Comments on: Dems Forum Finale: The Campaign, The Party it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: John Heed John Heed Sun, 30 Jun 2013 04:03:46 +0000 Regarding Stephen Kunselman’s comments at the recent Dems Forum: his claim that his chairing of the Cab Board is an example of the positive contributions he makes in public service is both laughable and infuriating. According to the Chronicle, Kunselman said that “when there were complaints about limo drivers assaulting University of Michigan female students, he had stood up to make sure that the police department was addressing that issue, he said.” This is an example of his continued alternative reality on this topic: there never were complaints specifically about State-licensed limo drivers: the complaints were about unidentified drivers. In the only case where a driver was identified, it was a City-licensed driver. Kunselman has conflated the regulation of State-licensed vehicles with these assaults since they happened, despite having no evidence that they were in any way linked.

Further, in widely reported quotes, he also falsely implied that specific companies were likely involved because they were licensed by the State instead of the City. Despite receiving evidence to the contrary, and the fact that we now know that no one associated with those companies was involved, he has repeatedly refused to retract those remarks or apologize. He has essentially accused these local businesses and their workers of being responsible for these horrible acts and, when it became obvious that he was wrong, he “stood by his comments.”

In attempting to address these and other issues, we were further subjected to the spectacle of Kunselman spearheading a drive to have the AAPD write tickets to State-licensed vehicles, and continuing to do so even though every one of these tickets that was contested was thrown out of Court, and Kunselman’s own expert witness told him at a public meeting that it was illegal.

He has done nothing to make things better in this area, neither for customers nor the transportation providers, and has done much to make it worse. If this is what he means by “experienced, effective, ethical leadership you can trust,” neither the voters of the 3rd Ward nor the City as a whole need or deserve any part of it.

By: Mark Koroi Mark Koroi Tue, 25 Jun 2013 01:53:25 +0000 “But Lumm has been one of the best things that happened to this city in ages…..”

One thing that I have noticed in my discussions with city residents is that Mrs. Lumm has a broad cross-section of support over several political parties – Republican, Greens, Democrats etc. even though she is an independent and, historically, identified with the GOP in her earlier runs for office.

Some have believed she could defeat Mayor Hieftje in a mayoral election. While I concede her popularity, both Mrs. Lumm and Hizzoner both enjoy broad name recognition and political connectedness in Ann Arbor and it would be a very close race if she decided to run. 413 E. Huron was a P.R. disaster for the Mayor and could cause him to lose a political ally, Marcia Higgins, on City Council this August.

What had to be a stinging embarrassment to the Mayor was when he went door-to-door to support the re-election bid of Steve Rapundalo, and Rapundalo, a longtime incumbent Democrat could not get 40% of the vote against Mrs. Lumm. Will he do the same for Marcia Higgins this election cycle?

Marcia Higgins, as the Chronicle series of articles indicates, did not appear at this important candidate forum, she has not placed a campaign website up yet, ad I have not heard that she has gone door-to-door this election cycle as Jack Eaton has. Neverthess, she has won every electon since 1999.

Her only Democratic primary victory was over Eric Lipson in 2005. Lipson and Eaton have remarkably similar backgrounds – both are U-M-educated attorneys who have backgrounds as progressive liberal Democrats and have been active in local homeowner association issues. Lipson, a Planning Commissioner at the time, called Higgins “invisible and ineffective” during neighborhood issues relating to traffic calming on Rosewood Avenue that year. Eaton’s staus as a progressive liberal may not endear him to the GOP residents within the Fourth Ward. The “Landsdownians” remain largely conservative from the days when Bechtel engineers inhabited that area.

If Jack Eaton can defeat Higgins, the political prestige of the Mayor will be substantially lessened.

By: Dave Cahill Dave Cahill Mon, 24 Jun 2013 20:28:27 +0000 Actually, I’m delighted that Sabra’s sidewalk repair reform has been such a success! I also love to see the repairs in progress.

By: Lou Glorie Lou Glorie Mon, 24 Jun 2013 17:10:59 +0000 “Westphal characterized the local government as the face of the community….’and I have not seen progressive Democratic values reflected in this council seat’.” Progressive Democratic values? the Democratic Party since Clinton has rejected “progressive” values” unless one thinks of Clinton’s welfare reform, Obama’s domestic spying as progressive.

Locally, I wonder how Westphal judges the attempts of the former “democratic” holder of that Ward 2 seat. His attempts to sell off parklands (while calling both attempts leases)were not what I would call progressive. Too many pols who wear the moniker “progressive” exhibit the arrogance of people who know what is best for the rest of us and don’t want the rest of us slowing down the progressive policy assembly line.

But Lumm has been one of the best things that has happened to this city in ages. She is thoughtful and fair. I don’t always agree with her, but her honest attempts to faithfully represent her constituents put her in a league of her own. Westphall, is the Mayor’s man. Nobody is fooled. Either the voters will want a sock puppet or they’ll chose heroic defense of democratic principles represented in Lumm’s independence.

Regarding the spouse’s political contributions. I think it is an unusual, if not a rare, couple that is greatly misaligned politically. The fact that no two human beings–spouses included– always agree, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be concerned by evidence that one half of the couple seems aligned politically with radical conservatives. Though much was made of the seemingly incongruous marriage of political operatives James Carville and Mary Matalin–he worked for Clinton, she for Bush pere, they weren’t really so different. They just worked for different ad agencies, did what they did for the sake of their careers and benefited as a couple.

