Candidate “Disappears” Controversial Supporters From Campaign Website
Former Ward 3 Council member Leigh Greden endorsed Ward 3 challenger Julie Grand. For about three weeks. In April 2013, Grand told AnnArbor.com that she had the support of Downtown Development Authority Board member Joan Lowenstein. Political insiders commented that publicizing the support of DDA Board members JoLo, Sandi Smith and Leah Gunn was kind of like bragging you have scabies real bad. Then again, when Julie Grand was appointed to the Park Advisory Commission in 2007, JoLo was the Ward 2 Council member, and Greden was the Ward 3 Kouncil Kaiser. He paraded his pickelhaube while emailing detailed talking points to his Council colleagues mid-meeting and mocking John Hieftje to anyone who would read and respond to messages during public meetings (which included most of his fellow Council members). Greden best summed up Hieftje’s penchant for self-aggrandizing in a December 17, 2007 mid-Council meeting email to now Judge Christopher Easthope titled: “The script is back….But short.” Greden writes an invented dialogue that includes this bit of actual insight and foreshadowing:
John Hieftje: “I call this meeting to order. I just returned from an important conference of Mayors in Oscoda. I was the only attendee. I gave a speech to myself praising Ann Arbor’s LED and rail programs. If the Mayor of Grand Rapids had been there, he would have praised me.
Like a child who always views one’s parents as, well, powerful, Julie Grand perhaps views Greden and Lowenstein as a pair of prize peaches, ripe, warm and fuzzy, even well after the Ann Arbor News, AnnArbor.com and the AnnArborchronicle.com documented exactly how and when the political rot set in. Greden and JoLo had voted to place Grand on PAC after all, handed her the opportunity to play PAC as a step toward City Council. There’s nothing wrong with ambition. However, mild-mannered Julie Grand is tacking through strong winds, and she’s doing it by dumping people.
On June 19th, A2Politico came out with “Money and Buildings Crowd Behind PAC Chair Julie Grand in Ward 3 Race”:
Among Grand’s listed supporters are lots of the usual suspects, including former Ward 3 Council member Leigh Greden. One wonders whether Grand really believes she’ll be able to avoid being tainted by an endorsement from Greden. His final evening as a Council member was taken up by a speech in which he says he “owes everyone an apology” for dragging colleagues through an embarrassing email scandal. Thanks to Greden’s use of email during public meetings, the city was forced to settle an Open Meetings Act lawsuit which revealed alleged violations of the OMA, as well as vote-rigging and secret deliberations. It was his involvement in that email scandal that, according to newspaper accounts, prompted Ward 3 voters to boot him from office.
“I focus on money and buildings,” wrote Greden in a March 2009 email to his Council colleagues during a public meeting. JoLo, Leah Gunn and Sandi Smith focus on money and buildings. John Hieftje is Mayor Highrise. Julie Grand’s literature and her website are messaged to convince Ward 3 voters she’s focused on neighborhoods, communication and core services. So why are local political insiders whose focus is on money and buildings backing a woman whose campaign materials claim she’s planning to focus on everything but money and buildings?
On June 19th, Google cached Grand’s campaign website and this is what her Supporters page looked like on that date:
Leigh Greden is listed below his parents. Lowenstein, who presumably gave her “support” in April, according to Grand, is nowhere to be found. Below, have a gander at Grand’s Supporters page as of July 10th:
Leigh Greden has been “disappeared,” and Joan Lowenstein’s name is still nowhere to be found on Grand’s list of supporters.
The interesting question remains why Grand would “disappear” Leigh Greden, but keep Leah Gunn and Sandi Smith. Perhaps Grand is unaware that Ann Arbor District Library Board members told AnnArbor.com that it is thought the quest for a bond in November 2012 failed precisely because the public believed the DDA Board was involved in the attempt to pry $100 million dollars out of the taxpayers. Leah Gunn was instrumental in urging the Board of the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library to donate a whopping $25,000 to the PAC that supported the library bond proposal, without a vote of the organization’s membership. It was a move that deeply frustrated supporters of the nonprofit, and raised questions about the legality of donating such as large percentage of the group’s total $156,000 in revenue to a PAC.
As of July 15th, Julie Grand’s candidacy got a boost from a member of Ann Arbor’s own Swindler’s List.
Former Ann Arbor County Commish Barbara Levin Bergman debuted as a Grand supporter. In 2011, AnnArbor.com editorialized about Bergman’s pilfering of county funds here. Former AnnArbor.com staffer Tony Dearing wrote:
Shame on those Washtenaw County Commissioners who are hemming and hawing and equivocating over their obligation to repay the county for per diems and mileage that they improperly collected between 2005 and 2010.
Last month, an independent accounting firm found that 10 current or former members of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners had collected nearly $25,000 in payments they weren’t allowed under county policy, and the majority of them still haven’t reimbursed the county for money they had no right to in the first place….Commissioner Barbara Levin Bergman, D-Ann Arbor owes more than $1,800. …Bergman won’t say whether she’ll pay back what she owes….We’re offended by the empty excuses we hear from some commissioners. C’mon, commissioners, do the right thing. It’s not your money. Give it back. Now.
Julie Grand hopes Ward 3 voters will judge her candidacy based on the endorsements of politicos such as Greden, Barbara Levin Bergman, Sandi Smith, JoLo and Leah Gunn, and voters should. If Julie Grand finds nothing wrong with being endorsed by a politico fingered for stealing public money and refusing to repay it even after being chided by the local newspaper, voters should definitely take that into consideration. If Grand touts the support of JoLo, who has insulted Ann Arbor voters in public and in print as “sulkers,” “selfish,” “old,” “Republican” and misanthropic, Ward 3′s old, misanthropic, selfish sulkers should absolutely take that into consideration when voting. Julie Grand is your kind of candidate, says Joan Lowenstein. Joan Lowenstein, Leigh Greden and Barbara Levin Bergman are Julie Grand’s kinda politicos.
Well, Ann Arbor, batten down the Call Girls and enlarge the iPhone crotch shots: Tune in next week and perhaps we’ll find out Julie Grand has landed the support of Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner.
Short URL: http://www.a2politico.com/?p=15167