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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

GOPocrisy, Rick Snyder September 4, 2014 at 7:01 am
More on thin-skinned bully Richard Baird, Gov. Snyders Transformation Manager

by Eclectablog
In June of last year, I was contacted by someone who works for the state government who told me a few things about Richard Baird, the man who shared office space and a phone number with Gov. Rick Snyder but, at the time, was paid off the books by the so-called NERD fund which was funded by secret financial contributors. They described a man who used subtle threats the bully state employees into cooperating and being Rick Snyders version of a team player.

Heres what they told me:

I talked recently to a state government employee who has seen Baird in action. They have asked to remain anonymous for reasons that will become quite clear. They told me of a man whose first order of business was to make sure state employees were aware of what Governor Snyders definition of team is. Under that definition, being part of the team means that you do what you are told by the governor and his inner circle of advisers, even if it means breaking the rules.
Soon after being hired by Rick Snyder, Baird made the rounds of all of the state government departments, they told me. Rich Baird was sent to all State of Michigan departments and offices to present at full staff meetings mandatory attendance, of course during the first months of the governors takeover. He was given two hours to speak to each staff group about the importance of teamwork. What he really did was regale us with sugary stories of his past working relationship with Snyder at several corporations, reporting alternately to each other, convincing workers about the importance of teamwork.

Bairds convincing took the form of cautionary tales about those who had not toed the line in accordance with the governors wishes. One government employee was interviewed by a high school student at her sons school and asked about her opinion of the governors education plan. It was not favorable and, after it was published, she was called in for a chat with the governor about the importance of teamwork. Although she kept her job, the implication was clear: do not talk negatively about the governor and his administration or your job is in jeopardy.

Another story Baird told was about a time soon after he was hired when he came to work early and had forgotten his state government ID card. A security guard refused him entrance standard policy for the Capitol Building and told Baird he would have to wait until someone came in who was authorized to escort him to his office. Baird asked to use the restroom and was allowed to do so with the requirement that he report back to the security area after he finished. Instead, Baird convinced a custodian cleaning the restroom to take him to his office, a clear security violation. However, Baird concluded his story by commending the custodian for her customer service and revealed that the security guard who had followed the security procedures was brought before the governor to be scolded despite having followed the security procedures.

Following Bairds stories, they told me, The entire staff were completely silent. Not one of us missed the threats and intimidation the he presented to us.

This meeting was repeated throughout the many state government departments, they said. He gave basically the same presentation to all state departments. I have heard it from colleagues and friends in quite a few of them. With different twists on the specifics of the stories to make them more threatening, and personal, of course.

Now, facing criticism from a variety of fronts for receiving tax breaks on residences in two states, Baird has become a bully again. This time, its against Michigan AFL-CIO president Karla Swift and Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer.

Heres the bullying voicemail Baird left for Karla Swift:



Baird also reached out to Sen. Whitmer but did it through an email that he asked Senate Republican Leader Randy Richardville to forward to her because, despite his government position, he apparently couldnt find Whitmers quite public email address. Here are the bullying emails:




After receiving the email, Sen. Whitmer sent out this public response:

Last week, I spoke out about the latest scandal involving Governor Snyders right-hand-man, Rich Baird. In response, Mr. Baird has threatened to sue me, using childish, inappropriate behavior on the taxpayers dime no less in an attempt to silence me.
I dont take kindly to threats and I dont back down from bullies. Mr. Baird has been embroiled in scandal after scandal within the Governors administration, from creating the secretive Skunkworks plan to destroy public education, to helping the Governors cousin secure a larger contract with the state, to this latest issue of his own apparently improper voter registration filings and tax credits.

For Baird to now suggest that anyone, including myself, criticizing his behavior is inappropriate, let alone actionable, would be laughable if he werent apparently serious.

If he truly believes he shouldnt be held accountable to the public, then he has no business working in a public office. Plain and simple. And for the Governor to continue to employ him in such a position in spite of all of that makes him culpable too.

Ive spent 14 years in the Capitol demanding greater accountability from our Government, and you can bet Im not going to stop now.

I look forward to robust discovery on all of these issues.

Its worth noting that scores of people have publicly criticized Baird. However, Baird chose only to push back in this way against two of them, both women. That led to this tweet from Rep. Brandon Dillon:

Sep 3, 2014

Zack Pohl
@ZackPohl
.@Eclectablog: Snyders right hand man has very thin skin, threatens to sue Sen. Whitmer & state AFL-CIO president http://ow.ly/B28f1

Brandon Dillon

@BrandonDillon75
@ZackPohl @Eclectablog wonder if Baird only tries to bully women in positions of power. Haven't heard him threaten any Democratic men.
10:46 AM - Sep 3, 2014
Replies 4 4 Retweets 3 3 likes
Twitter Ads info and privacy
Richard Baird has spent his time in Michigan government in the shadows, working behind the scenes and participating in some of the worst scandals of the Snyder administration. In addition to his involvement in the Skunkworks project to bring vouchers to Michigan public schools and helping Rick Snyders cousin get sweetheart deals from the state government, Baird was also responsible for bringing in Kevyn Orr as Detroits Emergency Manager, well ahead of the time Detroit was even found to be in a financial emergency through the process outlined by our laws. When a lawsuit was filed, the judge in the case ordered Baird to produce the names of the people he had interviewed for the job and Baird claimed that Gov. Snyder had conferred executive privilege on him and cited Richard Nixon. That caused this hilarious response from Ingham County Circuit Judge William Collette:

Theres not one (state) case anywhere that says the governor has an executive privilege, the judge said.
Peter Ellsworth, a private attorney representing Baird, cited two federal cases involving executive privilege: the 1807 treason trial of Aaron Burr and former President Richard Nixons attempt to keep records related to Watergate scandal under wraps.

No one in their right mind in the last few years has ever cited Richard Nixon for anything, Collette said, later adding: Nixon doesnt stand for anything other than someone attempting to hide a crime.

LOL.

Richard Baird also sits on the three-person board of the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation. Its through this foundation that donations from The Broad Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Skillman Foundation, and others, flow to Gov. Snyders failed education experiment on Detroit children the Education Achievement Authority.

