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    Tag: Chamber Of Commerce

    Chamber LIKES Millages

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 03:38:10 PM EST
    Tags: Traverse City, Michigan, Chamber Of Commerce, TCAPS, Schools, Millages, Taxes, Business, Advocacy, Cronyism (all tags)

    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.

    "It was the board's consensus that strong schools are an integral component of successful communities -- communities that retain and attract talent, jobs, and investment," Doug Luciani, the chamber's president and CEO, stated in an email to TCAPS officials.

    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.

    • Agricultural
    • Commercial
    • Industrial
    • Residential
    • Personal Property Classification from Commercial, Industrial, and Utilities.

    According to the most recent Traverse City Areas Public Schools budget, major revenue is based upon the following:
    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

    Court Of Appeals Asked To Look At Union Measure

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 08:18:11 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Unions, Labor, Chamber of Commerce, Constitution (all tags)

    Info from CPMC:

    Voters, Job Providers ask Court of Appeals to Protect Michigan's Constitution

    Lansing, MI, August22, 2012-- Taxpayers and job providers asked the state Court of Appeals to protect Michigan's Constitution by keeping an intentionally deceptive attempt by union bosses to hijack Michigan's constitution off the November ballot.

    "Union bosses and out of state special interests are dropping a deceptive Pandora's box in front of Michigan voters and begging them to open it," said Jim Holcomb, J.D., Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.  "The union lawyers behind this deceptive proposal freely admit they don't know how many laws their scheme will overturn, how many constitutional provisions it will rewrite, and what the consequences of their unconstitutional proposal will even be. That approach is reckless, deceptive and unconstitutional.  Voters, taxpayers and job providers have had enough of these special interest gimmicks and attempts to hijack their constitution."

    As the Mackinac Center points out, "The proposed amendment would primarily affect the unionization of state and local government employees, since private-sector unionization is governed by federal law. "

    And that is the point.  A solidified, locked in union presence creating a new power structure that would hamstring the ability of the state to manage its affairs efficiently.

    Stay tuned.

    Comments >>

    A Message To Our Legislators - Beware False Choices

    Michigan's Constitution: FOR SALE? $22 Million... and Counting

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 01:51:45 PM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Unions, Labor, Chamber of Commerce, Constitution, Spooky Dude (all tags)

    Special Interest Groups Expected to Spend Staggering Amount  to Hijack Michigan's Constitution

    Lansing, MI--Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution (CPMC), a diverse group of tax payers and job providers today pledged to stand-up for Michigan's working families after campaign finance reports this week revealed that outside special interest groups have already raised over $22 million to fund various attempts to hijack Michigan's constitution.

    "Michigan's voters can't be bought," said Rich Studley, President and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. "Families won't be fooled by false promises and clever campaign slogans. Now is the time for concerned citizens to "follow the money" to find out who is willing to pay millions to buy a piece of the state constitution."

    According to campaign finance reports, outside groups have already spent $14 million to purchase a half-dozen proposed constitutional amendments. In the same period of time the groups have raised $22 million and are expected to spend over $100 million to hijack the state's constitution.

    Big spenders hoping to line their own pockets by purchasing Michigan's Constitution include:

    • Big Labor and the Michigan Democratic Party: $8 million on a secretive attempt to rewrite the constitution, repeal hundreds of laws and undo the good work being done to position Michigan for its economic comeback.
    • SEIU: Nearly $2 million to force the unionization of home health care workers and allow the union to skim millions in dues each year.
    • California Hedge Fund Billionaire: $2.24 million to line the pockets of out-of-state windmill manufacturers and other government subsidy seekers.

    Same group of second handers, different day.

    Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution is a committee supported by a growing and diverse group of job providers, taxpayers, individuals, local chambers of commerce and other organizations.  CPMC is committed to educating Michigan families about unprecedented attempts to radically overhaul the state's constitution through new, misleading ballot initiatives.

    (7 comments) Comments >>

    Troy, We Salute You

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Mon Dec 26, 2011 at 09:39:36 AM EST
    Tags: City of Troy, Mayor, Janice Daniels, Conservatism, Taking a Stand, Chamber of Commerce, Snyder, Stupid Rail Ideas Trains, Free Money (all tags)

    A political friend wrote to me on the rail issue and Mayor Daniels stand against using those federal dollars.  Quoting the New York Times article, he asked:
    "Is there more to this strategy? Or is our best hope for change based on the martyrdom of political kamikazes?

    My reply as all too often, was a curt
    "Won't matter in a couple years anyhow".

    That was Christmas morning.

    Looking back at the question again, I decided it warranted a better reply.  First of all, the sender is a very good conservative ally, and secondly, is likely to ascend to higher office in the foreseeable future.  

    I felt he needed a better explanation.

    Below ~

    (7 comments, 554 words in story) Full Story

    Michigan Business Done Right - The Chamber Experience

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 09:33:24 AM EST
    Tags: Business, Chamber of Commerce, EFCA, Experience, Michigan, Traverse City (all tags)

    There is something to be said for experience.  A long lived worker is unlikely to make the kind of mistakes that can be devastating to business and relationships that business may have in its community and abroad.  As most people will learn from their mistakes, a few made early in life will lead to better handling of similar situations later.  The older the worker, the longer work history, the more experience to draw from.

    Its common sense, and actually, I prefer the older worker for that reason, but also for a few more.

    The miserable failure of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner for 2009 to produce a top notch entertainment for our $1000 table, instead brought in David Stillman founder of Bridgeworks.  While his presentation was interesting to a point, it became a seminar at best, lacking in the true entertainment style the annual affair had become locally famous for.  We have had noted speakers Tony Snow, the Variety group "Capitol Steps" and other great acts over the years, but never a dry presentation as was last year's.

    After seeing five of my guests get up to leave halfway through his presentation, the remainder of us decided a redeeming event that would have saved the evening was likely not going to happen.  The rest of us emptied the table as well, and went home, joining a few others in the room who felt as we did.

    There is something to be said for experience.

    (2 comments, 869 words in story) Full Story

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