Several weeks ago, our own Greg McNeilly wrote in the Detroit News about the effect corporate cronyism is having on the price Michiganders pay at the electric meter.
DTE and Consumers Energy last year raised rates on families by $364 million a year, and are back again with hundreds of millions more in planned rate hikes. At the same time, the monopoly energy providers have spent over $4 million pushing Senate Bill 437 – the Nofs-Nesbitt energy plan—in the state legislature trying to outlaw electric choice.
Not surprisingly, a couple former lawmakers came to the utilities defense, claiming calls of “corporate cronyism” are “just a distraction.”
You don't need to look hard to find that our calls of cronyism hold up to scrutiny. Throughout their years in the legislature, both of the former leaders received tens of thousands of dollars from DTE and Consumers Energy.
One of them is even working now as a consultant pumping out position papers and holding press conferences on behalf of the “Nofs-Nesbitt” plan.
But don’t take our word for it. You can check out state records of the utilities’ giving to these lawmakers here…
...And in other news…
State Rep. Brian Banks Faced Eviction 7 Times in Recent Years
A week ago, Problem Solver M.L. Elrick exposed what State Representative Brian Banks was up to while being sued for sexual harassment. He held a lavish party for his 39th birthday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History.
Not long after that story aired, Elrick started getting phone calls about what else Banks was up to: they said he deleted his Facebook photos that he posted of his fun in the sun in Florida. But the big one was that he was facing eviction from his Harper Woods home. The lawsuit was dismissed but - the evictions? Well that's the newest twist.
Why Can’t Detroit Go to all Charter Schools like New Orleans?
On a Sunday news show in 2010, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan caused a minor controversy by calling Hurricane Katrina the “best thing” to happen to New Orleans public schools.
"This is a tough thing to say, but let me be really honest,” Duncan said. ”I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster, and it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that 'We have to do better.'"
Big Labor’s $420 Million Political Advocacy Budget
Labor unions overwhelming support Democrats and closely aligned left-wing causes—it’s been a fact of life for decades. But the extent of it is downright startling: From 2012 to 2014, Big Labor sent nearly $420 million to hundreds of special interests, think tanks, party committees, pro-labor organizations, and political candidates closely aligned with the Democratic Party.
Recipients included left-wing publications such as The Nation and In These Times to American Bridge 21st Century—an anti-Republican Super PAC run by Hillary Clinton ally David Brock—and Democracy Alliance, a secretive network of liberal donors including George Soros and Tom Steyer among others.