So, while Richard Baird may think hes above it all and not willing to get down into the mud with his detractors, the fact is that he is already in the mud up to his neck and he has his fingerprints all over the many scandals that have come out of the Snyder administration over the past several years. He may try to bully the women who call him out on his questionable behavior but, make no mistake, Karla Swift and Gretchen Whitmer are tough as nails, well-supported by their colleagues, and will not back down from doing what is right for our state, no matter how much Richard Baird attempts to intimidate them.

Tags Gretchen Whitmer Karla Swift NERD fund Richard Baird Rick Snyder
Eclectablog
Author: Eclectablog
Chris Savage is the owner and publisher of Eclectablog, your one-stop shop for progressive state & national political news & commentary.


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:09 am; edited 2 times in total
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:28 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

In the e-mail:
Baird alleged Bath Township had failed to act on the recinsion of the Primary Residence Exemption of the previous owner.

Claiming he did not have Whitmer's e-mail address, he used Senate Republican leader Randy Richards to forward his threats.

"I am so tired of people like her attempting to do harm to folks who don't deserve it.
Baird alleged the Bath Township Assessor had nothing on file from him or his company requesting a PRE and they apologized for failing to recind the PRE of the previous owner.

I do not like being labeled a Crook and am considering suing Gretchen Whitmer and others.
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:57 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Rick Snyder June 13, 2013 at 7:08 am
Richard Baird, Rick Snyders Transformation Manager the governors enforcer behind the scenes
by Eclectablog

The Dick Cheney of Michigan?

Immediately after he was elected in 2010, Michigan governor Rick Snyder brought Richard Baird on board to be his Transformation Manager. Its a new title and position for the state of Michigan and is paid for from the governors secret-donor slush fund called the New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify Fund (NERD). Baird, who had recently retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers, set up a consulting firm called MI Partners and took on one client: Governor Rick Snyder. He makes $100,000 year, paid for by unknown donors to the NERD fund, and sits at the right hand of the governor. His office is literally in the governors executive office suite. If you look at the Executive Office directory (pdf), there is Richard Bairds name, listed along with the normal staffers paid like most other government officials with taxpayer money:

Until recently, you probably never heard of Richard Baird. He prefers to operate behind the scenes, pulling strings, connecting dots as he describes it, but never being part of the story. However, since his involvement in the secretive Skunks Works group that attempted to create a backdoor voucher program for schools run on the cheap by for-profit entities, Baird has come out from the shadows that he is much more comfortable living in. You get a flavor of Bairds typical invisible role by looking at the title of a recent article about him in the Detroit Free Press. They ran a piece titled Snyders talent guru steps out from behind the curtain.

Until I met him for the first time in person this week, what little I knew of Baird was that he was a longtime trusted associate of Snyder, a low-profile operator who had assembled the governors team of top appointees Nixon, chief of staff Dennis Muchmore, legislative liaison Dick Posthumus, Treasurer Andy Dillon.

He clearly prefers operating behind the scenes.

Theres a difference between secret and private. Theres a reason why the sausage makers dont have you look at the sausage being made, he said.

A lot of great ideas get tossed around in private, he added, but you dont toss one out to 20,000 people until its baked.

In an MLive interview, Baird described himself and his position this way:

Baird talked about his role in an interview with MLive earlier this month. It was one of a series of interviews he has done recently with Michigan media, a chance to gain some insight about a key figure who has operated mostly behind-the-scenes since joining Snyders gubernatorial effort.

My role as I see it my biggest role is to facilitate an environment and a cultural dynamic for the governor and his leadership that basically makes them a functional, high performance team, Baird said. That means I do have my fingerprints on an awful lot of things. But its because Im engaged, not that Im the decision-maker. Im engaged with those who are involved.

I facilitate, Baird said. I connect dots. I challenge assumptions. I force data.

I talked recently to a state government employee who has seen Baird in action. They have asked to remain anonymous for reasons that will become quite clear. They told me of a man whose first order of business was to make sure state employees were aware of what Governor Snyders definition of team is. Under that definition, being part of the team means that you do what you are told by the governor and his inner circle of advisers, even if it means breaking the rules.

Soon after being hired by Rick Snyder, Baird made the rounds of all of the state government departments, they told me. Rich Baird was sent to all State of Michigan departments and offices to present at full staff meetings mandatory attendance, of course during the first months of the governors takeover. He was given two hours to speak to each staff group about the importance of teamwork. What he really did was regale us with sugary stories of his past working relationship with Snyder at several corporations, reporting alternately to each other, convincing workers about the importance of teamwork.

Bairds convincing took the form of cautionary tales about those who had not toed the line in accordance with the governors wishes. One government employee was interviewed by a high school student at her sons school and asked about her opinion of the governors education plan. It was not favorable and, after it was published, she was called in for a chat with the governor about the importance of teamwork. Although she kept her job, the implication was clear: do not talk negatively about the governor and his administration or your job is in jeopardy.

Another story Baird told was about a time soon after he was hired when he came to work early and had forgotten his state government ID card. A security guard refused him entrance standard policy for the Capitol Building and told Baird he would have to wait until someone came in who was authorized to escort him to his office. Baird asked to use the restroom and was allowed to do so with the requirement that he report back to the security area after he finished. Instead, Baird convinced a custodian cleaning the restroom to take him to his office, a clear security violation. However, Baird concluded his story by commending the custodian for her customer service and revealed that the security guard who had followed the security procedures was brought before the governor to be scolded despite having followed the security procedures.

Following Bairds stories, they told me, The entire staff were completely silent. Not one of us missed the threats and intimidation the he presented to us.

This meeting was repeated throughout the many state government departments, they said. He gave basically the same presentation to all state departments. I have heard it from colleagues and friends in quite a few of them. With different twists on the specifics of the stories to make them more threatening, and personal, of course.

This is an interesting glimpse at the person described as a transformational manager and its unsurprising that he prefers to remain behind the scenes to conduct his dot-connecting and to whip state government into a unified, obedient team. Baird is involved in many different things and sees his role as a facilitator. He may not make decisions but, once a decision has been made, Richard Baird sees to it that it gets done.
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:03 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Gov. Rick Snyder and his 'transformation manager' have roots dating back to 1980s

Tim Martin | tmartin4@mlive.com By Tim Martin | tmartin4@mlive.com

on May 31, 2013 at 2:57 PM, updated August 15, 2013 at 9:57 AM


When Rick Snyder was on his way to becoming Michigans governor, he wanted help putting together his leadership team so he turned to the guy who first hired him out of college in the early 1980s.

