Omitted Facts by Thom-Benton Harbor, MI

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While listening to Thom today, I heard him rail against what he called a Republican take over of Benton Harbor, MI by a Michigan law known as the Emergency Financial Manager law that was passed in 1990 and signed into law by Democratic Governor Blanchard. Thom made it sound like this was a new law signed by Gov. Snyder ( R ). Gov. Snyder did sign a law that expanded the powers of the EFM law.

Thom failed to mention why Benton Harbor needed an EFM? I’ll get to that in a minute. Another fact Thom left out is the current EFM for Benton Harbor is Joseph Harris who was appointed by Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Thom also failed to mention that with Democrats fully in control in Benton Harbor, the city has exceeded its expenditures by $8 million, has liabilities of $5 million, has failed to make the required payments into its pension fund for city workers, has paid $80,000.00 to $100,000.00 annually in overdraft fees and its cash reserves had dwindled from $1.7 million to less than $300.000.00 in 3 years. In fact the same week Benton Harbor Officials told the state that it didn’t need an EFM at a hearing, they then asked the state treasury for an advance on funds to make its payroll.

In my opinion, this is typical of liberal Democrats. On the one hand to say to the state “we don’t need an emergency financial manager” then on the other hand say to the state, “would you give us an advance of the money you’re going to give us in the future so we can make our payroll”??? Sounds to me like the Democrats that run Benton Harbor have done a horrible job running the city’s finances. Not one word on this from Thom. Thom has a lot of trouble blaming Democrats for anything and no problem at all blaming Republicans for everything.

I feel that Thom does his audience a disservice by leaving out pertinent information like the information I have mentioned above. It took me all of about 2 minutes to research this information on Benton Harbor, MI. It also seems that Thom is bit late for this story. It seems all these things that have happened concerning Benton Harbor occurred about a year ago.

If I don’t provide references for the statements I have made I know a lot of responses will be “back up your statements”. I obtained information on Benton Harbor, MI from the following two website:

http://bentonharborfacts.com/

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2011/04/column.html

robert351
Joined:
Feb. 18, 2012 10:39 pm

Comments

Quote robert351:

It took me all of about 2 minutes to research this information on Benton Harbor, MI. It also seems that Thom is bit late for this story. It seems all these things that have happened concerning Benton Harbor occurred about a year ago.

Perhaps a 10 second search within Thom's site might have made you aware that this has been a topic of discussion here for well over a year.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Never let a few facts get in the way when you are creating aanother non-story. Benton Harbor is fighting for it's financial survival and the golf course which was built on a site that was polluted with hazardous waste and was cleaned up using private money, is doing very well thank you very much.

"In this context, the goings-on in Benton Harbor make a certain kind of sense — not just Harbor Shores, which was intended to lure weekenders from Chicago, roughly two hours away by car, but the other major construction project under way in town: a new, heavily tax-incentivized, $68 million, 270,000-square-foot corporate campus for Whirlpool."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/magazine/benton-harbor.html?pagewanted=all

THISAA's picture
THISAA
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Dec. 16, 2011 6:49 am

Whirlpool to open office campus in Benton Harbor

http://www.freep.com/article/20120430/BUSINESS06/120430007/Whirlpool-to-open-office-campus-in-Benton-Harbor

THISAA's picture
THISAA
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Dec. 16, 2011 6:49 am

OK well than why did Thom bring it up today on his radio show???? It is a story that is a year old. Why no mention by Thom of the Democratic mismanagement of Benton Harbor, MI????? Just that Republicans are bad and they are taking over Benton Harbor, MI???

Not one mention by Thom of how the Democrats have mismanaged Benton Harbor, MI??? Not one mention by Thom that the Democrat run City is $4 million short in its pension contributions. Thom did NOT mention that Gov. Ganholm (D) appointed Mr. Harris as EFM. Not one mention by Thom that this law was passed and signed into law in 1990 by a Democrat Governor. My facts on this are dead on 100% correct.

It's the same with Thom everyday. No matter what the facts. The Democrats can do no wrong and the Republicans are always wrong. This is NOT reality. Only reality in Thom's world.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, no is entitled to their own facts.

robert351
Joined:
Feb. 18, 2012 10:39 pm
Quote robert351:

OK well than why did Thom bring it up today on his radio show???? It is a story that is a year old. Why no mention by Thom of the Democratic mismanagement of Benton Harbor, MI????? Just that Republicans are bad and they are taking over Benton Harbor, MI???

Thom is partisan hack culpable of journalistic crimes infinitly more dishnonest than what he accuses those at Fox News of doing.

Calperson's picture
Calperson
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Dec. 11, 2010 10:21 am

I agree. I mean absolutely no mention by Thom of the utter mismanagement by a Democratic run city. Thom said Republicans are taking over Benton Harbor, MI for no reason. Then as I pointed out, the EFM was appointed by a Democratic Governor (Granholm). Another fact Thom left out. Never mind the fact that Thom is all for the Unions and city pensions for city union workers, Thom should be outraged that the Democratic run City of Benton Harbor is NOT making its pension fund payments for its city union workers. No, according to Thom this all the Republicans fault because they took over for no reason. Even though, Mr. Harris was appointed by Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm. This is a fact that Thom won't mention and cannot be disputed.

Thom blames Republicans for all this and the Republicans had nothing to do with it. Let me ask some questions. Who drove the City of Benton Harbor, MI into financial distress? That would be the Democrats who run the city. Who appointed an Emergency Financial Manager for Benton Harbor, MI? That would Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Yet according to Thom Hartmann, this all the Republicans fault. To normal thinking people like myself, we know this cannot be true.

robert351
Joined:
Feb. 18, 2012 10:39 pm

So if elected officials don't behave in the way you think or the Republicans think is right - we should toss democracy/voting/elections out the window? Dictator Snyder should assign a leader for cities? Instead of engaging in personal attacks - why don't you try some facts?

louisehartmann's picture
louisehartmann
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

They wouldn't know what facts are if they jumped up and bit them on the butt. In the age of the interwebs it's far too easy to pick and choose your "facts" in order to support your agenda. Anyone of credibility knows how truly difficult it is to really find the truth. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack. The conservatives on this board prefer to hold up pieces of hay and hope nobody notices it's not the needle. This is the wrong board to try those kinds of antics.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Bush_Wacker
Joined:
Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am
Quote louisehartmann:

So if elected officials don't behave in the way you think or the Republicans think is right - we should toss democracy/voting/elections out the window? Dictator Snyder should assign a leader for cities? Instead of engaging in personal attacks - why don't you try some facts?

You say "Republicans" and "Dictator Snyder" when the OPs point was that it was Gov Granholm that did the assigning.

Regardless of that you do bring up an interesting point. You rightly point out that this does throw democracy out the window, but how do we deal with jurisdictions that are so economically dysfunctional? Let them go bankrupt and not pay the city employees?

WorkerBee's picture
WorkerBee
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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm

What is the democratic solution to cities with debt problems?

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Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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