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Appeals Committee reverses Brewer decision on 1,300-ish UAW memberships

by: Eric B.

Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:32:22 AM EST


From Gongwer:

About 1,400 Democratic Party memberships submitted by the United Auto Workers are the subject of a furious dispute in the race for party chair between incumbent Mark Brewer and challenger Lon Johnson.

The issue is when the memberships were submitted in relation to the party’s 5 p.m. January 25 deadline for hand-delivered memberships to be eligible to vote at Saturday’s party convention. With the UAW aggressively backing Mr. Johnson, the status of those 1,400 memberships is critical.

Initially, the party, citing its call to convention’s deadline for hand-delivered memberships, denied the 1,400 applications. Depending on which side is doing the talking, either all 1,400 were turned in Monday, January 28, or they were turned in prior to the deadline with payment for some of them submitted the following Monday.

The Johnson camp cited what it said was the party’s precedent of accepting payment subsequent to the membership application and was livid when Mr. Brewer rejected the membership applications.

Late Monday night, the party’s Appeals Committee met, overruled Mr. Brewer and ordered the memberships declared valid. Two sources, who declined to be named, said the UAW has an effective majority of the committee.

The Brewer camp, seeing this as a UAW power play, is now looking at an appeal to the party’s credentials committee and possibly the floor of the convention.

Submitted without comment.

Eric B. :: Appeals Committee reverses Brewer decision on 1,300-ish UAW memberships
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Fact Checking (3.00 / 3)
I know for a fact (0.00 / 0)
That the check sent to the MDP by the UAW for membership, wasn't that big.
by: Warhawkgundam @ Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:00:11 PM EST

It appears the check(s) were for about $28,000.


.. (3.00 / 2)
this information was from the 26-27 i hadn't heard about them turning in a check on the following Monday, explains the issue well, i suppose

[ Parent ]
It's not about checks. It's about democracy. (3.50 / 6)
The appeals committee--appointed by Brewer--rightly accepted the UAW's arguments that 1)the exact same process was followed by the UAW in 2012 as in 2010 so there's precedent and 2)party rules do not require money to be a member:

Article 4.A of the MDP Rules states:

A member of the Michigan Democratic Party shall be any legal resident of Michigan age 16 or older who has completed and filed a current Michigan Democratic Party membership form at State Party headquarters, provided that a financial contribution shall not be required to be and remain a member.

Brewer tried to change the rules to benefit himself and lost.  No doubt he will continue to try to manipulate the process, putting himself above the party.  Mark Brewer is not the Democratic Party Emergency Manager who gets to rule like a dictator.  There is due process.  

If you accept Brewer as the decision-maker on interpreting party rules it will take us to a place way too far.  Clearly Brewer is preparing a scorched earth campaign at the convention where he will decide the rules beginning with ignoring the appeals committee and refusing credentials to those 1,400 party members who will show up intending to participate in a democratic process for electing a party chair.  

In his view he holds the trump card because even if he loses every avenue available to him through due process and a fair reading of the rules, he controls the party machinery and can refuse to credential those 1,400 party members.  

Does anyone think Mark Brewer isn't prepared to take the Michigan Democratic Party down with his sinking ship?


I guess I don't understand: (3.75 / 4)
I have always been under the impression that payment of dues is not mandatory for legitimate status as a member of the Michigan Democratic Party.

If a membership is submitted by a certain, appropriate deadline should it not be considered legitimate? If payment comes in tandem with membership or following its submission, isn't that a secondary issue that does not impact the membership's legimitacy?

I could be wrong, of course, but that was always my understanding.

Great Lakes, Great Times.


True and... (3.00 / 4)
...what Team Brewer is miscalculating is his assumption that somehow he will prevail in denying credentials to the 1,400 party members with a vote on the convention floor.  Democrats will never go along with that no matter how they feel about Brewer or Johnson.  Won't happen.  

[ Parent ]
but they really want the money (3.00 / 2)
With the on-line renewal, I was never able to get it to complete without giving them the minimum amount.

For a couple of cycles, I signed the form in-person, and checked off the zero (0) dollar amount -- but never received any membership renewal card.

Now, I sign the form in-person, give one (1) dollar, and ask for a receipt. So far, my renewal has eventually come in the mail....


[ Parent ]
IIRC, (3.00 / 1)
The MDP membership hard copy form from a few years ago did not allow for a designation that there was financial hardship and no dues are able to be paid.

As I said, though, this was a few years ago (probably 10 years ago) when I was early on in the college years. Fearful that my membership wouldn't be considered valid, I did go with the student amount so that way I wasn't sending in a partially-completed form.

I respect that a membership and dues-based organization has to drive after the membership and dues. However, the frustation mentioned in the above comment and in my 18 / 19 year old experience are not isolated. Similar sentiments were raised to me during my membership recruitment efforts.

Great Lakes, Great Times.


[ Parent ]
Because of financial difficulties, (3.50 / 2)
I had to gt a free membership a couple years ago. I just filled out the form and didn't send a check. I got a membership card a couple weeks later.

Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott

[ Parent ]
memories (3.75 / 4)
Brings back memories of Isaac Robinson's shenannigans at the Michigan Young Democrats "convention" back in 2007. Next thing you know they'll move the convention outside.

[ Parent ]
Jeff! (3.00 / 1)
I hope life is treating you well. Glad you're staying up on Michigan. Cheers!

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Iowa (3.50 / 2)
It is fun to watch the circus from the relatively calm environment of Iowa. I wish I could come home on Saturday to witness the fun. The IDP has had 4 chairs and 3 executive directors with no contested elections or even any drama since I first came out here for Richardson in '07. I worked for the IDP for 2 years and it is a smooth oiled machine compared to the chaos and drama at the MDP.  

[ Parent ]
18 years. (3.50 / 2)
What a streak this chair has had in Michigan!  