Rich Baird is known within the Snyder administration as the transformation manager acting as a talent recruiter, adviser and facilitator for the Republican governor and his team. Baird has been involved in key administration hires, the Education Achievement Authority and many other initiatives since Snyder became governor by winning the 2010 election.

Baird is paid with private funds through a Snyder nonprofit not taxpayer dollars. He may not make any policy decisions within the Snyder administration, but he often is a key player in gathering the information that leads to those decisions.

He helped me when I was coming into office and looking for good people because he has a strong HR background, Snyder said of Baird during an interview with MLive.com this week at the Mackinac Policy Conference. And hes just a good, bright guy who wants to help out. I just view it as an additional resource not at the taxpayers expense of saying heres someone that really wants to give back and help.

Baird talked about his role in an interview with MLive earlier this month. It was one of a series of interviews he has done recently with Michigan media, a chance to gain some insight about a key figure who has operated mostly behind-the-scenes since joining Snyders gubernatorial effort.

My role as I see it my biggest role is to facilitate an environment and a cultural dynamic for the governor and his leadership that basically makes them a functional, high performance team, Baird said. That means I do have my fingerprints on an awful lot of things. But its because Im engaged, not that Im the decision-maker. Im engaged with those who are involved.

I facilitate, Baird said. I connect dots. I challenge assumptions. I force data.

That includes gathering feedback for Snyder related to how hes working with others in the administration. When the governor wanted an upward evaluation fairly early in his tenure, it was Baird who was tasked with gathering the non-deferential, constructive criticism from administration officials.

The NERD fund

Baird works as a contractor, paid $100,000 a year through a 501(c)4 called the New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify (NERD) Fund. Private donors contribute to the Snyder nonprofit that supports government innovation, according to the Snyder administration.

To Snyder, Baird is a valuable resource that taxpayers dont have to pay for. And the governor sees no problem with that, in part because Baird doesnt make policy decisions.

Thats largely my job, Snyder said of the decision-making process.

But there has been some controversy related to the NERD fund, in part because its donors have not been disclosed.

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer noted recently that as a 501(c)4 nonprofit, NERD isnt required to report its donors. But she says it should, in the spirit of transparency.

Kaffer wrote: Because NERD is the brainchild of Michigans highest-ranking elected official, and because there appear to be unreported connections between the nonprofit and state government, Snyder should come clean the governor should bring the same transparency to NERD that he expects of others in state and local government.

The Snyder administration says Baird isnt paid through the state because of limited budget and resources within the governors office. As for possible influence from the funds donors: Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Baird isnt involved in the fund in any way and doesnt have any details of who is or isn't contributing, ensuring no influence one way or another.

Deep roots

Baird and Snyder go way back. They first met in 1981, when Baird began the process of recruiting Snyder then wrapping up at the University of Michigan law school to join what was then known as the Coopers & Lybrand accounting firm. Baird was impressed by Snyder, put the full court press on him and hired him in 1982.

He was probably one of the most unique interviews I ever had, Baird said of Snyder. "You knew right away how smart he was.

When Baird moved to Chicago for the firm in 1989, Snyder was the first transfer to run the mergers and acquisitions department.

The two men stayed in touch, including after Snyder moved on to the Gateway computer company and other ventures. When Snyder ran for governor and won in 2010, Baird helped assemble the governors team -- including budget director John Nixon (from Utah) and others.

Education initiatives

Baird has been involved in education-related initiatives that some consider controversial. He helped initially connect some members of the so-called skunk works education technology group, a initiative that now is being reshaped and taken over by state schools chief Mike Flanagan. Baird has been more involved with the EAA, a school reform district that now includes 15 Detroit schools but potentially could expand to include other schools in other parts of Michigan.

Supporters such as Baird say the EAA could help give students in failing schools a chance to succeed while providing some innovative techniques that could help other schools in Michigan.

Critics and others with concerns about the EAA have posted an archive of more than 1,300 pages of documents relating to the district on-line, gathered through Freedom of Information requests. Some critics question the districts practices and finances, including money the EAA received via a state program.

Baird and Treasury officials say Detroit Public Schools acted as a flow through for the money, but it was not DPS money that wound up with the EAA. DPS acted as a flow through because under current law the EAA cant access the program called the State Aid Note program on its own.

The program is sometimes used by school districts to resolve cash flow issues. The EAA received $6 million from the program last fall and has paid back that portion, according to Treasury officials. Another $6 million borrowed in February is expected to be paid back by July.

The EAA is wrapping up its first academic year and has had cash flow issues common to start ups, Baird said. Baird said philanthropic commitments were lined up but the cash was not in hand as the EAA got started last year.

The bottom line on this is I think it was the right thing to do, Baird said of the loan process. I didnt direct that it be done. But I did brainstorm with Treasury how we could do something that would solve the problem, because it was a problem worth solving.

As for the philanthropic donations: Theyre coming in. At this weeks Mackinac Policy Conference, the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation said it has raised $59 million -- and hopes to raise a total of $100 million -- to help fund the EAA, community college scholarships for Detroit students and other reform efforts.

Baird is a board member for the foundation, which has received pledges from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, among others.

MLive's Jonathan Oosting contributed to this report.

Email Tim Martin at tmartin4@mlive.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TimMartinMI
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:08 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint Homecoming
August 16-17, 2017


Senior Advisor and Transformation Manager
Office of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Richard L. Baird was appointed Senior Advisor and Transformation Leader to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in October of 2013. Prior to that, he was the CEO of MI Partners, LLC, a Michigan-based consulting company contracted by the Snyder administration since January, 2011.

Baird works with the Governor and his leadership team to reinvent and transform Michigan. Baird has played key roles to address financial solvency, organizational redesign and performance, talent assessment, financially distressed city turnaround strategies, public safety and infrastructure, economic/workforce development and education reform.

Baird served as co-leader (with U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox) of the mediation team which led to the creation of the Great Lakes Water Authority and also assisted Judge Gerald Rosen in the successful resolution of creditor disputes under the Detroit bankruptcy. He created the Office of Good Government for the State of Michigan, designed the Governors Council on Law Enforcement and Reinvention (CLEAR), and has been actively involved in pension redesign, enhancing opportunities for the disabled, ex-offender rehabilitation, and tax payer reform.

