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Posted on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Q&A with Brandon A. Jessup: The fight to repeal Michigan's Emergency Manager law

By Lucy Ann Lance

Michigan voters may eventually decide the fate of the state’s controversial emergency manager law. Michigan Forward, the organization aiming to repeal Public Act 4, says it’s close to getting the issue on the November ballot.

On 1290 WLBY, Dean Erskine and I talked with Michigan Forward’s Brandon Jessup. The following is an edited version of our conversation, which can be heard in its entirety online at

Lucy Ann: How many signatures do you have and how many do you need to get this before Michigan voters?


Brandon A. Jessup is the chairman/CEO of Michigan Forward.

Jessup: We have over 200,000 signatures now. We need 161,000 signatures to place this issue on the ballot in November 2012. We feel confident that the Secretary of State will certify those signatures.

Lucy Ann: At what point will you turn those over?

Jessup: February 29th at 1 p.m. The rule of thumb is to collect around 30 percent more than what you need. We’ve been verifying signatures using a copy of the Qualified Voter File from the State of Michigan and over 90 percent of the signatures we’ve collected we’ve found are actual valid signatures of voters.

Lucy Ann: What is it that Michigan Forward does not like about an emergency financial manager being appointed to help bail out a failing city or school district?

Jessup: The budget cuts and the reforms made by the current administration in our governor’s chair are compounded with a still anemic housing and job market in a lot of Michigan’s major cities. The dictatorship is stripping rights of local representation, and having no transparency and accountability in the process is counterintuitive. We need new ways to restructure our government.

Lucy Ann: You’re quick to blame the administration and the governor, but what about the fact that many of these municipalities and schools are financially strapped because of the deals that were made with unions that are no longer sustainable?

Jessup: When it comes to organized labor, we’ve seen contracts that are restructured over the last five years but we’re not making progress. Yes, we all had a part to play in how we got here. We didn’t vote for kings, we voted for elected officials and we believe in democracy. Dean: Don’t you think that calling our current administration a dictatorship is pretty strong?

Brandon: It’s a strong term, but this administration is overly egregious. It’s funny that the administration has given us legislation of this strength before they’ve even been 90 days in office. But our governor in the previous administration forecasted that over 150 school districts would be in financial decline entering the 2011 financial year. They have also said now that over 80 municipalities and counties will be in financial distress in 2012. We pass this law as a poor stopgap but we don’t find ways to shore up our public roads and to secure the core services.

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Dean: I find the term “dictatorship” fairly offensive.

Jessup: Whenever you give someone the right to remove our local elected officials, to strip us of our rights of local elected representation, I can’t find any other word to describe what’s being done in Detroit, Flint, Benton Harbor, and other communities.

Dean: Dictatorships don’t have elections. We have a representative form of government, we have representatives that are sent to the state, elected by the people of the state, and I just find calling Governor Snyder a dictator to be very offensive and I don’t think it advances your cause with a lot of people. I think you need to go after this from a more centrist viewpoint and convince people, not call names.

Jessup: The work that’s being done right now under Public Act 4 is applying dictators in the local communities. How can I elect a mayor when he becomes contracted to the emergency manager? Where are my local voting rights?

Lucy Ann: But it’s being done by a governor who was elected by the people of Michigan and he’s trying to be the most responsible with his fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers. The state Legislature determined in this act that the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the entire state would be materially and adversely affected by the insolvency of units of local governments, and that’s what they’re preventing from happening.

Jessup: Emergency management kills communities. It slows down small businesses. Let’s bring the small business community together. Let’s bring the corporate community together. If the local representation can’t do it, the governor should step in and say, “I can do it. I’ll bring everyone to the table to help our community thrive.”

Lucy Ann: You’d be agreeable to the governor saying, “Let’s all get together and figure this out.” But he has empowered someone to do that for him and for the people of the State of Michigan.

Jessup: And these guys have absolute power with absolute authority.

Dean: But isn’t that what a mayor in that situation has done?

Jessup: A mayor is accountable to the public.

Dean: Right, and so is our governor.

