Matt and Rene Greff, after supporting Snyder for Governor, now work to unseat him

Democratic stalwarts Matt and Rene Greff, the owners of Ypsilanti’s Corner Brewery and Ann Arbor’s Arbor Brewing Company, angered a number of their progressive brethren in 2010 when they publicly came out in support of their friend, Rick Snyder, who was then running in the Republican primary for Governor. The Greffs shared their reasons for supporting the successful Republican businessman, who had run as a moderate, but many, if the comments left on this site are any indication, have still not forgiven them for supporting Snyder, who has gone on to distinguish himself as one of the more aggressively right wing governors in the country. Well, it would appear as though, this time, Snyder won’t be getting either their financial or moral support. Following is my conversation with Rene Greff on why she and Matt have made the decision to back the Democrat Mark Schauer for Governor.

MARK: A few days ago, you mentioned to me that you and Matt would be throwing your support behind Mark Schauer in the upcoming Governor’s race, and I was wondering if you wanted to make a public statement as to why you won’t be supporting Rick Snyder this time out.

RENE: In a nutshell, we are supporting Mark Schauer for governor because he is an awesome candidate who shares all of our core Democratic values and we think he has a very good chance of being elected and taking back the governor’s office. We supported Rick Snyder’s bid to become the Republican candidate in the last election cycle because we knew that barring some major unforeseen scandal on the republican side there was no way that John Cherry (who was the candidate at the time) could win and unfortunately he stayed in the race just long enough to make it nearly impossible for Virg Bernero to win. And, if Bernero didn’t win, then we were looking at turning the state over to Mike Cox, Pete Hoekstra, or Rick Snyder. So we joined a group of high-profile Dems in Washtenaw County who decided to get involved in the Republican primary to try and help Snyder win the nomination because we knew that he was the only Republican candidate who did not have a right-wing social agenda. We knew we were looking at the very real possibility of both legislative branches being controlled by Republicans and hoped to have at least a fighting chance of holding the line on choice, the environment, and LGBT issues if Bernero lost the election.

MARK: And this time around you think that the Democrats have more of a realistic shot?

RENE: Happily this election cycle is looking very different than 2010 and we believe Michigan is going to go blue in the Governor’s race and stay blue in Gary Peters’ senate race so we’re back to not caring what happens in Republican primaries. The Dems have united around a fantastic candidate. We know Mark personally, supported his congressional campaign, and were among the thousands of supporters urging him to run because we know that he has what it takes to win and more importantly to lead.

MARK: Assuming that you reached out to Rick and told him that you’d be backing his Democratic rival this time, how’d he take the news?

RENE: We sent him an email but did not get a response back. But I can’t imagine he was surprised since he understood the nature of the support he got from Dems in the primary.

MARK: Are you aware of other local Snyder supporters that are defecting?

RENE: I don’t think it’s accurate to refer to our support of the democratic candidate as a “defection”. We are life-long democrats who have been very involved with and generous to democratic causes and campaigns for the past 20 years. We did not support Snyder’s general election bid for governor. The idea was to mitigate the worst-case scenario if Cherry/Bernero lost. We supported his primary run financially and asked people who were voting in the Republican primary to vote for him and asked dems who didn’t have preferred candidates in the democratic primary to cross over and vote in the republican primary to keep Cox and Hoekstra off the ticket in the general election. But we certainly did not encourage anyone to vote for him in the general election. We personally voted in the Democratic primary since we had a lot of races we cared about and as always we voted Democratic in the general and I have to assume that was also the case for the rest of the Dems that supported Rick’s primary run.

MARK: I didn’t mean to imply by my use of the term “defection” that you and Matt were leaving the Republican Party to become Democrats. I’m well aware of your credentials when it comes to supporting progressive candidates, and I know that your backing of Rick was an aberration, due to the factors that you’ve just noted, as well as your friendship. With that said, though, you are aggressively going after Rick this time, when, at least to my knowledge, you didn’t actively support Bernero against him last time. Maybe defection was too strong a word, but I think it’s pretty clear that you’re taking a more defined position against him this time, when, in the past, there was at least tacit support, and – to get back to my original question – I’m wondering if you know of other high-profile Democratic supporters of his in Washtenaw County that are also bowing out this election cycle. Or, maybe a better question is… Do you know of any Democrats that supported Rick last time that are still supporting him this time?

RENE: I do not.

MARK: What was it that most disappointed you about Snyder’s tenure as Governor? And were you caught off guard by just how aggressive he’s been when it comes to pushing the conservative agenda?

