Saturday, December 31, 2011

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels shows how to be vulnerable to a scandal

Crazy Eddie does a great job of bringing together all the kooky scandals of Janice's first two months.

Troy Mayor Janice Daniels shows how to be vulnerable to a scandal

In my previous post about Troy, I discussed the rejection of federal funding for the Transit Center. There was something else in the report from the New York Times I quoted.
The transit fight is not Mayor Daniels’s first brush with controversy. Earlier this month, it was revealed that she posted a message to her Facebook page last June, after New York State approved same-sex marriage, stating, “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.” In an interview, she said she regretted the online comment.
This quote plays right into a narrative that opponents of the Tea Party in general and Janice Daniels in particular already have for Tea Party candidates. In fact, combined with the rejection of the money for the transit center, it satisfies many of Nate Silver's criteria for a good political scandal. Let me walk through Nate's questions and their answers for these two outrages.

1. Can the scandal be reduced to a one-sentence soundbyte (but not easily refuted/denied with a one-sentence soundbyte)?
In the case of both events, the answer is yes. For the Facebook quote, it's "Troy's mayor makes homophobic comment about New York on Facebook." For the transit center decision, it's "Troy makes man-bites-dog choice by turning down federal money." Neither of them can be refuted in a sentence. Both happened. For the Facebook status update, the response was that Mayor Daniels was sorry she used the word "queer" and deleted the status. Yeah, but that's a non-apology apology, as she didn't disown the homophobic anti-marriage-equality sentiment of the entire comment. Also, she was still running for mayor at the time and should have known better. As for refusing the federal money, she's turned that into a statement of principle. In programming terms, she considers it a feature, not a bug. That's not a refutation at all.
2. Does the scandal cut against a core element of the candidate's brand?
Yes to both. Turning down the federal money undercuts the case that the Tea Party's ideas about fiscal responsibility will be good for business and local economies. As one could read in the New York Times article, they're not. In the case of the Facebook status, it undercuts the idea that the Tea Party is primarily about fiscal issues, not social ones. Both of them also reinforce the next point.

Read more here.

Curious about how to recall a mayor?

Here's some information from Troy Patch.


Troy Attorneys Explain Recall Process for Troy Mayor 


Attorney Michael Bartnik and Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm share their legal expertise.



Dozens of Troy residents asked Mayor Janice Daniels to resign when they addressed City Council in comments Monday night, and Daniels listened attentively but has said she has no intention of resigning, despite the criticism over her use of a use of a gay slur on Facebook.
Attorney Michael Bartnik of Troy-based Bartnik Law Offices, who said he does not approve of the way Daniels has conducted herself since the offending post surfaced Friday, wrote in a letter Wednesday to Troy Patch: "The people of Troy do have the recall remedy."
In order to file a recall petition, Bartnik said, there are three substantive requirements:
  1. The petition must “state clearly each reason for the recall.”
  2. “Each reason for the recall shall be based upon the officer's conduct during his or her current term of office.”
  3. The petition cannot be filed until six months after “the officer has actually performed the duties of the office." For Daniels, this is six months from the first City Council meeting following the November election, Bartnik said.
The petition may be filed with the Oakland County Clerk. "Then, whoever wants to organize this would need to put in their language that they want as grounds for the recall," Bartnik said.
Bartnik said the petition must be signed by at least 25 percent of the number of Troy voters who voted in the recent election for governor*.
He noted that since the Facebook comment was made before Daniels took office, it does not meet the second requirement and cannot be used as a reason for recalling the mayor.
"However, if Troy voters want to recall the mayor for something she has done while in office, the state constitution and statutes are behind them," he said.
Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm said Troy City Council members "don't have the ability to remove her in any way, shape or form," and that a recall is the only way to remove the mayor from office. But the City Council "can pass a resolution (censure) that basically is a resolution of disapproval," she said.
She added that the censure "is really just a slap on the hand."
The only government official in the state who can remove Daniels from office without a recall is the governor, Bluhm said, though Daniels would first have to be found guilty of misconduct of office — a criminal offense.

Janice Daniels Scandal #1

Oh, it has been a very busy few weeks in office for Janice Daniels, the new mayor of Troy. She already had 3 huge scandals.
The video below shows the depth of her very first, though most of us have forgotten that one, as her other scandals have garnered national attention. First Former Mayor Jeanne Stine tries to help Janice understand what she did wrong, to no avail. Then we see Janice's reaction which, sadly, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
But it's so nice to reminisce. And we must NOT forget the clues she keeps dropping as to how badly she intends to mess up our city.

On Perception

The recent fall-out from our new mayor and council's first seven weeks in office has been staggering.

That is...staggering to those of us who are aware of it. It seems incredible that someone might NOT be aware of what has happened to the reputation of Troy in so short a time, but the simple fact is that there ARE folks who have no idea how bad it is.

Let me tell you...when Troy is mentioned in the same week on or in CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the New York Times, the BLOODY BBC and countless other print, TV and online sources...it's bad.

What is even sadder is that some of those who claim to have no idea are the very ones responsible for it.

Mayor Janice Daniels was recently quoted as saying she hadn't seen anything but congratulations and accolades toward her for any of her recent blunders. She doesn't READ negative information about her, she said.

Out of sight, out of mind? More like an impudent child covering her ears, shrieking, "La la la...I can't hear you...la la la...I WON'T hear you...."