Jessup: Well the governor is, but his appointees under emergency management aren’t. He’s created elite bureaucrats who are recommended by review teams who don’t even operate under the Open Meetings Act. They don’t operate in transparent meetings and they don’t have any accountability and they don’t disclose their findings to the public.

Lucy Ann: If the leaders of a school district or the municipalities that have been involved in this haven’t had the courage to stand up to their unions in an effort to balance their budgets, then there has to be another solution or these cities are going to go into bankruptcy.

Brandon: This is the problem. How do our municipalities create better revenue? Lucy Ann: It’s not about getting more money. I can point to the City of Ann Arbor. There was a time here not too long ago where we had over 1,000 employees in the City of Ann Arbor government. We’re down to under 700 now. There have been great strides made here with the unions. Ann Arbor has done the right thing in making these cutbacks. Likewise, for Washtenaw County government.

Dean: You’re saying you can’t count on any more cuts, how in the world can Wayne County administrator Robert Ficano give a $200,000 severance package pay for someone who moves from one department to another? There’s a cut. That’s why you need the emergency financial manager.

Jessup: What you do is vote him out. Those are abuses of power. Yes, you can cut back and look at regionalization and municipalities sharing costs. We need to generate revenue in unconventional ways. We can’t just continue to raise rates. We have to get the community back involved. In the state of Michigan the non-profit industry is the No. 2 employer in the state. We have so many non-profits that galvanize volunteers. We can use volunteers to bring the city closer to self-governance, to do things like community policing and public works. We can’t have that conversation with the threat of an emergency manager.

Dean: Government acts like there is an unending amount of money and they operate that way. They need to really clean up their act before you ever go to a taxpayer and say that you should have increased taxes to help balance a budget.

Jessup: We have to hold everyone’s feet to the fire. We have to realize the urgency of the situation in Detroit. We supply 40 percent of the state’s water. I don’t want to see anyone’s water rates go up under a dictatorship, and I don’t want people to go because we had to raise taxes to pay our own bills. I want to make sure that Detroit is a sustainable city. Michigan depends on us to be self-sustaining. We’re a huge part of the economy. We’re still the No. 1 border crossing in North America and we have to protect that responsibility and make sure that our children have something to be proud of.

Lucy Ann: I think that the governor would tell you that that’s exactly what he’s doing with an emergency financial manager. He wants to make sure that these communities are not a drain on the entire state of Michigan.

Lucy Ann Lance & Dean Erskine co-own Lance & Erskine Communications, which produces “The Lucy Ann Lance Business Insider” (M-F, 8 a.m.-11 a.m.) and “The Lucy Ann Lance Show” (Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.) on 1290 WLBY. The programs are live streamed and podcast on Lance also recently retired from CTN, the City of Ann Arbor’s community media center, after a 30-year career.



Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Why did they take a picture of Brandon Jessup talking on the phone? Maybe he was talking with someone about how he plans on correcting this mess?

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:31 p.m.

Would that be similar to Obama Care? How you can trust either side baffles me.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

If the repeal effort does not go through just watch Synder and crew go after even more of your rights . Lets start with property assessments and your right to appeal.

Joe Kidd

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Oh I love this stuff: "We need new ways to restructure our government." Huh? What does this mean? Restructure but not into a dictatorship. "It's funny that the administration has given us legislation of this strength before they've even been 90 days in office. But our governor in the previous administration forecasted that over 150 school districts would be in financial decline entering the 2011 financial year." Big mistake to bring this up. So, in his opinion, you have to wait at least 90 days to act on a vital issue. And speaking of schools in fiscal peril, our former Governor waited until Detroit Public Schools was almost $300 million before appointing Robert Bobb. The school board, who was allowed to stay in office, sued Mr. Bobb. So maybe instead of waiting until 90 days we should use the standard of hundreds of millions in debt as the time to appoint an EFM? "Emergency management kills communities. It slows down small businesses. Let's bring the small business community together. Let's bring the corporate community together. If the local representation can't do it, the governor should step in and say, "I can do it. I'll bring everyone to the table to help our community thrive." This is just funny. EM slows small business. Get together? Come to the table and do what, Mr. Jessup? "This is the problem. How do our municipalities create better revenue?" Got an idea? "We need to generate revenue in unconventional ways." Like what? I am surprised he didn't add "creative and innovative" to his sentence here. "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain. And most fools do." Benjamin Franklin.