RENE: I think it’s been pretty much what we expected with the glaring exception of signing the anti-abortion bill which surprised and bitterly disappointed us since that was one of the explicit discussions we had with him before joining the group of Dems that were supporting his primary run. We were also very disappointed about the “right to work” legislation and the failure in education which we thought was a critical part of his recipe for reviving Michigan’s economy.

MARK: What about Schauer’s agenda most resonates with you? What are you hoping to see from him, legislatively speaking?

RENE: Schauer’s message is basically that Michigan is a blue state and should be governed like one. That means a commitment to making public education affordable and effective from pre-k through college; it means keeping the promises we have made to seniors and workers; it means protecting a woman’s right to privacy and the ability to make healthcare decisions for herself; it means acknowledging and protecting the rights of everyone in the state to love who they love without fear of discrimination or physical threat; it means building our economy by building wealth and opportunity in the middle and emerging middle class and ensuring fair and equal pay and it means protecting the right to organize that created the middle class and the 40 hour work week and the weekend; it means respecting and protecting our democratic process by ensuring that every eligible voter has equal access to the polls; respecting and supporting true small businesses that are reviving our economy; not making short-sighted decisions for short-term political or economic gain at the expense of our treasured natural resources. Basically it is the hallmark planks in the Democratic platform.

MARK: I may be wrong, but I think what we saw transpire during the lame duck session was Snyder’s complete and total capitulation to the likes of DeVos, in exchange for their promise not to run a candidate against him from the right. Is that your impression?

RENE: It sure felt that way. And I don’t know how else to explain going back on some pretty clear statements made before and during the primary.

MARK: If you had to do it all over again, would you have done it the same way? Do you think, in retrospect, that Hoekstra or Cox could have possibly done more damage?

RENE: Yes. They would have done a lot more damage. I wish he had wielded the veto pen more often, but he did stop the voter ID bill, concealed carry in schools, and the Blue Cross reform bill which they would have signed. And they would be fighting the implementation of the health care exchanges called for in the Affordable Care Act. And I guarantee you that the legislature would have passed a lot more radical right wing social legislation knowing they had a kindred spirit in the Governor’s office.

And I know that some people think that a more radical right wing candidate would have lost in the general election and I guess we’ll never know that. All I know is that a lot of high ranking democratic officials were saying privately that Mark Brewer’s lack of candidate recruitment and botched Cherry candidacy coupled with the rise of the Tea Party and the typical mid-term swing ensured a Republican victory.

MARK: The comparison may not be valid, but, when I look at what the far right has accomplished in Michigan and what they’ve been able to do in Wisconsin, I’m left thinking, rightly or wrongly, that Snyder has been more effective at pushing forward the agenda of the far right than Scott Walker. And I’m wondering if, in part, that’s because people on the left weren’t taken in by Walker. They knew what he was all about, and they responded accordingly. With Snyder, I think that a lot of us, myself included, thought that he’d stand up and fend off the worst of what was being pushed by ALEC, the Koch brothers, DeVos and others… which ultimately made him more dangerous.

RENE: I have to plead ignorance when it comes to Scott Walker and Wisconsin politics beyond the union-busting legislation. But the fact is that, due in large part to the flurry of unpopular Republican measures pushed through the legislature and signed into law with virtually no public debate, Rick Snyder is currently one of the least popular governors in the country, and is included in just about every pundit’s list of the Republican governors most likely to lose re-election in 2014. So, while they were very successful in ramming through a radical agenda, I don’t think it will serve them well in the long run.

MARK: How much money will Schauer have to raise in order to take on Snyder, who, one would assume, will have the backing of DeVoss, the Koch brothers, and others on the far right?

RENE: I have no idea. He isn’t going to be able to outspend him, but I don’t think he has to. He just needs enough money to get his message out there.

MARK: And you’re hosting an upcoming fundraiser for Schauer?

RENE: We ran into Mark at the Clean Water Action Award Celebration in April and told him that if he decided to run, we wanted to host his kickoff fundraiser at our house or one of the pubs. So, as soon as he officially announced, we started working with his campaign on the event which will be at our house from 4:00 to 6:00 on July 13. We are looking forward to introducing him to a lot of Ypsi residents who may not be familiar with him since we were not in his congressional district. So far we have a dozen hosts on board and we’re still hoping to sign up a few more hosts before the event. Support levels are $3,400 for the host committee, $1,000 for sponsors, $500 for supporters, and $250 for patrons. Mark is going to have to raise a lot of money to compete against a self-funded incumbent so we’re hoping to get the fundraising effort off to a great start.


EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m sorry, but I had no other ideas as to how to illustrate this post.

[To make a contribution to the Shauer for Governor campaign just click here.]

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  1. josh
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Guess I can start drinking at Corner again.