In fact...Mayor Daniels doesn't even perceive that she would be very responsible at all for any of this. In her mind, SHE is the among biggest victims here in Troy. She had the unmitigated gall to tell that to a roomful of teenagers who attempted to help her perceive what is truly happening in Troy because of her very actions.

There are no adequate words to describe how profoundly off base that is.

Moving on...

Councilman Henderson told me personally not to panic...the sky is not falling...I need to stop falling prey to scare tactics that Troy is in real trouble without economic development that the transit center would have provided. Never mind that nearly the entire business community, most major Detroit newspapers, and the GOVERNOR told him it was a good idea...

But where's HIS plan to make it better? How does he perceive the future in Troy?

Impossibly, he thinks it's in building a transit center on our own CITY tax dollars (not the ones we've already donated to the federal government) somewhere else in Troy to bring people to the rails...but somewhere away from the rails...so they can take a bus to the rails.

Mr. Henderson...the proposed transit center wasn't placed arbitrarily. It seems that folks enjoy a transit center near...TRANSIT. You've lived here long enough to know that the proposed center is placed at the only spot in Troy where land was freely available and next to the rails. And thanks, but we've already paid ONCE for the project that someone else may not get. Why do you want to make us pay AGAIN?

Henderson doesn't get it. He doesn't get it any better than any of the countless times he willfully spewed incorrect information about the library, our taxes, our millage rates...any topic that affects every one of us. The difference is that NOW...he has a vote in our future. He believes he has the right to vote his opinions because 7,000+ residents told him he could.

For those playing at home...that's less than 10% of our residents. Henderson is voting to represent those who gave him his marching orders, as he told me. NOT for the rest of us...not for the entire city of Troy...for those who voted for him.

They say that perception is truth. Daniels and Henderson have a very skewed truth because their perception is off. In the face of so much evidence to the contrary, they cling to their truth.

And in the meantime...the whole world perceives that something is very, very,VERY wrong in Troy.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Lesson from the first Depression-Spend in lean times

Paul Krugman: Governments Should Cut Back In Boom Times, Not Bust
The New York Times

"The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury." So declared John Maynard Keynes in 1937, even as F.D.R. was about to prove him right by trying to balance the budget too soon, sending the United States economy -- which had been steadily recovering up to that point -- into a severe recession. Slashing government spending in a depressed economy depresses the economy further; austerity should wait until a strong recovery is well under way.

Read the whole story http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/30/opinion/keynes-was-right.html?_r=2&ref=opinion

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Esquire Magazine provides another national "accolade" for our scintillating mayor

It's a little crude, but heartwarming for those of us who can't wait for Janice to go.


Yes, so tell me again how the tide has turned against tea-baggery in this country. I'm dying to hear it.
Democracy seems in danger of falling into a cascade of systemic organ failure, from the upper levels to the bottom. Hours and hours of anti-government rhetoric, from inside the process and from outside of it, and 30 years of knee-scraping to the tin god of Ronald Reagan's nutzoid notion that "government is the problem," have brought it upon us.
"There's nothing free about government money," Mayor Janice Daniels said in an interview. "It's never free, and it's crippling our way of life."
I'm sorry, but that's just crazy. And the fact that it is expressed, by an elected official, so axiomatically is a measure of how far along the danger of complete collapse is. It doesn't even seem worth the effort any more to point out that what crippled "our way of life" over the past three years was the depredations wrought by a market economy gone mad, by the complicated crimes of private capital. "Government money" is what kept the whole economy from sliding into middle earth. It doesn't even seem worth the effort any more to point out that private enterprise wants infrastructure spending by the government. It doesn't even seem worth the effort any more to point out that Arthur Laffer was a dolt, John Maynard Keynes was right, and that people like Mayor Daniels don't know enough about economics to throw to a cat. It simply will not do any more to elect local politicians just because they sound like your favorite mad voice on your radio.
(Mayor Daniels is really something of a prize, too. The transit fight is not Mayor Daniels’s first brush with controversy. Earlier this month, it was revealed that she posted a message to her Facebook page last June, after New York State approved same-sex marriage, stating, "I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there." In an interview, she said she regretted the online comment. Bullshit, lady. What you regret is getting caught. And you were a dumbass to get caught into the bargain.)
Democrats are not blameless in this, either. The administration willingly signed on with the deficit hawks, even though it didn't have to do so, and even though there were a number of respectable voices warning it against doing so, and ignoring the blog's basic economic plan — Fk The Deficit. People Got No Jobs. People Got No Money. It helped elevated the goddamn Deficit into such a towering crisis that charlatans like Daniels can readily use it to act out their Randian fantasies on the people who elected them. And, if there is any justice in the world, the administration will tell Michigan governor Rick Snyder that, no, the federal money that Troy turned down will not still be coming to Michigan, the state in which Snyder has imposed a tea-party regime of his own. 
Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, a Republican, said through a spokeswoman that he was "disappointed" in the city's decision and would be "reviewing our options for utilizing the grant, including the potential transfer of the grant to another applicant.” Mr. Snyder had sent a letter to Mayor Daniels before the vote saying that the project would have “significant, positive economic development on your community and the state.”
Sorry, Rick. Walk your walk. Explain to your constituents how they're better off walking — and we do mean, walking — your walk, too. Explain how economic peril builds character, and how it's government money that's really crippling their way of life. Tell them they need to suffer a little more to keep The Deficit from eating their children. Tell them how the crazy Michigan mayor lady is saving their souls for them.
Jesus. These people.


Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/troy-michigan-government-money-6623492#ixzz1htu2tznz

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More national "accolades" for our friend and mayor Joyce Daniels

She's just so darned popular! Although they got her name wrong here in Atlantic Cities'
2011's Biggest Transportation Failures:
Troy loses a transit center. In a low moment for American democracy, the small city of Troy, Michigan, lost out on the chance to build a transit center years in the making when newly elected Mayor Joyce Daniels rejected the proposal. Daniels, a Tea Party activist, refused the center on the grounds that it would require Troy to accept $8.5 million in federal funds that she believed the country couldn't afford to spend. The city council agreed with this logic despite strong support from local businesses and a common belief that the multi-modal center would turn Troy into a regional transportation hub. Other cities in Michigan have already begun to lobby for the refused funds.
Read more here.

David Wisz's presentation to Troy council


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Accolades" from Ferndale

From a blog down under...down under I-696, that is...

Thanks to Gabe Downey for a great essay in his blog From The Looney Bin

Out of Touch, Out of Time
by Gabe Downey 
The biggest flaw in American history is that we constantly defy one of the main ideas on which we were founded. The story goes that supposedly religious freedom-seekers arrived on these shores to escape the persecution of those who chastised them for believing something that the masses didn’t believe. Here, they would create a nation built on the pillars of tolerance and acceptance where people could live free from the kind of treatment they had to endure, way over the pond, so many years ago.  
What a big bunch of horse shit.
American history is so full of intolerance and hatred it’s almost as if the American pastime isn’t Major League Baseball, but Major League Bigotry (hey, at least we get to keep the initials). We as a nation have ostracized and killed the people who looked differently or believed differently than we do since the minute those buckle-wearing thanksgivers got off the boat. First it was the Native Americans, than the African Americans (who were still Africans at that time), and we can’t forget women, Jews, and even people whom we thought might possess witch-like powers. Jesus, could we have been any more ridiculous? 
The only nice thing about any of these horrific stains on our flag is that it gave many brave and right-minded people the chance to do the right thing. Whatever tragedy of human rights and tolerance came up, there were always people, a small minority at first, eventually growing into a vast majority, who decided enough was enough and they put their time and efforts into fighting for the just side. Whatever prejudice the American mind has thought up throughout our rocky history, someone with a smarter American mind has helped eliminate and reverse. That is a true American virtue. Union soldiers are true Americans. Suffragettes are true Americans. Those who marched for civil rights are true Americans. 
Janice Daniels is not. 
Who is Janice Daniels? She’s the mayor of Troy. And a couple of weeks ago it came out that she made a derogatory comment on her Facebook page about gay marriage and New York City. Presumably to show off her vast vocabulary and good judgement, she even used a slur to refer to homosexuals. When it comes down to it, Janice Daniels is stupid. She is stupid for feeling the way she does and she is stupid for posting it on Facebook, especially as a public servant, and not thinking that maybe it will upset people. 
Regardless of how many times she apologizes or tries to explain, the facts are really quite simple. This is how Janice Daniels really feels about homosexuals. She’s a bigot. She didn’t think posting something like that on Facebook was a big deal because, to her, the whole issue isn’t a big deal. She doesn’t see that it’s wrong to be a bigot. And that’s what she is. Janice Daniels is a bigot. And she’s the mayor of Troy, Michigan. This is who the people of Troy elected. This is what happens when you vote for the Tea Party instead of voting for someone who has an idea of what they are doing. 
The sad thing is Troy is a vibrant and diverse community. There are smart people all over the place. Hell, I know first hand there are even some really smart people on the city council who have to endure sitting next to Janice Daniels. They don’t deserve this backlash. They don’t deserve this stupidity. But this is what happens when people aren’t responsible. This is what happens when you elect a bigot who doesn’t understand the “social” aspect of social media. When she apologizes, she’s not sorry for saying what she said, she’s sorry for being caught saying what she really feels. She should be recalled on IQ alone. 
Janice Daniels should be removed from office, and I believe she will be (probably voluntarily). Everyday that she wields the power of mayor, we show the rest of the country and the world that hating Gay and Lesbian people is still okay in this state. Why can’t we learn from our past? Why can’t we be the generation of the majority who takes a stand and says, “this is not okay”? Why are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes? Unfortunately, and truthfully, if she had made this comment about Jews or African Americans, she would have been out of office a long time ago. It’s our society’s tolerance of this public bigotry and hatred of homosexuals that is shocking and unacceptable. Gay and Lesbians are the last group that it is okay to hate out in the open and this whole fiasco is proof. We’re repeating the same pattern yet again and it’s tragic. 
People are allowed to believe what they want to believe. But when you can’t express your feelings without using a slur against a group of people, you’re a bigot. Janice Daniels is a bigot and she’s the mayor of Troy. What an embarrassment.


Janice receives more "accolades" -- Atlantic Cities!