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Haha... (3.00 / 1)
what was this?

[ Parent ]
It was a wild experience. (3.50 / 2)
I'd give you a full debrief, but as I was the person running for President of the Michigan Young Democrats against Mr. Robinson in 2007, I don't feel as though I could give it impartial justice.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
MYD 07 convention (3.00 / 1)
there was a lot of drama with the 2007 MI young Dems convention. Then president Isaac Robinson refused to sit MDP members as delgates because he claimed that MYD wasn't part of the MDP. After some negotiation a unity slate was voted on outside in January because the union hall space was too small. It was all a big mess that ended up with the MDP appeals commitee that ruled that MYD wasn't a part of MDP and then the MDP Youth Caucus was created and then I moved to Nevada to work for Bill Richardson so I don't know how all the drama was settled.  

[ Parent ]
haha (3.00 / 1)
Well to pick up from there I'm aware of ridiculous drama revolving around the MDP Youth Caucus, too. Once in an interview I was asked why I hadn't ever joined College Dems... stories like these are case in point.  

[ Parent ]
The UAW can get 1,400 people to show up? (3.50 / 6)
Wow.  If they can get 1,400 people to show up on a cold, wintery Saturday to do their bidding, then why do we ever lose an election?  

Transparency (3.00 / 1)
It would be nice if the ruling of the chair and the appeals committee would be posted on the MDP website. Why do we have to hear it from Gongwer and MIRS, expensive insider papers few can afford.

I was tracking down the information myself this morning... (3.50 / 2)
And, might have beaten them with the story, had my efforts not been derailed by the horrifying realization that the MichLib domain name expired yesterday.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Saw That (3.00 / 1)
At first I thought crap, someone silenced Michigan Liberal.

[ Parent ]
This (3.20 / 5)
is indicative of a campaign (Brewer's) that has not (perhaps will not) give up, but is definitely starting to see some writing on the wall.

We all know why Brewer would attempt to block these new memberships. And we all know that not all of those 1,400 individuals intend to be consistent and loyal MDP members. That being said, the aesthetic alone of a party chairman attempting to deny membership to the party - with no indication that these people are non-Dems just trying to play with the system - is enough evidence to make the claim Brewer's tenure as Chair has 'jumped the shark'.  


Certainly tough politics, but ... (3.75 / 4)
The underlying issue is that the UAW sent its own check to cover the private membership fees of certain people.  Does that strike you as strange?  I feel like I am having a Plato's Cave moment.

There are dozens of UAW members in my family, but I do not think this "benefit" was extended to them.  This is the kind of thing people bring up when they complain about paying union dues.  My relatives' money is basically being used to try to win a MDP election.  Wow.  


[ Parent ]
Beside the point (3.40 / 5)
How the UAW spends its money is the business of its members and leadership, but isn't relevant to whether these 1,400 party members should have the opportunity to vote at the Democratic convention Saturday.

As a matter of course, it's been the case for some time that some organizations contribute to the party as part of recruiting their members to join.  We shouldn't be rewriting the rules to realign things to advantage the incumbent party chair or his opponent on the eve of an important election where we should be encouraging participation.

Another point: Mark Brewer's spinners are trying to cast the appeals committee's decision as being UAW big-footing. What they fail to mention is that Brewer hand-picked this committee.  It was a 5-2 decision.  The two people who voted against allowing the 1,400 party members to vote in the convention were 1)a member of the MEA, which is supporting Brewer and 2)a relative of a MDP staff member.  Funny don't hear Brewer's folks mentioning that.  You also don't hear them acknowledging that the appeals committee majority included non-UAW affiliated people.  A doctor.  A retired public school employee.

I just wish the MDP would publish the committee's membership and the text of its decision instead of forcing people like me to do research on my own.  


[ Parent ]
Can you (3.50 / 2)
give us this info? Who was on the appeal committee and how they voted?

[ Parent ]
trying to get that info now (3.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
Appeals Committee members (3.86 / 7)
I'm told this is the appeals committee attendance yesterday and how they voted:

Nino Green, Chair - lawyer from the UP.  Executive Director of UP Legal Services.Has served on MERC since 2004.  As Chair did not vote.

Five Votes to issue credentials to 1,400 party members and reverse Brewer's decision:
Timothy Hughes, UAW
Catherine Browder Martin, retired UAW
Ines De Jesus - retired Associate Superintendent for Human Resources, Detroit Public Schools
Lynda Taylor-Lewis, UAW
Srinivas Mukkamala, Doctor in Flint

Two Votes in support of Mark Brewer's position:
James Waters, brother in law of Mark Brewer's executive assistant
Joyce Lalonde, MEA


[ Parent ]
Good research work! (3.00 / 1)
n/t

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Not beside the point; a different point (3.50 / 2)
I am simply shocked that the UAW, which is subject to federal regulations for the use of its union dues, is issuing a check to cover the private membership of 1,400 people.  That has nothing to do with whether the minions should be allowed to vote, especially if past precedent was set, and you don't even have to pay dues to be a member.

Is it good politics?  Sure.  Of course, those of us who do not like the way the UAW ham-hands its way through politics can point to this as an excellent example.  They didn't have to pay in the first place.  They waited until the last minute, calling into question whether they could do what they were doing.  And when someone questioned them (for non-altruistic reasons to be sure) they stamp for spoiled fucking foot and cry.

I am hoping we come out of this stronger after Saturday.  


[ Parent ]
... (3.50 / 2)
The fact that members have 1.) a contested election, 2.) a choice of consequence, 3.) greater insight into the party operations and 4.) the opportunity to share and consider ways for the party to improve means that the party is stronger as a result of the process.

Contingent upon the vote actually taking place and devoid of unduly burdensome tactics to boost or bash various candidates, Democrats get to democratically determine their leader. I think that is a good thing.

Those benefits can quickly be swept away if the process further devolves to the lowest common denominator (on both sides), for sure.  