  2. Bob Carlin
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    Rene Greff came out strongly to support the AA Downtown Development Authority when City Council considered regulating the Authority. For me, this was consistent with a top down, Chamber of Commerce, “subsidize business and we all do better” type of pure Republican trickle down. I’m not buying my beers from them just yet.

  3. Edward
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Snyder doesn’t need them anymore. The Democrats that helped him get into office served their purpose in giving him an edge against the more conservative candidates. Now that he’s ingratiated himself to the men with money, though, he no longer has to worry about credible challenges from the right. So, you don’t have to worry about Rick. He’ll do just fine.

  4. Andrea
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I know this will sound hyper-partisan of me (and I’m very liberal but not a huge Dem partisan) but I was amazed at the naivety of some of my fellow progressives who actually thought that Snyder would stand up to the crazy rightwing people in his party. I know he talked a good game but once anyone with an R behind their name got into the governor’s mansion, they would sign whatever crap the house & senate sent their way. Maybe Snyder was naive, as well, I don’t know.

  5. karen
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    a few comments that really stuck out:

    I think it’s been pretty much what we expected

    if what snyder has done is ‘pretty much what we [they] expected” how could they have voted for him in the first place? that’s an absurd comment that should had a follow up question.

    I don’t think it’s accurate to refer to our support of the democratic candidate as a “defection”. We are life-long democrats who have been very involved with and generous to democratic causes and campaigns for the past 20 years

    all it takes is being a scab once to be a scab forever.

    they keep making excuses. they’ll never apologize.

  6. Elliott
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I don’t know that I’d call it revisionist history, but this is the first time I’ve heard them say that they only supported Snyder in the primary. My understanding was always that they supported Snyder “for governor,” not just in the primary. Regardless, they’re doing the right thing now, and I’m happy to hear it. Shauer needs all the help that he can get.

  7. Posted June 20, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    What Karen said.

    If they supported him, and THIS was what they expected, I don’t see how they call themselves “life-long Democrats”.

  8. Arun
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I voted for Snyder in the primary, too. A Republican was going to win and he was, and as far as I can tell still is, the least objectionable. That says more about the party than Snyder.

  9. Total Recall
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I don’t get the “this is what we expected comment.” I, for one, didn’t expect this at all. I know Rick, and I was bamboozled. He promised to be the voice of reason within an increasingly crazy party, and his Ann Arbor friends, like me, believed him. What we didn’t realize is that he cared more about power than he did about his principles, and, because of that, he made a choice play ball with the big boys in hopes not only of getting a second term, but moving onto the national stage as a potential VP candidate. That’s what this is about. After he got a taste, he wouldn’t be happy being a good, honest Republican Governor like Milliken. He got bedazzled by the promise of something more, and he bit the hook. And we’re all paying the price.

  10. Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Same here, Arun. I knew that the Dems didn’t have a chance and (once again) had to go with the “lesser” of the evils. What I didn’t know is what a bad, greedy man Ricky really is. That is where I was totally fooled. Not that I expected him to suddenly pay me seven figures or hire a million new teachers, but I certainly didn’t expect the torrent of greed that he unleashed. (I guess I am naive, too!)

  11. anonymous
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    In the most recent poll that I saw, Schauer leads Snyder by 4 points.

  12. Relevant Link
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Well, let’s at least learn from the experience, OK?

  13. DesignatedRepublican
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Wow. Flashback to 2010: Over and over again my more liberal neighbors insisted over and over that there was no organized effort on their side of the political fence to manipulate the results of the August 2010 republican primary. “No way!” they insisted, would self-respecting Democrats cross over and vote on the GOP side.

    All the while I’m hearing quietly from campaign supporters in local unions that they are receiving calls from union leaders and certain local elected Democrats pushing them to cross over and vote for the union’s preferred republicans, including Mr. Snyder.

    Thanks, Mark, for finally getting this “on the record.”

  14. Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    DR — weird, I recall a lot of usually-D-voters being very open in their intent to get the least-bad R candidate on the ballot. (I would have crossed over, too, and voted Snyder in the primary, but I had “D” mayor/city council/county commission races I wanted to vote in.) I guess I never knew about a top-down “organized effort”, though.

    Meanwhile, I appreciate the Greffs, and Arun, and Patti, and others who looked at the math and made the hard/unpopular decision to pursue a maximin strategy.

    Game theory is hard, though, when perfect information doesn’t exist — if progressives hadn’t crossed over, then maybe Snyder would have lost the primary (high probability); if Hoekstra had been nominated instead, then maybe Bernero could have beaten a visibly radical opponent (low probability); if Hoekstra had become Governor, maybe he would have crashed about in the far reaches of unreasonableness too quickly and clumsily and mobilized more opposition.