Janice Daniels, Wade Fleming, Dave Henderson and Doug Tietz have been such busy little bees that they have made many publications' Dumbest Public Servants of the Year awards.
From Atlantic Cities:


Troy, Mich., Mayor Janice Daniels: We already knew that Troy's Tea Party Mayor, Janice Daniels, is refusing to accept $8.5 million in federal grant money for a multi-modal transit hub for her town because, as she's been quoted, "The City of Troy cannot afford this $8.5 million of free money." But Daniels got her young administration off to rocky start late this year when an anti-gay post she had written on her own Facebook wall over the summer finally went viral: "I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there," read the missive. Daniels has since apologized for her use of the word "queer," but not everyone in Troy is buying her sincerity. A petition to demand her resignation has been making the rounds. Daniels says she'll do no such thing.
Read more here.

Janice receives "accolades" from Forbes!

A columnist writes that now is a key time for cities to expand, build up and borrow, as money is cheap...
"...Which makes city leaders like Troy’s Janice Daniels look more like a blazing ideologue than an actual leader."
Thank you. Couldn't have phrased it better myself.

Read more here. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"Accolades" for mayor Daniels from Mexico

Someone wrote this in comments:
 
In Mexico for the holiday and ran into someone from Michigan on the Wednesday after the transit center voted down. When I told them I was from Troy, the man (an atty from Farmington) asked me "what the heck is wrong with Troy?" Then proceeded to tell ME about the transit debacle. He said it was on CNN and BBC tv in Mexico. He then shared what info he knew about our mayor and her antics. I didn't think it possible to be MORE embarrassed than I already was of being from Troy. After that my 16 yr. old son told people he was from "the Detroit area." I am now fully convinced my property values are in serious jeopardy and I will have to consider that investment sooner than later.

Being pro-equality IS pro-business

Janice Daniels sold herself as the pro-business candidate who would listen to the people and business leaders to better our city.
But you can't believe the promises of politicians.
Instead, she is ignoring Troy's real experts -- the people who live and do business here -- and relying on the advice of people like Birmingham resident David Wisz who she praised as an "expert" on the transit center.
What a laugh.
And in spite of the fact that our anti-oh-so-many people (RINOs, public sector workers, union workers, gay people, none extreme conservatives, etc, etc, etc) mayor was a real estate agent, and by law expected not to discriminate against various kinds of people, she doesn't seem to understand the importance of that.
Businesses that desire to hire the best and brightest know that bigoted hiring practices don't lead to the best candidates for the job.
Need proof?
A reader sent me this link
http://sites.hrc.org/documents/CorporateEqualityIndex_2012.pdf
He wrote:
"Great example of how our local state representation is out of touch."

And it's true. As the Old Fogey bigots like Glenn Clark, Bob Gosselin, Tom McMillin and Janice Daniels do what they can to keep gay people out of Oakland County and Michigan, our state is struggling to keep the best and brightest in Michigan.
But last week they were handed another blow by these fools.
And even a very conservative columnist from the "The Michigan View" cannot defend this pointless anti-gay fervor.

Posted by Dan Calabrese on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 7:10 PM
Michigan bans domestic partner benefits . . . um, why was this again?

I actually sat down to try to come up with a substantive defense of HB 4770, which Gov. Snyder signed today, and which prohibits a lot of public sector employers from offering benefits to the unmarried partners of employees.

Our friends on the left are having a field day ripping this to shreds, and we can't have that.

So my intended defense of HB 4770 was to be based on simple fiscal priorities: The cost of government is out of control, and it's hardly unreasonable to tell employees that you'll extend benefits to their spouses and kids, but not to their boyfriends and girlfriends.

But I'm finding I can't make this argument with a straight face. Because if saving money is really the objective, then why did the Legislature impose the ban on local governments and school districts, but exempt state employees? Didn't the state just go through hell and high water to balance its own budget? It doesn't need the same fiscal restraints as governments at other levels?

I'm not going to say this "doesn't pass the smell test," because writing that uses that tired cliche stinks.

But let's just say, it's hard to believe saving money was really their objective. Besides, we all know that the preponderance of public employees with domestic partners getting benefits are at state universities, and they're not touched by the bill, either.

So before I can make a defense, I need to understand: What, exactly, is the objective of this law? If it's to save money, the limited scope of the bill renders it ineffective.

Did the Legislature pass the bill because it bothers social conservatives that people shack up instead of getting married? Especially gay people? Does it bother them that employers are treating shacker-uppers as the equivalent of married couples in their benefit policies?

And if it does, I still don't understand the objective of the bill, at least in a policy sense. "Stop bothering us, everyone," is not a legitimate policy objective.

So it's hard not to come to the conclusion that the law is merely a sop to social conservatives who like it when government pats them on the head and gives them legislation that makes them feel good.

And I'm sorry, but I'm not going to defend that.

These yahoos that we and Oakland County are saddled with are truly out of the mainstream.

Janice Daniels is on the United States Terrorist Watch List?

That's what she says in this 2009 OpEd piece.
She's the wacko who just keeps on giving.
Who voted for her?

Even people in England

Monday, December 26, 2011

Janice Daniels wants liberty...but only for those she likes

I have gotten very far behind postings. This is a beautiful commentary John K delivered to the mayor on December 5, 2011, based on Janice's OpEd in the Oakland Press of Aug. 23, 2009.

