Eclectablog

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Chris Savage is the owner of Eclectablog, your one-stop shop for progressive Michigan news and state & national political commentary.
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Privatizing to Aramark in Chicago has led to filthy, rodent-infested classrooms

I’ve written plenty about Aramark in Michigan, the company that rakes in piles of your tax money as governments outsource key services to this for-profit corporation. I’ve also talked about how their for-profit prison food contracts have had problems in other states, as well.

But Aramark isn’t just in the prison food business. One of the other things they do is janitorial services. When Chicago Public Schools privatized this service to two companies, one of which was Aramark, things went seriously downhill.

Filthy buildings. Principals overseeing cleaning or hiring extra help out of pocket. Teachers scrambling to clean classrooms in time for the first days of school.
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INTERVIEW: Bobby McKenzie – “Trott is a guy who has made foreclosing & evicting people as efficient as possible”

The election to replace Kerry Bentovolio in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, one of the most absurdly gerrymandered districts in our state, has been one of the most interesting races in the state this election cycle. Multi-millionaire “Foreclosure King” David Trott massively outspent Bentivolio to win the Republican primary. On the Democratic side, Bobby McKenzie, a former Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Counterterrorism in the U.S. Department of State, beat two other candidates to face off against Trott.

I sat down with McKenzie late last week to discuss his campaign and the man he’s running against. Despite Trott having spent millions of his own dollars, money earned at the misery of others, the race is a statistical dead heat.…

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VIDEO: David Trott’s profiteering on “human misery” is starting to get national attention

This past week, David Dayen wrote a tremendous piece for the New Republic titled, “Michigan’s ‘Foreclosure King’ Is Trying to Win a Seat in Congress”. It’s a remarkable piece particularly because he takes what is an incredibly complex and inscrutable process – home foreclosures – and does a Clintonesque explainer on it. In the process, he details just how unethical, greedy, and conniving David Trott is. It’s important for voters to know this before November 4th because this is absolutely NOT the sort of person we want representing Michigan’s 11th Congressional District in Washington, D.C.

One particularly egregious practice employed by Trott was the process of “dual tracking”:

He built the machine that was made to feed off of human misery,” said Curtis Hertel Jr., register of deeds for Ingham County, Michigan, who tangled with Trott’s law firm on a number of cases.…
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New Progress Michigan VIDEO shows how privatization to for-profit Aramark came to Michigan despite the data

This new video from Progress Michigan is their best effort yet. It tells the story of Aramark coming to Michigan in a very smart and clever way.

Privatizing our prison food services to a for-profit corporation is an experiment. But, as the the video shows, it was an experiment that was already proven to be a failed and flawed model for providing essential government services. Nonetheless. Gov. Rick Snyder went ahead anyway and now we find ourselves in the mess we are today.

Enjoy:

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AUDIO: Father of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law Al Pscholka convinced Rick Snyder is beloved in Detroit

Al Pscholka, Father of the Emergency Manager law, with Gov. Rick Snyder after the bill signing

When Public Act 4, Michigan’s amped-up Emergency Manager law, was signed into law in early 2011, it was immediately put to use in Benton Harbor. It was the first time the new version of the law, which allows the state to impose an unelected person in charge of an entire city and gives them the power to dismiss local elected officials, was used. Benton Harbor was “represented” in the state House by Al Pscholka and, as it turns out, Pscholka was the author of Public Act 4.…

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UPDATED: Snyder top aide Richard Baird caught driving unregistered Mercedes SUV. Who will he blame this time???

This post has been updated to include information about Baird asking for a refund of the back interest he paid when he settled his tax bill.

Richard Baird, already busted for getting a tax break on residences in two states and being registered to vote in both Michigan and Illinois, now has another issue to deal with: although he’s been listed as a resident of Michigan for three years now, he’s driving a Mercedes SUV GL550 that isn’t registered in Michigan. That’s against the law, folks, a misdemeanor that carries a potential penalty of up to 90 days in jail.

Since Baird’s tax issue came to light, he has worked to clear up residency issues.…
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BREAKING: Terri Lynn Land refuses letter from Detroiters inviting her to spend a day in their polluted community

Last week, residents of the Detroit zip code 48217 held a press conference and invited Terri Lynn Land to spend a day in their community to see the impact of the pollution spewed by her campaign supporters and hold a public forum where they could ask her questions about it.

The also took out a full-page ad in the Michigan Chronicle:


Click for a larger version

One of the residents there also penned an op-ed for the Detroit News:

Pollution from big corporate oil companies is killing me. Due to toxic emissions from the corporate polluters in my community, I suffer from skin burns, hair loss and a toxic white mass on my brain.…
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SCANDAL: Snyder administration quietly canceled $98K fine for for-profit prison food vendor Aramark, then things got much worse

This post has been updated.

I’ve written extensively about Aramark, the for-profit prison food vendor that supplies food services to prisons across Michigan. They’ve experienced repeated food shortages, employees bringing drugs and contraband to prisoners, employees having sex with prisoners, and most recently, maggots in multiple food preparation areas.

The state started cracking down on Aramark last March when they imposed at $98,000 fine for food shortages and unauthorized menu substitutions. Things didn’t get better, however, and, in August, they got hit with another fine, this one for $200,000.

However, after a FOIA request by Progress Michigan, we now learn that the original $98,000 fine was never imposed.…

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Third poll this week has outstanding news for Michigan Democrats, Schauer up by 2.2 points over Snyder

It’s been a terrific week of polling for Michigan Democrats. I’ve written about two polls (HERE and HERE) that statistical ties for Mark Schauer and Mark Totten with Gary Peters pulling away from Terri Lynn Land.

Yesterday, a USA Today poll conducted by Suffolk University gives even better news.

Here’s the synopsis:

  • Mark Schauer leads Rick Snyder for Governor by 2.2 points (45.2/43.0%)
  • Gary Peters is up over Terri Lynn Land for U.S. Senate by 8.8 point (45.6/36.8%)
  • The top response given by respondents when asked what they thought of when they heard her name was “Dislike her/General negative mentions” while the top response for Gary Peters was “Like him/General positive mentions”
  • Godfrey Dillard is ahead of Ruth Johnson for Secretary of State by 3.6 points (39.8/36.2%)
  • Mark Totten is beating Bill Schuette for Attorney General by 6.4 points (42.8/36.4%)

The poll was conducted September 6-10 and has a margin of error of 4.4%.…

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Rick Snyder continues to rewrite history so he can take credit for things he had nothing to do with

Governor Snyder has a new ad out this week called “Generations”. Like his previous ad, his voice has been altered to sound lower in pitch than his actual voice, a manipulation that is the perfect metaphor for the way he manipulates the facts in order to take credit for things that either didn’t happen or for which he had no role. The Detroit Free Press gave him a 50% rating on its truthfulness.

I give it a 25%. And I’m being generous.

Here’s the ad:

There are four claims being made in the ad. He says that when he was elected governor:

  1. Michigan had a billion-and-a-half-dollar budget deficit.
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