The Black Stallion3

Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.

Monica.. If these city's can not figure out how to budget their money then we the tax payers will put an EM into those city's to do it for them. The tax payers of this state do not deserve to pay for mismanagement of city officials. What is it that is so hard to understand about this?

Monica R-W

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.

The Black Stallion, You're wrong... I'm a Independent (Left Lending), running two "businesses" and serve as a public official. This is why I strongly believe Judge Collette's ruling was the most justified ruling of judicial authority....probably since 1837. Elected officials, whomever they are or whatever party there're affiliated with, can't pick and choose which legal statues in state law they desire not to align. It does work that way....not at all. The only way to right this wrong, Public Act #4, is for the Republican led House and Senate to redraft a version of the previous act- Public Act #72 of 1990. This measure was Constitutionally sound, met each test of the Open Meetings Act 276 of 1976 and allowed for a true process to assist cities on the brink of insolvency. Democracy isn't a quick fix and sometimes a individuals' or group allied interest doesn't win....but its' what our Founding Father's fought and in some cases, died for.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

It is obvious that the Dem's have no clue how to run business, school or Gov't.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

Sounds like the GOP party to me.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:19 a.m.

Talk about abuse of power, Jessup is a front man for organized labor. Union influence is at work and struggling to maintain their power base. unbalanced union influence is out of control. Look at the bus service in Detroit. Union labor slowdowns are putting folks out of work because they can't get to their jobs. Talk about a "dictatorship" that's what union labor has become. They are an influential minority putting not only the middle class at risk, but abusing the poor with their unsustainable debt and demand for high wages that makes business noncompetitive, which reduces a need for true wage earners. The EFM is able to break that union strangle hold on financial viability. Of course union supporters will fight. Just hope they don't win because 85% of us will be paying the price for union affluence and real worker economic and political influence will continue to diminish.

Joe Baublis

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 12:33 a.m.

Jessup is relying on "name calling" to support his blackmail. That's an indication of weakness on his part. He doesn't comprehend the basis of the Governors action, nor does he understand the "law" created by the legislature therefore he is resorting to the low-down scum-sucking tactic commonly referred to as "ad hominem". That's the term used to describe a person who lacks sufficient substance to support his argument and resorts to personal attack of his opponent. Jessup is essentially requesting the STATE government to assume bad debts for rogue city governments. Jessup uses the term "dictator" to personally attack the man - Snyder - who is refusing the blackmail. The fact is that the State government legislators - who are the People's elected representatives - updated the pre-existing EFM law and Snyder is enforcing that law. That law has been challenged in court, and a judge determined that the "open meetings" argument had merit. Therefore, the "open meetings" argument will move forward into the Court of Appeals (COA). At the COA the State's "attorney general" - who used to be a COA justice, will argue to his old pals that the "open meetings" argument is bogus, and then his old pals will rule in his favor and save the STATE from paying the debts rightfully belonging to the rogue city governments which created them. The COA has recently be down-sized, so those justices are well aware of the State's financial circumstances. They will not allow the State to take on more debt, but the appeal process will allow the Unions more time to compromise. The State of Michigan has a $76 Billion debt (according to the debt clock) and that's down by 5 billion due to Snyder. However, the STATE cannot - and the people must not allow the State - to assume the debts of rogue municipal governments. It would be completely unfair for counties and cities which operated within their own budget

