Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Ann Arbor Democratic Party General Meeting, Sept. 9

8. September 2006 • Juliew
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Saturday, September 9, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
(new member orientation 9:30 am)
Michigan League Koessler Room 3rd floor

Meeting Agenda
1. Presentation on the M(not)CRI Proposal

2. Resolutions

A. Resolution against Michigan Stadium Luxury Boxes: RESOLUTION expressing the Ann Arbor Democratic Party’s support for renovations to Michigan Stadium that do not include private luxury boxes, but instead protect the stadium’s classic form and architecture and honor egalitarian values that are part of the core of American democracy.

B. Resolution Forming a PAC: WHEREAS, the Party does not presently have a political action committee (known as a “political committee” under Michigan law); and WHEREAS, such a PAC could contribute to candidates for Ann Arbor Mayor and
City Council…

3. Nominating Committee

4. Bylaws Revisited



  1. So, how about that November election? That can wait, we’ve got luxury stadium boxes to oppose!

    For the full text of the resolutions (Resolution A is a particularly good read), you will have to attend the meeting. They don’t seem to be on the A2 Dems website.


       —Juliew    Sep. 8 '06 - 03:27AM    #
  2. I sent Juliew the complete text of the resolutions some time ago when I asked her to start this article. Here they are:

    A. Michigan Stadium Luxury Boxes

    RESOLUTION expressing the Ann Arbor Democratic Party’s support for

    renovations to Michigan Stadium that do not include private luxury boxes,

    but instead protect the stadium’s classic form and architecture and honor

    egalitarian values that are part of the core of American democracy.

    Whereas thousands of Ann Arbor residents dedicate their working lives to the

    University of Michigan and thousands more support its success in athletic

    competition, and

    Whereas, Michigan Stadium is one of Ann Arbor’s most historic and popular

    public arenas, and

    Whereas the University of Michigan is evaluating proposed renovations to

    Michigan Stadium that will significantly impact thousands of Ann Arbor

    residents, and

    Whereas proposed stadium renovations feature massive structures to

    accommodate 83 private luxury boxes, 3,200 club seats and exclusive lounges

    that would run end-zone to end-zone on both sides of the field, occupy

    approximately 425,000 square feet and loom almost twice the height of the

    current press box, and

    Whereas such structures would be used seven days per year but would block

    morning sunlight from residents and businesses along a significant stretch

    of Main Street 365 days per year, in perpetuity, and

    Whereas such luxury box structures would forever and radically damage the

    traditional, simple and understated architecture that sets Michigan Stadium

    apart from virtually every foot ball stadium in the nation, and

    Whereas economic pressures to lease these private luxury boxes and club

    seating will likely necessitate the eventual sale of alcohol in the stadium,

    endangering the existing, friendly game-day atmosphere, and

    Whereas the estimated cost of constructing the current luxury box scheme

    will by the University’s own estimates require annual interest payments

    of $13 million for the next 30 years, a sum that exceeds the annual

    projected revenues from the luxury boxes and club seating, and

    Whereas the proposed luxury box scheme actually reduces bleacher seating for

    ordinary fans by more than 4,000 seats, making it even harder for Ann Arbor

    residents to attend games, and

    Whereas such private luxury box structures would physically divide Michigan

    fans who have always shared games together, in order to cater to the

    pleasures of an elite few, and

    Whereas such economic segregation does not reflect the best egalitarian

    traditions of the Democratic Party, American democracy or the University of

    Michigan, and

    Whereas the University of Michigan has stated publicly that it can renovate

    Michigan stadium without the private luxury boxes at significantly lower

    cost than the current scheme, and

    Whereas it is in the interest of Ann Arbor residents that one of the most

    iconic and beloved structures in our community reflect our democratic values

    and priorities,

    Be it resolved, that

    The Ann Arbor Democratic Party strongly urges the Regents of the University

    of Michigan and Regental candidates to reject stadium renovation plans

    that include private luxury boxes, and to support renovation plans that

    improve the game-day experience equally for all fans, protect the classic

    form and character of the stadium’s traditional architecture, and honor the

    egalitarian values that are part of the core of American democracy.

    (Submitted by Doug Kelley)

    B. RESOLUTION FORMING A PAC

    WHEREAS, the Party does not presently have a political action committee

    (known as a “political committee” under Michigan law); and

    WHEREAS, such a PAC could contribute to candidates for Ann Arbor Mayor and

    City Council;

    NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED AS FOLLOWS:

    1. The political committee named the Ann Arbor City Democratic Party PAC is

    hereby formed.

    2. The Party Treasurer is authorized to file a statement of organization

    for the PAC with the County Clerk.

    3. The Party Treasurer is the Treasurer of the PAC.

    4. The sponsor’s name is the Ann Arbor City Democratic Party.

    5. The Executive Board shall control the PAC. It shall determine which

    candidates receive contributions, and the amounts of the contributions.

    6. Contributions may only be made to Democratic candidates for Ann Arbor

    Mayor and Ann Arbor City Council. No contributions shall be made to any

    candidate in a contested primary.

    (Submitted by David Cahill)


       —David Cahill    Sep. 8 '06 - 12:55PM    #
  3. And we wonder why the dems lost the last few elections.


       —Patrick    Sep. 8 '06 - 02:15PM    #
  4. I was just about to post that, Patrick.


       —todd    Sep. 8 '06 - 02:19PM    #
  5. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make the meeting b/c of a work commitment, but I hope there’s talk of the canvassing we’ve got going on around the city for Democratic candidates. There’s also a move afoot to get the precincts organized again. Here’s hoping that’s brought up at the meeting, too.

    Seriously, folks. The stadium? What’s next, calling for a height limit of 4 stories on buildings? Oh wait . . .