More recently (since January, 2016), Baird has served as the Team Leader for Mission Flint which coordinates the States partnership with the City of Flint and the related nearly $300 million appropriation to address problems arising from the water crisis and assist with economic/workforce development, medical and education initiatives.

In 2010, Baird retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP as global and U.S. leader of people and change management. From 20032008, he was global managing partner people, responsible for human resources and learning & education for PwCs 150,000 partners and staff in 150 countries, while serving on the 14-partner global leadership team. From 19997 to 2000, Baird was President of Compass.com, a couple sold to TMP Worldwide (Monster.com) in 2000.

Baird has been referenced in various professional publications for his work in talent management, including The Wall Street Journal, Global HR News, Newsweek, Economist, and Chicago Tribune.

Baird serves as Treasurer of the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation, and is a member of the board for the Grow Michigan Investment Fund. He joined the board for the American Center for Mobility in May, 2017. He is a life member of the board of trustees for United Methodist Homes and Services and a past member of the AIESEC U.S. board of directors and global advisory steering committee. An avid conservationist, he also served on the board of the Great Lakes Protection Fund.

Baird received his bachelors degree from Albion College and was a trustee for 12 years, including five as chair. He received an honorary Ph.D. from Albion College and from Eastern Michigan University.
Posted in Meet the Speakers
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:13 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Richard L. Baird Jr.: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId...
Mr. Richard L. Baird, Jr., serves as the Chief Executive Officer of MI Partners, LLC. ... Trustee, Calvert Social Investment Fund - Calvert Balanced Portfolio ...
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:16 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Overview
Board Members
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Executive Profile
Richard L. Baird Jr.
Trustee, Calvert Social Investment Fund - Calvert Balanced Portfolio

Age Total Calculated Compensation This person is connected to 6 Board Members in 6 organization across 8 different industries.

See Board Relationships
69 --
Background
Mr. Richard L. Baird, Jr., serves as the Chief Executive Officer of MI Partners, LLC. Since January 2011, Mr. Baird has been under exclusive contract to the Michigan Office of the Governor. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of the Adagio Health Inc. (formerly Family Health Council, Inc.) in Pittsburgh, PA until 2014. He served as Co-Leader of Global and US People and Change Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP since December 2008. From 2003 to 2008, he was Global Managing Partner People, responsible for Human Resources and Learning and Education for PwCs 150,000 partners and staff in 150 countries. Mr. Baird served as Head of People at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP since December 1, 2005. He served as Corporate Vice President and President of LAI Compass, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of LAI Worldwide, Inc. since 1998. He served as an Operations Leader of Americas, for Audit and Business Advisory Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Before that, he spent 17 years with Coopers & Lybrand, where he was Human Resources Partner, National Business Assurance, responsible for providing human resources and operational support since 1993. He served as a Director of Adagio Health, Inc. until 2014. He serves as Trustee of 26 funds in Calvert fund complex. Mr. Baird served as Trustee of Calvert Fund - Calvert New Vision Small Cap Fund and Calvert Fund - Calvert Income Fund since 1976, Calvert Social Investment Fund Equity Portfolio, Calvert World Value Funds, Inc. - Calvert Capital Accumulation Fund, Calvert Social Investment Fund Balanced Portfolio, Calvert Social Investment Funds - Balanced Portfolio and Calvert Social Index Series Inc.-Calvert Social Index Fund since 1982. He was appointed to the Board of the Great Lakes Protection Fund in March 2011. He served as a Trustee at Calvert Social Investment Fund - Calvert Large Cap Core Portfolio. He was a Trustee at Albion College for 12 years (serving as board Chairman for 5 years) and its lifetime Honorary Trustee. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Albion College in Michigan. Mr. Baird also has an honorary PhD from Albion and from Eastern Michigan University.

Corporate headquarters
4550 Montgomery Ave
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

United States

Phone: 301-951-4881
Fax: 301-657-7014
Board Members Memberships
1976-Present
Trustee
The Calvert Fund - Calvert Income Fund
1982-Present
Trustee
Calvert Social Investment Fund - Calvert Equity Fund
1982-Present
Trustee
Calvert World Values Fund, Inc. - Calvert Capital Accumulation Fund
1982-Present
Trustee
Calvert Social Investment Fund - Calvert Balanced Portfolio
1982-Present
Trustee
Calvert Responsible Index Series, Inc. - Calvert U.S. Large Cap Core Responsible Index Fund
2005-Present
Director
Calvert World Values Fund, Inc. - Calvert International Equity Fund
Education
PhD
Albion College
BA
Albion College
PhD
Eastern Michigan University
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PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
LAI Worldwide, Inc.
Albion College
Eastern Michigan University
Adagio Health, Inc.
Calvert Fund - Calvert New Vision Small Cap Fund
Calvert Social Investment Fund - Calvert Large Cap Core Portfolio
Calvert Social Investment Fund - Calvert Equity Fund
Calvert World Values Fund, Inc. - Calvert Capital Accumulation Fund
Calvert World Values Fund, Inc. - Calvert International Equity Fund
The Calvert Fund - Calvert Income Fund
Calvert Responsible Index Series, Inc. - Calvert U.S. Large Cap Core Responsible Index Fund
Calvert Impact Fund, Inc. - Calvert Large Cap Growth Fund


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:45 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:19 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Washington


By DAVID EGGERT - Associated Press - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Democrats on Tuesday accused Gov. Rick Snyders administration of protecting his cousins furniture company from a proposed cut in a state contract while questioning a top aides role because he was being paid by the governors since-disbanded fund of anonymous donors.

Snyder, a Republican, dismissed the charges as election-year politicking.

Emails unearthed by the state Democratic Party through a records request show that Snyders cousin George Snyder contacted Richard Baird, the governors transformation officer, in April 2011 to complain about a Senate-proposed change to a contract under which state agencies buy furniture. DBI Business Interiors, which George Snyder co-owns and has offices in Lansing and Jackson, is paid to install new furniture in state offices - cubicles, desks and the like - for contractor Holland-based Haworth Inc.