    I think that last one is the hope of a lot of the “no aid or comfort for Snyder” critics hang their hats on, but really? The Rs had a 64-46 majority in the House (and were quite willing to abuse or ignore procedural rules, viz. Rep. Irwin’s lawsuit on immediate effect votes), they had a 23-12 majority in the Senate, and they were organized and disciplined enough to force Governor Snyder into right-to-work. That’s the legislature we were expecting to push back on a Hoekstra administration’s oversteps?

  15. Observer
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I could accept your point, Murph, as it pertains to the Greffs and others, if they’d also worked against Snyder in the general election. The thing is, they weren’t just supporting Snyder in the primary. They did not contribute to Benero. They did not hold fundraisers at their house. If we’d all worked to get Bernero in, he may have had a shot. We’ll never know.

  16. koosh
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    it’s sickening to hear the people say the crossed over or wouldn’t cross over to support snyder. snyder was a viable candidate with an excellent chance of being governor.

    if you want to mess around in the other primary, at least pick a candidate who is a dipshit. bernero would have whipped a dipshit.

    did we all forget what a dipshit hoekstra was?

  17. Curt Waugh
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Based on the spittle and backbiting here, old Ricky’s got four more years in the bag.

    You folks who won’t buy beer from the Greffs because of a single political endorsement are a sorry lot. Are your lives so empty that all your financial decisions turn on such specious fodder? Does it make you feel big? You need a hug?

    Is that how you decide where you buy your gas, soap, Apple products and toilet paper, too? Got bad news for ya kids: You now have to stop buying everything because you’re gonna be mad about something everywhere. Oh, unless you want to be labeled a hypocrite. But lord knows you all lack sin and are free to hurl the first stone.

    By all means, throw that som’bitch. Please look past the very full, very engaged lives of these folks who have turned an idea and two shitholes in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti into a beautiful thriving business, who found nothing and made something, who left the room a lot better than they found it. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Show them just how petty you can be.

    Keep it up.
    Four more years…
    Four more years…
    Four more years…

  18. double anonymous
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    We all make mistakes. The thing that’s important is that we learn from ours. Although the Greffs aren’t acknowledging that they made a mistake here, I’m encouraged that they knew when to jump ship.

  19. Bob
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Ugh, some people just don’t know when to shut up. Every single answer to those questions is irritating. And mostly stupid. The opening sentance referring to them as “democratic stalwarts” doesn’t even make sense. Quite obviously, they aren’t.

    This interview is even worse than her original lame defense. Your continuing efforts to defend them is a real disappointment Mark. Why not just pretend it didn’t happen at all instead of trying to put perfume on what is a giant turd of a lame excuse?

  20. koosh
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink


    it’s not the backbiting that gets republicans elected.

    republicans get elected when democrats with core democratic values vote for them instead of voting for democrats.

  21. Mark
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Sorry you didn’t like the post, Bob. Given that, over the years, quite a few readers of this site have given the Greffs shit for their support of Snyder, I thought that folks would like to know that, this time around, they’ll be actively supporting his challenger. And, I just thought it would be interesting to discuss the fact that many of the Democrats in Ann Arbor who supported Snyder in 2010 probably aren’t going to be doing the same this time. I think that’s an interesting phenomenon worthy of exploration. As for your suggestion that I’m trying to help them cover their tracks, I’m not sure where you get that. It’s true that we’re friends, but I don’t think that I’ve ever just given them a pass on this. I understand why they did it, but it’s certainly not something that I’m happy about. At any rate, I’m sorry that you didn’t like yesterday’s product, and I’d be happy to refund your subscription.

  22. Bob
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    A refund on my subscription is a cute line. I get it. This is a free entertainment blog, not a news source. It’s a good thing because that load of crap wouldn’t stand up anywhere else.

    I suspect that some people who might have been on the fence about the Corner Brewery will finally be fed up, if they bother to read it. I hope so. Spend your money somewhere else people.

