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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    I guess that they should've read the fine print.

    By KG One, Section News
    Posted on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:00:00 PM EST
    Tags: Macomb County Art Institute Authority, Oakland County Art Institute Authority, Wayne County Art Institute Authority, Let's call it what it really is: A tax for the Detroit Institute of Arts, Rep. Tom McMillin, Graham Beal, Bruce Walker, Annemarie Erickson, L.Brooks Patterson, big-government republicans, republican kakistocracy, Randy Richardville, surprised to see him here?, I'm not, Macomb County Chairwoman Kathy D. Vosburg, Macomb Daily Executive Editor Richard Kelley, Macomb Daily Managing Editor Ken Kish, Macomb Daily Editorial Page something Bill Ewald from The Macomb Daily, And our surprise tags..., Nope. Need to read below to find out who-what it is. (all tags)

    Well, you've got to hand it to the likes of Graham Beal, Annemarie Erickson, Randy Richardville, L. Brooks Patterson, Macomb County Chairwoman Kathy D. Vosburg along with 7 of her democratic colleagues and new to the roster of flim-flam artists:  Macomb Daily Executive Editor Richard Kelley, Macomb Daily Managing Editor Ken Kish and Editorial Page something Bill Ewald from The Macomb Daily.

    So what did this motley crew accomplish?

    Let's jump into the DMC-12 and find out...shall we?

    {Click below to read the sordid details}

    We'll start off at the beginning.

    No, not the Earth cooled. And then the dinosaurs came. But they got too big and fat so they all died...

    That's too far back.

    We'll go to a little more recent date of about two years ago.

    November 2010, to be exact.

    That's when democratic state senator Sen. Samuel B. Thomas came up with the brilliant idea of creating a new layer of government for the sole purpose of taking money from the suburbs and transferring it into Detroit (and the subject of another piece that I'm in the final process of cleaning up and posting soon).

    His bill, which ultimately became Public Act 296 of 2010 during the lame duck session of 2010, sat undisturbed (and practically ignored) until earlier this year.

    It was then, that someone from the plutocracy running the DIA, apparently getting tired of working to raise the funds necessary for their little operation like most museums do, felt that they were simply entitled to use the power of the state to just take it from the Taxpayers in surrounding counties.

    But wait!

    Anything with "Detroit" in its name has negative connotations attached to it.

    It would never pass.

    Not to fear!

    We'll just omit any reference to "Detroit" altogether.

    I know!

    We'll use the less offensive term: "County Art Authority". That'll throw off those simpletons from knowing where the money really is going!

    Hmmm, we need something else to use as a hook to get people to vote for this. What else can we do?

    I know!

    We'll throw in nebulous references to benefits that may include, but are not limited to; discounted admission fees, discounted membership fees. discounts for schoolchildren and access to educational programs.

    Yeah! That's the ticket.

    And so, with dollar signs in their eyes, and a tri-county area of Taxpayers ripe for the picking, they set forth on their little endeavor to pick your pocket.

    But things didn't go exactly as planned.

    Wayne County Board of Commissioners. That Board will fall for anything. No problem there.

    Oakland County Board of Commissioners. With L. Brooks Patterson watching their back, a tax hike is all but assured.

    Macomb County. Now that's a different story.

    Macomb County isn't as gullible as the Wayne and Oakland County Board of Commissioners.

    Things didn't go so smoothly for the DIA at first.

    One freshman Commissioner, Bob Smith of Clinton Township actually had the gumption to say "no" to the DIA.

    The DIA executive board didn't take too kindly to that rejection.

    That, and actually having to work to raise funds wasn't really an option for the DIA, so they sent DIA Executive Vice President & COO Annemarie Erickson (and an extremely well-compensated officer, at that), up to the Taj Macomb to chew out Commissioner Smith and his colleagues, and cajole them into retaking the vote to place the Macomb County Art Authority on the ballot.

    Sadly, that did the trick.

    Last April, with a packed meeting room where those attending made pretty clear where their priorities lie, the Macomb County BoC voted 8-5 to place the DIA tax on the ballot.

