Powering the Economy a lot of money this week, but we won’t be privileged to know whom for three months. Both of these contributions were made to SRY on April 27th, three days after the closing date for the SafeRoadsYes! pre-special general report.SRY Late Contribution Report - 2015-04-28

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?

You Betcha! (11)Nuh Uh.(0)

Today’s Mystery

SafeRoadsYes! Has A Phantom Contributor

Mystery Money

Today was the deadline for the last campaign finance filings with the Michigan Secretary of State before the May 5th vote on Proposal 1. SafeRoadsYes! filed five late contribution reports and a pre-special general report. Contributions supporting Proposal 1 now exceed $ 8 million and, as you might expect, the roster of SafeRoadsYes! contributors reads like a Michigan road constructors’ directory. SafeRoadsYes! expenditures now exceed $ 7.2 million, and SafeRoadsYes! still has more than $ 843,000 yet to be spent.  Of course there may be massive contributions yet to be made which would not be reported until after the election.

MGM Grand Casino and FireKeepers Casino contributed $ 50,000 each, presumably to curry favor with the Lansing power elites. BlueCross/Blue Shield and the Michigan Township Association each threw in $ 100,000 which was picked from your pockets by ObamaCare and your property taxes, respectively. Dick DeVos, after having his stooge knife Representative Gamrat for not supporting Proposal 1, got in late with a $ 50,000 contribution from his Alticor investment group.

Powering the Economy SRY Late Contribution Report 4-24-15There is one phantom entity in the SafeRoadsYes! late contribution reports which is worth investigating. An organization called ‘Powering the Economy’ gave $ 75,000 on 22 April. The problem here? ‘Powering the Economy’ doesn’t exist in either the Michigan LARA corporate database or the Secretary of State’s searchable PAC database. So who are they?

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.

You Betcha! (20)Nuh Uh.(0)