Great Lakes, Great Times.


[ Parent ]
Gimme a Break (2.00 / 2)
You sure do a lot of assuming about union dues and then get worked up about your assumptions. So what is ham handed again? Maybe denying membership to people who have applied in a timely fashion may too be considered ham handed, or at least it seems as such to me.

[ Parent ]
The commenter (3.50 / 2)
is entitled to their opinion and deserves to be heard, as do you.

They have already pointed out that their comment is a point aside from whether or not the new members ought to be granted voting privileges.  

Great Lakes, Great Times.


[ Parent ]
I'm assuming the UAW check was UAW money (3.00 / 1)
If so, UAW money comes from dues.  Some dues money is put aside for political efforts, and then it has a different set of regulations.  In that context, the political money can be used to further the goals of a political campaign, party or other entity (like a 527).  Political money cannot be used for private interests (see Kwame Kilpatrick and Jesse Jackson, Jr.).

So, I am surprised (worked up) by this.  Is denying memberships when this practice has been accepted in the past also ham-handed?  Yep.    


[ Parent ]
Did the UAW (3.00 / 1)
Did the UAW use union dues or regulated funds?

[ Parent ]
Good question, but either way ... (3.67 / 3)
unless I am misunderstanding something, there was a check from the UAW to pay for membership fees for private folks.  Union dues are regulated for their usage, and in the political context, there are things they can be used for and some not.  If they are segregated funds for political usage, still not sure how they can be used to buy private memberships in a political party.  Maybe for certain specific union officials as being connected to their position in the union?  But does the UAW have 1,400 appointed officials available for a MDP Convention?

Again, it just strucks me as odd.  It also sounds like a commercial for those supporting RTW.  "Did you know your union used your money for a MDP internal election?"  


[ Parent ]
Memberships (3.00 / 1)
Well, for what its worth, I've seen plenty of finance reports for membership dues. The determination of what the money can be used for seems to be very liberal. Cars, computers, flowers for funerals, shoes ... &tc.

[ Parent ]
Those are from candidate reports though, right? (3.00 / 1)
I have never seen a candidate cfr that paid for the party dues of a different person.  Now, if the money is for all appointed officials of the UAW, then sure, maybe.  But 1,400 people?  Seems strange.

[ Parent ]
Yes (3.00 / 1)
But, there is no real definition of what constitutes a "campaign expense," so anything goes.

[ Parent ]
Tell that to Jesse Jackson Jr. n/t (3.50 / 4)


[ Parent ]
LOL (3.50 / 2)
Jackson's expenditures were not "campaign related," he mostly bought a lot of "stuff" for himself.

[ Parent ]
I don't think this is "political" money. (3.00 / 2)
As I explain below, I guess this is treasury money, and the UAW is free to spend it this way.

[ Parent ]
How they use their money (3.50 / 2)
Too bad the UAW didn't feel incliined to spend some of that money on winning House races in 2012.

"Action is what separates a belief from an opinion."

[ Parent ]
Absolutely protected activity. (3.00 / 1)
Various First Amendment rulings have made it clear that both unions and corporations can spend "treasury money" (meaning, it doesn't have to be donated specially for political purposes) to advance political goals, as long as it doesn't become a donation to a candidate for public office.

Where the spending is to pay for union members to become members in a political organization, I don't think the question is even a close one.

FWIW, my guess is that these memberships represent the collection of union officials, CAP-council members, stewards and so on, MINUS the ones who had signed up on their own.  In other words, it was probably the result of comparing two lists (union staffers, and MDP members) and then simply filling out forms on behalf of everybody who appears on the first list, but not the second.  Note that there's no signature requirement on the MDP membership application, which means that a person doesn't have to apply personally; an organization can apply for you, whether you want them to or not.

If I'm right, a lot of these folks won't show up in Detroit this weekend, but some will.


[ Parent ]
I'm not sure (3.00 / 1)
A corporation or union can engage in political speech with unregulated funds.  "It was a good idea that America bailed us out at GM".  But can the General Motors Corporation buy all of its employees a membership in the National Socialist Party (extreme example for effect) with or without asking them?  I'm just not sure that this would be GM's speech.

At any rate, I agree with you that its doubtful that 1,400 UAW members will show up.  


[ Parent ]
Citizens United case (3.50 / 2)
I'm not arguing it was a good idea, or a good decision, but the US Supreme Court has gone quite a bit further:  In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), they invalidated even the limit on direct spending of corporate money in support of candidates.  The only remaining restriction (if something so loose can be called a restriction) is on actually donating the money to a candidate's campaign.  The corporation has to spend its money outside the campaign's structure and direct control.

Paying for political party memberships, in order to influence that party's decisions, appears to be much less susceptible to government regulation, since any tendency to corrupt the conduct of government (the only interest the Supreme Court is willing to approve for government regulation of speech, and therefore spending) must be greatly attenuated.

And whatever a business can do, so can a union.


[ Parent ]
Very true (3.00 / 1)
Agreed on the union dues point. Counterpoint could be "Lon as Chair of MDP will be better for Dems/UAW and therefore it's money well spent." We all know it's not altruism that's driving this, though.

That being said, I believe I'll be supporting Lon this weekend. It's not about which union backs who to me at this point. Do I think Lon will be independent of UAW? No. Do I think Brewer will all the sudden change his tactics if we just retain him this last time? Nope.

I am not even one of those people who covets change for change's sake. I just think it will be nice to switch things up for 2-6 years.

Side note: Not sure why I felt the need to deviate so far from the topic at hand, but the UAW tactics thing got me going I guess.


[ Parent ]
If there is a floor fight over credentials... (3.00 / 1)
Will the members whose credentials are in question be barred from voting? That's been the rule in national conventions when a delegation's credentials were challenged.