Chase Ingersoll

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

Okay, since I took some "in-comings" for criticizing Brandon Jessup's "glamor shot" here's a more specific critique. PROBLEMS WITH THE PHOTO: 1. THE PHOTO CROPS HIS HEAD! Photography 101, cropping the head is always the last option. In this case he could have brought his head down and cropped more torso. 2. CENTER the head. You don't tilt it off to the side. 3. Look straight ahead, don't tilt your head looking down. 4. GET YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR FACE! What is this "index finger to my ear, pinky out to my mouth like I am talking on an air phone", pose? 5. Never ever, use so much airbrushing on a forehand to the point that it looks airbrushed. Has he no girlfriend to explain to him that the whole idea of makeup is to make it look like you are not wearing any. PROBLEMS WITH THE FASHION: 1. His suit is too big at the shoulders. That is why you see the dimples on his left shoulder. 2. The arms are cut too short. You buy the broader shouldered suit because it comes with longer arms and then tailor it down, or you buy the athletic fit that comes that way. 3. Never, ever show the entire cuff of the shirt. His shirt sleeve is peaking out from the sleeve of his jacket. 4. The tie is all wrong. You have a blue pinstripe suit with a white shirt. That's fine. But you can't then put a tie that is predominately white on top of a white shirt. MAJOR FASHION FAUX PAS!!! The tie must be dominated by colors that stand off from the white background. As far as the color combination and design, a safe bet is that at least one color on the tie should match the suit (but not the dominate color) and if the suit has pinstripes, your tie should have a horizontal design rather than a vertical or diagonal design (diagonal can work) and that design should have a"ratio" between the dominate and non dominate colors that harmonizes with the jacket/suit coat. Apologies: best friend from college, was the first black manager of upscale store and

The Black Stallion3

Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 12:58 a.m.

Such a beautiful story.....emphasis on story.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 8:16 p.m.

Jealousy? No, I don't own a plantation or slaves ... slavery is against the law and against the rights of humanity and my morals, and would deprive me of some of my very best friends, owning a plantation makes no sense in SE Michigan as far as I can tell, I am much happier in my condo, and I prefer color photos to black and white -- it is 2012 after all. And, I have a beautiful family of my own that I don't need to rent and squeeze onto a 1/4" photo on So, I'm missing the point about what jealousy you are referring to Black Stallion ?

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:55 p.m.

Sounds like jealousy to me


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

And whose kids are you borrowing for your fake family shot? I'd do it with more color, less distraction in the upper left corner, fewer appendages showing, maybe some better lighting. Also, are the kids getting paid residuals for their camera time? I mean really, using fake family shots to post with messages contains phrases about about corrupt, stupid voters, slaves working on a plantation?

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

The race card is reserved for others

Monica R-W

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:39 a.m.

The Black Stallion, Umm, no it didn't but at least on this occasion, he proved a better defense than pulling the "race card".

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

Great job again Chase, that kind of put the cork in the bottle so to say.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

I didn't realize this was a photography/fashion article ... I thought it was an article on the policy of EFM. Must be my bad ? ROFL.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

So what do we call it when MY tax dollars go to a local government or school district??????? Taxation without representation! If the locals cannot manage themselves then who does?????? If tax dollars cannot be managed then the Governor should just cut them off....period! Then "Barrack" Jessop will really be howling.

Yeah buddy

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

Let the issue go up for a vote, make the voting public knowledge, so that way when the cities now go bankrupt and raise the intrest rates for the entire state as a consequence we can be sure to only pass the increased tax burden on to those that wanted to allow bankruptcy. That way everyone wins.

David Cahill

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

It's a dictatorship if you're the folks on the bottom who have had your elected officials ousted.

Joe Kidd

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:02 a.m.

So a recall of an elected official equals a dictatorship?

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

Like I stated before, I am 100 % in favor of an EM to get these tax funded entity's straightened out, they obviously do not know how to do it on their own.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

I agree with Black Stallion3. The corruption of government officials and unions are the problem and its become necessary for the EM to straighten it out. If unions and city officials were honest we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. Think about it!

