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Fourth Ward Dem Incumbent Margie Teall Launches Campaign Website Fit For a Republican

by P.D. Lesko

Margie Teall is not one of the Ann Arbor City Council members who used to be a Republican, changed parties, then ran as Democrats. She’s one of the Democrats on Ann Arbor City Council who votes like a Republican, squeezes pay concessions out of (then screws) local trade unions with the zeal of a Sarah Palin “Mama Grizzley,” boasts about her efforts to shove Ann Arbor in the direction of “smaller government” with the smug satisfaction of those Reagan-Thatcher  aficionados who are still kicking, supports public-private “partnerships” enthusiastically, much like a charter member of ALEC might do, and openly attacks her opponent like, well, only a long-time drone in the Hieftje Hive Mind Collective can.

In short, Margie Teall (in bow, right, from an editorial cartoon, published in response to Teall’s use of email to rig votes and deride city residents during Council meetings, in the late Ann Arbor News) has launched her campaign web site. It’s a primer in Republican policy, vagaries, puffery, bitch slaps and outright Burger King sandwiches—all served up on a toasted bun with fries and a huge cup of the usual Kool-Aid served up by Hieftje and his political supporters—of whom Teall is an important one. Hieftje’s endorsement is the only one on the site thus far.

So what’s Teall taking credit for this time around?

For starters, did you know that Council member Teall helped “secure a $1 million grant to demolish dilapidated Georgetown Mall!”? Just one, tiny problem: the grant is not secure. Oops. The devil is always in the details. In this case: “The DEQ offered to award the grant to the county, with the condition that the developer show project financing within 120 days of grant award. The concern on the part of the DEQ, Voght said, was giving the grant to a project that doesn’t occur.”

No developer financing within 120 days of the grant. No grant.

Teall’s site doesn’t link directly to the AnnArbor.com story, but rather a PDF copy. Former Council member Stephen Rapundalo pulled the same PDF-the-story scam. Why? The reader comments that appeared after the AnnArbor.com story were digital guffaws and rotten tomatoes in response to this quote from Teall: “After years of working with neighbors, the state, the county and the developer, I am very pleased that the old Georgetown Mall will finally come down,” City Council Member Margie Teall, D-4th Ward, said in a statement. “This is a tremendous benefit for the neighborhood.”

Reader comments start out cranky and devolve from there:

Not quite a done deal. “He said a meeting with the developer and DEQ a few weeks back had resulted in the DEQ offering to award the grant to the county, with the condition that the developer show project financing within 120 days of grant award. The concern on the part of the DEQ, Voght said, was giving the grant to a project that doesn’t occur.”

“He said a meeting with the developer and DEQ a few weeks back had resulted in the DEQ offering to award the grant to the county, with the condition that the developer show project financing within 120 days of grant award. The concern on the part of the DEQ, Voght said, was giving the grant to a project that doesn’t occur.”

“After years of working with neighbors, the state, the county and the developer, I am very pleased that the old Georgetown Mall will finally come down,” City Council Member Margie Teall, D-4th Ward, said in a statement. “This is a tremendous benefit for the neighborhood.” Look who has screwed this issue up for years, failed to act or reply to emails and now, MAGICALLY, she’s taking credit a few weeks before the August primary for her reelection. I guess if the emails had been titled 2 Per Cent For Art Rally you would have been all over it? I love politician taking credit for OUR tax dollars going to bail out the City’s and private business’ failures.

Margie who? She’s been absent for years on this mess and now wants credit? Is an election pending by chance in Ward 4? She’s issued more statements in two months than in two years, but is still absent from Council meetings and has historically failed to respond to constituent concerns. No to Margie Teall in November!

I am wondering the same thing, along with why it takes so long to get a mess removed from property. Since most owners of property like this one are very well off, why do we put up with many years of letting it rot, and to top it all off WE end up paying for the removal via our tax dollars.

Guess Ms. Teall was too busy working on her press release for this she didn’t have time to show up at the last City Council meeting? Lol.

One “accomplishment” that is absent from Teall’s web site is her 2010 involvement in the Council majority’s underhanded efforts to use public funding to lure a locally-connected developer into building a convention center atop the almost-completed underground parking garage. A2Politico revealed many of the backroom deals associated with the effort, and a citizen group derailed the effort. The failure to close the deal left Teall (and committee chair Rapundalo) with political egg all over their faces. It left taxpayers with an underground parking garage that cost millions extra—built with additional supports.

Teall also neglects to mention her rock solid support of the city’s Percent for Art hornet’s nest. Fourth Ward Council member Margie Teall “compared the idea of reducing the percentage to taking back a tax abatement that had been granted,” according to coverage of a 2011 City Council meeting by the AnnArborChronicle.com. In May 2012 she again voted against reducing the amount of money frittered away on public art. At the same meeting, she voted against re-funding a variety of citizen services, including committing available money to hire additional fire fighters. She also voted against a proposal to up the number of police officers. You’d do better to call the bronze sculpture in front of the new City Hall tin can the next time you’re in need of a cop, perhaps.

While Council member Teall reaches back to 2002 to find “accomplishments” for her campaign web site, she skips over her    sponsorship of a 2007-2008 resolution to ban plastic bags at local grocery stores. Months of staff time and plastic bags of taxpayer money wasted on that one.