       —Young OWSider    Sep. 8 '06 - 03:01PM    #
  6. The first item on the agenda is about the phony Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which would abolish affirmative action. That is a big deal for the November election.

    The phone and foot canvassing for the election is in full swing already. It is being coordinated from the County Party’s office at 210 S. Fourth Ave, AA 48104. The phone number is (734) 622-8190.

    If you have any time to spare, please call, or just drop by, and you’ll be put to work.

    There is not a moment to be lost!


       —David Cahill    Sep. 8 '06 - 03:32PM    #
  7. “And we wonder why the dems lost the last few elections.”

    Which elections would those be? There are 11 Dems on the Council, out of 11. I don’t think Dem losses at the national level can be related to what A2 Dems think and do; we’re a different breed, and rarely listened to.

    I don’t like the stadium resolution myself, and were this town more closely contested, I’d really worry about passing stuff like this.


       —Tom Wieder    Sep. 8 '06 - 04:29PM    #
  8. I like some of the sentiment of the stadium resolution. Is it not in line with the reality of the situation or do you (Tom and others) have other concerns about it?


       —Steve Bean    Sep. 8 '06 - 04:35PM    #
  9. I like the stadium resolution. Well done, city party.


       —Patrick Hunt    Sep. 8 '06 - 04:47PM    #
  10. “we’re a different breed, and rarely listened to.”

    Um…no. Too easy.


       —Robert Moses    Sep. 8 '06 - 04:50PM    #
  11. A revised agenda for tomorrow’s meeting was just sent out. It includes a resolution supporting the EMU strike. The resolution will be distributed at the meeting.

    Since the resolution was not distributed a week in advance of the meeting, it will take a 4/5 majority of those present and voting to pass.


       —David Cahill    Sep. 8 '06 - 10:45PM    #
  12. I have a number of concerns about the resolution. Its complaints about the economics of the renovation, architectural forms, the likelihood of liquor being served in the future and the relationship of stadium seat pricing to “egalitarian values” are way beyond what I think is supportable and approriate for a city party position. What do the numbers really say? I suppose it’s possible that Bill Martin is doing this just for ego or image, without a financial payoff, but I’d like to hear his side before condemning the project on that basis. One of the things in athletics which most expresses Democratic principles is Title IX, which has greatly expanded athletic opportunities for women. Those opportunities have been financed, to a large extent by the big-revenue sports, such as football. If the stadium project really will be a revenue enhancer, I wouldn’t want to oppose it without knowing the consequences in this area. What evidence do we have that this prject will lead to permitting liquor in the stadium? And do we care? I’ve been to sports events at venues that serve liquor, and it was fine. As far as the “egalitarian” point. As far as I’m concerned, football isn’t a core function of the university, and I don’t see any reason that it shouldn’t be governed by market forces. If some people want to spend a lot of money to sit there and watch, so be it. The “U” should make as much money on it as it can.


       —Tom Wieder    Sep. 9 '06 - 01:12AM    #
  13. Actually, maybe the only hope that a relative non-star like Katherine White and a near-complete unknown like Julia Darlow have of beating David Brandon (although his fellow Repub-for-regent, whose name I forget, should be more beatable) is precisely to use the stadium thing as the most visible piece, and symbol, of an attack on Republican regents’ mismanagement. E.g., not only do those “elitist Repubs” oppose affirmative action, they all voted for the overpriced and unnecessary stadium changes, too. Ergo, replace the Repubs.

    The stadium thing was noted by Jon Koller in my front-page diary from August 24 (though I once previously wrote a Regent about it myself, I think) at Michigan Liberal, UM Regents’ race: who cares?—You should , along with the factor that Brandon is Dick DeVos’ campaign manager; ergo, if enough pressure is put on Brandon during his own race, he might “flip out” and not be able to pay sufficient attention to helping DeVos. Thus, the stadium issue may actually have an effect on the gubernatorial race, if only indirectly.


       —David Boyle    Sep. 9 '06 - 01:14AM    #
  14. See also my Arblogger post of yesterday about ongoing anti-luxury-boxes-at-Michigan-Stadium activism.


       —David Boyle    Sep. 9 '06 - 01:28AM    #
  15. First, before I offer my comments on the resolution on the press box, let me tell a story of my trip to Maui. I was reading one of the local magazines and there was an ad that read ‘bring back the two party system!’. It was from the Maui republicans, beacuse like ann arbor they had a democratic super majority. When you only have one party they can act as stupid as they wish, like the local ann arbor democrats are doing.

    Now, on to the resolution, granted, my first few comments are from the post by David Cahill wrote;

    1 – “but instead protect the stadium’s classic form and architecture”, oh, so they probably want to bring back the old press box and remove the added seating too? That stadium has been renovated before, so that just a bunch of bullshit. The current press box was a ‘modern addition’ and is a joke of a building, it needs to be replaced (I’ve been in it, have you?, in the winter its freezing up there, and it is about half the size it needs to be (I’m talking about the media area)). There is a photo of the ‘old stadium’ at the barber shop on state street, the one that’s closer to hill.

    2 – “and honor egalitarian values that are part of the core of American democracy”, excuse me?? No, they are thinking about the old USSR, this is America where we all hope for the equal opportunity to make a buck and hopefully lots of them. That just sounds like total BS to me, plus Tom W make a great point about how this will help TItle 9, as the farther of one daughter I want her to have a chance to do whatever she wants, and if football cash lets her play a different sport, then hooray for football cash!

    3 – “evaluating proposed renovations to Michigan Stadium that will significantly impact thousands of Ann Arbor residents” –
    Ok, you got me, I must wonder,HOW?? what is the big impact? the fact that one plan included making all the rest of the seats bigger??

