Friday, February 29, 2008

IMP = Total Hypocrites

Remember how IMP was so outraged that they weren't allowed to put in a bid to operate a private music venue once they found out that Live Nation had negotiated a deal with the county? In their February 14th letter to the County Council, they wrote:

As you know, over the last several months, I.M.P. has attempted to open up a closed process that to date can only be characterized as an exclusive deal with a single music provider, Live Nation. We have consistently taken the approach that the County should solicit as many offers for the venue as there are willing providers.
It turns out that IMP's antipathy towards governments entering into private negotiations with companies only extends to situations where they are the excluded party. News 4 reports that IMP has entered into negotiations with the district government to operate the DC armory as a music venue. Note that "the community" around the armory was never notified of the proposal.

Can we put the whole IMP martyrdom meme to bed now?

Speaking of the Fillmore, the Washington Area Music Association sent a letter to the County today in support of the deal.

(Thanks for the heads up to everyone who emailed me about this.)


Angela said...

Where is the hypocrisy?

The NBC4 article quotes:
"We're always looking for new places to put on shows. The Armory is just one of about two dozen places we looked at in the LAST YEAR," said 9:30 Club owner Seth Hurwitz.

Actually Sligo you made a very weak point. At least the DC government gave the 9:30 Club the chance to even *look* at the venue. The same can't be said for the Montgomery County government-- they were already in bed with Live Nation before they kicked the Birchmere to the curb!! (I wanted Birchmere!!)

There is a huge difference between scoping out a potential venue and being entirely excluded from the process.

At least the DC government is not giving out millions in corporate welfare like the Montgomery County government is giving to Live Nation in the form of rent subsidy ($3 a square foot is downright insulting to any local business).

The DC government was probably like "We want people to lease this venue, let's see who can give us the best deal."

Montgomery County clearly does not care about giving the best deal to it's citizens, otherwise they would have put the JC Penny's site up for competitive bidding.

Essentially, looking at a venue is not the same as signing a letter of intent or a lease, so please get your language correct before calling IMP, one of the best music operators in the country, a hypocrite.


Sligo said...

My point was that IMP is in private negotiations with the DC government, much like Live Nation was with MoCo last year, something which IMP decried. For those advocating for IMP, don't you think that to be fair DC should have opened it up to competitive bidding?

The relative value of the agreements is certainly up for debate, of course.

I have nothing against the 9:30 club. I was at a show there this week. My main issue now is that I really believe that an IMP venue in Silver Spring would end up with all the second-tier acts, with the biggest performers reserved for 9:30.

Competition for top acts can only benefit Silver Spring.

Anonymous said...

For someone to say "...DC government is not giving out millions in corporate welfare..." demonstrates a serious lack of information and defines the term "hypocrisy". "Montgomery County clearly does not care about giving the best deal to its citizens..." smacks of a total disregard of the facts. A citizen of any county, in say, Texas or Ohio... do you think they get the same level of services from their county government as the fortunate citizens (and even "non-citizens") in Montgomery County Maryland? Our government doesn't care??? Are you serious? Angela, look in the mirror if you want see "where is the hypocrisy".

And how come it is ok to distribute money to poor people whether or not they are citizens ("regular" welfare) but it is not ok to offer *businesses* incentives to build, create jobs and improve neighborhoods for poor, middle class and even those more fortunate than the rest of us?

Sligo... your argument about IMP having second tier acts in Silver Spring if they operated both 9:30 Club and a "9:29" in SS... did that apply to the Birchmere, too?

I think a better argument is that IMP simply wants to keep competition out of their market.

b said...

Perhaps DC learned from Silver Spring and felt that they would have fewer headaches in putting a music venue through by not informing the local citizens.

The WAMA endorsement tends to negate Mr. No Live Nations protest. Maybe he can hire some of Lee's former "pro"testers.

Mike said...


The point is that in the D.C. case, both the government and IMP are acting in a manner that is completely in keeping with generally accepted practices in economic development activities conducted by cities, counties and states all over the country.

Either the government agency responsible for that function identifies a need and then uses its contacts to find and approach businesses that might be interested in that need, or it works to assist businesses that have expressed a desire to locate or expand within their jurisdiction.

In either case, there are no RFPs, competitive bids, "Business Wanted" ads in the local classifieds, whatever. The county spoke with three potential operators of this venue. Seth wasn't one of them. C'est la vie, ya know?

It's been said before, but this is exactly the process that the county used with the Birchmere and no one complained about that choice. (For that matter, it was the same process to identify and pick the team that redeveloped downtown Silver Spring, a much bigger project, of course).