Madam Mayor,
Over the past few years, your refrain has been synonymous with the Tea Party, claiming that, if given the reins of power, you would restore the limitations on Troy's government, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution. This is, of course, grounded in the claim that the Tea Party has THE rightful, true understanding of the Founding Fathers and their vision.
This is vague. So I've searched for a greater understanding of what the Tea Partiers believes and what they claim the Constitution guarantees.
My search led me to an Oakland Press editorial, published August 23, 2009, in which a Tea Party member stated that in a free society, we have, not only the individual right to think, but to act and live as we choose.
The author of that editorial is one Janice Daniels of Troy, Michigan.
You continued “a free thinking, responsible adult will never infringe upon the right of another free thinking, responsible adult to live their life the way they choose in peace.”
So your understanding of the constitution frees you to demand that others not tell you how to think, act or live as long as you live within rule of law.
Yet your comment about marriage equality reveals that you do not grant the same courtesy to others.
So answer me, Madam Mayor: Are we reading the same Constitution?
Because the Constitution I read requires us to come together, to form a more perfect union and promote domestic tranquility.
Because the Constitution I read requires us to treat each other equally, regardless of race, creed, color or orientation.
Because the Constitution I read does not disparage the rights reserved to the people, including the right to marry the person we love.
I see now that your claimed “love” of the Constitution is mere sloganeering, a rallying cry for bigotry and foolishness.
Yours is a Constitution of hypocrisy, which tells others how to live while claiming superior rights for yourself.
Instead of paying lip service to the Constitution and construing it as a weapon to attack those you hate and fear, I suggest you try reading it sometime, and dare I say, putting it into practice.
Thank you.

More out of town opinions on the Transit Center debacle

from No More Mr. Nice blog
Absurd: Tea Party Mayor Rejects Federally Funded, Job-Creating Amtrak Line

Um, I thought it was evil freedom-hating liberals who wanted to sabotage business:

... In what could be a new high water mark of anti-Washington sentiment, the city of Troy, Mich., is rejecting a long-planned transportation center whose construction would have been fully financed with federal stimulus money.

The terminal, which would help Troy become a transportation node on an upgraded Detroit-to-Chicago Amtrak line, was hailed by supporters as a way to create jobs and to spur economic development. But federal money is federal money, so with the urging of the new mayor, who helped found the local Tea Party chapter, the City Council cast a 4-to-3 vote this week against granting a crucial contract, sending the project into limbo.

"There's nothing free about government money," Mayor Janice Daniels said in an interview. "It's never free, and it's crippling our way of life."

... The Troy transit center's construction ... required no local contribution, and its predicted annual maintenance cost of $31,000 was, in the context of the city's $50 million budget, "de minimis," said Mark Miller, the assistant city manager....

Look who's upset:Taking Tea Party reasoning to the local level has outraged supporters of the transit center, which has been in the works for a decade. Michele Hodges, the president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, which supports the transit project, said that her organization "will be a pit bull for what's best for this community."

Hey, way to go, Chamber of Commerce geniuses. At the national level, you got on board the tea party crazy train in 2010, and look what happened: when your proteges aren't putting the full faith and credit of the U.S. at risk in D.C. or endeavoring to reduce the take-home pay of 160 million Americans in a recession, at the local level they're doing the likes of this. You get what you pay for.

"I am drafting a memo to all Magna group presidents and our Magna corporate executives strongly recommending that Magna International no longer consider the City of Troy for future site considerations, expansions or new job creation," wrote Frank W. Ervin III, the company's manager of government affairs. "I have also recommended that where ever and when ever possible we reduce our footprint and employment level in Troy" in favor of communities that act in the best interests of residents and business and that do "not simply use their public position to advance their own private agenda."

Yes, but the dirty hippie Democrats are the ones who hate business.

And yes, the mayor has made the national news before:

The transit fight is not Mayor Daniels's first brush with controversy. Earlier this month, it was revealed that she posted a message to her Facebook page last June, after New York State approved same-sex marriage, stating, "I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there."

Look, I have seriously mixed feelings about the old-school chumminess between business and government. But I'm just asking the good burghers of the business establishment to recognize what they were doing to themselves when they threw in with the Ayn Rand Fan Club. Maybe they should ask themselves who's helping them more, the president who insults them occasionally but hasn't thrown a single one of them in jail, or people like Janice Daniels who love capitalism the way a stalker loves a celebrity.

By Steve M. | Sourced from No More Mister Nice Blog

Posted at December 23, 2011, 8:55 am

Janice Daniels' designation of 'Worst Person in the World'

Can't resist posting this. The news came out when many of us were at that infamous city council meeting on December 5th.
Never had the chance to post it.
Here's the video:

Channel 7 coverage

Brilliant commentary by the last man (not).
Kind of like Councilman Dave Henderson's brilliant criticism of libraries - "They never make a profit!"
watch the video:



Thanks to Vince for the link.
Read HIS blog here.

Letters to editor following "Hicks" commentary

Just in case anyone thinks we are the only folks in Troy who feel this way, here are comments from letters to the editor of the Detroit Free Press following Brian Dickerson commentary on the unwise members of city council -- Wade Fleming, Janice Daniels, Doug Tietz and Dave Henderson.


The wrong way for Troy?
As a 25-year resident of Troy, I am appalled by the recent vote of our City Council members to reject funds for a regional transit center. The newly elected mayor and council members have no business injecting their national tea party dogma into our local issues.

