PROGRAMMING NOTE: Eclectablog to speak to Livingston County Dems this THURSDAY


Taking the show on the road

The Livingston County Democratic Party has graciously asked me to be the headline speaker at their June meeting this Thursday, June 27th at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at party headquarters at 10321 Grand River Road, Suite 600, in Brighton.

Here’s their announcement:

A Michigan blogger whose writing brought nationwide exposure to Michigan’s draconian emergency manager law and how it was being applied in Benton Harbor will speak in Livingston County later this month.

Chris Savage, the main writer for, will speak at the Livingston County Democratic Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, June 27.

“Rachel Maddow has called Chris Savage’s Eclectablog ‘indispensable’ to understanding Michigan politics and she is absolutely right. Few people know Michigan politics the way Chris does and we are delighted that he will be speaking at our meeting,” said Judy Daubenmier, chair of the Livingston County Democratic Executive Committee.

Savage will discuss the connection between corporate interests and the Republican Party in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. He also will talk about his background and the development of Eclectablog.

Savage is the owner and primary contributor to Eclectablog, Michigan’s most popular progressive political website. A life-long Michigander, he lives in Dexter with his wife, Anne, a nationally-renowned photographer. Savage is also the co-Vice Chair for Precinct Organizing for the Washtenaw County Democratic Party. Savage will show some of his wife’s political photos during his talk.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at party headquarters, 10321 Grand River Road, Suite 600, in Brighton. All Democrats in the county are welcome to attend. Members who have joined the party since Jan. 1 will be special guests at the event. Light refreshments will be served. The regular monthly business meeting will follow.

For more information, call (810) 229-4212 or email

I guess it’s a sign of how much our blog has grown in influence that the Livingston County Press & Argus mentioned me by name in a recent op-ed. The op-ed is another of dozens I’ve seen that claim you cannot complain about the anti-democratic Emergency Manager law unless you have all the answers yourself to the complex issues that face our cities in crisis:

The concerns about the emergency manager are understandable. With the expanded law, emergency managers could basically neuter the power of the elected council and mayor, which is what happened in Benton Harbor, a western Michigan town whose debt was nearly as deep as neighboring Lake Michigan.

It’s an affront to democracy, say the fiercest critics whose numbers include TV pundit Rachel Maddow, one of the top liberal personalities on cable television.

What’s lacking from many of the critics, however, is a solution. The cities and school districts that are run by emergency managers got there because of horrid financial management and because the elected officials were either unwilling or unable to dig their way out.

If not a state takeover, then what — other than continued financial bleeding — is the answer?

Perhaps that will be part of the presentation given later this month when Chris Savage, a strong critic of Michigan’s emergency financial manager law, is a guest speaker at a Livingston County Democratic Party meeting (7 p.m. Thursday at party headquarters, 10321 Grand River Ave., Suite 600, in Brighton Township).

A few points on this; points, by the way, that I have covered numerous times on this site:

  • The Emergency Manager approach simply does not work. If it worked, cities like Hamtramck wouldn’t be facing an Emergency Manager for a second time. Only the teeny tiny village of Three Oaks (population ~1,600) and Ecorse (population ~9,500) have successfully emerged from the process.
  • The problems that put these cities into financial crises are complex and due as much or more to the collapse of their manufacturing base than inept leadership. Armed only with tools of cutting and slashing – DEstruction – Emergency Managers have no ability to move forward with the CONstruction that is needed to get them back on their feet.
  • Democracy isn’t something to be seen as an inconvenience. It is, in fact, the very basis of our country. If mismanagement and corruption were the sole causes of the problems these cities face, there are legal pathways to remedying that.
  • We must protect our cities from the looting of their assets by Emergency Managers and the corporatists that support them. A Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy would do that. PA 436 does not. More on that HERE.
  • If the tools given to Emergency Managers are so effective, give them to the government leaders in the cities in question. Bringing in a state-appointed dictator is a recipe for disaster. Partnership is what is needed, not decrees and heavy-handed intercession.
  • Whether my critics like my ideas or not, the fact is that Michigan voters overturned the previous law only to be overruled by the Republican-controlled legislature, a power grab that should offend the sensibilities of ANY Michigander, not just bleeding heart liberals like myself.

If you’re in the mid-Michigan area on Thursday evening, I hope to see you in Brighton.