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Not sure about Shor

March 29, 2017

 

According to the Lansing City Pulse, Andy Schor is getting lots of endorsements from public officials, unions, and neighborhood leaders including all 14 Ingham County commissioners - Republicans as well as Democrats. He is opposed in the race for Lansing mayor by council member Judi Brown Clarke.

 

Schor has a lot of friends because he is a hard-working public servant and a really nice guy. Still, I'm sure we can find reason to question his qualifications for the job.

 

Since 2011, he has been the state representative for District 68, which includes most of the city of Lansing. From campaign finance reports on the website of the Secretary of State, we can see who supported him financially as a state representative. Following are the political action committees who have contributed $1000 or more since 2011. The names at the left are as reported; at the right is my attempt to identify some of the less obvious ones. I've highlighted the union PACs.

MI REG CNCL OF CRPNTRS PAC $13,200    
PLUMBERS PIPEFITTERS 333 PAC 11,750    
UAW MICHIGAN V-PAC 10,500    
MI BEER WINE WHOLESLRS PAC 7,250    
OPERATING ENGINEERS 324 PAC 6,750    
DTE ENERGY PAC 5,500    
GENERAL MOTORS PAC 5,050    
BCBSM PAC 4,750    
REALTORS PAC OF MICHIGAN 4,200    
CMS ENERGY EMPS FOR BETTER GOV 4,050    
HEALTH PAC 3,650   ????
MICHIGAN ASSOC FOR JUSTICE PAC 3,600    
MICHIGAN BANKERS ASSOC PAC 3,550    
MILLER CANFIELD PAC 3,250    
MITA-PAC 3,150   Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Assoc Pac?
SHEET METAL WRKS LOC 7 PAC 3,000    
AUTO DEALERS OF MI PAC 2,750    
DELTA PAC 2,650    
MACPA PAC 2,650   Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants?
SMALL BIZ PAC 2,600    
FORD MOTOR CO CIVIC ACTION FUN 2,500    
MICH CREDIT U LEAGUE ACT FUND 2,500    
DENTAL PAC OF MICHIGAN 2,400    
MI RESTAURANT ASSOC PAC 2,400    
DYKEMA GOSSETT PAC 2,350    
AFSCME 2,000    
JACKSON NATIONAL LIFE PAC 2,000    
MI ASSOC OF CHIROPRACTORS 2,000    
MI MANUFACTURED HSG ASSOC PAC 2,000    
IBEW PAC 1,900    
MEIJER PAC 1,750    
MI ASSOC OF HEALTH PLANS 1,750    
POAM LEGISLATIVE FUND 1,700   Police Officers Assoc of Michigan
MEA PAC 1,625    
CLARK HILL PAC 1,500    
CWA MI ACTION COMMITTEE 1,500   Communications Workers of America?
FRIENDS OF HOUSING 1,500    
UNITED FOOD COM WORKERS PAC 1,500    
GREEN AND WHITE PAC 1,400    
RETAIL PAC 1,400    
AFPD PAC 1,250    
CLEVELAND-CLIFFS IRON PAC 1,250    
KAROUB ASSOC PAC 1,150    
MI TOWNSHIPS ASSOC PAC 1,150    
DETROIT REGIONAL CHAMBER PAC 1,000    
MHSA PAC 1,000   Muchmore Harrington Smalley & Associates?
MI ASSOC OF NURSE ANESTHETISTS PAC 1,000    
MI MCDONALD'S OP PAC 1,000    
MI OPTOMETRIC ASSOC PAC 1,000    
MI OSTEOPATHIC PAC FUND 1,000    
MI PAVING & MATERIALS PAC 1,000    
MICPA PAC 1,000   Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants?
WARNER NORCROSS JUDD PAC 1,000    

As you can see, the top PAC contributors are unions, as would be expected for a Democrat.

 

Here are the individuals whose total contributions exceeded $1000:

  Jason Lichtman $3,500   Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, a New York law firm
  Irwin Schor 3,500   Office Manager, Asset Strategy Consultants, Lake Worth, FL
  Lawrence Bass 2,500   President, Friedland Industries of Lansing
  Suzanne Carey 2,500   Kerr Law Firm of Mt. Pleasant
  David Trierweiler 2,315   Retired (Lansing)
  Jack Davis 2,150   Loomis Law Firm of Lansing
  Stephen Young 2,150   Director, GCSI (Government Consulting Services Inc) of Lansing
  David Mittleman 1,850   Church & Wyble, an East Lansing law firm
  Roger Martin 1,700   Martin Waymire Advocacy Communications
  Tom Hoisington 1,650   Lobbyist for Public Affairs Associates
  Veronica Johnson 1,575   Director, University of Michigan Lansing Service Center
  Linda Schor 1,500   Homemaker, Lake Worth, FL
  Randolph Rifkin 1,500   Co-owner Friedland Industries
  Michael Bass 1,500   Assistant Vice President, Friedland Industries of Lansing
  John Chris Holman 1,500   Publisher, Greater Lansing Business Monthly
  Maureen Watson-Bolger 1,275   Lobbyist, McAllen Merchant & Assoc of Lansing
  Nathan Triplett 1,200   Clark Hill law firm
  Dennis Hall 1,200   Retired
  Paul Pratt 1,050   Deputy Ingham County Drain Commissioner
  Thomas Morgan 1,050   Byrum Fisk Communications of East Lansing
  Jeffrey McAlvey 1,000   McAlvey Merchants & Associates, a consulting firm
  Shawn Krause 1,000   Executive Vice President of Quicken Loans

Keep in mind that contributors to a state representative are going to have an entirely different motive than contributors to a Lansing mayoral candidate. The first campaign finance reports for Lansing candidates are due July 28, 10 days before the August 8 primary.