  23. Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    My “subscription” comment had nothing to do with this being an entertainment site, as opposed to a news site. (I’m not terribly consistent, but I do think, on occasion, I do a better job of conveying important information than the more established local news sources we have available to us.) No, when I referenced your subscription money, that was my way of reminding you that this site is free and that I’m under no obligation to satisfy your every need. These are just my thoughts. You can do with them what you want. If you feel the need, you can disagree vehemently in the comments section. Or, better yet, you can start your own blog. But don’t complain about what I choose to write about. I just write about what strikes me as interesting…

  24. Mark H.
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s legitimate to criticize business people who publicly take political stands one disagrees with, and of course everybody is free to buy or not buy beer at the Corner. (I am a regular there.) But critics of Matt and Renee should at least get their facts right: while they backed Snyder financially in the primary, in 2010, Renee says they never voted for him. What other pub owners around here are openly political in any way? None that I know of. What other pub owners are given grief for not having the same politics as select portions of their customer base? None that I know of. I deeply respect Matt and Renee for their involvement with DEMOCRACY, and for their willingness to put their names and money behind their hopes for making this a better society. Calling them Democratic stalwarts is reasonable — they backed Howard Dean in 2004! What other business owners around here did that? They liked Snyder’s seemingly pro-choice position, and calculated it was real and important, and were betrayed.

    Politics and democracy involve choices and disappointments or achievements, not purity. Matt and Renee, unlike most business people involved in politics, don’t take positions merely to advance their own personal self-interests: they are interested in society, in their neighbors. That’s admirable, isn’t it?

    Do I always agree with them? No, but is that a requirement? Not in my book. Not in a democratic society.

    That they are now publicly backing the Democrat Mark S. for governor is notable and a sign of high hopes that Rick Snyder might soon be a thing of the past.

  25. Greg Pratt
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I am not going to even engage with the faulty logic, assumptions, and rationalizations presented by the Rene Greff in this interview.
    [not to mention this strange google doc she posted some time ago

    Nor will I engage with the folks who agreed with her strategy.

    HOWEVER, we are on the brink of completely losing our ability to choose the people who make decisions that directly and indirectly affect us all [in part because of the faulty thinking/strategy of people like Rene Greff and her sycophants, the so-called “game theory/ maximin strategists.” I am trying really, really hard to let it go…but…]

    Obviously, I am not willing to forgive or forget in this case [a public apology might help, but I have yet to read one and frankly I don’t expect one given the highfalutin tone of her screeds]

    NEVERTHELESS, I am willing to let it go for now and coalesce around someone who can, at least, veto the crazy corporatist legislation coming from the likes of Jase Bolger and the cynical Randy Richardville [who are of course DeVos and Mackinac Center puppets, same as Snyder has shown himself to be].

    Sorry. That’s the best I can do.

    Schauer 2014!

  26. dragon
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Matt and Renee, unlike most business people involved in politics, don’t take positions merely to advance their own personal self-interests:

    Wow. Really

    “In December 2009, Rene Greff donated $2,000 to Snyder’s campaign. In February 2011 Rene Greff donated another $484, then in March 2011 another $500. July 2010, Matt Greff donated $1,000 for a total of $3,984 more than any other Ypsilanti donor.”


    –Posted on Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.
    “Matt Greff, co-owner of downtown Ann Arbor restaurant Arbor Brewing Co., was appointed to a new committee set up to examine Michigan’s liquor control system regulations.”

  27. dragon
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    So, let me get this straight, choosing to spend your money at Greff’s is a fulfilling Burkean endeavor based on goodwill, friendship and urban renewal. But choosing any of the seven or eight other bars, within walking distance and more affordable, is leading an empty life who’s financial decisions are made by “specious fodder”.

    Let me guess, you made it all the way up to “Direct-level distributor” at Amway.

  28. anonymous
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Can we all at least agree that their support of Shauer is a good thing? I know that there’s anger, and, like many of you I’m bewildered by her comment about Snyder pretty much governing “like she’d expected”, but there’s something more important at stake than retribution. We need to win this one, and every dollar helps.

  29. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    These people are libertarians, they aren’t “democrats”, which is a totally empty term today as far as I can tell, a total simulacrum, just as statusquo & philosophically dead as their nearly identical “opponants”. In a world where democrats use flying robots to kill children & spy on normal citizens for nefarious purposes, it means nothing at all. This interview does have the flavor of a backpeddleing infomercial & revisionist history for the purposes of capital gain. Let’s not forget their crass political opportunism, called elsewhere “gametheory”, as though they were just good probabilists, as opposed to going with the flow of libertarian fascism. Now that their man is unpopular, its time to jump ship, & pretend they never knew him, typical capitalist libertarian.

  30. maryd
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Haters gotta hate… the wisest remark here today is this by Mark H. “Do I always agree with them? No, but is that a requirement? Not in my book. Not in a democratic society.” Here here!

  31. Curt Waugh
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Dragon et al:

    What bothers me about the discourse here is that this display of un-neighborliness is exactly what I believe bothers us all when we take the time to look up and wonder, “What happened to America?” This. This is what happened. Not some external actor. Not a super-villain. No, nothing more than a little social virus.