Frankly, I found Mr. Grand’s contrib to Cliff Taylor–one of the worst justices ever selected (Engler)in this state–troubling. Taylor was known as an activist judge–actively rewriting by overturning environmental, health and safety and labor laws. In a 2007 poll of lawyers who had argued before him, he scored lowest in judicial attributes such as being prepared, and knowledge of the law. But Mr. Grand put a bit-o cash on the line for him. The fact that Ms. Grand doesn’t have her own political contrib rap sheet, is perhaps telling. Where was she when Taylor and Snyder were running? Was this not a subject of discussion in their household? If she differed from her hubby, why not make her own contributions in her own name. Maybe what this shows is a lack of political Independence–acquiescence to power rather than devotion to principles. Is this what the Third Ward wants?

By: John Q. John Q. Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:46:06 +0000 I disagree. Some spouses are politically active and influential, others are not. I’ve seen both and Dave is correct that one shouldn’t assume one way or another.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Mon, 24 Jun 2013 12:26:42 +0000 I consider (3) to be a rather oblivious assessment of the influence of spouses in campaigns and politics.

However, I’ll just note that there is no Kathy Anglin (unless Mike has a sister or sister-in-law by that name). His wife is Kathy Clark.

By: Dave Askins Dave Askins Mon, 24 Jun 2013 03:21:08 +0000 RE: [1]

First, for readers who wonder what the exact totals are and what the exact link is for looking up campaign contributions on the Secretary of State’s website, here’s the link: [link]. The search form is super long, but you don’t need to fill in many of the parameters. If you’re interested in how much an individual gave, then use just the fields labeled “Contributor Information.”

For David Grand, the summary totals I get after dumping the results into a spreadsheet are as follows, with the first donation coming in April 2008.

GRANHOLM LEADERSHIP FUND  511667-IND            $100
MILLER CANFIELD PAC  506957-IND                $4427.88
NED STAEBLER FOR STATE REP  514463-CAN          $260
RICK SNYDER FOR MICHIGAN  514347-GUB            $200
                             Grand Total       $5387.88

But in thinking about my own city council representation (Ward 5), I have to say I don’t care who Kathy Anglin has supported or who Nancy Shore has supported. That’s because I’m reluctant to assume that spouses hold the same policy views or would make the same decisions if they were elected. It would be Julie sitting at the table, not David, if she were to be elected. When Sabra Briere first ran for city council, some of her critics feared that she’d simply be a mouthpiece for her spouse, another David (Cahill), who is fairly well known in the community, and can be outspoken. I’ve not made a formal study of it, but I think it’s fair to say the evidence over the last six years is that Briere and Cahill have separate minds. If David Grand’s campaign contributions are relevant, that would make Letitia Kunselman’s contributions equally relevant – but my sense is that there’s less interest in those.

In any case, if a Ward 3 voter thinks that the Secretary of State’s contribution database is important, then I’d hope it’s only because they think the actual candidates’ contributions are relevant. Julie Grand shows up in only a single record – a $10 donation to Ned Staebler’s campaign for state representative. For readers who need a reminder, that was a very close 2010 race between Staebler and Jeff Irwin, won by Irwin. The database shows that Irwin received $30 from Steve Kunselman.

Because Irwin is a Ward 3 resident, and now state representative, it might make sense for both Grand and Kunselman to seek Irwin’s endorsement. For Grand there’s possibly $10 worth of awkwardness to overcome in asking. But I don’t think Jeff Irwin is the kind of representative who’d weigh the $40 net in deciding that question.

By: Kerry D Kerry D Mon, 24 Jun 2013 02:10:39 +0000 Julie Grand’s candidacy is being supported by those who are angry at the proposed reforms by Steve Kunselman as to the Downtown Development Authority.

Mrs.Grand has nothing important to offer City Council given her limited experience in city government.

Steve Kunselman has been a bastion of integrity and leadership on City Council and it would be wholly imprudent for the Third Ward to lose this valuable civil servant.

I am proud to support the re-election bid of Steve Kunselman and his ongoing efforts to reform the inefficiencies and substandard performance of the DDA.

By: Mark Koroi Mark Koroi Sun, 23 Jun 2013 21:31:02 +0000 Julie Grand is the wife of United States Magistrate Judge David Grand. David Grand was, prior to his federal judicial appointment, affiliated with the influential Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone law firm as an antitrust law expert.

Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone is the former law firm of former Ann Arbor City Council member Leigh Greden and has been the firm affiliated with GOP political heavyweights such as Clifford Taylor, Steve Markman, and Spencer Abraham. The Miller Canfield law firm locally has represented the University of Michigan and McKinley Associates.

Michigan Secretary of State records downloadable at [link] illustrate that David Grand has pumped thousands of dollars of campaign contributions cognizable by that office’s Bureau of Elections. A large percentage of these contributions were made to the Miller Canfield political action committee. That PAC has historically given numerous donations to conservative candidates. It is one of the largest PACs in the in the State of Michigan, based upon the history of contributions collected and redistributed.