    4 – but would block morning sunlight from residents and businesses along a significant stretch of Main Street

    OK first off, that is a very small part of main street, I think calling it a significant stretch is going a bit far, also before I can buy this line I would need to see a computer graphic that shows me how much and who will be effected.

    5 – “radically damage the traditional, simple and understated architecture that sets Michigan Stadium apart from virtually every foot ball stadium in the nation

    back to my first comment thats just total crap, the stadium has already been renovated in the past, get over it

    6 – Alcohol in the stadium, besides a simple who fucking cares, get real , there its already there just visit the student section

    7 – and they go on to say that alcohol in the stadium will “endangering the existing, friendly game-day atmosphere”

    i’m sorry but thats the biggest load of crap i’ve ever heard. go to the tailgating and see all the booze, and tell me a little bit more in the stadium is going to change the atmosphere, I call bullshit

    8 – the money issue, why should ann arbor worry about how UM spend its cash??? Also, I agree again with the comment of ‘lets hear bill martins side of this’ cause there is no logic to building something that will loose money

    9 – here is the worst shit yet, it laments the loss of 4000 seats (that will be made up by the richest 4000 of those fans moving into the press box) is due to the fact that they will increase the seat size for the average fan. They didn’t want to do this without giving back to the ‘regular joe’

    10 – “economic segregation does not reflect the best egalitarian traditions of the Democratic Party” – here it goes again, the fucking bullshit. Ann arbor is so fucking economically segregated, and we have all democrats in charge. I wish local government would stick to doing their jobs rather then make stupid resolution like this and the one about iraq war, yes, the wars bad but your LOCAL GOVERNMENT!! Do your job!

    David, do you support this????

    I ask because I would love to help oppose the god damn MCRI bullshit, but not with a party who is pulling this bullshit about the stadium,

    and that thing about making this an issue effecting the govoners race, fucking hell people, why don’t the demoracts do something productive to make a difference and then they would win, this kind of shit makes me want to vote for a replublican govoner (something i have never done)

    rant over

    just a voice


       —just a voice    Sep. 9 '06 - 02:49AM    #
  16. The resolution is expressed a little strongly, but has enough good points to be supportable. (I am actually slightly agnostic about the luxury boxes, but seeing that the Regents sort of rushed it all through too fast, I am more inclined to support some sort of protest move.) ...As for the imperfection of the Democrats, you may be right, but at this late date, it’s hard to make them perfect!!!


       —David Boyle    Sep. 9 '06 - 03:22AM    #
  17. When the average Michigan voter goes to the polls in an even-year November election, they find a phalanx of unfamiliar names on the ballot under headings like “State Board of Education”, “University of Michigan Board of Regents”, “Michigan State University Board of Trustees”, and “Wayne State University Board of Governors”. In each of these sections, the voter is instructed to vote for not more than two.

    A lot of people skip this part. Some of them even complain to election officials that no one told them all this stuff had to be voted on. Others vote a straight ticket for their favorite party. Still others vote for all the women, or for the Irish names.

    But outside a microscopically small percentage of people in Michigan who follow these boards closely, none of those voters are going to have any idea about any issue of luxury boxes in Michigan Stadium, let alone base their votes on it. Nor will any other UM issue enter their consciousness, whether it be affirmative action or Rem Koolhaas’s dreadful addition to the art museum.

    David Brandon and Katherine White and Julia Darlow and so on will travel all over the state, attend rallies, give speeches, etc., etc., but it’s all a charade. The Ann Arbor media will run some articles about the UM Regent candidates (but nothing about MSU or WSU). The Lansing media will similarly cover the MSU Trustee candidates (but nothing about UM or WSU). Voters who live anywhere else in the state will get zero information about any of the candidates unless they seek it out.

    That’s because there will be a howling firestorm of politics going on, with active races for Governor and U.S. Senator and Congress and State Senator and State Representative and even County Commissioner using up all available oxygen.

    Candidates for the university boards don’t have the millions of dollars it would take to run a statewide media campaign. Meanwhile, after decades of cutbacks in state-level political reporting, news outlets in Michigan are barely able to cover the Governor’s race, let alone the “downballot stuff”.

    It used to be that all the board seats would go the same way. In 1966, Republicans won the statewide races, so all their board candidates won, too. In 1968 and 1970, Democrats won every seat. In 1972, Republicans won every seat. In 1974 and 1976, Democrats won every seat.

    In recent years, the state has been closely enough divided that the outcome is mixed. In general, it’s better to have an Irish or clearly female name than to have a Hispanic or ambiguously gendered name.

    This is already too long, so I won’t go into the ugly politics behind the nominations for the board seats.

    In 1982, Jim Brickley, then a Republican candidate for governor, proposed a state constitutional amendment to make the UM/MSU/WSU boards appointive by the governor, instead of elected. Even as a Democrat, I could see this was a good idea, and I went out door to door circulating the petition to put Brickley’s amendment on the ballot.

    Unfortunately, he didn’t get enough signatures.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Sep. 9 '06 - 03:52AM    #
  18. To Just a Voice:
    Well said and Amen.


       —tim    Sep. 9 '06 - 04:20AM    #
  19. larry, you would throw the baby out with the bath water.

    the university’s independence from state politics derives from publicly elected regents. appointed regents would be party hacks answering to and serving the interests of political bosses—a disaster.


       —peter honeyman    Sep. 9 '06 - 03:57PM    #
  20. I just got back from the meeting.

    The resolution on the stadium was postponed to our October 14 meeting in order to get more information. Many people felt we should hear from the other side before taking a position. I said I wanted to hear what our two Democratic regent candidates thought.

    A surprise – the County Democratic Convention last month passed a similar resolution.

    The resolution forming a PAC was approved unanimously, with the words “or on their behalf” inserted after “City Council” to make sure that the PAC could buy ads on behalf of candidates instead of being required to contribute directly to candidates.