    The things that make you mad about our government are easily fixed. These ties that bind us are not. Schools can be improved. Safety nets rebuilt. Water protected. The political wind used to blow one way, then another, then some other way. Remember when the Whigs just couldn’t be beat? I’m going to guess there was a lot of wasted anger over them. And I bet some of them were local brewers, too.

    All the anger on display here is both unproductive and entirely misplaced. Perhaps you don’t think society is perfect. Maybe you didn’t vote for this dishonest governor. But the Greffs had NOTHING to do with making your life one iota worse. Further, I and many others can present you myriad ways they have made my personal and communal life much better. They have left the world better than they have found it. THEIR VOTES DON’T MATTER.

    These are good people, the right kind of good people. What does it say that good people are so excoriated in this supposed community forum? I find it difficult to understand what you hope to gain here, yet I find it easy to see what we’ve lost.

  32. Bob
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    You actually do a good job of providing useful information most of the time Mark. No one is disputing that. I don’t think I am the only one sort of shocked by that interview though. There are so many stupid and offensive statements in it. I’m just surprised that you would let some of that stuff go by plus continue to reference their democrat street cred. Defending friends is admirable but on this point it doesn’t wash.

    I disagree about the unneighborliness of pointing these things out. Isn’t ALL politics local? Isn’t that sort of the whole point of this blog? I also scoff at the notion that these problems are easily fixable. This guy got elected because of people like Matt & Rene. A small community of people that Snyder knows on a first name basis got him elected and getting him out is going to be very difficult. I don’t care what the early polls say. He’s in place and is likely to stay there. Koch bros money will see to that. He is doing damage to all working people every day and making a mockery of the democratic process in doing it.

  33. dragon
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    What bothers me about the discourse here is that this display of un-neighborliness is exactly what I believe bothers us all

    All the anger on display here is both unproductive and entirely misplaced.

    As far as I can tell, up until your comment Curt, the only unneighborly angry discourse was:
    1.I’m not buying my beers from them just yet.
    2.I was amazed at the naivety of some of my fellow progressives
    3.all it takes is being a scab once to be a scab forever.

    That all sounds pretty tame to me. Then from you we get:

    1.Based on the spittle and backbiting here, old Ricky’s got four more years in the bag.
    2.You folks who won’t buy beer from the Greffs because of a single political endorsement are a sorry lot.
    3.Are your lives so empty that all your financial decisions turn on such specious fodder? Does it make you feel big? You need a hug?
    4.Got bad news for ya kids:
    5.But lord knows you all lack sin and are free to hurl the first stone.
    6.By all means, throw that som’bitch.
    7.Show them just how petty you can be.

    Please lecture us some more on “un-neighborliness”.

  34. Drew
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    While we’re on the subject of apologies, Karen, don’t you owe us one for backing a white supremacist for city council?

  35. Brainless
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    This is fun. Who’s winning?

    Holy shit Mark, these people really hate you.

  36. Lorie
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I have a great deal of respect for Matt and Rene’s decision-making and integrity. I don’t agree with them on everything. They wouldn’t agree with me on everything. I don’t see it as support or boycott – I see it as opportunity for discussion and conversation and debate probably over a beer.

    Being a dem voter in this state is hard for me. There is just too much utterly delusional thinking about candidates and elections. So much “lets loose on the perfect principal” or “who’s a good enough dem” or “a flying saucer will save the day” stuff instead of basic math and “how do we win” thinking. Makes me nuts.

    The GOP had the election in the bag. This was not an assumption or faulty logic – it was (and now is) reality. 58% to 39% is more than a normal spread in an election like this. The primary made that clear: Dem party leadership was pushing candidates that were so bad Dem voters were polling for Fieger again just like 1998 (anyone remember Ross and Owen?).

    If it wasn’t going to be Snyder (the least of evils) it was Hoekstra or Cox. My view was that either of the other two would have my uterus under government control while finding ways for me to be unemployed, homeless and shipped off some internment camp for gays while handing over my tax money to private businesses and the 1%. Our social safety net would be gone, our public assets sold to private companies (Koch comes to mind). Has Snyder disappointed? Sure. He’s still better than what Hoekstra and Cox were going for.

    So, again, thank you Rene and Matt for having brains and using them and saying so.

  37. anonymous
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    “Drew”: that karen is not Karen.

  38. anonymous
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully this will be of some help:

    You can fundraise for conservatives and be considered a good person.

    You cannot fundraise for conservatives and be considered a progressive.

  39. Greg Pratt
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    anonymous 2:16pm:

    It could be helpful.

    Define “Conservative” and “Progressive.”

    That would improve the helpfulness.