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

Really, where is Mr. Martin? This process is suppose to be about &quot;saving&quot; school districts and local entities for bankruptcy right? Highland Park's teachers were facing (and did face) a pay-less payday on Friday. Mr. Martin could have came back to work, with the blessing of the Highland Park School Board vote on Wednesday...yet....he's not there to solve the crisis. Don't worry....instead, the GOP Led Legislative Body in Lansing found time on Wednesday (and money too from somewhere) to vote for a Highland Park School District allocation of $4000 per pupil to save the district from insolvency. Interesting.....very interesting indeed. The bill which the Republican led House and Senate voted IN FAVOR for, is House Bill 4445-i.e. the Distressed Student Grant. So IS available for struggling school districts (and maybe even some cities) like Highland Park AFTER Emergency Manager Martin was &quot;deactivated&quot; but, ironically not before. Interesting....indeed. Last point....amazingly Treasurer DINO Democrat Dillon now believes that Public Act #4 needs &quot;revamping&quot;. Really Andy Dillon? Was that conclusion made before or AFTER Judge Collette's ruling. I would say probably after. Either way, Dillon recent thoughts were VERIFIED by State Senator Burt Johnson (D-Highland Park) at a public forum about P.A. #4 in Highland Park, just prior to the school board meeting. In fact, ROJS News....has it ON TAPE. Take a listen....<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> It appears, regardless of those who believe that Mr. Jessup's picture is a &quot;glamour shot&quot;.....his organizations effort to hold a Constitutional Referendum vote about the legal validity of Public Act #4, is right after all. Good job Mr. Jessup and Michigan Forward. Maybe Jessup should consider a run for the Governor's office during 2014?

Monica R-W

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:36 a.m.

DonBee.... I was AT the meeting in Highland Park. The money is allocated per the following tasks per State Senator Burt Johnson (D-Highland Park) who voted on the measure: 1. To maintain students who choose to remain in the Highland Park District. 2. To fund students that decided to attend charter schools over remaining in the District. 3. To maintain Highland Park Public Schools operations until the end of this school year. There are about 924 students in total, in the H.P. School District. State Senator Burt Johnson statement is located in a voice file, at the follow link: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Monica - $4,000 for the districts or schools the students transfer TO, not Highland Park.

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

A playboy for governor ? No Way

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

Allow me to vehemently disagree with Lucy Lance, Dean Erskine and those &quot;regular&quot; Ann commentators who for some reason believe Public Act #4 doesn't not represent a true attack of the solvency of residents in Democracy represented communities of Pontiac, Benton Harbor, Flint and the Highland Park School Board. Ms. Lance provided a transcript for a section of this interview, I'm sure others of the like minded thinking as her, wanted to read. Dean and her, taking on Brandon Jessup-Chairman &amp; C.E.O. of Michigan Forward. What Ms. Lance and company forgot to include in this version of the interview, is a valid question about Judge William Collette's ruling on 2/6. More on the ruling is located here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> For individuals who choose not to read the link, Judge Collette ruling found that Public Act #4 closed &quot;Financial Review Team Meetings&quot; were indeed in VIOLATION of Michigan's Open Meetings Act #442 of 1976. To break this ruling down specifically, that means each of the Emergency Manager's in Flint, Benton Harbor, Pontiac and with Highland Park Public Schools were appointed in VIOLATION of Michigan's Constitutional and Legal Precedence Statues. With Highland Park Public Schools, that meant for E.M. Jack Martin who was &quot;activated&quot; by the &quot;closed Financial Review Team&quot; process at the end of January 2012, he (Martin) was suddenly &quot;deactivated&quot; by Gov. Snyder February 21st from his &quot;duties&quot;. Why that is...because his &quot;appointment&quot; was Unconstitutional in nature. In Benton Harbor, E.M. Joseph Harris is quickly scrambling to give power back to B.H.'s elected governmental city commission this week and I expect Flint's. E.M. and Louis Schimmel ...Pontiac's E.M. will soon, do the same. Couple of other points about P.A. #4. At the H.P. School Board meeting on 2/22 which I attended....the board voted in favor of allowing Mr. Martin to return. So...if his appointment is SO RIGHT...where is

Monica R-W

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 9:11 p.m.

One more correction....O.P.A. should be O.M.A or the Open Meeting Act 267 of 1976. Apologize and thanks!