    The resolution supporting the EMU strike was supported unanimously.

    Jeff Souza from the County Party was there to tell us about an effort being made to allow precinct officials to do a hand audit of votes in November in order to check the accuracy of the machine count. The machines are made by Diebolt, and lots of folks don’t trust their accuracy. Souza said that this hand audit was done in several precincts in Pittsfield Township during the primary. He said that state officials were originally in support of this hand audit, but they have now turned around and told Larry Kestenbaum via a phone call that they do not support such a hand audit.

    Larry, what is the latest word on this?


       —David Cahill    Sep. 9 '06 - 04:32PM    #
  21. I agree with Peter that appointed Regents would not be optimum. In fact, the primaries in both parties should elect Regent nominees, too, instead of having the party conventions decide.

    ...As for stadium: never underestimate the symbolic power of football in America! (And I’ll also note that David Brandon does, I think, have the money to run a statewide campaign…)
       —David Boyle    Sep. 9 '06 - 04:37PM    #
  22. My experience with the appointed trustees of WMU was that they were clowns, with little understanding of the breadth of or importance of most of the activities of the university. In addition, when I was there, they were almost exclusively conservatives due to the long tenure of John Engler, which was out of synch with the students, the faculty, the city of Kalamazoo, and the state of Michigan. Only one of them had anything more than a bachelor’s degree, and a few were out-and-out Engler cronies. I don’t agree that appointed trustees would be better than elected officials.

    As for campaigns, I think it would be rather easier to get one’s message out to the potential voting public these days with new communications tools than relying on reporters.


       —Dale    Sep. 9 '06 - 05:55PM    #
  23. On the contrary, elected university board members (nominated by state party conventions) are MUCH MORE likely to be party hacks than gubernatorial appointees would be.

    Yes, there are influential UM alumni in both parties who worry about the quality of UM regent nominations, and are sometimes effective in putting forward especially good candidates who wouldn’t have volunteered (like Julia Darlow). But presumably those same people would have influence over gubernatorial appointments.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Sep. 9 '06 - 07:40PM    #
  24. Andrea Fischer Newman (Repub UM regent) actually does support affirmative action, now that I think about it. She’s not running this year, though. ...

    As for stadium and the freak weather conditions that delayed the game today, see my new and possibly tonguey-in-cheeky Arblogger post, ‘God disapproves of Michigan Stadium luxury boxes’ ...
       —David Boyle    Sep. 9 '06 - 08:14PM    #
  25. “In 1982, Jim Brickley, then a Republican candidate for governor, proposed a state constitutional amendment to make the UM/MSU/WSU boards appointive by the governor, instead of elected. Even as a Democrat, I could see this was a good idea, and I went out door to door circulating the petition to put Brickley’s amendment on the ballot. Unfortunately, he didn’t get enough signatures.”

    Hypothetically, my guess is that Brickley, if he had become governor, and if he could have appointed MSU/UM/WSU board members, would have made mostly sensible choices. As for former governor Milliken, I’m unaware of his record on ed. board appointments (he was retiring when Brickley was running in 1982), but he had a strong reputation for bucking the political hacks and working across political and party boundaries. For this, he was (I believe) complimented by former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young as “the finest public servant I ever met,” and is reviled by the dominant wing of today’s state Republican Party, which had nominated him 3 times during the 70s. In 1982, year 8 B.E. (Before Engler), the concept of having the governor appoint all of the state’s ed. board members would not seem at all unreasonable in the context of that era of Michigan politics.

    Blanchard, the Dem who had the governor’s chair in between Milliken and Engler (and who somewhat conservatively filled the time in between the moderate Milliken and the foam-at-the-mouth corporate right of Engler in the same way that Carter did on the national level in between Gerald Ford and Reagan), seemed in general to be a sort who would make two good choices for each hack appointment he supported. Then, after Blanchard found ways to blow the 1990 election, along came Engler — and Dale’s WMU anecdote is just one corner of one tip of that nasty iceberg. As for Granholm, as Jack Lessenberry periodically notes in his Metro Times column, she seems singularly focused during her time in office on winning her next election. On the surface this informs what she does and, just as importantly, what she chooses not to do — unlike Milliken, who won 2 of 3 full terms in extremely close votes, she rarely if ever takes political risks. She made some good appointments early on, particularly in regard to official who jobs deal with the environment, but she needs to be watched and to be prodded at times do try and do the right thing.

    [Just read comments #23 & #24 now.] Yes, the state conventions are certainly free to nominate party hacks for the MSU/UM/WSU boards. But the nominees, at least superficially, need to “bring something to [board] table.” The nominees from either party should look vote-worthy. If they’re clearly like the hacks that Dale describes as having been appointed to the WMU board, they will get called out for this, by some of the print media and on the net, along the way to the November ballot.

    I agree that in the long run the internet will help a lot get the word out on ‘downticket’ election races. One the othe hand, these “new communications tools” — various net-based programs & utilities, as well as access to the net itself — are not sufficiently evolved and adopted yet to seriously replace the mass TV and print media. The older half of the population, especially, still relies mostly on “traditional” media and uses the web mostly for email if at all. Give it another 10 years.


       —hale    Sep. 9 '06 - 08:58PM    #
  26. david, you wrote

    “The resolution is expressed a little strongly, but has enough good points to be supportable”

    what are those good points?? Please inform me of your perspective


       —just a voice    Sep. 10 '06 - 01:22AM    #
  27. The egalitarianism, suspicion towards increased alcohol use, etc., all seem good, although I might not have written as strong a resolution if I were writing one myself. On the whole, though, the resolution seems worthy.