Unlike public services such as police and fire, public-private partnerships, the bread and butter of Republicans and their think tank ALEC, have gotten Teall’s support consistently over the course of her tenure on Ann Arbor City Council. The Georgetown Mall redevelopment project that failed and left Ward Four residents staring at acres of blight for the past several years was a public-private partnership master-minded by the Hive Mind Collective. Teall cast multiple votes in favor of “mitigating” the Georgetown mall developer’s costs with public money, including a TIF scheme that would divert money from public schools. Teall has cast votes time and again in favor of public-private development scams in which taxpayers give a helping hand to private developers.

While her support of spending on public art gets redacted, Council member Teall prefers to brag about how she has “Helped lead the re-organization of the City bureaucracy which reduced the City workforce by 30%.” That policy move comes straight out of the paybooks of Ronnie R. and the Iron Lady. Translation: Ann Arbor has replaced hundreds of full-time employees with low-paid temps hired year-after-year, lots of “seasonal workers” who are women. Teall has led a reorganization that is helping keep Michigan firmly at the top of the list of states with one of the largest wage gaps between men and women.

Council member Teall claims on her web site she “spearheaded initiatives to protect Ann Arbor’s neighborhood parks.” She makes the claim after voting repeatedly to use fragile river-front parkland for a parking garage project, over the objections of the local Sierra Club, an environmental group that, one imagines, will not be endorsing Teall anytime soon. It’s possible the ever-helpful, yet-not-so-politically-credible Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and its Executive Director Lisa Wozniak, may come through with an endorsement of yet another Ann Arbor politico who “protected” the environment by voting to build more parking garages and in favor of parkland de facto giveaways. LCV endorsed Hieftje, after all, who “protected” the environment by championing the same schemes.

Finally, we have the negative campaigning from the gal who crows that “Ann Arbor needs real leadership that moves us forward, not nay-saying that only looks backwards.” She slams her opponent for “opposing transportation” and because he “opposed” expanding the city’s recycling system. This is how Council member Teall “supports” recycling. She has voted multiple times in support of no-bid contracts between the city and Recycle Ann Arbor. The most recent contract resulted in the loss of millions of dollars. These same environmental leaders who benefitted from the no-bid contracts, perhaps, are the nameless ones she claims “endorse her” this time around. It’s no great surprise that Teall scrambles to defend her political endorsers and their companies.

Margie Teall opposes expanding local transportation and would hand over the millage money paid by city taxpayers for local bus service to be used to establish county-wide services. In Teall’s universe, Ann Arbor taxpayers pay for buses in surrounding cities and townships. Her opponent does not “oppose” transportation as she claims. According to his web site, he supports using local millage money on local transportation services.

That fact, of course, gets no mention on Teall’s bright, cheery web site. Like Mitt Romney’s campaign web site, Teall’s reinvents history, leaves out important details and relies on attacks that distort the truth about her opponent’s stances. It’s an example of pure Hieftje Hive Mind Collective political strategy. It’s a ploy that relies on the ignorance of the city’s Democratic voters to recognize Republican policy even after it has bitten them in the collective ashcan for a decade. 

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Short URL: http://www.a2politico.com/?p=13943

7 Comments for “Fourth Ward Dem Incumbent Margie Teall Launches Campaign Website Fit For a Republican”

  1. Politicians are supposed to be public servants but whose interests do these politicians really serve?

  2. I object to the description of Ms. Teal’s web site as “Fit for a Republican”. It certainly isn’t fit for me.

    John Floyd
    Republican Candidate
    Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners
    9th district

  3. A2 Politico,

    Nobody with any experience watching local politics should be surprised that whether the formal party affiliation
    is Democratic or Republican, the money interests prevail. A big part of the problem is that politicians get elected by
    sucking up to business interests rather than ordinary citizens. Political parties in the US are a joke and do more to obfuscate the reality than reveal it since they get their money from….business interests!

    Want to know what a big part of the problem is? We pay our representatives poverty wages to represent us! Why
    should we be surprised that John Hieftje started off as a poor real estate agent living in a modest house in the first ward and now lives in a swanky home in Burns Park? He didn’t get from there to here on his Mayor’s pay! He got
    here by sucking up to the UofM who has rewarded him with a job for him and his wife. The consequence of this is
    that Ann Arbor is now cutting its fire safety services while UofM sits on a multi-billion dollar endowment.

    If people want better representation, fund the political parties that exist to mobilize their members and pay the politicians to represent them. There should be a spot on each ballot where people can vote money for their favorite ballot qualified political party. Too many people are drinking the corporate kool-aid that says that politicians should work for nothing and be part time so that they are even more dependent on private businesses for a job to feed their families. The politicians will vote in ways that put food on the table for themselves and their families, duh!

  4. @Bob I have been AMAZED that the embrace of Republican policies by Ann Arbor’s locally elected politicos has gone on for so long without question. Hieftje and his political supporters could form the Democrats for ALEC fan club.

  5. @Mark thanks for the link and the recap from 2010.

  6. Democratic politicians are doing more to kill the left than Republicans, and this is why.

  7. Margie Teall’s Democratic primary opponent has a campaign website: http://www.eaton4council.org

    Teall won by a 69%-31% margin in 2010 over her primary opponent.

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