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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Beware of the fine print.

    By KG One, Section News
    Posted on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 11:44:59 PM EST
    Tags: Macomb County, 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, Shakedown, Graham Beal, Annemarie Erickson, MCL Act 331 of 1976, MTA, Simon Haddad, Leon Drolet, Judy Buchholtz, Dennis Buchholtz, Philis DeSaele, Circuit Judge John Foster, Macomb County Circuit Court (all tags)

    When does "Free" mean that something is not actually "Free"?

    Here's a hint: It involves this morally bereft excuse of a museum director,

    morally bereft excuse of a museum directorr

    his right-hand woman/enforcer,


    oh, and this place.

    Front Door

    {Story continues below the fold}.

    Long-time readers may recall the coverage on one of the stealth attempts to flush what little Headlee Protections that we may have left down the toilet via state & local government going bat-guano crazy promoting and implementing a plethora of "authorities", ostensibly for the benefit of the general public.

    If "Authorities" didn't sound like something they covered in your local civics class or Government 101, don't worry, they didn't.

    In short: "Authorities" are a relatively new layer of government specifically designed to circumvent the aforementioned protections because of their "new-ness". This "new-ness" allows them to be excluded from Headlee tax calculations/limitations. Think about how WIN was short-circuited back in the day.

    Gov. Snyder supported reaching into your wallet with his vocal support and signing of regional transportation bills. Can't let anyone opt-out when it's for the public good.

    Local governments found it makes for a great new source of steady cash by doing it for parks.

    Can't forget the Zoo.

    What's next?

    How about "Art"?

    Ah, yes. Can't forget about that.

    Back during a hilariously underreported ballot initiative last year, the Tri-County Boards of Commissioners in Southeastern Michigan were strong-armed into signing off on a tax hike to go on the August Primary Ballot supporting the DETROIT INSTITUTE of ARTS. Long time readers may recall that this tax was proposed by a state senator from Detroit during the waning days of a previous legislature. It also conveniently specifically omits any mention of DETROIT INSTITUTE of ARTS in the boilerplate petition language contained in the Public Act creating this authority, and was not found within any supporting material for this tax or on the actual ballot itself.

    Sadly, enough voters were duped into supporting this tax hike in all three counties (just barely squeaking by around 1,500 votes in Macomb).

    These are the arts were talking about here you Philistines! You should be thankful that there are saints around in the form of these kind and benevolent people operating the DIA who are around to help enrich your sad and pathetic excuse of a life with these valuable cultural treasures.

    But don't fret. Even though we have managed to make you give us your money. We'll display some goodwill on our part and include some benefits to go along with this new tax (Section 2.4).

    Thanks to the generosity of using the power of government to take from the labor of others, you will now be able to enjoy "free unlimited general museum admission in accordance with the passage of the County Art Institute Authority millage."

    The DIA even said so on their website.

    Now, I don't know about anyone else here, but when I see the words free unlimited general museum admission," that means to me that I can walk into the museum anytime I want and see anything inside of it I want.

    Ah ah ah, not so fast there. You newbie connoisseur of culture.

    "Free unlimited general museum admission" to the great unwashed masses coerced into paying for this, doesn't mean the same thing to the plutocracy running this little scam operation. Some museum patrons found out about this last December while visiting the "Faberge: The Rise and Fall" exhibit at the DIA.

    Expecting to enjoy viewing this exhibit for free since they were now made to pay for it, they were informed that they would really have to pay twice to see it. First, through their county treasurer's office, and then again at the ticket counter inside of the DIA before actually being able to see the exhibit.

    Making someone pay twice to see something that they are already paid for once.

    If that's not the definition of a shakedown, I don't know what is.

    Thankfully, others aren't so gullible and naive.