       —David Boyle    Sep. 10 '06 - 02:10AM    #
  28. David B,

    you write;
    “but has enough good points to be supportable”

    and all you can come up with is 2?? two is enough?

    then I would like to go so far as calling total bullshit on the increased alcohol use. There is a ton of Alcohol at the tailgates, and plenty snuck into the stadium, can you really make an argument that serving in the fancy box seats will make a difference?

    Also, I asked you to inform me of your perspective, but please go further, because I would like to know how the ‘egalitarianism’ works?? Being that the best seats come with an added price, the so called ‘egalitartianism’ that your speak of doesn’t exist.

    I call bullshit on your points untill you can explain them better, no offence meant but your response is bullshit, in that it doesn’t address anything I said.


       —just a voice    Sep. 10 '06 - 03:20AM    #
  29. “protect the stadium’s classic form and architecture…”

    Sounds good.

    “honor egalitarian values that are part of the core of American democracy…”

    Listen, charging people for tickets at all is “unegalitarian”, because it keeps out the homeless etc. (So none of us here is 100% super-duper egalitarian here, maybe…) But luxury boxes are arguably a little TOO inegalitarian.

    “Whereas such structures would be used seven days per year but would block morning sunlight from residents and businesses along a significant stretch of Main Street 365 days per year, in perpetuity…”

    Self-explanatory.

    “Whereas such luxury box structures would forever and radically damage the traditional, simple and understated architecture that sets Michigan Stadium apart from virtually every foot ball stadium in the nation…”

    If this is true, maybe we should keep simple and unique, rather than joining the corporate conformist gravy train.

    “Whereas economic pressures to lease these private luxury boxes and club seating will likely necessitate the eventual sale of alcohol in the stadium, endangering the existing, friendly game-day atmosphere…”

    Alcohol outside stadium, or snuck in, is not as bad as having it legally approved inside stadium.

    “Whereas the estimated cost of constructing the current luxury box scheme will by the University’s own estimates require annual interest payments of $13 million for the next 30 years, a sum that exceeds the annual projected revenues from the luxury boxes and club seating…”

    Economic unfeasibility.

    “Whereas the proposed luxury box scheme actually reduces bleacher seating for ordinary fans by more than 4,000 seats, making it even harder for Ann Arbor residents to attend games…”

    See “unegalitarian”, above.

    “Whereas the University of Michigan has stated publicly that it can renovate Michigan stadium without the private luxury boxes at significantly lower cost than the current scheme…”

    Financial responsibility.

    Sooo, there we go!
       —David Boyle    Sep. 10 '06 - 04:49PM    #
  30. those are relatively weak justifications, david.

    point one is reasonable, but as there have been renovations in the past, that argument can only hold so much water. and frankly i don’t see michigan stadium as an example of classic architecture in any sense of the word. it’s just a big shallow bowl with alot of seats around it. the roman colosseum, now that’s classic architecture.

    shadows on main street? for how long? 15-20 minutes a day before they crest the boxes? how high are the boxes going to be? how many houses are going to be affected? 3 or 4? half of those are businesses, anyway

    luxury box elgalitarianism. i’d much rather have the corporate stiffs sitting in heated/cooled booths high off the turf than sitting at game level at the 50 yd. line. that’s why i hate going to pro basketball/hockey/baseball games. the rich people who don’t give a crap about the game get the best seats. let them have their luxury boxes.

    alcohol. see the link below.
    [link]
    it is the ncaa policy on alcohol. while it doesn’t forbid the sale of alcohol, it strongly discourages it, and i’ve never been to a college game of anything that allows alcohol sales, so i think it highly unlikely Michigan would start bucking a trend with the possibility of bad press looming as a result. and if they did sell it in the luxury boxes, so what? those people didn’t come to mingle with the commoners in the bleachers below.

    economic unfeasibility: here would be an excellent opportunity to pick the brain of bill martin as to his opinion on this topic. i have a feeling he has a vested interest in making sure the athletic department isn’t flushing money down the ol’ crapper.

    so, there.


       —tim    Sep. 10 '06 - 08:11PM    #
  31. The justification against the luxury boxes was good enough for a majority of the Democratic UM Regents, and the vast majority of the speakers at the last Regents’ meeting. Not to mention that, regardless of substantive reservations, there is the procedural ugliness that the vote on the project was rushed through before people were fully informed about it. It looks bad.


       —David Boyle    Sep. 10 '06 - 08:26PM    #
  32. David (B)

    – I don’t know details about the ‘rushed through’ aspect of things, so I can not comment on it. Where do you get your information on that?

    Now, post 29 – easy to pick apart, since you basically repeated what has been said, instead of explaining why you feel that way about things. I know that I am confrontational about this, but you certainly didn’t respond. I think that what tim wrote is well said, and speaks for me too.

    I would also like to ad to the economic unfeasiblity part, that being UofM has one of the very few athletic departments that is in the black, almost all other’s in the country are in the red. Ohio State is in major debt, due to massive spending on their athletic facilities. Michigan is improving them as fast as they can without going broke/into debt. We lag behind many places as far as facilites go, and are loosing recruits because of it. Bill Martin has been a good captain for the athletic departmnet ship, and I just don’t think he would push for a project that would break with his policy of keeping UM athletics in good financial shape. So you say it will cause debt, with no proof, and I say it wont (yes, also with no proof, but when I get a chance I’ll peek at UM’s athletic site and see if they have any info on this.

    You also write “University of Michigan has stated publicly that it can renovate Michigan stadium at significantly lower cost”

    what the fuck are you talking about? Can I get a link?

    Also, back to the ‘shadows on main street thing’, you just call that self explanitory, but where are the reports or graphics that show the true impact??

    Also, you write;
    ““Whereas the proposed luxury box scheme actually reduces bleacher seating for ordinary fans by more than 4,000 seats, making it even harder for Ann Arbor residents to attend games…”
    See “unegalitarian”, above.