DBI also competes for furniture refurbishing work with Grand Rapids-based Kentwood Office Furniture and was concerned the Senate budget bill would have limited spending on new furniture to $1 million a year, a clause the Snyder administration says was inserted to guarantee refurbishing business only for DBIs competitor. Baird quickly replied to reassure George Snyder that then-budget director John Nixons people are on this. Sit tight. More than an hour later, Nixon emailed Baird to say we are on it.

The House did not include the furniture change in its budget bill, and it never became law. In July 2011, when George Snyder emailed Baird about a possible meeting with Nixon to discuss the furniture procurement process, Baird forwarded it to Nixon and mentioned George Snyders relationship to the governor.

While parents and seniors were being told by the governor they must sacrifice to balance the states billion-dollar budget deficit, Rick Snyders family and political friends were being taken care of, Democratic Party Chairman Lon Johnson said.

Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said there is absolutely zero, zilch, nada to this, period. George Snyder and DBI have had a well-established and competitively bid contract with the state for a long time, long before Gov. Snyder was ever elected to office.

DBIs relationship with the state dates to the 1990s, said Wurfel, who said Baird and George Snyder met during Rick Snyders transition from governor-elect to governor.

Nixon, who recently returned to Utah for a new job, called the suggestion of impropriety ridiculous. He said the Senate provision would have effectively guaranteed Kentwood sole-source work, and said he was already aware of concerns about it before he ever heard that George Snyder was worried and that is why he said he was on it.

Were not dumb enough to give him preferential treatment, Nixon said, saying DBI received more scrutiny because of the co-owners ties to the governor. All he wanted was an equal playing field.

Democrats also questioned why in September 2012 the value of the five-year Haworth contract more than doubled, from $19.2 million to $41.4 million. In May 2013, the value of a separate five-year Haworth contract - for office seating - rose from $4.7 million to $7.2 million, according to an Associated Press review of the states contracts database.

Until last fall, Baird was paid from Snyders nonprofit New Energy to Reinvest and Diversify, or NERD, fund. The governor dissolved the fund - used to upgrade a press auditorium and to cover staffers travel expenses without public dollars - after it came under scrutiny because the money also was used to pay Baird and expenses for Detroits state-appointed emergency manager.

Democrats said since Baird was paid by the fund, it could have been operating as a secret lobbying organization on behalf of corporate NERD donors. Snyder has since replaced the fund with a more transparent one.

State budget office spokesman Kurt Weiss said DBI as a subcontractor dealer gets an unspecified cut of the Haworth contracts. The reason the overall contracts values were raised, he said, is because the Snyder administration is eliminating costly leases by moving employees to buildings the state already owns.

That should save money overall by optimizing space but temporarily raise costs to do work such as clearing entire building floors and restacking cubicles, Weiss said.

___

Follow David Eggert at https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:27 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

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Snyder aides used personal e-mail to talk Flint water
Paul Egan and Matthew Dolan, Detroit Free Press , WZZM 7:55 AM. EST March 11, 2016

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LANSING - Gov. Rick Snyder's Chief of Staff Jarrod Agen admonished two other top Snyder aides in December for using their personal e-mail accounts to discuss the Flint drinking water crisis, saying "this is state business," and government accounts should be used.

"We should use our official accounts for this," Agen told Snyder adviser Rich Baird and Snyder's then-communications director Meegan Holland on Dec. 24 after receiving an e-mail from Holland about a proposed Flint communications plan on his personal e-mail account.

"This is state business. We are doing the right thing. I don't ever want to give the appearance that this group is trying to NOT be transparent by using personal accounts."

The e-mails were among several sent on personal or campaign accounts that were among thousands of executive office e-mails released by Snyder Thursday. It was the latest in a series of voluntary releases of e-mails and other records by Snyder, whose office is not subject to Michigan's Freedom of Information Act.

Holland, a former journalist who had only recently taken over as communications director, used her Gmail account late on Dec. 23 to send a proposal to Baird, a longtime adviser to Snyder who has held the title "transformation manager," and to Agen.

"Jarrod, Rich and I have gone over this and tweaked it," Holland said. "I would have sent you the original version but just now got your personal e-mail. For now, we prefer to keep this plan offline. Please read this soon, because it kicks in tomorrow, as you'll see!"

On Feb. 25, Snyder removed both Holland as communications director and Dave Murray as press secretary. Snyder named Ari Adler as his new communications director, but has not named a new press secretary. Holland and Murray were moved to other communications roles within the administration.

Also included in the e-mail release was an April 29, 2015 briefing sent to Snyder's "Rick for Michigan" e-mail account, which he has used as both a campaign and a personal account, from aide Morgan Bedan, who sent the e-mail on a Gmail account. Though other topic headings covered in the briefing were redacted, it included the topic heading, "Flint EM (emergency manager) and water update."

Other noteworthy e-mails in Thursday's release include:

On Jan. 24, 2015, Snyder sent a draft list of 2015 priorities to his top two aides, including then chief of staff Dennis Muchmore. "At least we can't be accused of slowing down in term two," Snyder wrote. "Dog years are alive and well."

Among the priorities, No. 36 was entitled, "Flint water system." The details related to the priority were redacted.

In April 2013, Muchmore alludes to Snyder's 2014 re-election effort in an e-mail.

Muchmore tells Snyder that Flint is trying to break away from Detroit's water system and the plan had been approved by then Treasurer Andy Dillon and by Dan Wyant, who then headed the Department of Environmental Quality..

"I have no way of determining whether this is the right action, except to depend on the two departments charged with this responsibility, so I recommend that we support their determination and let the chips fall where they may," Muchmore said in the e-mail.

Muchmore acknowledged the move could hurt the Detroit water system, which would lose a key customer. However, "I don't see how you can support Detroit to the detriment of the rest of the state," Muchmore said. "You've done a lot for the city, but you also need to have a strong support for outstate in 2014."

In April 2015, Muchmore told Snyder that Flint was about to emerge from state-imposed emergency management back toward self-government.

"I personally would like to congratulate you on the leadership that achieved that goal," Muchmore said.

"Outside the issues over the water, we feel pretty confident going forward. The water issue continues to be a danger flag."