Monica R-W

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

Joe Kidd, We addressed your question on our weekend political talk podcast this morning ROJS Radio Sparty stated....yes, that means specifically each &quot;E.M. appointment&quot; in Pontiac, Flint, Benton Harbor IS in question. Judge Collette's ruling specifically focused on if the &quot;Closed Financial Review Team or Review Team&quot; process was in violation to O.P.A. -this a correction of the specific's P.A. 267 of 1976. With such, each recommendation that a E.M. be appointed AND findings the &quot;Financial Review Team or Review Team&quot; concluded is in violation Michigan's O.P.A. Because the process &quot;meetings&quot; to determine if a E.M. was necessary via closed sessions, along with each follow up action afterwards, should be null and void. Also, there's a issue of Michigan Constitutional statues P.A. 4 violates in addition to the O.P.A.. That is addressed in detail at our blog.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

Yes the appointments were a violation of the open meetings act and are invalidated now in some locations. More to come!

Joe Kidd

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:10 a.m.

The court ruling addresses open and closed meetings. I was aware of it when I read this story, but it only means they must hold open meetings. It does not mean the appointments were a violation of the Open Meetings Act.

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

Starting to sound like the same rhetoric we hear from our largest city, sooner or later it catches up to them and they fall like bowling pins.

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

Angry Moderate, Read about former Gov. James Blanchard's Public Act #72, which is the statue that former Gov. Jennifer Granholm operated under. Compare that to Public Act #4 then reply back with the differences. I'll let you know ahead of time....Judge Collette's decision was based on one of these differences.

Angry Moderate

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

Funny, I don't recall these same people complaining that Granholm's appointments were unconstitutional.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Only in our government can you do an absolutely terrible job of admistration and keep your job. In the private sector you lose your job and someone else takes your place and rights the ship. Why the citizenry would want the same administrators making political decisions at the expense of prudent financail ones is beyond me. It is becoming the norm in this country for bad decisions to be made for politcal expediency and the taxpayers being expected to bail out the politicians..............and then they get re-elected! When did we stop using our brains and vote for people who are good at making us feel good and can appeal to our emotions? When will we learn...........?


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

February 29th marks the beginning of the referendum leading to the repeal of PA 4. Democracy wins!


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

No, they need 161,000 and they already have 200,000 - more than enough to submit Joe Kidd. Please read more carefully.

Joe Kidd

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:20 a.m.

I kind of doubt that. According to Mr. Jessup, they have collected 200,000 signatures and they need 161,000 more signatures by February 29. If they need 361,000, 200,000 is only 55% of what they need. They have to almost double what they have. Unless they started just four days ago, I would not bet on them reaching their goal. If Feb 29 is the deadline they need to get busy.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

And if the referendum passes, Detroit loses!


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

I think Mr. Jessup need to consult with a point specialist. He does not seem to have a clear and concise response to the questions as posed by Lance and Erskine. I admire his effort but he seems more about styling than real substance. Unfortunately, he will probably be one of the future leaders in the &quot;Black Community&quot; and no doubt, we will experience more of the same. He need to fine tune his message. It lacks focus.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Finally someone sees the assault on democracy. I thought I was living in Germany in 1936.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 2:26 a.m.

Right, saving our cities is just like Germany in 1936. I don't understand why folks like you think Detroiters should rot in poverty, but I'm sick and tired of listening to this nonsense.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

EMs contain the damage to the city/township/school district in question. Bankruptcy means all units of government in the state have to pay from interest on bonds and other debt, if they want to issue any new debt. EMs save you and I money in taxes we would have to pay and services that can be retained because interest rates do not rise. Don't believe me? Check out what happened in California and Rhode Island after towns declared bankruptcy. I may not like all of the EM law, but it is there to protect the majority from the irresponsible.

Joe Kidd

Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:30 a.m.