    You must not have actually read my post (that would be my guess at this point since rather then responding to what I wrote you reapeated yourself), but that is utter utter bullshit. Those 4000 seats are lost to making the current seats bigger, and those seats will be the richest UM ticket holders moving into the luxury boxes.

    but, let me thank you for repeating what you already said, it really helped!

    Do we have someone from the democratic party who can do a better job of aguing for this, otherwise I will be telling everyone I know to vote republican for regent. With the two Davids representing the democrats here, I may just vote republican on all county elections (exept Larry K if he’s up for a vote, he has my vote forever).

    Wow, scary, I may actually vote for a republican for the first time in my life.


       —just a voice    Sep. 10 '06 - 08:57PM    #
  33. You have a dirty mouth.

    I read what you said, that doesn’t mean it was right.

    Maybe we should keep 4000 seats instead of making seats bigger. Or why not just have one huge seat in the stadium, that’ll be the world’s biggest seat.

    I don’t know the exact length of shadows from the luxury boxes; but even if, somehow, the shadows do not reach Main Street much, I know that at the last Regents’ meeting, people complained that IN THE STADIUM, many people will be enveloped in shadow. That seems harder to argue with.

    I am not sure about Bill Martin’s messianic powers, but have faith in whom you want.

    Now let’s look at Regents approve controversial Big House project by 5-3 vote , from 5/22/06 in the Daily,

    ”...Regents opposed to the renovation plan are Laurence Deitch, Rebecca McGowan and Katherine White.

    McGowan said she is concerned the project will spend “too much money on too few people.”

    Deitch said the project “screams of insensitivity” because Michigan’s economy is doing so poorly. He proposed a $55 million to $60 million alternative option he believes would cover the necessary renovations. ...

    John Pollack, founder of Save the Big House, a group opposed to the renovations, said the University’s decision to tack the renovations onto the agenda was irresponsible.

    “It was a very sly move and I don’t think it reflects well on due process at the University of Michigan,” Pollack said. ...”

    And if you still insist on voting Republican after all that; I think the public knowledge that you vote Republican, could be the biggest impetus to vote Democrat that anyone in Michigan needs.


       —David Boyle    Sep. 10 '06 - 11:56PM    #
  34. JAV, I am honored by your confidence in me. Thank you.

    I myself am agnostic on the stuff that goes on in Michigan Stadium. If it makes money for the University’s academic mission, that’s fine with me. Had I been at the party meeting, I would not have supported the resolution.

    But last time I was in East Lansing, I saw the colossal luxury box addition to MSU’s Spartan Stadium, which seemed to dwarf the actual stadium.

    I have no idea whether UM is planning anything quite so overwhelming. If they are, no surprise that some people are critical.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Sep. 11 '06 - 12:54AM    #
  35. Resolution against Michigan Stadium Luxury Boxes: RESOLUTION expressing the Ann Arbor Democratic Party’s support for renovations to Michigan Stadium that do not include private luxury boxes, but instead protect the stadium’s classic form and architecture and honor egalitarian values that are part of the core of American democracy.

    Egalitarian values? Snort.

    The Univerity of Michigan is, at heart, an elite—not egalitarian—institution. The whole place is, in effect, a giant virtual luxury box to which only a small minority of state high school graduates are admitted. Given that fundamental aspect of the university, worrying about sky boxes at the football stadium seems a bit silly. How soon shall we expect Ann Arbor Dems to pass a motion calling for abolishing elistist admission procedures and adopting open, lottery-based admissions to the U instead?


       —mw    Sep. 11 '06 - 02:15AM    #
  36. Meh, it’s not the admissions standards that are tough for most in-staters, it’s the tuition.


       —Dale    Sep. 11 '06 - 03:06AM    #
  37. David B.

    I have a dirty mouth, Big Fucking Deal, does that make what I say mean less? Does it hurt my arguments, NO! Shut the fuck up. Oh, thats dirty, sorry.

    Keep 4000 seats, no just 1 big seat, do you even care? Do you go to games? I have been to games at the Big House where the two guys on each side of me where so fat, I could hardly fit in the seat, 3 inches more for the three of us would have been wonderful. and the one seat comment, is just utter stupidity

    oh, now your worried about shadows in the stadium instead of on main street. WEll there are already shadows in michigan stadium, and the placement of the new buildings will make very little differnce. I don’t say that out of ignorance, I happen to be very aware of the lighting conditions at the Big House on sunny game days. If its a noon game, there will be little differnce, if its an evening game, then there are already tons of shadows, and the current press box is on the west side where the sun sets so it wont make a big differnece. Funny thing is by changing your argument mid-stride like that, you change the conversation from the shadows on main street, that I am not familiar with, to the ones inside the stadium, that I am actually an expert on.

    Also, from reading the article you read we can actually get a very good idea of how the light will effect main street, as it will not be higher then the current press box the shadows will be no different for most of that stretch of main street unless they build the west building longer then the current press box, either way, if someone can get out there at sunrise and take a pic, we’ll actually know what we’re dealing with (don’t look at me, I don’t do sunrise)

    Ok, you link to a daily articel, well, first off here are some quotes you left out;
    “will accommodate nearly 1,000 more fans”, but you said it was less likely for a local to get in, but there are more seats, you must use Fuzy Math eh?

    “Friday’s decision comes after eight months of heated debate over whether the elite nature of the private suites projects an incorrect message about the University’s values.”, so this wasn’t popped sudenly on people?

