Are Michigan Taxpayers Funding All Businesses in the State? Sure Looks Like It!

It sure looks like it. There isn’t a day that goes by where my research on the “failed” Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) hasn’t “given away” the citizens of Michigan’s tax dollars. This must and should stop! How can our elected representatives in Lansing justify asking we taxpayers for a tax increase for our roads with this type of cronyism benefiting themselves and their business buddies? They can’t! Read more below the picture.A Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe

Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe Closes Michigan Taxpayers Lose Again
The Shoppe faced a series of setbacks before announcing closure after just 16 months. Just another in a long list of taxpayer funded failures through the “failed” MEDC. The Solakas, the owners were not the only parties to lose money.

$130,000 in community grant money was spent assisting the butcher shop from organizations including Midtown Detroit Inc., the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. and the “failed”  (MEDC) Michigan Economic Development Corp. Is every business in Michigan propped up and funded with taxpayer dollars? Sure looks like it!
http://www.freep.com/article/20140211/BUSINESS06/302110031/Why-Ye-Olde-Butcher-Shoppe-is-closing-Detroit

There was “NO” mention of this taxpayer giveaway through the “failed” MEDC in this November 2012 article.
http://www.freep.com/article/20121118/BUSINESS06/311180155/Brothers-hope-Midtown-grocery-store-doubles-as-gathering-place

Whole Foods opens in Detroit with Taxpayer Help
George Jackson, who as president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. helped bring Whole Foods to the city. If Detroit is broke where did the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. get the money for this subsidy? Ah how about the “failed” MEDC funneling yet more of all Michigan taxpayers monies to these businesses! Read more below the picture.A Whole Foods BEST

Olga Stella, vice president of business development at Detroit Economic Growth Corp. which provided a $1.25 million grant. The DEGC is a private nonprofit group that supports economic development in Detroit. The remaining $5.8 million came from state and local grants and the sale of tax credits tied to the project.
Whole Foods should send Michigan taxpayers a big thank-you note.
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324423904578523712663750112

Some of the prominent names that show up in this endeavor are local businessman and the politically connected Alfred Taubman. If you remember he was also a partner in the “failed” MEDC subsidized Raleigh Film Studio in Pontiac the taxpayer funded movie studio that the under-funded state pension fund is now on the hook for their “failed” missed bond payments! The under-funded state pension fund is “you” the taxpayers of Michigan!

Also of interest is Mr. Taubman’s Antitrust Conviction the early 2000s, an investigation into alleged price-fixing between Sotheby’s and rival auction house Christie’s led to a confession by Sotheby’s CEO Diana Brooks of an elaborate price fixing “scheme” with her counterpart at Christie’s, Christopher Davidge.

In a plea bargain arrangement, prosecutors offered to keep her out of prison if she agreed to implicate Taubman. She did, and thereafter Taubman was convicted in a jury trial of price fixing. He was fined $7.5 million (USD) and imprisoned for ten months in 2002 for anti-trust violations.Taubman was released in 2003.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Alfred_Taubman

One of Mr. Taubman’s partners in that “failed” Raleigh Film Studio is John Rakolta Jr. who is the CEO of Walbridge (formerly known as Walbridge Aldinger). Governor Rick Snyder appointed Mr. Rakolta to the board of, you guessed it the “failed” (MEDC) Michigan Economic Development Corp. Can you say a definite conflict of interest? Rakolta has also served as the chairman of New Detroit from 2003 to 2010.

John Rakolta and his company Walbridge was recently involved in the shady dealings in the new Wayne County Jail project that was shut down and has recently come under investigation by Wayne county prosecutor Kym Worthy in Detroit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rakolta

So my fellow Michigan taxpaying citizens does anybody but me see that these businessmen and their political buddies in Lansing are running a criminal enterprise using “our” tax dollars in an all for profit scheme? Shady characters and convicted felons are working with our elected officials literally stealing our money!

A word to the wise come election time here in 2014, be very careful how you cast your vote you may well get something you don’t necessarily want! Politicians will tell you what you want to hear as to get elected but the results are not in your best interest! 

Additional Sources:

It took 15 years to build a grocery store. Not only 15 years, it also took a whole lot of corporate welfare as well.
http://motorcitytimes.com/mct/2014/02/detroit-small-business-closes-cites-government-bureaucracy-regulations-and-corporate-welfare/

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