  40. Brainless
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    A “Conservative” is someone we hate because they’re always slapping labels on people. The nerve.

    A “Progressive” is a liberal-voting automaton. One vote outside our pre-approved list and you’re out of the club. We’ll rip that label off you so hard, you’ll think you just got a Brazilian. I bet Matt’s sporting a sweet bacon strip right now.

  41. anonymous
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Greg, how do you define the terms (seriously)?

    Brainless: I went to college with a guy like you. He wore all black, treated women poorly, and became a computer programmer.

  42. maryd
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    No neighborliness is about community and bridging your differences… not finding who the person next door votes for and defaming them. There at dems/ progressives that are total assholes and very lovely people who happen to vote Republican/ Libertarian etc…
    Politics is local and it can create a lot of hate or people can be more tolerant and make progress. The Democrats, I am a card carrying dem, haven’t done so well for us city dwellers…just sayin

  43. Brainless
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    anonymous, I went to college with a guy like you. He delivers pizzas, too! I make sure to hold on to my harsh judgments of what he was like when he was 18.

  44. wobblie
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Lorie’s comments are right on.

    The moderates in the state put their money on Snyder, hoping for a moderate. Betting on politics is like betting on the stock market–full of regrets.

  45. Bob
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Can we at least stop equating casting a single vote for Snyder with being the largest local financial donor and holding events for the guy? Seems like a huge distinction to me. It’s sort of still America, they can vote for whomever they want. They can take a payoff by way of a committee appointment, THAT probably is the real America. Just quit trying to justify or revise the history of it.

    If it were me I would stop bullshitting about it. I would just say “fuck you, I’m in business to do whatever is good for me at a given moment.”

  46. Bob
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Can we at least stop equating casting a single vote for Snyder with being the largest local financial donor and holding events for the guy? If i’m getting the facts right on the original report. Seems like a huge distinction to me.

    It’s (sort of) still America, they can vote for whomever they want. They can take a payoff by way of a committee appointment, THAT probably is the real America. Just quit trying to justify or revise the history of it.

    If it were me I would stop bullshitting about it. I would just say “fuck you, I’m in business to do whatever is good for me at a given moment.”

  47. Bob
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Can we get a damn edit function her already for when your mobile freezes up during the send process? Christ. Rick Snyder probably gets to delete shit here.

  48. Greg Pratt
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    First, let me say that I am not advocating a boycott of Corner or Arbor Brewing Co.
    In fact, I go there pretty regularly.

    A conservative is someone who is suspicious of change and because of that works to maintain status quo.

    A progressive is someone who works toward change in small steps.

    I said I wouldn’t engage with the “assumptionists” but I can’t resist taking on the smartest people in the room. The people with all the brains and those with plenty of money/influence to be knighted the “right kind of good people.”

    Apologies in advance if you find what follows as “un-neighborly.” I don’t drink beer, but would be happy to talk in person with anyone I address directly or indirectly below.

    RE: “…basic math and ‘how do we win thinking'” — Political campaigns are measurable by polls and by outcomes. However, the math is not timeless. That is to say, individual public opinions can change over time, even short periods of time, like say 4-6 months. Political campaigns are not won by math. How are they won? Organizing and math. Organizing is a lot of hard work and takes money because people cannot do it for free (organizers gotta eat and pay bills too).

    RE: “GOP had the election in the bag…The primary made that clear” — Yes, I agree by the August 2010, GOP/Snyder had this election in the bag.

    Was it clear by December 2009 that this was the case? No.

    Will we ever know what would have happened had some brainy “Democratic Stalwarts” *not donated* and publicly supported Snyder as the “lesser evil” in a campaign the GOP “had in the bag?” No.

    I recognize the Greffs influence in this community may not be as large as the outrage directed toward them has made it seem; there were many others who not only donated to but also told me they were voting for Snyder, unionists too!! I wonder if the fact that well-known community businesspersons with liberal cause-credibility had any influence on the decisions made by some of these folks.

    Whew! I am 100% behind Rene Greff’s decision to oppose Rick Snyder in 2014.

    Waugh, really?
    [sometimes they just write themselves, folks]

    It looks like Mark Schauer is the candidate. We are up against an incumbent (who has yet to officially announce) with sizable campaign coffers, deep pockets and other wealthy donors who are keen on maintaining the corporatist policy gains orchestrated by Bolger/Richardville/Snyder/ALEC/Mackinac Center.

    Mark is going to need a lot of organizing support, people on doors and people “doing math” Donate what you can (time, money or math).