If the 1,400 or so people under challenge can't vote, this will create an administrative nightmare on the floor. And if the remaining delegates overturn the Appeals Committee and invalidate the memberships, Brewer could wind up winning the convention.  

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.


That's possible but... (3.00 / 3)
For that to happen Brewer would have to get MDP delegates to deny voting rights to 1,400 members whose credentials were validated through due process by the appeals committee.  I don't see Democrats agreeing to that.  

What I do see is Brewer keeping the 1,400 off the convention floor by ordering his staff to not present credentials to them, creating a visual only a reporter could love and certainly not one we as Democrats would want to see.


[ Parent ]
Let's think through how things will go Saturday morning..... (3.50 / 2)
Folks are lined up at the registration table, those in this group under discussion will not have membership cards, presumably? So they give their name and county to the registration personnel. "Oops, sorry, you are not in our system." So they do not have a credential badge at that point. How many of them say "Hell with it" and go home?

Labor caucus is at 10. Those denied who decide to stick around and fight report to UAW leadership. UAW asks for an emergency meeting of the Executive Committee, to enforce the Appeals Committee ruling. At the same time, what else happens? Does UAW have its own badges printed for these folks, as well as a list to give to each county chair, saying "The Appeals Committee has declared that these are members, eligible to vote."?

Let's say this happens, and the District Chair reports more raw votes in the MDP Chair's election than that District's 'official' (Brewer) delegate count. What then?

If not, there could be an Credentials appeal to the floor, and let's say the UAW position prevails, these folks still don't have badges -- how are County Chairs supposed to know who is eligible to vote?

All kinds of fun possibilities.  


[ Parent ]
gosh (3.00 / 1)
your making looking forward to Saturday more and more. Going to have to get a bucket of popcorn tho.

[ Parent ]
don't forget state central (3.33 / 3)
there's a state central meeting of brand new state central delegates from the district caucuses to ratify convention results after everything's wrapped up. that could be interesting as well.

honestly, it's looking like this could be a real mess unless cooler heads prevail in the Brewer camp.  At some point they should realize their interests and Brewers are no longer aligned.  


[ Parent ]
from what i know (3.00 / 6)
Many of them only what the party to improve and they see this as UAW vs Chance to Break with the UAW, something many have wanted to do for years.

Support for Mark isn't about Mark, for most, its about the UAW and wanting to break their death grip on the party.

Maybe cooler heads will prevail in the Lon camp and they will realize their interests don't align with the UAW's.


[ Parent ]
Still (2.67 / 3)
haven't explained why you hate the UAW so much. There's not much difference between them and the MEA or Teamsters, other than size of membership.

Brewer should quit before Saturday.


[ Parent ]
i don't hate them (3.50 / 2)
I just can't stand, people not modernize or changing with the times, UAW is the reason many place in Michigan still campaign like it is 1970.

Take Prop 2, they only ran a positive campaign, they never even once try to push back on the negatives that were being run, and even acting surprised when they got some of the most easily predictable attack lay against the campaign. You see this in every campaign they get their hands in, there nothing ,but a old boys network, full of incompetent people that truth be told don't know what there doing.

It's not hate, it annoyance.  


[ Parent ]
furthermore (3.50 / 2)
All the money, bodies, and energy. could have been used to win some more house seat and the supreme courts seats. If you want to have someone to blame for 2012 laid it at the feet of Bob King, and his minions.

Everyone should remember this though, Mark my words come Saturday, the MDP with get the party chair, and the party structure that they vote for, for good or ill.


[ Parent ]
Oh, yes, I was there when Ron Scott was calling out (3.50 / 4)
"Point of Order! Mr. Chairman, Point of Order!" over and over, and Mark talked right over him, and everyone else ignored him.

Ron Scott was (in my opinion) in no way qualified to be MDP Chair. Having said that, that situation could have been handled a whole lot better. Let him have his say, Appeal the Decision of the Chair, the Chair would have been upheld, and then everyone present sees that due process is upheld. Instead, he was run right over.

You are right, the post-Convention State Central this time offers all sorts of possibilities, depending on how things go.

In the end, is it worth tearing apart the Party to remain as Chair? Why?


[ Parent ]
It was a shame. (3.50 / 2)
I agree with your points about the dismissiveness toward Mr. Scott and some of his supporters in 2011.

It was a bad episode and one in which I was referencing in my initial comments on the chair race.

Great Lakes, Great Times.


[ Parent ]
Lesson: hand in the forms a week early (3.67 / 3)
Then, there would be no credentials issue at all.  I wonder where these 1,400 people live.  With proportional voting, is this a tempest in a tea pot?.  I hope both sides figure that out before we have an embarrassment on our hands.

[ Parent ]
Another knotty problem might arise (3.33 / 3)
The full convention doesn't meet until 3 pm, after district officers have been elected. Suppose some loses a contested election for one of those offices, and argues that he/she would have won had the disputed delegates been issued credentials to the district caucus.

As you said, all kinds of fun possibilities.

And by the way, Saturday is the next to last day of the Boat Show at Cobo, so parking spaces might be at a premium.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.


[ Parent ]
I figure I'll park where I usually do for events at Cobo (3.50 / 2)
It's where I used to park when I worked for Wayne County's IT Department 10-11 years ago.

Right next to a People Mover station.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Boat show doesn't open until 11 am (3.00 / 2)
That should leave space on the Cobo deck for convention early birds.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
So (2.33 / 3)
Who made this? :)

www.facebook.com/STOPLonJohnsonForMDPChair

Incendiary statements, half-truths, lies and more!


wasn't me (3.67 / 3)
,but thanks for the link, am going to forward this to a few people, for laughs

[ Parent ]
The Anonymity is Deafening (3.00 / 1)
Someone involved clearly knows his or her way around Photoshop, and has higher Facebook proficiency than I've seen in the large majority of MDP members.