This vote is bad for our business community and a sad day for the citizens of Troy. The mayor and these council members have effectively made the "City of Tomorrow" the "City of Yesterday."
Robert Watt, Troy


Return even more
With grateful appreciation for your Dec. 21 wise words ("In Troy, backward thinking on transit") regarding the recent action of the Troy City Council to reject $8.5 million for a transit station so it could return it to defray the national debt, I offer the following equally wise suggestions: Return state funding for Troy public schools, since the state debt surely needs refunding. And, while you are at it, return funds received for highway construction, funds allocated for State Police service, state parks, etc.

Apparently, our paid taxes mean nothing to these angels of fiscal stupidity.

William Fish, Troy


Missed opportunity
Troy could have used this opportunity to help draw more tax dollars through an increase of residents wishing for regional transit. Instead, it is only helping drive people away. With the railroads and big companies in Macomb County, maybe Troy's neighbor, Sterling Heights, can pick up the slack.

Kate Sturgill, Sterling Heights


The change in Troy
Brian Dickerson was spot-on in his description of Troy and its Hicksville culture ("In Troy, an all-too-familiar fear of the other," Dec. 22). The election of their mayor, Janice Daniels, punctuates what I saw coming 20 years ago.

As a 24-year resident, I raised my children in Troy and rallied against the systematic, grass-roots campaign of the neocons and religious right's pervasion of every local leadership opportunity, until finally they broke through to the mayor's position.

Three years ago, I was one of those who threw away my"I Troy" bags. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. It was dispiriting to experience the changes throughout the years, and now, as Mayor Daniels too proudly illuminates, Troy is a hotbed of small-minded, dogmatic politics.

It's not for nothing that my children, born and raised in Troy, don't ever plan on raising their own children there.

Yvonne Solis, Novi



Friday, December 23, 2011

Janice Daniels cartoon

As bloggers, writers and journalists start making fun of Troy, now, and asking what kind of people would have elected the horrid Janice Daniels, we all have to defend ourselves.
As for me and others who knew what she was, we certainly didn't vote for her.
Also, journalists at the time helped her get into office by not telling the truth about her -- she pretended she wasn't a Tea party leader and they played along, just as she never mentioned her big plan to kill the transit center in her mailings and that she was an enemy of the library.
So Daniels used the cover of the press protection and voters' ignorance to pretend she was something that she was not.

  • She said she was a real estate agent and serious businesswoman, yet she hadn't sold a house in years and no one knows what her job is.
  • She said she was a newcomer to politics, but founded the local Tea Party.
  • She sold herself as the pro-library candidate, which is a JOKE!

So I like the secondary idea of this cartoon by Mike Ritter. It's not just that she's mean and smelling of poop. But how did this cartoonist know that she was a Trojan Horse snuck into Troy and then when she jumped out (sorta) she set out to slay the town.
Intuitive guy...

An oldie from the campaign

But it's still a good question. When asked by the media after she put her real estate license in escrow (except Michigan doesn't have such a thing), Daniels was asked by Channel 7 if she had a job, to which our "transparent mayor" replied, "Yes! No!"
Where's the money from?

Listening to the people?

Janice Daniels -- the candidate -- said she would involve the community...
From the League of Woman Voters Voting Guide: How will you restore the dignity and trust of the council which has been quoted as a “laughingstock”?

Candidate Daniels: "Never hide information from taxpaying families regarding
important budget decisions. Never use the library, police, or fire
services as political pawns to balance the budget. Immediately
acknowledge and address peoples’ concerns at council meetings.
Offer expanded public comment time. Encourage interactive
communication between the council and the people who have
elected us to work for them. Actively seek out involvement from
the true leaders of this community – The business professionals,
the taxpayers and their families."
However, when the VAST MAJORITY of businesspeople and citizens in Troy begged her not to KILL the Troy Transit Center, she did anyway. Why? Because Janice Daniels -- the mayor -- never listened to any of them and never intended to. She planned to stop the transit center before she was elected.
What good is it to allow expanded public comment time if you DON'T LISTEN TO WHAT THE PUBLIC SAYS???

Fleming does a Howrylak!

Tom Krent waxes on Troy Councilman Fleming's none-too-subtle killing off of the transit center on Monday

Fleming wants the power to be the decider, PERIOD. 
The City did their careful work and obtained the necessary funding ($8,485,212) for a fully functional transit center. 
Fleming came up with an arbitrary budget of $5,000,000, then later $6,000,000 after Slater offered $7.88 million after listening to the architect. The $6 million is 30% less than the amount needed to build the project properly. It only tells me that Fleming wanted the project to fail from the start, but he wanted it to appear like he had a solution. 
He constructed a soap opera scene that could only fail. Maureen did a beautiful job of taking Fleming's plan apart and explained why it would fail because if the costs exceeded $6 million the City would be responsible for any additional costs. 
But, it never would have been responsible because the grant is $8,485,212. Fleming imposed an arbitrary and unrealistic number that could only fail. Slater tried to come up with a reasonable and logical plan, but Fleming rejected it. 
The bottom line is that Troy could have build the Transit Center at no cost to the City, but Fleming wrote a script that imposed an unrealistic budget and caused it to fail. To the uneducated, Fleming looked like he was trying to make it work. I've seen Fleming do his story telling (as opposed to problem solving) many times. That's just the way he is. He's a REAL (in the worse sense of the word) politician. 
Fleming asked to hear from the business community, and probably to his surprise, he did hear. Every business that contacted the City Council was in favor of the Transit Center. There were at least 50 of them at the Council meeting (Meritor, Beaumont Hospital, etc.). But, Fleming wasn't moved. He said he wanted to hear the direct benefits for each company. Slater said that 90% of the emails he received were in favor of the Transit Center. 
Bottom line: Fleming talks out of both sides of his mouth. He says "I'm in favor of it", but he voted against it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A reader from Atlanta makes a fine analogy...