You can disagree with the choice of the operator, but your post, like similar complaints, seems to use the unwarranted complaint about the process to hide the fact that you just don't like Live Nation. Otherwise, you would have voiced similar concerns over "process" when the Birchmere was announced. But, as you say, you wanted the Birchmere, so I guess in that case, the process was perfectly proper.

You can't have it both ways. That's hypocrisy.

rd said...

Angela: Seriously, what's there not to get? IMP bitches about a "closed" process and then gets a deal through a "closed" process? Think...

Easley said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, 90% of the arguement from the pro-IMP people about this being a shady-back-door-gimmielocalbusinessnow arguement is just a front for the fact that they wanted the Birchmere. If the same process that happened to get Live Nation happened with the Birchmere, there would be no complaining. Likewise, if the MoCo government would have completed a "backdoor" arrangement with IMP, there would also probably be little bitching, because of course its "local."

I've so heard this song and dance before.

WB said...

Ffs....let me get this straight: when IMP makes proactive moves to grow its business locally, its a viral, hypocritical, disingenuous, anti-community thing, but when LN does the same thing, its all sunshine, puppies and ‘Yes We Can!’?

Look, if anything, IMP's play to open up a venue at the Armory should shutdown the perpetually whining skeptics who fear that IMP is not making a serious offer in their attempted-but-Leggett-rebuffed-negotiations to open up at the former JC Penny's facade.

A healthy successful business first expands in its local region....LN is aggressively doing this on an international scale, right? And news flash: LN is free to make a play for the Armory. Actually, a move like that would serve them well, showing that LN is not just interested in accepting generous governmental handouts, but wants to establish serious roots in this they attempted with House of Blues in DC.

Maybe instead of waging a silly Rovian war, you could put down your flaming editorial blog-pen of righteousness for five minutes, pick up the phone and contact Mr Hurwitz and ask him directly about your fears. Of course, its easier, safer and more fun to mindlessly rant, than it is to engage in genuine and legitimate communication and reporting.


Anonymous said...

Mike and rd - With all due respect, I've been watching your comments over time. Your association with the Lees is so clear it's laughable to read anything you write.

I guess there's no place for fairness and logic when you're connected to a politically entrenched family that's known for bullying.

Mike said...

Well, you're wrong about that. I have no association or connection the Lees, save that I've known Bruce since the mid-90s. I've also known Ike Leggett and Marc Elrich since then, along with a number of other county officials and staff members (including prominent former county officials now working for Seth), members and staff on the Planning Board, along with members the SS Regional Advisory Board, the Urban District, the Chamber, officials from Discovery, AFI and others, as well as dozens of citizen activists from the civic associations around here, many of whom have been working on SS redevelopment since the 80s.

I keep in touch with all of them on a number of issues and yes, I've met with Seth's representatives as well. Not everyone agrees with every position I favor, and that's okay, but I do have a reputation for being thoughtful, fair, balanced and pragmatic in my thinking.

In this case, I supported and advocated for The Birchmere and I have decided to support The Fillmore. In both cases, it was for purely selfish reasons. I love live music, always have, always will, and if I can get it that close to my house, I want it.

If that makes me look like someone's stooge in your anonymous eyes, so be it.

b said...

I to have met Bruce Lee and I find him to be an honorable man. It's not as if he's an outsider who is comming in to destroy our fair town. He is of the family that founded Silver Spring. He isn't asking to pave over our parks. He just wants to build UP, on a piece of concrete wasteland in the center of the town that is just collecting dust. Besides bringing in more revenue, this will place more pedestrians in the town center, which in turn will give less opportunity to crime. We are situated on the DC border, and because of the highth restrictions in the District we will grow whether we like it or not. In order to save the 'burbs we must grow up, not out. Give Bruce his tower, give Silver Spring a music venue, and lets join the 21st century.

Amanda said...

Talk about hypocrisy, did you read this article: "Silver Springs - Behind The Scenes" ?

So what's really going on in Silver Spring? After the new County Executive Isiah Leggett took office last year and the long-negotiated Birchmere deal fell through, county officials seemed to waste no time in announcing a new deal with promoter Live Nation in a matter of weeks. The timing of events surrounding this announced deal has led to some interesting speculation about what may be going on behind the scenes.

Sligo said...

Yeah, sorry, I read "Silver Springs" and stopped right there.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sligo - don't let a typo stop you from reading. You'd never open the Washington Post if you're that unforgiving.

Read it - it's worth the 3 minutes.

Sligo said...

No, it's just THAT typo (note the name of this blog).

b said...

... and the Post hasn't been worth reading for years.

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