But the page and associated Twitter feed would have a LOT more credibility if the creators came forward so we could view their efforts in context.

Unless, of course, doing so would cause them to LOSE credibility.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
wonder where they got the photos (3.00 / 1)
?

[ Parent ]
also (3.00 / 1)
i would not say they no there way around photoshop those lok horrible

[ Parent ]
as does (3.00 / 1)
my ability to review what i type before i hit post, Look*

[ Parent ]
They're supposed to look "horrible" -- as in, unflattering to Lon (3.33 / 3)
But there's a certain level of proficiency needed to make a set of different source pictures -- all of which come from either Lon Johnson's Facebook page or his House campaign site, with presumably different sizes, color balance, brightness/contrast and pixel counts -- and make them look consistent.

Though I must say, as a onetime trained photojournalist -- it's difficult to take a bad picture of Lon. He is one photogenic dude (even more so when he and Juliana Smoot are together).

Mark Brewer, on the other hand...as they used to say about Garrison Keillor, Mark truly has a "face for radio."

Not that looks are any kind of determinant of who should be MDP Chair. Just making an observation.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Anyone at the Royal Oak Event? (3.50 / 2)
From MIRS

Brewer Extends Olive Branch, Johnson Not Having It
(ROYAL OAK) -- Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Chairman Mark said tonight that he wants to avoid a floor fight this weekend when delegates meet in Detroit to decide whether to pick their next party chair.  


MLive: Mathew Davis (3.00 / 3)
From 18 years ago:

Inside the convention hall that day, Brewer must've known that he had the election sewn up because, for whatever reason, he traipsed with a bagpipe quintet blowing notice of his arrival as he entered each congressional caucus to ask for votes.

In U.S. Rep. John Conyers' district caucus, where Conyers himself presided, Brewer and his entourage came in with bagpipes blowing -- completely deaf to the fact that for most voters in that room the sound of bagpipes was like the sound of rabbits being eaten alive by coyotes.



His column was a hatchet job of the first order (3.33 / 3)
Davis, who is an attorney and thus ought to know better, all but accused the ACLU of being a racist organization because it defended the KKK's 1st Amendment right to hold a rally. He also in effect accused Brewer of being a bad Democrat for having served as the ACLU's pro bono attorney in that case.

I'm not a Mark Brewer fan, but he deserves far better coverage than the Breitbart-esque piece that Davis wrote. Shame on MLive.com for employing this 16th-rate hack.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.


[ Parent ]
They needed a conservative columnist, so they went out and got one (3.33 / 3)
MLive's opinion writing decision making is driven by the idiotic idea that if you have a columnist who says "liberal" things, you must have counterweight from the right so the people who leave comments -- but never bought newspapapers and who don't actually read the articles -- stop complaining.

Matt Davis was brought in because Susan Demas, who is a political independent, gets criticized for saying liberal things. And, by liberal, she oftentimes criticizes stupid conservative ideas for being stupid.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
Like the NYT's (3.00 / 1)
William Kristol...

[ Parent ]
He's been replaced by someone worse yet (3.67 / 3)
Ross Douthat, who never misses an opportunity to call names ("Acela Corridor elites") or inject his conservative Catholic views into his columns. (His low point came last month, when he argued that couples who didn't have children were not only selfish but unpatriotic.)

Douthat's writing is, at best, pedestrian, and suffers from serious lapses in logic--which is probably a redundant statement when describing the work of a conservative columnist.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.


[ Parent ]
I had forgotten (3.00 / 1)
I had forgotten about Kristol's departure. Thanks.

[ Parent ]
Senator Stabenow came into a couple of caucuses last fall (3.00 / 2)
[ Parent ]
I couldn't find (3.00 / 1)
the mlive Matt Davis column in question when I attempted to search for it.

... But yes, Senator Stabenow has done her drum line. Mark Brewer has done his bagpiper a few times. Carmella Sabaugh had an accordionist accompaniment in 2006.

Does anyone know of other musical flourishes at past MDP conventions?

Great Lakes, Great Times.


[ Parent ]
Could Start (3.00 / 1)
With a string section could start an orchestra...

[ Parent ]
Dance-off. (3.50 / 2)
Maybe the competing party factions could have a dance-off at Cobo Hall on Saturday... ?

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Dancing with the Chairs! (3.00 / 1)
NT

[ Parent ]
Thank you for sharing. (3.00 / 1)
Wow, that was a column lacking in substance.

The Democratic Party activists are well-aware of the American Civil Liberties Union, its purpose and causes. I would dare say that many Democrats of diverse backgrounds know that the organization is advocating for everyone's constitutional rights; Mr. Davis may have taken umbrage with Mr. Brewer's pro bono representation, but did Democratic delegates? Was it an issue that was raised?

Great Lakes, Great Times.


[ Parent ]
Not An Issue (3.00 / 1)
As I recall the convention, it was not an issue but delegates were aware of his work.

The five bagpipes were annoying and the music interrupted the caucus meeting as reported.


[ Parent ]
You should put "music" in quotes. (3.50 / 2)


[ Parent ]
True (3.00 / 1)
But I did use the term, "annoying."

[ Parent ]
Ooh. (3.00 / 1)
You were there in 1994! Something to tell the grandkids.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Justice Caucus Makes Music (3.60 / 5)
Yes!  At the 2010 MDP August convention, we held a special program to give Governor Granholm a special Spirit of Millie Jeffrey Award for her 119 judicial appointments. After she spoke to accept the award, our Justice Caucus chorale, led by our fellow Board Member, Mark Miller, serenaded the Governor with "If I Had A Hammer..."

And at a Spirit of Millie Awards Dinner a few years back, Ethel Schwartz led us all in "Solidarity Forever!"

The Justice Caucus may make trouble from time to time, but we know how to make music.  


