Dec. 3 2010 12:00 AM

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy takes jabs at project labor agreements by way of downtown’s Market Place

Friday, Dec. 3 — Local developer Pat Gillespie appeared in an interview with the conservative think tank Mackinac Center for Public Policy in November to chat about his experiences with the Lansing City Council, tax incentives and downtown development.

See the video below.

Gillespie told Mackinac’s “Michigan Capitol Confidential” — the center’s news service — that he was left with a $1.6 million contaminated site “on the Grand River with no resources to clean it up,” after the Council initially blocked his incentives.

Gillespie added that he was “being held to a standard that was unrealistic” and a requirement that would have made the project “unfeasible.”

Labor groups declined to be interviewed by the center. Throughout the process, labor groups publicly claimed they wanted “agreeable wages.”

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina overturned the Council’s decision Oct. 25.

Mackinac’s managing editor Ken Braun of the news service posted the story “Big Labor Fights Against Lansing Entrepreneurs … and Virg Bernero?” Nov. 15, and the video below was posted Sunday.

The Mackinaw Center found Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero’s position on Market Place curious.

Braun writes, “Interestingly, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is standing up for the entrepreneurs and opposing the union-scale wage requirement. This will come as a surprise for many who know him only from his frequent cable TV news appearances and recent rhetoric on the gubernatorial campaign trail as a strident defender of Big Labor.”

Further, Mackinac’s website includes multiple reports on how the state is overly generous with ineffective tax incentives.

The Mackinac Center describes its point of view as a focus on economics that “draws support from market-oriented libertarians, moderates and conservatives.”