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Monied nihilists seek to scuttle Detroit bankruptcy plan for some reason

by: Eric B.

Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:15:33 AM EDT


The Koch brothers over the last half decade or so have been a useful personification of Snidely Whiplash on the Left. They spend lots of money supporting really odious people, but at the end of the day, it was worth remembering that pursuing your self-interest is not ipso facto evil even if incredibly selfish (i.e. being oil billionaires spending lavishly to gum up the works on addressing climate change, something that would cost you a boatload of cash and only make things less bad by people who will live after you are long, long dead). This is different, however.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group supported by the Koch brothers, has launched an effort to torpedo a proposed settlement in the Detroit bankruptcy case, potentially complicating chances for completing the deal just as its prospects seemed to be improving.

Although there's no specific reason to think that the Koch brothers did anything as overt as sit down, twirl moustaches and say, "Detroit never recovers" -- this is Americans for Prosperity, just one of the organizations they fund, after all (and the same one that convinced a cancer patient to humiliate herself by spreading what turned out to be fables about Obamacare and then used her as a human shield) -- it is not unprecedented for them to take a weird interest in purely local affairs.

This quote from Scott Hagerstrom I think is illustrative.

Using public money for Detroit's case "is very toxic, especially to out-state and Republican, conservative-leaning individuals," said Scott Hagerstrom, director of the Americans for Prosperity's chapter in the state. "Even out-state Democrats, why send any more money to Detroit? Certainly other areas of the state have needs."

In other words, what is motivating this is nothing more than animus towards the city of Detroit. I mean, why "send any more money to Detroit?" Even if you buy the argument that the city's long history as the state's primary driver of prosperity in Michigan, the entire of being a state is so that the fates of all the composite communities are tied together under a common state government. This argument is basically the same thing as asking why anyone in Detroit should have been interested in devoting any resources this past winter to alleviating the propane emergency in the Upper Peninsula, or using tax dollars collected in prosperous Oakland County to pay for road patrolling in the upper Lower Peninsula.

Americans for Prosperity isn't alone in this fight, by the way. They've been joined by the drones at the Mackinac Center, in this "article" with the headline, "Experts To Rebut Claims of Opponents Protesting Detroit Pension Reform Plan." Who are these experts? As one might imagine from the Mackinac Center, it's a couple of guys from "free market" think tanks in other states ... and a guy from the Mackinac Center. It's an unsigned "report," so maybe the author is the guy quoted, which would be peak CapCon efficiency.

Eric B. :: Monied nihilists seek to scuttle Detroit bankruptcy plan for some reason
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They object to (4.00 / 4)
the very notion of collective action that serves a general public good. It's the core principle of libertarian thought.  

It's the basic element of nihilism... (4.00 / 1)
This is why I refer to this as political nihilism ... not believing in collective action is really the same thing as not believing in anything.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
pet coke? (4.00 / 1)
seems like retribution for the pet coke storage issue

Remember when AFP-Michigan dropped those offensive leaflets on the neighborhood near the proposed NITC? (4.00 / 2)
I see this latest offense as possibly another favor AFP is doing for the odious billionaire Manuel "Matty" Moroun.

The Kochs themselves may not have any first-hand awareness of what AFP is up to.

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


[ Parent ]
AFP in Ohio opposed the millage increase for the Columbus Zoo (0.00 / 0)
After defeating it, they warned the zoo not to try that again.

WBNS-TV10: Koch Brothers Group Warns Columbus Zoo Not To Seek Tax Increase

A conservative anti-tax group funded by the Koch brothers is warning Columbus Zoo officials not to seek any tax increase in their next levy attempt or again face well financed opposition.

"We will oppose any tax increase of any kind," said Eli Miller, Ohio director of Americans For Prosperity.  "Don't ask for a tax increase at any level.  We are a community based organization here in Ohio and if you're going to raise taxes you're going to hear from us."

Miller, appearing on 10TVs Capitol Square, would not disclose how much AFP spent in its efforts to defeat the zoo levy.

He did acknowledge AFP utilized new tactics in an aggressive ground and data field operation, including a system that automatically updated information for volunteers who were canvassing Columbus neighborhoods in the weeks leading up to the election.

AFP hates the Columbus Zoo!  Who, other than PETA, hates zoos?

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!


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