[ Parent ]
And Mark did a great rendition last fall! (3.00 / 1)
I'm going to miss you all this Saturday, as I'll be with the Blue Tiger Bloggers Caucus! (Shameless plug: We'll be in W2-67, just down from where you all will be!)

Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott

[ Parent ]
Three Cheers for Ethel Schwartz! (3.50 / 2)
n/t

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Got some new information for you guys on this (3.50 / 2)
Made a inquire about these UAW memeberships, apparently a good chunk of this new sign ups, have either out of state address, or a Union Hall as there Address.

Leads to a few question just off the top of my heads, but I will leave this here and still what you guys come up with before I interject more


Meme (1.50 / 2)
5 : an internet information generator, especially of random or contentless information

[ Parent ]
Really (3.00 / 1)
I have to wonder, if your just trolling, or you just can't think or see beyond your own nose.

Anyway, First thoughts that come to mind on this information.

1. How many of this out of state people will be showing up Saturday?

2. What Union Halls?, is the UAW trying to have people that really live in Macomb,Oakland,and Wayne I.E near Cobo and are claiming they live in much farther away areas, as a way to try and steal the votes of the Northern Districts and counties?

3. Harking back to others thoughts, How many of this people even know they been register in the MDP?


[ Parent ]
I think (3.50 / 2)
I think you're trying to instigate a fake meme.

[ Parent ]
... (3.50 / 2)
am not, I got this information from someone in the know, it's good.

[ Parent ]
Apparently (3.00 / 1)
Some UAW members think Toledo is in Michigan.

[ Parent ]
Avenge the Frostbitten Convention, and retake the Toledo Strip! (3.80 / 5)
If we successfully invade, our war booty will include the Toledo Mud Hens and Tony Packo's.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
Hark (1.00 / 3)
Editorial Policy
...

Personal attacks and insults, pure stupidity, and unsubstantiated rumor presented as fact are not allowed. Those comments are often troll-rated by the community until they disappear. If you make a controversial statement of fact, be prepared to back it up with proof. Do not plagiarize: if you are repeating information from another source, always include links to the original document. More information on how to handle copyrighted material is available from our Posting Guidelines.



[ Parent ]
... (3.50 / 2)
ok

Made a inquire about these UAW memeberships, apparently a good chunk of this new sign ups, have either out of state address, or a Union Hall as there Address.

Doesn't fall under that, at all. However

Meme (0.00 / 1)
5 : an internet information generator, especially of random or contentless information
by: LH @ Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 19:03:30 PM EST

Attribution (0.00 / 1)
http://www.urbandictionary.com...
by: LH @ Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 19:08:33 PM EST

I think (0.00 / 0)
I think you're trying to instigate a fake meme.
by: LH @ Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 19:25:06 PM EST

Pretty sure all this falls under pure stupidity


[ Parent ]
OK, WarHawk! (2.00 / 4)
... unsubstantiated rumor presented as fact are not allowed ... be prepared to back it up with proof.


[ Parent ]
and what part of (3.50 / 2)

I got this information from someone in the know when I called and ask about the memberships, and it's good.

Did you miss?


[ Parent ]
Heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend (2.00 / 4)
isn't a good source, it is rumor.  

[ Parent ]
Hi (2.75 / 4)
I see you and LH seem to be unable to read.

I C-A-L-L A P-E-R-S-O-N W-I-T-H A-C-C-E-S-S T-O T-H-I-S I-N-F-O-R-M-A-T-I-O-N

That is call a first hand source there, mister troll.


[ Parent ]
Take this for what it's worth... (3.75 / 4)
I just received a robocall from Jim Blanchard strongly endorsing Johnson and calling out Brewer for "launching a negative campaign" against Johnson.

I'm not publicly endorsing one or the other until it's time to vote at the convention, just figured this was worth mentioning.


Mark Bernstein calls out Brewer (3.67 / 3)
Just got an email from Bernstein responding to Brewer's attacks and lies and calling him out for over-the-top, baseless attacks. Brewer, Fisk & Co are paying the price for shameless tactics that are already backfiring. Disgusting and divisive.  Bye bye Brewer.

What was the Attack? (2.67 / 3)
Nothing mention here ,so much has been baseless attacks, so what were they accusing as the Attack?

[ Parent ]
Brewery's politics of dividing Democrats (2.67 / 3)
Brewers campaign claiming Johnson doesn't support marriage equality when he does. Plus the attack on Johnson missing 2010 vote.

From Bernstein: "I was profoundly disappointed to learn of completely negative attack piece of mail from Mark Brewer's campaign.  To personally attack another Democrat is out of bounds, and it calls on all of us to ask:  How do you lead the Party if this is the type of campaign that you have chosen to run against a fellow Democrat?

Here are the facts:  Lon Johnson's wife Julianna Smoot worked for President Obama, and served as his Deputy National Campaign Director this past election.  He was supporting her career and living with her in DC in 2010.  That is why he was unable to vote here.  Now they make their home in Kalkaska."


[ Parent ]
Ok (3.50 / 2)
"Johnson doesn't support marriage equality"

Ok if there no quotes or websites or campaign materials to back this up then baseless

"Plus the attack on Johnson missing 2010 vote."

Um, this is true Lon has said so in public, is relevant to the job, as has been pointedon this site a number of times. So not baseless at all

He was supporting her career and living with her in DC in 2010.  That is why he was unable to vote here.

To the point this is crap, Lon said in public and this is paraphrased from what other have said he said

"No, I didn't Vote in 2010 I was in the D.C. area and was unsure about my residence, so I took a pass"

Truthfully that is not a excuse, "He took a Pass", on something College Students, Snowbirds, and Military members so all the time, he could have pick up a phone and called, and gotten a ballot App from the internet and Mail it in. That is completely relevant to the campaign and is a major statement of character.

If there is something that comes up here in Michigan like a campaign issue, or major development of some kind, etc, etc. and his away, bumming elbows in D.C like he has already said he is going to be doing, is he going to "Take a Pass" and not deal with it.