There are no facts in that article Honey Badger. Here is a California story: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Note the costs of just the bankruptcy legal fees Here is a Rhode Island story: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Note that the unions refused to bargain with the elected officials And what can happen to retiree pensions when cities go bankrupt: <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;src=twrhp</a>

Honey Badger Don't Care

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

Hey DonBee how about you read the article and look at the facts before you go off on us like that. Kthanksbye.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

The people of Detroit have had plenty of opportunity to fix their own mess over many decades. They continue to elect corrupt officials, and even re-elect corrupt officials when their corruption is well known (Kwame, where are you now??). When the flagship city of the State is dragging the rest of the State down with it, because of its utter inability to handle its own finances, it's time for the rest of the State to step in. As much as we long-time Michiganders love to say we love Detroit, let's face it - I don't know a single person who wouldn't prefer to have a more vital city like Chicago down the highway from us. I am dismayed that the Governor has not been more assertive. We need a strong Detroit - healthy, growing, and free of corruption. We need city employees that actually do their jobs - not hide behind backdoor union deals that have empowered them to live off the declining tax base. Yes, emergency manager appointment is paternalistic - but we have given the City plenty of time to get out from under its woes on its own, and it's blantantly clear that it's time for the rest of us to step in and do something. Whining about &quot;dictatorship&quot; and demanding the status quo does nothing to fix the problems of Detroit.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

If you don't like the EFM law, there are two alternatives: 1. Fiscal Responsibility 2. Bankruptcy EFM is not &quot;forced&quot; on any government entity.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

How does a referendum address the underlying fiscal mess of any community? The status quo is the path to bankruptcy. Be careful what you wish for. You may get it.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Option 3 is a citizen referendum.

Chase Ingersoll

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

Birds of a feather flock together. Incompetent and corrupt VOTERS elect their incompetent and corrupt PEERS, who hire their incompetent, friends, neighbors and FAMILY members and via collective bargaining, pay them far more than the value of the work they perform, while file 13ing more qualified applicants. Emergency Manager?! These people need a Federal Prosecutor and a Bankruptcy Trustee. Fortunately, to quote Mayor Bing, &quot;...they either can't read, can't add, or can't comprehend...&quot; the effect of the Bankruptcy Court. What I suspect that the union rank and file who are against the EMS are thinking, is that the Bankruptcy Court is going to come in and wipe out all of the pension obligations leaving any incoming revenue to pay the existing collective bargaining agreement. Just remember that about them, when anyone says that government has to keeps its promises. The only promise government is supposed to make is to preserve liberty and equal justice under the law, neither of which it can do when the primary purpose has become cradle to grave benefits for union members and SO-CALLED public servants who practice slavery upon their plantation of private sector tax payers. Chase Ingersoll

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

You need to learn to take sometimes and not always be looking for a fight, try it, it will make your Saturday much more pleasant.

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

The Black Stallion, Maybe you have an issue with reading WHO THREW the color-coded words of &quot;slavery&quot; and &quot;plantation&quot; in the mix. That....would be Chase. When folks are smart enough to call out the individual for leading this discussion into unnecessary choose to defend them. Typical behavior. Have a wonderful Saturday afternoon.

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

I just knew someone would eventually have to make this into a racial thing, please refrain from such nonsense, thank you

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

Chase, Really? This line....seriously? &quot;SO-CALLED public servants who practice slavery upon their plantation of private sector tax payers.&quot; So, when your side is losing (read below) the legal validity of Public Act #4, you prefer to throw a little bit of &quot;Slavery&quot; and the old &quot;Plantation&quot; code in the mix? Really? And you talk about Mr. Jessup's professional picture on this article above. Come on Chase....let us in on your true feelings here. Better yet, don't worry.....your mix of &quot;Word Salad&quot; already has. Also, by the way.....public sector workers do indeed SERVE the PUBLIC in tasks like picking up your trash, renewing your driver's license, keeping convicted felons or those waiting trials for violence crimes (or worse) in prisons or jails, making the public aware of issues which could impact their health (like tracking illnesses related to the Washtenaw County E-Col sprout outbreak), adding salt to snow covered roads or just protecting public safety and welfare as police officers and county sheriff's do daily. Personally, I glad that they are available to perform jobs like those described above &quot;plantation&quot; and &quot;slavery&quot; references are required for them to do so. Just saying.....


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

That's clever, calling voters incompetent and corrupt. However, voters are what makes the USA a democracy. If you are against the concept of voting, consider moving to .... I don't know, maybe Syria?