    And yes, while they did add it to the agenda at the last minute, which efectively cut of peoples opportunity to sign up for public comment, that would probably not have changed the vote, and there was a reason given that you chose to leave out;

    “Regent Olivia Maynard (D-Goodrich) said the last-minute addition was necessary after someone leaked classified information about the renovations, including details about the construction, to the Detroit Free Press. She said that after the column, “the process had to be moved along.”

    and the protest didn’t sound like it had much support;
    “Goldstein was one of the 33 faculty members from nine schools and colleges who signed a letter expressing their opposition to the luxury boxex”, 33 people signing a letter of protest would be a small fraction of teachers at WCC, at UM thats just not showing much support for the opposition

    Oh, and I need to say that what mw wrote is dead-on and says it all

    “Egalitarian values? Snort.”

    that says it all


       —just a voice    Sep. 11 '06 - 03:58AM    #
  38. “The whole place is, in effect, a giant virtual luxury box to which only a small minority of state high school graduates are admitted.”

    True to a degree, I suppose, but how many Michigan high school graduates attend any college or university in Michigan? A smaller number than we would really like to see. But I think you’ll find a broader range of academic achievement among the in-state students than you would for out-of-state students. For out-of-state students, attending Michigan is more akin to attending a private university in both admission standards and tuition. For those of us who came from in-state schools, the bar is not set nearly as high as it is for those coming from out-of-state (at least from my admittedly dated experience).


       —John Q.    Sep. 11 '06 - 03:59AM    #
  39. Meh, it’s not the admissions standards that are tough for most in-staters, it’s the tuition.

    If tuition were the limiting factor, then the UM would not see many times more applicants than it has places to offer. Michigan is only marginally more expensive than MSU and it is dramatically cheaper than comparable private institutions. For in-staters, it is still a bargain—at least compared to the alternatives (and I say that as a parent who will soon be writing the checks).

    For out-of-state students, attending Michigan is more akin to attending a private university in both admission standards and tuition. For those of us who came from in-state schools, the bar is not set nearly as high as it is for those coming from out-of-state (at least from my admittedly dated experience).

    Well, the bar is actually higher than for most private institutions (it’s harder to get into the Ivy League, but it’s certainly not harder to get into the typical small liberal arts college). And yes, the bar is somewhat lower for in-state students, but it’s still pretty high (and a lot higher than it used to be).


       —mw    Sep. 11 '06 - 11:24AM    #
  40. Your foul-mouthed immaturity does hurt your arguments, actually, “just an inarticulate voice”.

    I doubt you are an expert on anything, but shadows both in the stadium and on Main Street are an issue; you say there are already shadows at times, but luxury boxes could make them worse.
    There seems to be a new west-side sideline structure, so that for late games, there could be significant additional shadow from the (obscured) setting sun.

    1000 more total seats, maybe (including in the luxury boxes), but 4000 or so fewer bleacher seats for reg’lar folks, apparently.

    33 protesting faculty is not insignificant, although 33,000, say, might be even more significant. I would not just scoff at the faculty protest, though.

    I’m not sure Maynard is right; it’s not like secret U.S. missile plans got revealed and for national security, something had to be done immediately. I suspect it wouldn’t have hurt to wait a month.

    Snort at egalitarianism, enjoy worshipping your gods Dick DeVos and George W. Bush.


       —David Boyle    Sep. 11 '06 - 05:03PM    #
  41. So, here are the four people who will be on the ballot for UM Regents (from the two big parties)

    Rep Brandon David
    Rep Susan Brown
    Dem Julia Darlow
    Dem Kathy White

    This is a 8 year term they get elected for.

    I would love to get some input from anyone who can tell me if there is much partisan politics in the regents dealings. Are there other agendas held by the republican regents that I will not like? Since I’m looking to vote on the issue on this one, rather then just vote for the democrat like I always have in the past, I would like to see if there are other issues on the table that I care about besides this one.

    Also, I need to make sure teh the two republicans support the renovation, and aren’t going to vote against it.


       —Just a Voice    Sep. 11 '06 - 05:16PM    #
  42. Snort at egalitarianism, enjoy worshipping your gods Dick DeVos and George W. Bush.

    You missed the point—I’m not snorting at egalitarianism per se, I’m snorting at worrying about the symbolism of football seating (which, BTW, is already very non-egalitarian given what seats on the 50-yard-line go for) in the context of an institution whose motto is ‘The Leaders and Best’ and whose goal is to be as elite as possible.


       —mw    Sep. 11 '06 - 05:35PM    #
  43. My guess is both Repub regent candidates may likely oppose affirmative action.

    I know football, and even UM, are both not perfectly egalitarian; but the luxury boxes might sacrifice what little egalitarianism there is, maybe…
       —David Boyle    Sep. 11 '06 - 05:47PM    #
  44. By the way, for those looking for a local 5th anniversary of September 11 tribute, I have one up on Arblogger today (article link) ; would like to see anyone else’s, of course…

    God bless America. And everywhere else too.
       —David Boyle    Sep. 11 '06 - 07:14PM    #
  45. I’m guessing that the stadium renovation is already under contract and on its way, so it hardly matters what new regents think about it.

    Among the regent candidates, White (Dem) and Brandon (Rep) are incumbents.

    I don’t know the Republicans, but both of the Democratic nominees, Kathy White and Julia Darlow, are good candidates and not hacks.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Sep. 11 '06 - 08:02PM    #
  46. Hard as it is to not mock the Victorian vapors that Boyle seems to swoon with whenever foul language appears, I’m just popping in to note that Kathy White has been absolutely awesome when I’ve dealt with her, especially over the distribution of football guides at the games (which Bill Martin hates).


       —js    Sep. 11 '06 - 09:09PM    #
  47. Larry, I though that it wasn’t a ‘done deal’, but I’m not sure. Anyone know?