[ Parent ]
Brewer is being criticized for mailing a neg (3.50 / 2)
That is what is happening now, and I am sure they debated whether to risk the criticism before they mailed it, and they decided to do it.  Now the narrative has completely changed to 'Brewer is in trouble or he wouldn't do this' and the message in the attack, which is the Macomb Daily missed vote piece is lost...they may not have realized that some people on the sidelines would jump in on Lon's side just because the neg went out...I am betting we won't see a neg from Johnson

[ Parent ]
I received both of the above today, Bernstein and Blanchard, (3.33 / 3)
as well.

I did not receive the negative Brewer mailer that evidently triggered this response, so I can't speak to it. I have heard about it from several sources, and I gather its about Lon's voting record, and reiterating the carpetbagger charge. But again, I have not seen it.


[ Parent ]
Brewer attack mailing (3.00 / 4)
First Class, 2-sided, glossy, 4-color, 11" x 6".  It contains the full text of the Macomb Daily article about Lon's voting record, a full reading of which actually seems fairly positive toward Lon.

Somebody ought to post copies of the front and back.

As I wrote elsewhere, I find myself underwhelmed by the attack, since people who don't expect to be on-stage are sometimes found unready for the spotlights.  Lon spent ten years moving around the country doing political work, and it's not a surprise that his voter registration was deleted from Michigan's Qualified Voter File at least a couple times.  (DARN that link between voter file and drivers license file!)

I'd say the fact Lon managed to cast ballots in five of the six even-year general elections between 2002 and 2012 was an accomplishment, not a failure.


[ Parent ]
.. (3.00 / 3)
He was a vulture capitalist from what I here, working at a investment firm what I hear.

Also attending were Democratic stalwarts like Jane Eskind, who had donated the full $35,800 in June, when Biden was originally scheduled to visit; attorney George Barrett; and Lon Johnson, a vice president of Byrd's firm, TVV Capital, who recently married Julianna Smoot, a deputy manager of Obama's campaign.
Mike McWherter, the 2010 Democratic nominee for governor, didn't attend, but he had given the maximum amount earlier this year, campaign finance records show.

so yea, can't wait for Mitt Romney Lite to be running the MDP, oh wait he not going to be, his going to be outta state while he hires a ED to actually run the party, all while collect a hefty pay check of around $160k


[ Parent ]
Better yet (3.50 / 2)
He still works there

http://www.tvvcapital.com/team...

Why are we going to be paying him 160k, again?


[ Parent ]
Yes, and? (2.00 / 4)
So Lon Johnson is a capitalist. Now we are against all investment?  Where are your facts where Lon exploited people, sucked factories dry ala Romney. Of course it's not really about truth is it?

[ Parent ]
I understand (3.50 / 2)
That you seem to have miss the last elect, and seem to be unobtainable to figure out how a link work,but but here you go from their website

The Fund's investment objective is to generate superior, risk-adjusted returns by capitalizing on the substantial illiquid market opportunities identified in the Southeast market among small, well-managed and profitable businesses; leveraging TVV's proprietary sourcing strategy to capture highly-qualified targets in a fragmented, inefficient and overlooked market; and, applying time- tested LBO value-investing approaches to maximize investment returns.

Investment Criteria

TVV Capital seeks to partner with management teams with a compelling strategic vision, a well-developed framework for execution, and extensive industry and operating experience.

Financial Profile:

Revenues: $15-$150M                                              
Enterprise Value:  $10-$100M                              
EBITDA: $2-$20M                                                    
EBITDA margin:  10% or higher
Company Characterstics:

Positive and stable cash flows
Consistent profitability
Leverageable assets
Strong successor management
Defensible market niche
Identifiable growth path
Identifiable exit opportunities
Proprietary Sourcing Model

100% of TVV's prior investments were achieved through direct, non-shopped sources at attractive multiples. TVV maintains a proprietary sourcing and tracking database of over ten thousand qualified prospects; has fine-tuned an efficient and effective lead generation, screening and diligence process; and, has established a market reputation for highly-customized "seller-friendly" approaches that emphasize senior manager level interactions with sellers at every step of the process.

Value-Investing Approach
Throughout its history, including the recent "boom and bust" private equity market cycles, TVV Capital has maintained an unwavering commitment to "tried and true" classic LBO value-investing.

Typically, TVV seeks to buy through non-competitive processes, effectively align management incentives, professionalize the organization, drive operating improvements, guide growth and expansion, apply prudent use of leverage, maintain a patient investment approach, and exit via a broad and systematic sales process.

Active Investments

Indco, Inc. (New Albany, IN)
Founded in 1975, Indco, Inc. is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of a broad range of industrial mixing and agitation equipment. Indco offers its customers a variety of pre-engineered handheld and portable mixing equipment, propellers, impellers, and dispersers, as well as related accessories such as containers, tanks, and stands.

Critical Solutions International, Inc. (Dallas, TX)
CSI is the leading global supplier of land mine and IED detection systems and services to the United States' and allied armed forces. The company's primary product, the Vehicle Mounted Mine Detection system (known as the "Husky"), is a blast-resistant, survivable, easily field-repairable tool for the detection and detonation of mines and IEDs, and has been extensively deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Big 3 Precision Products, Inc. (Centralia, IL)
Big 3 is a major supplier of injection blow mold and injection stretch blow mold tooling and equipment to the plastics sector, with operations in Illinois and New Jersey. The company also operates a metals fabrication plant which manufactures precision parts and material handling racks for the automotive industry.

Prior Investments

Albertville Quality Foods (Albertville, AL)
AQF is a well-established processor of poultry that has been highly successful in a specialized niche: producing frozen chicken tenders that are the highest quality and competitively-priced. The company's major customers include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores, Winn-Dixie Food Stores and Mitchell Groceries of Alabama.