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

Chase, One of the best posts I have ever read on in a long time. I doubt anyone will try to argue with you, if they try, they will look foolish ! Good Day


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

Calling the EM process a &quot;dictatorship&quot; is just ridiculous. You lose all credibility and have marginalized your case with most of us. In a way, I hope you do get what you want, so several years down the road ( if not sooner) the city of Detroit will have no choice but to file bancrupcy. At that point, the city can tear up any current contracts with the unions and start over fresh. Love the &quot;Glamour Shots&quot; photo, where did you get that done ? Go Green Go White

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

Obviously thinks he is something special with that pose.

Chase Ingersoll

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 1:39 p.m.

Can you please do this guy a favor and stop using the &quot;glamour shot&quot;. I can't see a photo like that and not think, immature, superficial, narcissist. Chase Ingersoll

Chase Ingersoll

Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 11 p.m.

Sparty, those are two of my kids. The one up in the corner, is me, when I was their age. In a higher resolution than allows, most can see the resemblance. It's a good ice-breaker at a lot of Ann Arbor and U of M events, where people recognize me, because I use my real name and real photo. You might try it.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

And whose kids are you borrowing for your fake family shot? I'd do it with more color, less distraction in the upper left corner, fewer appendages showing, maybe some better lighting. Also, are the kids getting paid residuals for thir camera time? I mean really, using fake family shots to post with messages contains phrases about about corrupt, stupid voters, slaves working on a plantation?

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Chase is entitled to his opinion of what he thinks it looks like and I agree with him.

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

Sparty, Yes it is for Chase. Instead of a decent professional shot picture of Mr. Jessup-Chairman and C.E.O. of Michigan Forward, I'm unsure what Chase expected Mr. Jessup's picture to look like. Maybe Chase will let us in on his idea of what a Professional picture is and why he has a issue with Mr. Jessup's shot?


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

Is that your rebuttal to the EFM legislation?

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

I am 100% for Emergency Managers when a city such as Detroit has proven that it can not get it's fiscal house in order. The tax payers of Michigan do not want to fund the problems in Detroit any longer without some accountability.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

How does EM &quot;kill communities&quot; and &quot;slow down small businesses&quot;? Please explain.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

Is there somewhere to read Jessup's concrete ideas (actually doable, not &quot;if we could only&quot;) for fixing Detroit and the other cities? Also, please find another photo other than this &quot;GQ&quot; one, it is hard to read this as a serious interview.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

His vitriol, disrespect for the governor, and apparent ignorance of how deep the problems are and what feasible solutions would be are what make it hard to take him seriously.

Alan Goldsmith

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

For a more 'fair and balanced' take on this issue&quot; <a href=""></a>

Alan Goldsmith

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Apparently the folks who ran this interview hate democracy and bringing this to a vote of the people? Lol.

Murphy's dad

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Where did you read that in this interview? I read it twice and it only appears that they're in favor of EFM's, not against it being put on the ballot and brought to a vote by the people. Was this comment an assumption on your part or did you see something that I didn't?

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

Brandon Jessup took you on Lucy and its appears Michigan Foward's efforts will be successful to turn in over the number of signatures required to hold a Constitutional Referendum vote on Public Act #4. Also, the question no one on the side of P.A. #4 has yet to answer effectively is....what about the clear violation of the Michigan Constitution in regards to P.A. 4 with the Home Rule Act of 1963? It's OK with folks on the other side, that we throw out state Constitutional Law precedent when, it seeks to support questionable actions of State Government taking over local elected officials and operations. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:59 p.m.

I am sorry Monica but that is such a worn out statement and gives such an insight as to where you are coming from. We the tax payers of Michigan will correct the problem for Detroit if they can't.

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

The Black Stallion, The only people that should demand anything for Detroit its' tax-paying citizens. Worry about your community and, make your demands know, where YOU pay taxes.

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

Detroit is headed down no mater which avenue they fall under, they have no idea how to right the ship and someone outside of the city will have to do it for them because we the people demand it.