On March 10, 2015, then DEQ communications director Brad Wurfel e-mailed other Snyder officials about a meeting held with officials from a company Baird recommended about possibly using ozone technology to purify Flint drinking water. The proposal didn't end up going anywhere.

"More broadly, (Snyder director of urban and metropolitan initiatives) Harvey (Hollins) is looking for a 'thing' the state can be doing for Flint that will position SOM/RS (State of Michigan/Rick Snyder) positively," Wurfel said in the e-mail.

Suggestions, he said, ranged from handing out home water filters to passing out jugs of water. But Wurfel went on to say DEQ officials believed the best short-term use of money would be to hire a company to "pig," or flush out and clean, water distribution lines in Flint.

Staff writers Kathleen Gray, Elisha Anderson, John Wisely and Todd Spangler contributed.
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:38 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Snyder deploys top aide to work on Flint water response
Jonathan Oosting, Detroit News Lansing Bureau Published 10:42 a.m. ET Jan. 27, 2016 | Updated 6:21 a.m. ET Jan. 28, 2016




Gov. Rick Snyder said Wednesday he is deploying a top aide to work in Flint and enlisting outside experts to study water quality in hopes of restoring access to safe tap water in the beleaguered city.

But the state needs more time to assess the citys underground infrastructure and determine whether lead service lines will need to be replaced, Snyder said during a joint press conference with Mayor Karen Weaver and state officials at Flint City Hall.

Lets take care of the people of Flint, both short term making sure they have the bottled water and filters and everything else they need, and then, how do we get good water coming out of the tap, and then how do we rebuild the community? Snyder said.

The governor announced that Transformation Manager Rich Baird, a Flint native, will work out of an office in the city and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley will also be a regular presence. Baird helped recruit Jones Day bankruptcy lawyer Kevyn Orr to become Detroits emergency manager and helped the city navigate the largest municipal bankruptcy in the countrys history.

Youll find many other departments bringing resources to bear on the ground here to help the people of Flint, Snyder said. Were going to keep doing more, and were going to keep committed to the city of Flint.

The efforts include mapping Flints water infrastructure to find out where the lead pipes are and deciding how to prioritize their replacement, the governor said.

Theres a lot of work to be done there, and then you have to figure out whats the long-term infrastructure plan to do a replacement of those things, Snyder said.

The state continues to advise residents against drinking unfiltered tap water due to elevated lead levels, but Department of Environmental Quality Interim Director Keith Creagh said recent testing has shown some signs of improvement.

Some parts of the city do not have lead service lines, said Creagh, who added that targeted water testing may soon allow officials to clear some neighborhoods for tap water use.

Were not going to guess. Were going to assure that people in this city get clean, safe drinking water, he said, noting that an all clear will not be given until there is a consensus between government and independent researchers. Thats our commitment, is to put together a methodical, defensible and reasonable or rational plan.

Both the state and city have enlisted the services of Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech professor who first exposed elevated lead levels in the water last year. Weaver said the city has retained Edwards to oversee all state and federal water testing. He will be paid from private dollars, she said.

Snyder on Wednesday appointed Edwards to the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee, which will include Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Hurley Medical Center pediatrician who first found elevated lead levels in the blood of children. The governor was expected to meet with the 17-member committee for the first time on Wednesday afternoon.

The Michigan Senate could vote Thursday on $28 million in supplemental funding for Flint. Weaver noted the plan includes $3 million to help the city offset losses from customers who are behind on their water bills. Resident should not have to pay for water they cannot drink, she said.

Im glad the governor said this is a first step, Weaver said. Im asking for a staircase. We need more, we want more.

Snyder declined to discuss a lawsuit by a coalition of activists demanding the state pick up the tab for full replacement of underground lead service lines that may have been damaged by Flint River water that was not properly treated to prevent corrosion.

The more pressing issue, the governor said, is determining whether efforts to recoat existing pipes with proper corrosion control treatments will produce safer drinking water.

There absolutely is a trust issue, Snyder said, acknowledging local residents will question officials who have provided them with questionable information in the past.

The state is also asking the federal government to expand Medicaid health care eligibility to cover all Flint-area residents up to 21 years of age and provide Medicaid match dollars for lead abatement activities.

The federal assistance could help the state stretch its resources as it looks to provide services for residents exposed to lead and ensure access to nutritional foods that can reduce the effects, said Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon.

We know that lead can have impacts for years to come, and were working with our local partners here at the Genesee Health System and the Genesee County Health Department to determine what tracks, what activities and what services need to be provided to ensure that children get the best chance they have at being successful, Lyon said.

Snyder continues to face criticism for an initially slow response to the Flint water crisis and some subsequent steps, including the recent hiring of two public relations firms that he is paying through an outside tax-exempt, nonprofit fund.

The governor defended the hires on Wednesday.

Communications is a huge issue in this, he said. Its not about spinning anything. Its about getting the facts out there.

Snyder also hosted a tele-town hall for Flint residents later Wednesday, spokesman Dave Murray confirmed. He was not immediately able to say how many people participated.

The governor wanted an opportunity to speak directly to Flint residents and tell them about the things the state is doing to help them, and the plans to help them long into the future, Murray said.

The state has been ramping up relief efforts since confirming elevated lead levels on Oct. 1.

joosting@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/jonathanoosting
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:42 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Michigan's Transformation Manager Is Now Paid By ... - Deadline Detroit
www.deadlinedetroit.com/.../michigan_s_transformation_manager_is_now_paid_by_t...
Oct 18, 2013 - Transformation Manager Richard Baird, an adviser to Gov. ... Found Kevyn Orr to be Detroit emergency manager, and negotiated with Orr's law ...

Michigan's Transformation Manager Is Now Paid By State, Not NERD Fund

October 18th, 2013, 5:58 PM



Transformation Manager Richard Baird, an adviser to Gov. Rick Snyder, is now a state employee.

Baird was formerly paid a salary of $100,000 by Snyder's NERD Fund. As of Oct. 16, he gets $140,000 a year from the public treasury, according to The Detroit News.

Baird will be paid $140,000 annually, a salary that is comparable to other senior staff, Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Thursday.

Wurfel said the governor hopes to end some of the unnecessary distractions of Bairds employment arrangement by adding him to the payroll as a political appointee within the existing staff budget.

