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Groupon Belly Flops Into Michigan’s Social/Tech Start-Up Pool

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by P.D. Lesko Groupon was founded and is headed by graduates from the University of Michigan. In January 2012, former AnnArbor.con business reporter Nathan Bomey wrote a glowing piece about Groupon, its founders and their connection to the local “job innovator” scene. The Groupon “success story” should be seen as more of a cautionary tale [...]

August 20th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Economic Development,Featured | Read More »

Still Stealing You Blind: Ann Arbor SPARK Spends $7.7M & Creates 79 Jobs

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by Rob Smith The 1 percent here in Ann Arbor are just different than us. They look at out-of-work folks and hungry children, homeless men and women tossed out of Camp Take Notice, struggling small businesses and cash-strapped school districts, and then light their clove cigarettes with other people’s $100 dollar bills. They feel good [...]

June 26th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Economic Development,Featured,Taxes | Read More »

Photos Reveal Michigan “Trade Delegation” to Europe “Exploring Growth Opportunities”—At Italian Art Museums

Inside_Museum

by Rob Smith In the March 13th issue of the New York Times there is an article about the severe economic problems that face Italy. That country, like Michigan, has been in one of the deepest recessions on record. Unemployment in Italy last measured at 9.2 percent in March 2012—just about the same as Michigan’s [...]

March 19th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Economic Development,Featured,Michigan politics,Politics,Taxes | Read More »

Michigan Backs Financial Scheme of Convicted Felon & Now Taxpayers on the Hook for $18 Million

raleigh studios

by P.D. Lesko Guess what you can get in Michigan for a $10,000 donation to Rick Snyder’s campaign? You can get $18,000,000 in state money to bail you out when your project crashes and burns just 10 months after it’s launched. You can also get a seat on the board of the economic development entity [...]

February 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Economic Development,Featured,Michigan politics,Politics,Taxes | Read More »

How The 1 Percent Create Jobs: Officials Dump Millions In Public Money Into Local Job Creation & Exercise Little Oversight

OccupyWS

by P.D. Lesko Michigan has bled jobs, and the state’s residents have suffered Depression-era unemployment levels. The Detroit Free Press recently concluded in its report card evaluation of Governor Rick Snyder that Snyder’s first year in office has been all about “jobs and kids.” The Freep went on to give Mr. Snyder a rather inflated set [...]

January 10th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Economic Development,Featured,Money,Taxes | Read More »

Ann Arbor Politicos Dish Up Millions in Public Money & Give SPARK Pals A Pass On Public Accountability

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by P.D. Lesko I read a Tweet from Ann Arbor SPARK on November 17th: “Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK’s CEO, speaking at the VC breakfast in San Jose, California. http://twitpic.com/7felds.” Krutko was the Chief Development Officer for the city of San Jose, California. He resigned from his job with two days notice after a breach of [...]

December 5th, 2011 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Featured | Read More »

Ann Arbor SPARK Wants To Expand, But Nov. 8th Could Trip Up The Plans

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by P.D. Lesko Oddly enough, one of the five upcoming City Council elections—Ward 2—could have a major impact on Ann Arbor SPARK and CEO Paul Krutko’s fantasies of using money generated by Ann Arbor taxpayers on becoming a regional player. Some have posited that Ann Arbor Second Ward Council member Stephen Rapundalo (left) is in [...]

October 31st, 2011 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Economic Development,Featured,Taxes | Read More »

Livingston County Politicos Protect Their County’s Taxpayers From Ann Arbor Boondoggle

elephant crocodile attk flkr martin nyfeler small

by P.D. Lesko Livingston County has a population of about 180,000, less than half the number of residents of Washtenaw County. However, Livingston County politicos have more than twice the smarts than have Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County politicos when it comes to spotting boondoggles that are a huge waste of taxpayers’ money. First it [...]

October 29th, 2011 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Economic Development,Featured,Taxes | Read More »

Bloomberg BusinessWeek Analyzes “Job Creation” Snyder-Style: Service Industry Jobs That Create More Working Poor

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Legend has it that Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, on the other hand, has a  ”job creation” strategy that has launched a recall effort. It’s a strategy that has resulted in Snyder having approval ratings of just 30 percent, and a popularity problem that already [...]

June 7th, 2011 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Economic Development,Featured,Money,Taxes | Read More »

The Politics of Buyer’s Remorse: Group Files Petition to Recall Gov. Rick Snyder

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According to a piece published today in The Detroit News, “A group that wants to recall Republican Gov. Rick Snyder says it will file its proposed petition wording with the state of Michigan this morning. Michigan Citizens United, which last month filed paperwork to form a political action committee, announced the development Sunday on its website, [...]

April 18th, 2011 | Posted in Ann Arbor SPARK,Econ,Media,Michigan politics,Politics | Read More »

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