    Now, for the next hard part: Getting the voters to buy into the lie that they are actually getting something if they vote to take money from their neighbors.

    Blue signs began to dot the roadside.

    People began to write, but not write too much, about the DIA tax.

    It was going to be a long road into <strike>duping</strike> convincing enough people to voting for this.

    Then problems began to appear.

    People like Simon Haddad from Affordablepublicservice.com did some digging into the DIA's 990 forms.

    For a public trust, the DIA paid their executive board members extremely well. Much better than other "world class" art museums.

    He even pointed out the damning fact that in other cities, like Toledo's Art Museum, don't even rely on taxpayer money.

    Then, Rep. Tom McMillin went through the DIA's financials.

    The DIA is nowhere near as broke as they claimed to be.

    $175-million in endowment funds.

    $182-million in assets.

    Raising $50-million in just the last two years alone.

    Topping things off, The Michigan View's art critic Bruce Walker, beat DIA Director Graham Beal like a government mule during numerous interviews on the DIA tax.

    Having the DIA's own director calling a critic a flat-out liar without providing one shred of evidence to back up that assertion didn't help matters much either.

    The wheels were starting to come off of the DIA tax express.

    But, they still had one Ace-in-the-Hole left.

    They still controlled the media.

    The Detroit Free Press was a given. Stephen Henderson's wife works for the DIA. In all fairness, he did acknowledge this fact upfront.

    The Detroit News, don't even get me started on them.

    Here in Macomb County, The Macomb Daily printed a vague editorial touting the DIA and supporting the tax, but provided absolutely no balance whatsoever nor did they offer any of the arguments against the DIA tax (i.e. see above)!

    And that Ace-in-the-Hole is what saved their sorry behinds.

    Which brings us to where we are at today.

    That last "newspaper", The Macomb Daily, apparently found out Macomb County Taxpayers are having second thoughts on the DIA tax.

    When several residents went down to see the Faberge Exhibit at the DIA recently, they were flabbergasted that they had to pay even more money, on top of the tax that is already taken from them, to see this exhibit.

    In response to growing criticism, DIA PR Director had this to say,

    "For special exhibitions, everyone is charged except for (DIA) members. It's always been that way. We have to pay a lot of money for those exhibits, so we have to charge for them."

    That's all well and good. Being a practicing capitalist, I understand this completely.

    However, only NOW do they have the integrity to tell people about this?

    Why wasn't this done six months ago?

    Or better yet, if I were a Macomb Daily Subscriber, I'd seriously be considering canceling my subscription over their conscious editorial decision to spike any negative reporting on the DIA tax.

    With the DIA tax literally squeaking by with about 1,500 votes county-wide, there's going to be some serious explaining to do when the readers find out what else they haven't been told about!

    < Right To Work | `Tis a somber day indeed! >

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    Display: Sort:
    classic. (none / 0) (#1)
    by JGillman on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:17:16 AM EST

    Is there a 'recall' provision for a passed authority?

    DIA Deception (none / 0) (#2)
    by wctaxpayer on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 02:33:01 AM EST
    This will only be the beginning. Our elected officials are not accountable any longer. Responsibility has been shifted to these authorities which are accountable to no one. If they can raise money by having special events at the DIA why didn't they make a greater effort before the millage and why did they say we would have free admission.  
    Rose Bogaert, Chair Wayne County Taxpayers Association, Inc.
    All I can say is... (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Corinthian Scales on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:35:52 AM EST
    ...BRACE YOURSELF, Republican Michigander!

    Thank your Lansing Nerdpublicans who have figured out another accountability loophole.  To levy taxes on the people: let the moocher herd vote.  To silence the people from their voice: limit access to constitutional amendments.

    Yessirree... within two decades, Livingston Co will be lost as the indoctrinated collective mentality migrates to lower taxes only to f*ck up that place too.


    That's how most museums work (none / 0) (#7)
    by InksLWC on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:34:37 PM EST
    Most museums charge extra for special exhibits.  When this passed, I assumed the DIA would be doing the same thing.

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