Charlie LeDuff called Baird "the most important man you've never heard of" in an earlier report. Although no one seems to know what "transformation manager" really means, LeDuff reported that Baird:

Found Kevyn Orr to be Detroit emergency manager, and negotiated with Orr's law firm, Jones Day, to lead Detroit through its bankruptcy
Found Detroit's new CFO
Interviewed James Craig to be the new chief of Detroit police
Consulted with Mike Duggan about the emergency manager, and donated $2,500 to Duggan's mayoral campaign

Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel told the Detroit News that Baird was paid by the NERD Fund because a previous employment contract barred him from working full-time.

But, at Snyders request, Baird recently renegotiated his agreement to allow him to become an unclassified state employee, Wurfel said.
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:49 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's NERD Fund to close amidst ongoing ...
www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/10/snyder_nerd_fund_closing_michi.html
Oct 21, 2013 - Rick Snyder's controversial NERD Fund, a potential liability in his ... staff and cover living expenses for Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. ...... Admitting under oath that race factored into his consideration of Kevin Orr for a ...
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:59 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's NERD Fund to close amidst ongoing calls for transparency

Jonathan Oosting | joosting@mlive.com By Jonathan Oosting | joosting@mlive.com

on October 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM, updated October 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM
NERD FUND

The new NERD: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's replacement fund names donors online
Lawsuit seeks NERD Fund names, deposition of Detroit mayoral candidate Mike Duggan
Democratic candidate Mark Schauer once had same type of fund as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's NERD Fund to close amidst ongoing calls for transparency
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder moves top aide Rich Baird onto state payroll, off NERD Fund

LANSING, MI -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's controversial NERD Fund is closing down, but calls for transparency have continued.

Snyder spokesperson Sara Wurfel confirmed Monday that an independent board is in the process of dissolving the New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify Fund, a tax-exempt nonprofit allowed to receive unlimited and anonymous contributions.

The fund had "simply become an unnecessary distraction," Wurfel said, expressing confidence that the board followed all applicable state and federal laws, none of which require the disclosure of donors.

Snyder, asked about the NERD Fund during a public appearance in Owosso, told reporters it was "appropriate to wind it down" but suggested it would be inappropriate to reveal the names of donors who had contributed with the expectation of anonymity.

Dissolution appeared likely last week after Snyder moved "transformation manager" Rich Baird onto the state payroll. Baird, a top aide who works out of the state's executive suite in Lansing, had been paid through the NERD Fund since the governor took office in 2011.

That unusual arrangement prompted increasingly loud calls for the Republican governor to disclose the names of donors to the fund. Democrats and government watchdog groups have argued that the public deserves to know who was paying the salary of someone so closely involved in state affairs.

The NERD Fund, a 501c4 "social welfare" organization, was established with a stated goal of reducing the "financial burdens" of government. Wurel said the mission will continue with creation of a new fund that "will go far above and beyond what the law requires" by detailing donors and expenditures online each quarter.

"The function and purpose of (this) fund is essential to continued reinvention efforts, saving taxpayer dollars, and helping ensure responsive, accessible government," she said.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer, who hopes to challenge Snyder at the ballot box next year, said that dissolving the NERD Fund without naming past donors should be considered "an admission of guilt."

"Simply closing this secret fund without disclosure sends a clear message that Gov. Snyder has something to hide, and that his secret special interest donors are more important than being open and transparent with Michigan taxpayers," Schauer said in a statement.

Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Lon Johnson and AFL-CIO President Karla Swift, referencing what they each called a "slush fund" in separate statements, also called on Snyder to name past donors.

The NERD Fund pulled in approximately $1.3 million in contributions in 2011, according to IRS filings, and received another $368,000 in 2012.

In addition to paying Baird's salary, the fund has been used to upgrade an auditorium in the governor's offices, buy an alarm system for his house, pay travel expenses for his staff and cover living expenses for Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

Both Snyder and Baird, testifying under oath earlier this month as part of a challenge to Detroit's bankruptcy filing, denied any knowledge of who has contributed to the NERD Fund.

Flint Journal reporter Sarah Schuch contributed to this report.

Jonathan Oosting is a Capitol reporter for MLive Media Group. Email him, find him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter.
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:04 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Democrats cry foul over secretive NERD Fund paying Detroit EM's rent

Khalil AlHajal | kalhajal@mlive.com By Khalil AlHajal | kalhajal@mlive.com
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on September 24, 2013 at 5:05 PM, updated September 24, 2013 at 5:26 PM
City of Detroit pursues bankruptcy: Gov. Snyder and EM Orr address mediaDetroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, left, and Gov. Rick Snyder in an MLive file photo.Tanya Moutzalias | MLive.com

DETROIT, MI -- While the state says a nonprofit stepped in to save taxpayers money on the Detroit emergency manager's living expenses, Democratic leaders are crying foul over the use of a fund with undisclosed donors.

While the state pays Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's salary and provides his security detail, the New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify Fund, a nonprofit created by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, pays his $4,200 monthly rent at the Westin Book Cadillac.

"The city of Detroit doesn't pay a dime for the emergency manager's lodging expenses; those are covered by a nonprofit, which also pays for his travel to and from his DC-area home," said Orr's spokesman Bill Nowling said in a brief email Tuesday.

But the NERD Fund has long been a subject of criticism because it doesn't disclose donors while having close to ties state government.

The Washington-based group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in July included Snyder in its list of 18 "worst governors in America," specifically citing the NERD Fund's lack of transparency.

The fund pays the salary of Rich Baird, an adviser to Snyder who played a key role in hiring Orr to take over Detroit government, interviewing the bankruptcy attorney months before the state formally found the city to be in financial emergency.

Orr in July took the city into bankruptcy proceedings in a historic move to slash the city's $18 billion debt. Negotiations with creditors are ongoing.

Josh Pugh, a spokesman for the Michigan Democratic Party, said not knowing exactly who is contributing to Orr's compensation leaves room for suspicion.

"We don't know who is, and what if it's the city's creditors?" he asked.

Mark Schauer, a Democrat who is running for governor, also chimed in on the matter.

"Taxpayers deserve to know which individuals and special interests are trying to curry favor with Mr. Orr during the bankruptcy process by donating to Gov. Snyders secretive NERD Fund," he said in a statement.

