From a brave soul who went to Tietz's anti-DIA-millage panel discussion...
Tonight, I attended Doug Tietz' panel discussion about the DIA millage. It wasn't really a panel discussion, though. It was was a febrile diatribe against the big evil government and it's horrible, no good, very bad tax and spend ways.Here's Tietz when he was candidate, claiming he's just a businessman and family man and wants to help out for a while as a service to a community. He didn't let on that he was an anti-tax Tea Party fella, now did he?
It lasted about an hour, with Tietz "moderating" four panelists: Bruce Walker of MichiganView.com, Rep. Tom McMillin, Simon Haddad of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, and County Commissioner Robert Gosselin. Total attendance was approximately 35 people, including Deb DeBacker, Janice Daniels and Martin Howrylak. As you could probably guess, the parking lot was full of cars with Ron Paul bumper stickers.
Was there anybody from the DIA invited to speak? Of course not! Tietz defended his snubbing of DIA supporters for two reasons: First, the DIA is running an organized advertising campaign. And because they have an organized campaign, they shouldn't be invited. Second, because there is no "organized" anti-millage campaign, it was up to these five men to get the "truth" out.
After a short powerpoint presentation on the language of the millage, Doug had questions for the panel. Nothing terribly challenging, of course, because we wouldn't want to have and actual discussion, would we?
So Doug set out to challenge the panel. How did he do it, you ask? By passing around index cards and asking the audience to come up with really hard questions. In other words, Dougie put together a group of libertarians to bitch about a proposed millage and then expected the audience to challenge the BS. This is more than fair, right, Dougie?
It was exactly what you would expect from people who make a living by whining in public. The arguments were as predictable as they were lame.
First, McMillin argued that the DIA is completely sustainable without the millage. In the Free Press, McMillin claimed that the DIA had $100 million in unrestricted dollars for use. Tonight, McMillin claimed that the figure was $185 million! Where did McMillin find the extra $85 million? Who knows! But trust him, he's a CPA!
Simon Haddad complained about the horrible, nasty, no good unions! He said that the people who work at the DIA make too much money, because its run by private sector unions and we all know that public sector unions steal your money! He went on to say that because the DIA isn't a government agency, he can't FOIA copies of the union contracts to scrutinize. Haddad actually claimed that the DIA is run by an unknown number of unions! (Anybody besides me see the contradiction here?)
Bruce Walker blathered on about the unfairness of taxpayers having to pay for a museum. He vomited up the standard free market ideas, saying that the DIA should be paid for by people through attendance fees. Otherwise, we're going to have millag s on EVERYTHING! Because if the voters approve the DIA millage, your local theater multiplex will be getting government handouts! And we all know what that is, right? Socialism!
Finally, the shambling mound of ordure known as Bob Gosselin spoke. He threw everything else in. First, the millage was written and sponsored by Democrats. Then, the initiative was on the August because if it fails, it will be on the November one too. Of course, he threw in the "free enterprise" nonsense for good measure. Bob even claimed that the millage was a government handout and encouraged slothfulness! And everyone knows that government handouts are an attack on the family!
And the slimiest argument that each of these four implied? That this is a Detroit issue. That those people can't be trusted to run the DIA because they'll mismanage it, forcing all the operating expenses to be borne by Oakland County. This was just another example of Detroit trying to steal Oakland County's money!
So there you have it. This is Doug Tietz' idea of "open" discussion. Implied racism, attacks on unions, and outright lies.
Frankly, I feel dumber for having listened to it.