    Several days later, a group of Macomb County residents; Simon Haddad, Leon Drolet, Judy Buchholtz, Dennis Buchholtz and Philis DeSaele filed suit in County Court against the DIA for $250 in damages each, reimbursement of their court fees and to have the tax nullified across Macomb County due to the obvious violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

    MCL 445.903 Sec 3 (1)(r)

    "Representing that a consumer will receive goods or services "free" or "without charge", or using words of similar import in the representation, without clearly and conspicuously disclosing with equal prominence in immediate conjunction with the use of those words the conditions, terms, or prerequisites to the use or retention of the goods or services advertised."

    Sounds like a pretty cut and dry case, doesn't it.

    DIA sells voters a bill of goods in exchange for a tax.

    DIA gets caught selling voters a bill of goods in exchange for said tax.

    DIA tax ordered null and void by judge upholding the MCPA and looking out for the best interests of the taxpayers.

    If only it were that logical.

    In a stunning case of legal verbal gymnastics, last Friday Circuit Judge John Foster dismissed the case citing that taxpayers had no legal standing whatsoever in the case and that the DIA was exempt from the MCPA.


    Just in case anyone is interested, here is what the MCPA exempts:

    MCL 445.904

    Sec. 4.

    (1) This act does not apply to either of the following:

    (a) A transaction or conduct specifically authorized under laws administered by a regulatory board or officer acting under statutory authority of this state or the United States.

    (b) An act done by the publisher, owner, agent, or employee of a newspaper, periodical, directory, radio or television station, or other communications medium in the publication or dissemination of an advertisement unless the publisher, owner, agent, or employee knows or, under the circumstances, reasonably should know of the false, misleading, or deceptive character of the advertisement or has a direct financial interest in the sale or distribution of the advertised goods, property, or service.

    (2) Except for the purposes of an action filed by a person under section 11, this act does not apply to or create a cause of action for an unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive method, act, or practice that is made unlawful by any of the following:

    (a) The banking code of 1999, 1999 PA 276, MCL 487.11101 to 487.15105.

    (b) 1939 PA 3, MCL 460.1 to 460.10cc.

    (c) The motor carrier act, 1933 PA 254, MCL 475.1 to 479.43.

    (d) The savings bank act, 1996 PA 354, MCL 487.3101 to 487.3804.

    (e) The credit union act.

    (3) This act does not apply to or create a cause of action for an unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive method, act, or practice that is made unlawful by chapter 20 of the insurance code of 1956, 1956 PA 218, MCL 500.2001 to 500.2093.

    (4) The burden of proving an exemption from this act is upon the person claiming the exemption."

    Wow! Not a whole lot of exemptions for the DIA now, is there?

    An appeal is planned, but a final decision will be made on an exact course of action in about two weeks.

    Stay tuned.

    < Breaking - Homosexuality Is A Dangerous Lifestyle | Breaking - Margaret Thatcher Dead At 87 >

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    Marxist Diego Rivera and his bolshevik (none / 0) (#1)
    by RushLake on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:16:49 AM EST
    houseguest, Leon Trotsky, would be so proud. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

    I wonder if the "good" judge, in his off hours, eats brie and drinks wine with the other elite nomenklatura of the DIA?

    A short paraphrase (none / 0) (#3)
    by Rougman on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:53:14 AM EST
    The love of other people's money is the root of political evil.  

    General admission (none / 0) (#6)
    by Nathan Inks on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:45:37 PM EST
    Doesn't include special exhibits.  That seemed pretty simple to understand.  Special exhibits are never included in "general admission".  It's one thing to oppose the tax because the government shouldn't be supporting museums that can't survive on their own, but this argument really doesn't hold much water.

    Paying Twice? (none / 0) (#7)
    by JGillman on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:33:19 PM EST
    Land of Oz.

    First nine bux for the film before it was even on the silver screen.

    The ol government is exempt buggeroo.

    "Sec. 4.

    (1) This act does not apply to either of the following:

    (a) A transaction or conduct specifically authorized under laws administered by a regulatory board or officer acting under statutory authority of this state or the United States."  ..


    Because they are officially gubmint, they can lie.

    Gosh, imagine the surprise out here!

    These things need to change.  The price of admission Michigan for Snyders bridge will be hitting us in a few years. And yes we will still have to pay a fare.

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