  49. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Sorry Pratt, those definations are terribly self serving & inaccurate, but yr heart’s in the right place. I don’t know who you’re even addressing with those, change in small steps vs suspicion of change? Are these ideal charecterizations? That can’t be what those who call themselves “progressive” are in reality, they don’t want small changes & isn’t Synder progressive under this definition? He’s managed to change a middle blue state into a fanatical far right state by slowly turning up the heat, surely that’s ‘progress’ under yr def. The status quo right now is a catastrophically apathetic, drug & fastfood addled populace run by a paranoid/bored totalitarian technological police state, which both dems & cons are working everyday for the corperate lobbists to ensure in perpetuity No one is working against this status quo, in fact, people like Barry Obama can’t help but execute/imprison whislteblowers & institute soviet-esq internal threat monitoring systems etc. just to make sure the extremely wealthy can enjoy their world.

  50. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Here’s some definitions;
    Democrat; extinct political conception, contemporary historical ancestor is a sickophantic lacky for smiley Obamatron which obscures the paranoiac death machine owned & operated by icy plutocrats entirely for their own benefit.
    Republican; true believer in the machine, pure obstruction to anything that doesn’t directly benefit their place in the machine, will do everything in their power to support totalitarianism while wrapping themselves in patriotic ephemera.
    Progressive; self serving & utterly groundless identification of nonphilosophers to progress toward the same technological totalitarianism so called ‘conservatives’ want, but with a happy face.
    Conservative; nonreader, nonphilosopher, through no work believes he has absolute truth, false xtian, worshipper of false gods, fanatic for totalitarianism.

  51. Greg Pratt
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Yeah Thom. I should have made this more clear, but kind of spit out one comment above in two parts. In retrospect I should’ve just made two comments.

    The definitions addressed anonymous 2:16pm and 3:38pm.
    I guess my point was that the terms are virtually meaningless because everyone has a different definition although I think you do a good job of capturing the spirit of what terms like Democrat, Republican, Progressive, etc. have come to mean.

    The part where I begin “I said I wouldn’t engage with ‘assumptionists…'” is unrelated to the definitions.

  52. ugly truth
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    If you want to be pissed at someone, be pissed at Granholm, Brewer and the union bosses for destroying the state Democratic party.

  53. Lorie
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Greg – we differ for sure. no flying saucer was going to stop that wreck and it was pretty clear by the end of 2009. And the options just kept getting worse.

    That article is from late April 2010 – he had ‘considering’ for awhile. He’d been begged to consider longer than that. So yes, Dec 2009 … it was pretty clear to enough Dems what was going to happen.

  54. Posted June 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Brainless!! Hey buddy, nice to see you! Did you know that Epic Brewery in UT has a beer called Brainless on Peaches? I think of you whenever I see it :)

    I have a question and I don’t want to look around to find the answer because to find the answer I would have to dig around on Neo Connish websites and that would make me cry. My question is this: Do right wingers/Repubs/NeoCons/whatever you want to call them fight like this if one of “theirs” backs the “wrong” candidate? Do they boycott them or engage in in-fighting like this? Or do they just stick together no matter what. I’m not trying to make this some moral lesson…I really want to know. Let’s face it…they are winning and if we can learn from them, all the better….

  55. Alan Goldsmith
    Posted July 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for pointing out the Greffs sat out the November 2010 election after showering donations on Snyder. Not a nickle to Bernaro’s campaign. This revisionist bullshit is annoying (especially Renne Greff’s rich business owner backing of the Ann Arbor DDA’s looting of tax dollars vis the TIF process) but thanks for asking some tough questions (in my opinion) unlike the beer buzz suck up Goose Pimple Test interview.

  56. Dan
    Posted July 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    lol. the Corner Brewery isnt hipster enough for Ypsi?

    You people crack me up.

  57. Robert
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Snyder begins running campaign ads tomorrow. Running them this early shows that they know their in a lot of trouble with voters.

    I’d like to see campaign ads run against him stating “After four years of that, Michigan needs a Schauer.” Maybe they could show Snyder making promises and then cut to a shot of a creepy look-alike in suggestive situations with seedy business interests.

  58. Robert
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Of course I mean to say “they are” in a lot of trouble. I hate it when people mix those up.

  59. Maria
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    With supporters like this, who needs enemies?

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Note that Mark Maynard has also interviewed Rene about their fundraiser and you can read that interview HERE. […]

  2. […] reelection campaign. And this, I think, speaks volumes to the amount of trouble that he’s in, as his former Democratic supporters abandon him, his opponent starts gaining momentum, and the right wing zealots in the Republican party continue […]

  3. […] this petition. You’ve got to reach out to them.” And I gave them the list. And I called Matt and Rene Greff, and they hadn’t signed it, and I said, “Please sign it, I’m working on getting […]

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