In the meantime, we have Andy's 527 account. Virg Benero had one; I compiled lists of contributions to and expenditures from his "City Administrative Account" for 10 whole years and posted them on this website. The original records can be found on the IRS website.

There are no records for Andy's 527 account on the IRS website, however, because he does not report them. He is not required to report unless the account takes more than $25,000 a year. But he has voluntarily provided a list of organizations to which he has contributed from the "Schor Lansing Fund":

A. Phillip Randolph Institute 

Allen Neighborhood Center

BCFI

Capital Area Cesar Chavez Commission

Capital Area Hispanic Community Reps

Connect 4 Kids

Eastside Neighborhood Organization

Eliezer Temple Church

Emerge Michigan

Faith Fellowship Baptist Church

Fearless Faith

Friends of Lansing Regional Trails

Friends of Lansing Schools

GLAC-NANBPWC

Goodwill Fellowship Fund

Greater Lansing A.C. - N.A. Negro Women

Greater Lansing Clergy Forum

Greater Lansing Food Bank

Greater Lansing Housing Coalition

Haven House

Ingham County Bar Association

Kehillat Israel

Lansing Black Chamber of Commerce

Lansing City Pulse

Lansing COGIC

Lansing for Cesar Chavez

Lansing Neighborhood Council

Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission

Lansing Urban Farm Project

LCLAA

LEMATA

MEB Foundation

MI Women's Studies Association

Michigan Bulletin

Michigan Special Olympics

MLK Day Commission

NAACP Lansing

NANBPWC

NYP Foundation, Inc

Old Newsboys

Parker Memorial Baptist Church

PEERS

Police Officer Appreciation

Progressive Women's Caucus

Reach Out Christian Center Church

Region 1-D Women's Council

Saginaw Oakland Commercial Assoc

SBAM

Sparrow Foundation

Special Olympics of Michigan

St. Matthew AME Church

Strange Matters Coffee

Sycamore Park Neighborhood Association

The Chronicle Newspaper

The Hispanic Chamber

UAW 6000

UAW Region 1D

UFCW 951 Foundation

Union Missionary Baptist Church

Wexford PTA

Woldumar Nature Center

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

I asked him for a full accounting - the names, dates and amounts for all contributions and expenditures - and this was his March 25 reply:

Hi Steve.  Let me see what I can get.

 

With the campaign, and my job as a State Rep, and family stuff, there is not a lot of free time.  I can get you an updated list of who we have given to (the one I sent you was probably generated in December of January) and I can see about the contributions.  I might need to start with this year and go backwards from there. I know I have written a few small checks to charities but need to backtrack it. I don't think I have received any contributions but would have to look again to be sure. Plus, I need to tell people who have given in past years that this was requested.  They may have an expectation of privacy, as this is not a campaign-related fund nor is it an "issue ad" fund and is something that is used for charitable giving. So I need to let folks know that a request has been made.

 

I will get you what I can.

Concealing pension amounts for public employees

 

Did you know that public employee pension amounts cannot be obtained through Michigan's Freedom of Information Act? That has been the case since April 2013, when a law took effect that prohibits public employers from releasing pension information. The provision was slipped into Senate Bill 797 of 2012, a refinement of public pension investment regulations. Although I have no proof, I believe it was meant for me, since I was publishing the pension details of City of Lansing retirees on this website (here for police and firefighters, here for other City employees).

 

In December 2015, I sent Andy a letter asking him to remove the provision. In July 2016, he sent me an email with a copy of the bill he'd had the Legislative Service Bureau draft for him. But, he said,

Before moving forward, I would like the thoughts of those that could be affected by this.  I have provided the bill draft to UAW Local 6000, who represents the many state employees and retirees in Lansing and throughout Michigan.  I would like their thoughts on this potential legislation.  While I agree with transparency in government, I do want to be considerate of the thoughts of those that served to make our government work before moving forward with something like this.

I heard nothing further from him, so on March 16, after he'd announced his candidacy for Lansing mayor, I emailed him:

Be prepared - in your Lansing mayoral campaign, you may be questioned about your failure to introduce a bill to remove the FOIA exemption for public employee pensions. This after consulting with the UAW. Lansing's unfunded pension liability alone is over $250 million, and on top of that is $552 million in unfunded retiree health care.

His March 23 reply:

I am happy to talk about this with anyone.  Yes, we spoke and I had it drafted. But in doing my due diligence, I have many people who objected to it.  I am actively involved with legacy costs discussions right now as a member of the Governorís task force on municipal retirement and health care. Legacy costs will be something that we deal with on the state level this year, and that I will deal with at the City should I be elected Mayor.

So because "people" objected to it, he is not willing to introduce a bill to make public employee pension amounts available to the public. As mayor, he will appoint the City's labor negotiator and will have overall responsibility for the labor relations of the City. Should we be concerned that the "people" he is out to please are not the people of Lansing, but the labor unions?

 

Send comments, questions, and tips to stevenrharry@gmail.com or call or text me at 517-505-2696. If you'd like to be notified by email when I post a new story, let me know.

 

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