Monday, April 16, 2007

The $30K Question: Ann Coulter or a Job?

Update: Since posting this, I just received an email from informing me that the Livingston Economic Development Council is no longer a member of the LEC, despite being listed on the LEC's website. See below for the email text.

In Michigan, the Livingston Economic Club (LEC) is going to pay Angry Ann Coulter over $30,000 to come and speak at Cleary University this fall. Wow, with that kind of cash, business must be pretty good in Livingston County.

Too bad that's far from the case. The fact is, one of the LEC's own sponsors, the Livingston Economic Development Council is struggling to stay afloat. According to the Livingston Co. Press and Argus after having to let staff go - the agency is really hoping its donors will step up contributions to help keep the lights on.
(Livingston Co. Administrator Bob) Block said having (LEDC Director Fred) Dillingham provide economic development services is a cost-effective way for the county to attract and retain businesses.

“It’s a legitimate and meaningful activity to promote economic development within your jurisdiction,” he said.

In such a poor economy, “clearly an effort to retain the existing employee base and seek out the next generation is maybe more important,” Block added.

Bill Rogers, county board chairman and member of the EDC board, agreed.

“Right now, if anything these folks are more critical to help existing businesses stay existing, and to help bring in new businesses,” he said.
By the way, Bill Rogers is also the brother of LEC Founder and conservative MI Congressman Mike Rogers.

Businesses in Livingston aren't the only ones suffering, in the village of Pinckney (pop. 2000) scores of teachers are being offered buyouts to counter the district's $1.5 million budget deficit.

According to an employee with the Michigan Works! Livingston Service Center, the Center is seeing 1800-2000 new clients a month who are looking for a job, which is 21,600 to 24,000 people a year looking for a regular paycheck.

Livingston County, like the rest of the state, is economically suffering. So why would the Livingston Economic Council opt to spend $30,000+ to bring a hate-monger like Ann Coulter to town rather than providing a member of their community with the means for employment ? In Michigan, $30,000 is more than enough to put a roof over someone's head and food on the table.

Exactly where are the priorities of the Livingston Economic Council? On promoting hate and intolerance and bleeding their area dry or on improving the economic situation of their area? What kind of investment from the LEC do you think the residents of Livingston County would prefer - one more job, or a visit from Coulter?

*If you haven't already, please contact the LEC Founders and tell them to invest their money in jobs, not Ann Coulter. Visit yesterday's post for the list of names and contact information.

Update cont: Email from Fred Dillingham, Director of the Livingston Economic Development Council -
We were series sponsors in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Due to budget shortfalls, the EDC is not a sponsor for this year's series. The EDC did not participate in either the selection of speakers or the solicitation of sponsors for the 2007 series.
Interesting, I wonder if we'll hear from any of the other LEC Founders?

1 comment:

Ron West said...

Wow. MAnn Coulter gets 30K a pop? Color me amazed. I can't imagine anyone paying a plugged nickel for him.