Nowling told WJR's conservative-leaning radio host Frank Beckmann that the NERD Fund's purpose is to save taxpayers money.

"The point of the nerd fund was to fund those things either gov couldn't or shouldn't fund or that the taxpayers shouldn't fund," he said. "And the decision was made they hired Kevyn Orr that the taxpayers shouldn't be asked to pay for his living expenses while he's here in the city."

He said the discussion over Orr's compensation distracts from the struggle to cut Detroit's debt and restore ailing city services.

"This discussion about who's paying for the room, where he's staying, will he come to Lafayette Coney Island and have a coney with ordinary Detroiters, this is all about the subterfuge that is going on and has been going on in Detroit for decades of not addressing the problems that are facing the city," Nowling said.

Snyder's spokesperson Sara Wurfel also said the NERD Fund is looking to relieve taxpayers of the burden of paying for Orr's stay in Detroit.

And she said the rental payments had been previously revealed to the media, long before the Monday news reports that sparked the criticism.

But no past articles mentioning the NERD Fund and Orr's housing could be found in a records search.

The Democrats also pointed out that Orr in an August interview with WXYZ said he pays his own travel expenses, without mentioning the NERD Fund's involvement in his weekend travels to and from his Maryland home.

Nowling on that matter said "the response was to a question about whether the city pays for his travel."

"Orr pays for his travel on his own AMEX card and submits expense reimbursement requests to the fund," he said. "He is reimbursed for the coach-rate fare."

Follow MLive Detroit reporter Khalil AlHajal on Twitter @DetroitKhalil or on Facebook at Detroit Khalil. He can be reached at kalhajal@mlive.com or 313-643-0527.
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:08 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Under oath: What we learned from Rick Snyder, Andy Dillon and Rich ...
www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/10/under_oath_what_we_learned_fro.html
Oct 14, 2013 - Rick Snyder, with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr nearby, talks ... that played a role in Orr's selection, said that race "would be a factor ... Baird, in his deposition, said Orr knew that critics could use his race against him.


Under oath: What we learned from Rick Snyder, Andy Dillon and Rich Baird depositions


Jonathan Oosting | joosting@mlive.com By Jonathan Oosting | joosting@mlive.com

on October 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM, updated October 14, 2013 at 10:02 AM
Detroit Bankruptcy



LANSING, MI -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, outgoing Treasurer Andy Dillon and "Transformation Manager" Rich Baird each sat for depositions last week as part of an ongoing challenge to Detroit's eligibility to file for bankruptcy.

Unions, alleging that the bankruptcy was predetermined and designed to cut pension benefits, have argued that the city failed to negotiate in good faith before filing on July 18. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes is expected to hear arguments -- and testimony from Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr -- this week.

Snyder, Dillon and Baird offered few bombshells during their testimony, but here are a handful of highlights.

NO KNOWLEDGE OF NERD FUND DONORS: As previously reported, Snyder denied any knowledge of who donates to the New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify Fund, a nonprofit set up shortly after he took office. Baird, who works in the governor's office but is paid as a consultant through the NERD Fund, echoed those comments. "I know who I submit the invoice to and I know who signs the check," he said. "Outside of that, I don't know anything else."

LITTLE LEGISLATIVE APPETITE FOR DETROIT AID: Baird said that he briefly explored the possibility of legislation to help the city with some of its pension obligations, particularly for retirees "at the lower end of the spectrum." Generally, he said, the Legislature was not inclined offer Detroit additional funding.

"My understanding is that the appetite for a large scale appropriation to Detroit was pretty low," Baird said. "I didn't have an opinion about whether or not there was an appetite for an incremental safety net for impacted pensioners were they to be impacted. I was simply asking the question."

ONE OTHER DETROIT EM CANDIDATE: Baird, whose primary role in the administration is to recruit talent, said that beyond Orr, the state only had one other serious candidate for the Detroit emergency manager position. "I won't dance here. I'll tell you he was -- his residence was south but he had been a Detroit resident," Baird said. "He had been a Detroit resident but he was not at the time that I had discussed it with him."

RACE PLAYED A ROLE IN ORR HIRE: Snyder, asked about various traits and experiences that played a role in Orr's selection, said that race "would be a factor that could be of some consideration." Baird, in his deposition, said Orr knew that critics could use his race against him. "He recognized this was going to be a thankless job where he would probably be vilified and called a traitor to his race and to his Democratic background and that it would require a great deal of resolve to overcome the difficulties of the past decades that have gotten Detroit to where it is today."

BANKRUPTCY MOVED UP A DAY: Snyder and Dillon confirmed that the governor had originally planned to authorize bankruptcy late on July 18, allowing the city to file on July 19. But Snyder ended up signing earlier on the 18th, and the city filed that day minutes before an Ingham County judge could have approved a temporary injunction in response to lawsuits filed by Detroit workers and retirees.

Snyder, asked why the timeline was moved up, did not cite the lawsuits. "I had made my decision, I had consulted with legal counsel, we had prepared a letter authorizing bankruptcy, and I said we should just go ahead and get this done," he explained.

SCHUETTE GAVE SNYDER A HEADS UP: Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a brief in the bankruptcy case arguing that pension benefits are constitutionally protected in Michigan, siding with retirees even as he continues to represent the state. Snyder said Schuette gave him a courtesy call before moving forward.

"The basic gist of the call was is he was looking to file a brief on this and he wanted to make sure I was aware of it," Snyder said, "and I thanked him for that because I said your exercising what you believe is appropriate as a constitutional officer of the state of Michigan, I appreciate you sharing that with you and you should follow through with your duties just as I'm responsible for following through with my duties."

DILLON DIDN'T ALWAYS WANT TO BE TREASURER: Dillon, who resigned Friday following a messy divorce and subsequent media scrutiny, said he originally turned down Snyder's offer to serve as treasurer. After finishing up his term as Democratic House Speaker, Dillon had planned to return to the public sector.

"I was having lunch with a friend of mine. He just said, 'Hey it's a great opportunity why would you say no to that?'" Dillon recounted. "And even though I had spent six years in Lansing I didn't fully appreciate the role of the treasurer for the state and (that it is a) fascinating job and fascinating time to have it."

Jonathan Oosting is a Capitol reporter for MLive Media Group. Email him, find him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter.
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