Multi-Link (Lexington, KY)
Multi-Link develops, manufactures and markets a variety of telecommunications and related devices for both business and personal users. The company's products enable phones, fax machines and computer modems to share a single telephone line, allowing customers to enjoy savings and improved efficiencies. Multi-Link has also developed several new products, including a multiple-line fax hub device and a mechanical firewall device for on-line computers.

Precision Boilers (Morristown, TN)
Precision Boilers is one of the nation's leading manufacturers of electric hot water and steam boilers and electric hot water storage heaters. The company recently acquired De-aerating Designs of Raleigh, NC, a manufacturer of oxygen and nitrogen de-aerating devices, and has expanded its pressure vessel line and indirect fired packaged hot water and steam generators.

Southern Quality Meats (Pontotoc, MS)
Founded in 1978, Southern Quality Meats is an integrated processor of pork sausage products sold under private labels and the "Southern Quality Meats" brand name. Sales are primarily to food service distributors for resale to restaurants schools, hospitals, and other institutional establishments.

Superior Highwall Miners, Inc. (Beckley, WV)
SHM is the leading worldwide manufacturer of highwall coal mining equipment. The SHM miner builds highly specialized continuous coal mining systems, allowing coal producers to improve their profitability by extracting coal at very low costs per ton. SHM enjoys the dominant position in the domestic and international markets and its customer list includes some of the largest coal mining companies in the world including: Arch Coal, Massey Energy, and Peabody Coal. In addition to selling new highwall mining systems, SHM also generates substantial recurring revenue from aftermarket sales of replacement parts and repair services.




[ Parent ]
What is the critique of the above? (2.67 / 3)
So you've listed companies and what they do and seem to imply....what exactly?  

[ Parent ]
Please (2.00 / 4)
stop feeding into warhawk's delusions. Just the fact that he was at a big money event on behalf of Joe Biden, as warhawk linked to above, sells me on Lon over Brewer. Brewer probably can't even get a call back from DC.

[ Parent ]
What does it matter? (3.00 / 2)
His job will be to elect Democrats to public office and run the state party. If he can raise more money and recruit better candidates than Brewer, does it really matter if he voted in 2010 or that he works for a private equity firm? I mean, it's not as if he is running for public office.

[ Parent ]
What does it matter? (3.00 / 1)
His job will be to elect Democrats to public office and run the state party. If he can raise more money and recruit better candidates than Brewer, does it really matter if he voted in 2010 or that he works for a private equity firm? I mean, it's not as if he is running for public office.

[ Parent ]
.. (3.50 / 2)
His job will be to elect Democrats to public office and run the state party. If he can raise more money and recruit better candidates than Brewer, does it really matter if he voted in 2010 or that he works for a private equity firm? I mean, it's not as if he is running for public office.

First not Brewers job to recruit Candidates, that is DEMCOM, and Local Parties job.

Secondly yes it does matter, unless you want person in charge who will "Just Take a Pass" when it comes to doing work, and is willing to throw people likelihoods  away to make a quick buck. If those aren't issues for you then yea sure Lon is your guy.


[ Parent ]
Am getting Tired (3.50 / 2)
Of the only rebuttals people have for when someone brings up Lon's Record, is "why does it matter?" Seriously? For all of the crap everyone gives Snyder about RTW because "It wasn't his agenda" anyone with half a brain would have look at his record and told you it was, or if it came across his desk he would sign it.

If we don't have information on Lon or there questions to what he says his going to do, the best way to tell. Is to "Let's look at the record." what has he done in the pass? who has he worked for? Who his backers?, what is he asking for?. All of this are very relevant, and simply items when vetting a candidate, is time to come out of your bunkers and actually look at what going on. 2012 was not Mark's fault, blame lays on the steps of the UAW, and Bob King, who are now trying to push that on to Mark, and to consolidate their decaying fingers upon the reins of the MDP, this is nothing more then a power grab by the UAW.

If Lon was serious about this, he would have declared in in Nov-Dec not the end of Jan, After having shopping around D.C. for a position.


[ Parent ]
Decaying fingers? (3.20 / 5)
Let's look at this so called power grab. The UAW, Teamsters, UFCW and Steelworkers,The Justice Caucus, along with the entire Congressional District decide it is time for a change. The change would mean, they would like to start winning elections in Michigan. They hear all of Mark's excuses and think maybe it is time for someone who actually has a plan and the will to win.
Now all you can do is pile on the UAW? I assure you, it will not feel like the UAW has decaying fingers during the convention.  

[ Parent ]
Sadly, all of our fingers are decaying. (3.00 / 2)
We aren't getting any younger, you know! The politics of addition -- keep bringing those young activists with their fresh fingers into the party!

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
RTW = Decay (4.00 / 3)
Apologies if I'm stating the very very obvious, but...

All of the state's unions -- regardless of who they endorse this Saturday -- will be taking a hit in their operating revenues THIS YEAR. With more losses to come in 2014, 2015 and beyond.

This is EXACTLY what Republicans and their supporters INTENDED for RTW -- to drain unions of funds as a step towards killing them entirely.

Not only will many current paying members simply stop, but employers will be free to fill openings with nonunion and even anti-union applicants.

Inevitably, lost revenue will make unions less effective when it comes to arbitration, grievances, fighting unsafe workplaces, training and organizing...not to mention the hit on political donations and lobbying.

How long before the combination of fewer members and weaker representation leads to decertification votes for unionized workplaces and specific companies?

Sadly, that sure looks like "decay" to me.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison


[ Parent ]
Well put. (3.00 / 2)
n/t

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Old Brewski (3.50 / 2)
Leak Info to Press --> Press Publishes --> Reprint Article in Lit! TA DA! "CREDIBILITY"

[ Parent ]
so (3.50 / 2)
Mark was planning this on, November 27, 2011 ?

[ Parent ]

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