Three significant quotes illuminate the Detroit Emergency Manager appointment of Kevyn Orr on March 14, 2013.
Michael Stampfler, former Emergency Financial Manager for the City of Pontiac
“I do not believe emergency managers can be successful — they abrogate the civic structure of the community for a period of years then return it virtually dismantled for the community to attempt to somehow make a go of it. The program provides no structure for long term recovery, and that is why most communities slide back into trouble, if they experience any relief at all — a vicious cycle. The Public Act is not sufficient and the state bureaucracy isn’t up to a performance offering any significant success — as can be noted from the communities repeating.”
Butch Hollowell, General Counsel for the Detroit NAACP Chapter
“The new emergency manger comes from a firm that represents Wells Fargo, which is the leader in forecloses in our state; which participated in one of the largest fraudulent robo-calling schemes — they’ve forced people out of their homes and then don’t pay property taxes on the properties. It represents the Amway corporation, which got ‘right to work’ through the legislature. It represents Bank of America and Lehman, whose actions sunk our economy and then got billions in tax-payer TARP funds. Where’s Detroit’s TARP bailout? The new emergency manager is the ‘diversity chairman’ at his firm and it’s a virtually all-white firm. …”
“The emergency manager statute allows for dissolving the legislative body and this unelected official enacting statutes. So my vote in Detroit, Michigan does not equal the vote of someone in Grand Rapids. This violates the Voting Rights Act.”
John Philo, Director of the Sugar Law Center
“It’s significant that the emergency manager was picked before March 28, because that’s the date the new law kicks in. After that date the city would have the option of choosing alternatives, such as neutral mediation or bankruptcy.” Philo noted this was ironic since the new emergency manager, in his remarks Thursday touted the possibility of the city going into bankruptcy.”
“Over a decade of experimentation has shown that the emergency manager model is undemocratic and it hasn’t worked. Where they have been in place, those cities and school districts have gone through several emergency managers. The stated goal is to balance the books and the emergency manager model fails to deliver that in the long term. What it does do is force privatization of public resources and guts the public sector unions. But that hollows out your tax base and the city continues in a downward spiral. The people of a city need to decide how to get out of a financial mess and how to prioritize necessary sacrifices. Do they want to sell a park or eliminate a tax break for some business? These are policy choices that residents, not technocrats, should decide.”Sugar Law Center has taken legal action against Michigan's emergency management model under Public Act 4 and is exploring legal challenges to the emergency management regimes in Detroit and elsewhere in Michigan.
Ethics In Michigan is Under AttackButch Hollowell, John Philo, and Herb Sanders (Corporation Counsel to AFSCME) were the principal legal staff behind Stand Up For Democracy which successfully pushed the referendum to repeal Public Act 4 onto the November 6, 2012 ballot. Public Act 4 of 2011 is the
Sterling Corporation, Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, or Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility - They are all under one roof working hand in handThe referendum on Public Act 4 was opposed by Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility (CFR), a state ballot committee formed by The Sterling Corporation, a public relations firm working with Republicans. Principals in CFR include:
- Bob Labrant - former head of Michigan Chamber of Commerce
- John Llewellyn - Vice President of Government Relations with Michigan Bankers Association
- Larry Meyer - former CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association
At the same address for The Sterling Corporation is Michigan Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility (MCFR). a federal non-profit, that can lobby or raise money for political campaigns. According to the referenced article from Michigan Radio in speaking with Bob Lebrant "says he was unaware of the similar names when Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility was founded."
It doesn't take too bright a person to see how these two organizations CFR & MCFR working through The Sterling Corporation give the company reach to promote candidates and issues, create the public relations credentials, and raise funds for their clients and issues as well.
Inter Workings of Sterling Corporation Operatives
When the State Board of Canvassers had over 220,000 signatures delivered on petitions to put the opportunity for Public Act 4 to be repealed on the November 6, 2012 ballot a meeting to verify was needed. At this meeting the board would approve the measure and hand it over to the Secretary of State. The votes on accepting were split 2-2, one of those against was Jeffery Timmerer, Sterling Corporation employee who chose not to recuse himself from the vote. His work with Bob Labrant was the main opposition the referendum was facing in approval. They were working on a technicality questioning if the font-size on the petition was proper according to the statutes. Expert witness testimony was brought in to confirm the font was indeed 14 point bold Calibri, but the vow was to ensure this referendum was not to succeed.
The group chose John Pirich, Esq as their attorney representing Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility. Attorney Pirich is also the chairperson on the Board of Ethics for the State of Michigan. Bob Labrant was supporting counsel. The case history runs through multiple events in the Court of Appeals, and to the Michigan Supreme Court. Time seemed to be dragging out as the case continued to be heard and the referendum was finally approved to be placed on the ballot in the final week possible.