    David, I’m not sure if that matters that the republicans hold personal values I do not agree with, they will likely be pro-life and anti-afirmitive action, both of witch I disagree with. Who set the rules for the current admisions? the courts, the regents or someone else? can anyone please inform me. Exactly what power do the regents have?


       —Just a Voice    Sep. 11 '06 - 10:32PM    #
  48. JaV—
    Check out this link for more information on the regents:

    http://www.regents.umich.edu/


       —Young OWSider    Sep. 11 '06 - 10:38PM    #
  49. I heard that there is an upcoming vote at the next Regents’ meeting about the stadium, but am not 100% sure.

    Someone is probably just angry that I scooped him a week ago about the EMU strike at Arblogger ; as for White, although she is pro-affirmative action and made some justified complaint about the luxury boxes, I have heard various scuttlebutt about her Regents’ meeting attendance, lack of huge accomplishment or work while on the Board, etc. ...This is not reason to dump her for a Repub, but maybe reason for her to work a little harder. (Cf., e.g., her campaign website which needs a proofreader badly, see the missing “The” which should go before “State of Michigan…” at the start of her site’s front page. ...That front page blurb as a whole is also one of the most utterly content-free I have ever seen.)

    Courts may set limits (“you CAN’T force students to worship a head of cabbage”), but the UM administration and their “boss” the Regents set policy within those limits, I think. So even if aff action is legal (but not mandatory), I suppose that the Regs could stop aff action here if they wanted.


       —David Boyle    Sep. 11 '06 - 10:52PM    #
  50. It’s refreshing to see that the dialog here is still totally irrelevant. Fussing about the stadium, my, my. Who cares. Football is yet another instance of the unspeakable pursuing the inedible. IMHO, of course.


       —Michael McC.    Sep. 12 '06 - 01:53PM    #
  51. “Larry, I though that it wasn’t a ‘done deal’, but I’m not sure. Anyone know?”

    I have news for you. If a project makes it to the Regents it’s a done deal. They’ve seen it, argued the relative merits, and the votes have been counted weeks in advance of the actual meeting. If there is an inkling of denial by the Regents, the project will get yanked (see North Quad).

    As for the Stadium? The Dems have already lost this one. Done deal.


       —Robert Moses    Sep. 12 '06 - 04:51PM    #
  52. The Regents set the policy and the Administration (in theory) reports to the Regents. So the Regents are all-powerful, to the degree that they wish to exercise it. Also, David is correct, even if Affirmative Action is legal, the Regents could still choose not to use it.


       —John Q.    Sep. 12 '06 - 05:10PM    #
  53. Ok, before this topic completely fades from the world, am I correct to assume that this is a done deal? I wouldn’t want to vote for a republican regent if they won’t get to vote on this issue. Plus Regent White is up for election, and even though I don’t like her vote on this topic, I do know her pesonally and think she generally does a good job, plus I can express my opinion to her.


       —just a voice    Sep. 15 '06 - 10:04PM    #
  54. I hear there is some kind of vote next Friday, though I am not 100% sure.


       —David Boyle    Sep. 16 '06 - 04:51AM    #
  55. For those of you interested in the “Big House” luxury boxes issue, there will be a press conference on Wed. Sept. 20th at 11 AM in the Michigan Union – 2nd floor – hosted by Ann Arbor native John Pollack. He has been featured in the AA News, New York Times & other media as opposing the idea. He would welcome your attendance and support.


       —Leah    Sep. 16 '06 - 11:08AM    #
  56. Thanks for letting us know about this, Leah!


       —David Cahill    Sep. 16 '06 - 12:04PM    #
  57. Did anyone see that laughable presentation by that Pollack guy? What a hoot! And again I say “done deal”.


       —Robert Moses    Sep. 21 '06 - 03:10PM    #
  58. I was there; Fielding H. Yost III, John Pollack, and John Latus did not seem laughable to me, nor apparently to the Michigan Daily who reported the press conference, see today’s Group presents alternate plan—Regent: Although plan may not be usable yet, it shows there are more options than AD says , and opined in favor of the alternative plan sans luxury boxes, see Austin Dingwall: New proposal has fans in mind .

    See also my own Arblogger post, Bigger house, not big boxes—More Blue, less bling™ , also cross-posted to Michigan Liberal .


       —David Boyle    Sep. 21 '06 - 04:15PM    #
  59. While I think that Mr. Pollack ahs every right to state his opinion about the stadium (after all the U asked), it should not be taken any more seriosly than anyone elses. Just because he sets up a press conference doesn’t mean his idea has any credibility.

    In fact, there are so many things wrong with Pollack’s “proposal” both economically as well as functionally that indeed it IS laughable.

    Pollack’s publicity stunt hasn’t changed any minds. Deitch hates the boxes, blah, blah, blah. Fine.

    All I’m trying to say in my post above is that if the Dems want to hang their hat on this and fight it all the way, they have to understand that they will lose and be prepared for that outcome.


       —Robert Moses    Sep. 21 '06 - 05:58PM    #
  60. No, that is just wrong. Again, most voters don’t even know they’ll be voting on UM Regents until they get their ballot, let alone have time to evaluate the candidates’ views or qualifications. The issue of stadium luxury boxes is like a whisper in a hurricane. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Sep. 22 '06 - 11:27AM    #
  61. I hear David Brandon is running commercials with Bo Schembechler. So maybe someone is paying attention…


       —David Boyle    Sep. 22 '06 - 05:01PM    #
  62. Larry, I’m not saying the dem regent candidates will lose due to this (although that is a pleasant thought). What I’m saying is that if the local dem party is going to stick their neck out with a resolution condemning the current stadium plans, they are going to appear pretty powerless when they lose the fight. The local dems don’t usually like to appear powerless. They usually pick the easy battles they are sure to win anyway.


       —Robert Moses    Sep. 22 '06 - 05:17PM    #