Comparing Troy to a child that fundamentalist wacko parents (Janice, Dave and Doug) "protects" by refusing medical treatment.
"The analogy that comes to mind is the fundamentalist who refuses medical treatment on religious grounds, leading to the death of a child or other family member and a finding of negligent homicide in a court of law. Of course this decision is not a matter of anyone's personal life or death, but that's the analogy I would use."
Wisdom from around the country! 

Another business man is disgusted with "pro-business" mayor


 from Troy Patch
Dear Editor,

I am a small business owner who lives in the area, and I'm looking to possibly relocate sometime next year. I attended last night's Troy City Council meeting, partly because of the recent controversy surrounding the mayor, partly because of the transit vote, but mostly to see how those who were in charge of running the city did their job.And I must say, I was embarrassed for your city.

I went into the meeting with an undecided view on the transit center. I had read the information surrounding it and was leaning toward the idea that it was good for the city. I knew that there were going to be some pretty big movers and shakers at the meeting, so I figured that I would leave myself open to hear what they had to say before I made up my mind.
It was clear to me as 30-plus people approached the podium that those qualified to make an informed recommendation all supported the council voting for the transit center. The City Planning Commission, the Chamber of Commerce (including many large local businesses), countless engineers, architects and businesspeople stood up in an unprecedented show of unity to show that this transit center was good for the city and something the people really wanted. My mind was made up, it was clear that adopting the resolution supporting the transit center was the best thing for the city.

What also became clear to me, however, was that some members of the City Council were so strapped to their ideology that it seemed that nothing anyone could say would change their minds. Regardless of who came up and spoke, it appeared as though it was all in vain as the elected officials who are supposed to represent the people did nothing of the sort, and only stuck to their own beliefs and "facts" most of which had nothing to do with the situation at hand.
Councilman Wade Fleming, in particular, used this as an opportunity to try and save his public image by offering a so called "compromise" that he knew was impossible to move forward with, just so he didn't look like he was the one responsible for voting down the measure. It was an undeniable smack in the face to the people who did the research, and the businesses that actually depend on the City Council of Troy making the right decision. More hurtful, perhaps, the was obvious disregard for the people who live in the city – the people whom these folks are supposed to be serving.

I was particularly surprised with the candor of Councilman Doug Teitz, who made it clear with his actions, body language and demeanor that he had better things to do than sit there listening to concerned citizens. His mind was already made up, giving the message to the people that he was going to vote as he pleased, and wanted to move everything along so he could get out of there.
Between those two and the mayor herself, it was clear that the voices of the people of Troy aren't being heard, and that the opinions of the professionals (including our Governor) who almost unanimously supported this transit center, take a back seat to the political ideology of those in power. I was taken aback that such a complete disregard for the people of Troy and factual information could take place. The whole situation left me floored.

What was perhaps the most disturbing was the aforementioned members of the council sitting for two hours "listening" to and humoring those making impassioned and educated pleas to support the transit center, knowing full well nothing brought to the table would change their already made-up and misguided minds.
Even though they were given everything they asked for (including a show of solidarity from the business community), they made it clear that it was all meaningless and that the will of the people who pay the taxes that pay their salaries is too. The whole two-hour-plus ordeal seemed like a waste of time.

When an outcome isn't known, the best option is to trust the opinions and information presented by those who have knowledge and experience. Every single person who had the credibility necessary to render a meaningful opinion on the transit center supported it. Yet it was the selfish and theater-like antics of several members of the council that robbed Troy of this pretty amazing opportunity.
If this is how the city of Troy treats it's intelligentsia, then why should I believe my voice would matter if I moved to your fair city? In an era where the global image of Troy has been tarnished and the people embarrassed by the actions of the mayor, the City Council had a chance to make a really positive step forward. And just like the transit center, they decided against it.

Though there are many vacancies within city limits of Troy, this whole situation has made it clear that it is best for my family that we don't decide fill one of them. I hope the members of the city council really think about how their actions reflect not only the people of Troy but also they city's image the next time they have to make an important decision.

All the best,
Gabe Downey

Mayor and Council Members' stupidity nets a NYT article - with a Keep Troy Strong link!


Key line from a Troy businessman about Janice's shenanigans:
“It’s all politics,” he said. “In the meantime, people are suffering.”

