Tag Archives | NERD fund

More on thin-skinned bully Richard Baird, Gov. Snyder’s “Transformation Manager”

In June of last year, I was contacted by someone who works for the state government who told me a few things about Richard Baird, the man who shared office space and a phone number with Gov. Rick Snyder but, at the time, was paid off the books by the so-called NERD fund which was funded by secret financial contributors. They described a man who used subtle threats the bully state employees into cooperating and being Rick Snyder’s version of a “team player”.

Here’s what they told me:

I talked recently to a state government employee who has seen Baird in action.…
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Snyder administration dodges questions like potholes, refuses to respond to FOIA request

Same-day service! Governor’s office wastes no time saying “no” to request from ProgressNow and Progress Michigan.

Regular readers of Eclectablog know that Chris Savage has been regularly calling out Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on his lack of transparency. You can read some of that coverage HERE, HERE and HERE. And Chris is not the only one.

Gov. Snyder promised transparency from his administration, but time after time has thrown up smokescreens, if not brick walls, to prevent the public from hearing the whole story — especially when it comes to his now-infamous NERD Fund powered by secret donors and his dealings with corporatists who seem to have their fingers in everything from privatizing education to busting unions.…

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BREAKING: The NERD Fund is back – Snyder administration faces charges of nepotism and corruption

“We are on it…”

This morning the Michigan Democratic Party released emails obtained through a FOIA request suggesting that Richard Baird, Governor Rick Snyder’s “Transformation Manager” who was once paid from the New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify (NERD) Fund, intervened on behalf of Governor Snyder’s cousin George Snyder to ensure he was protected from budget cuts in 2011. The NERD Fund has since been shut down by the governor after accusations that its secret donors were obtaining political favors in return for contributions to the multi-million dollar slush fund. CVS Caremark, the only known contributor, received a $60 million no-bid contract with the City of Detroit subsequent to a donation to the fund, for example.…

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NERD Fund donor CVS Caremark scores $60 million no-bid contract in Detroit

This is why NERD Fund opacity is such a BFD

Photo by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog

NOTE: This story has been updated HERE and HERE.

I (and so many others) have talked a LOT about Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s NERD Fund, financed by unknown corporate entities and wealthy individuals. Because they have been paying for Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s accomodations in a luxury hotel and for his transportation costs, the complete lack of transparency raises questions about who is paying and what they are getting. In other words, what conflicts of interest exist. Thanks to Snyder shutting down the Fund without revealing its donors, we may never know.…

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Is Rick Snyder hiding the fact that the DeVos family were major contributors to the NERD Fund?

We don’t blame you, Governor. We’d hide that, too.

[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]

With the announcement that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is closing down the secretive NERD Fund without disclosing its donors, questions remain as to WHY he is keeping the donors secret. Considering that Charlie Secchia is the fund’s president, it’s possible that Governor Snyder is hiding the fact that the corporatist DeVos family is one of the donors he’s trying to shield.

Charlie Secchia, once the Western Michigan Vice Chairman for the Rick Snyder for Michigan Committee, is the son of Peter F.…

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Michigan Gov. Snyder closing NERD slushfund, donors still a secret – UPDATED

If it was such a good thing, why hide the donors?

[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]

WXYZ is reporting that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is closing the shadowy, secretive slush fund — the “NERD Fund” — that was used, until last week, to pay the salary of his confidant and advisor Richard Baird, as well as the living & travel expenses of Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

Snyder continually said the NERD Fund was set-up to defray costs to taxpayers and was beneficial to the state. Despite this glowing endorsement, he also claimed not to know who the donors were or why they would be shy about revealing their altruism to the state government and the state’s residents.…

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Michigan governor Snyder tries to avoid the transparency he lauds, adds Rich Baird to payroll

Not so fast, governor

[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]

It’s common knowledge that one of Michigan governor Rick Snyder’s top advisors, Richard Baird, is being paid from a secretive slush fund called the NERD Fund. Because Snyder continues to refuse to disclose the donors to the NERD Fund, there’s no way to know what conflicts of interest are at play. Indeed, the very fact that he won’t disclose them, despite his claim that it’s simply to save taxpayers money, suggests that he’s hiding something. There’s simply no other explanation. If the NERD Fund is such an asset to the state, the donors should be happy to have their identities known.…

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Gov. Rick Snyder: “I don’t know” who gives to the shadowy NERD slush fund that pays political operatives

Plausible deniability or intentional obfuscation?

[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]

Depositions were taken in an ongoing lawsuit this week that seeks to determine if the State of Michigan negotiated in good faith with unions before declaring bankruptcy in Detroit. Yesterday, Governor Snyder took his turn and some of the deposition is on tape. One particular line of questioning is of particular interest, I think.

While being questioned by an AFSCME attorney, Governor Snyder was asked probing questions about who funds his secretive slush fund, the New Energy to Reinvest and Diversify or NERD fund. The attorney wanted to know, for example, if Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s previous employer Jones Day paid into the fund.…

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