December 22, 2011

Michigan City Turns Down Millions of Dollars, Saying Federal Money Is Not Free




Cats lie down with dogs.
Water flows uphill.
A city turns down $8.5 million in federal grant money.
In what could be a new high water mark of anti-Washington sentiment, the city of Troy, Mich., is rejecting a long-planned transportation center whose construction would have been fully financed with federal stimulus money.
The terminal, which would help Troy become a transportation node on an upgraded Detroit-to-Chicago Amtrak line, was hailed by supporters as a way to create jobs and to spur economic development. But federal money is federal money, so with the urging of the new mayor, who helped found the local Tea Party chapter, the City Council cast a 4-to-3 vote this week against granting a crucial contract, sending the project into limbo.
“There’s nothing free about government money,” Mayor Janice Daniels said in an interview. “It’s never free, and it’s crippling our way of life.”
Other Republican officeholders have said “Thanks, but no thanks” to federal money for high-speed rail: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin rejected an $810 million federal grant to extend passenger rail from Milwaukee to Madison; Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey killed a project to dig a new commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River. But those actions have generally involved criticism of the underlying logic of the projects, or projections of enormous costs to be borne down the line by state and local governments.
The Troy transit center’s construction, by comparison, required no local contribution, and its predicted annual maintenance cost of $31,000 was, in the context of the city’s $50 million budget, “de minimis,” said Mark Miller, the assistant city manager.
The federal government’s largess is no reason to build the transit center when the national debt stands at $15 trillion, Mayor Daniels said.
Yet if the money does not go to Troy, it will not be used to pay down the national debt; it will be redirected to other projects around the country.
Taking Tea Party reasoning to the local level has outraged supporters of the transit center, which has been in the works for a decade. Michele Hodges, the president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, which supports the transit project, said that her organization “will be a pit bull for what’s best for this community.”
David A. Kotwicki, a local lawyer, noted that members of Congress might talk tough on spending, but that they still bring projects home to their districts. The vote against the transit center, he said, looks like “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”
Besides, he asked, “What if there’s a grant to provide 10 new police officers?”
Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, a Republican, said through a spokeswoman that he was “disappointed” in the city’s decision and would be “reviewing our options for utilizing the grant, including the potential transfer of the grant to another applicant.” Mr. Snyder had sent a letter to Mayor Daniels before the vote saying that the project would have “significant, positive economic development on your community and the state.”
The transit fight is not Mayor Daniels’s first brush with controversy. Earlier this month, it was revealed that she posted a message to her Facebook page last June, after New York State approved same-sex marriage, stating, “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.” In an interview, she said she regretted the online comment.
The vote on Monday, she said, is about setting an example concerning the national debt. “I want to leave a legacy for our children of managing our responsibilities — not crushing them with debt money.”
On Tuesday, an official of Magna International, a global automotive supplier based in Canada whose American headquarters are in Troy, expressed frustration with the City Council vote in a private e-mail to Ms. Hodges and others that was posted to a blog that favors the transit center.
“I am drafting a memo to all Magna group presidents and our Magna corporate executives strongly recommending that Magna International no longer consider the City of Troy for future site considerations, expansions or new job creation,” wrote Frank W. Ervin III, the company’s manager of government affairs. “I have also recommended that where ever and when ever possible we reduce our footprint and employment level in Troy” in favor of communities that act in the best interests of residents and business and that do “not simply use their public position to advance their own private agenda.”
Mr. Ervin did not respond to requests for comment, but told The Detroit News on Tuesday that the letter reflected his personal opinion and recommendation for the company, but that he had no control over the company’s decision.
Ed Myles, the president of a local manufacturing company, J.E. Myles & Co., said that the area, like the rest of the country, had been hurt by the recessionand that it could use the economic boost that the transit center could provide. He said he worried about what companies like Magna would do. The council’s vote “put the kibosh on any other companies moving here.”
“It’s all politics,” he said. “In the meantime, people are suffering.”

Troy citizens robbed of $8.5 million

WANTED in connection to this crime:

Janice "Cuddles" Daniels

Wade "Last Minute Lucy" Fleming
 Dave "Dandy" Henderson

Doug "Career Politician" Tietz

Whereas dozens of people worked countless hours over a decade to bring our own tax dollars back to Troy and these ideological numbskulls threw the money away, please write to them and let them know what you think about their stunt. 
Why are their scary politics more important to them than the people and businesses of Troy?

Snyder proves he's as big a coward as Fleming

Governor Snyder proves he's is like Fleming -- voting against his OWN BELIEFS from the 42 North Blog on Bridge Magazine.

SNYDER PUTS END TO ‘MODERATE’ TAG
42 North Blog— 22 December

By Derek Melot/Bridge Magazine
Gongwer just reported that Gov. Rick Snyder has signed the legislation that bars local governments from making their own decisions on whether to offer benefits to adult partners of their employees. (No link; Gongwer is paywall protected.)

He did this even though he said he didn’t want the bill to apply to universities and some of its legislative backers say it does just that. Apparently, Snyder’s desire for clarity was getting in the way of his departure for his holiday break.

All snark aside, there are two ways to look at this:

1. Rick Snyder believes it is a bad idea for local governments to offer domestic partner benefits — a practice that is common among America’s most successful corporations. To my knowledge, Snyder has not offered any data or evidence for why Fortune 500 firms are being so foolish on this issue.

2. Snyder doesn’t like this idea, but he signed the bill because he’s afraid if he doesn’t, certain individuals in the Legislature who want gay public employees and their families treated as second-class citizens will not support his tax, regulatory and budget agenda. This is in spite of the evidence that the Legislature is not exactly eager to please Snyder — DRIC, transport funding come immediately to mind.

I’m not sure which explanation is worse for Snyder’s reputation.

I am sure this is bad news for Michigan.