Archive for the ‘Wayne County’ Category

2011 Michigan Redistricting: Gerrymanderliscious

June 22, 2011

Well, it’s been quite a while since my last post, but I figured this topic is important enough to warrant a return to the blogging world (even if it’s a brief return).  The Michigan Legislature recently released their maps for the 2011 redistricting.  For reference, here are links to the current boundaries:

Now, those were created by the 2001 Legislature, which was controlled by Republicans, and signed into law under Republican Governor John Engler.

They’re not bad, and look pretty good.  This year, it seems as if the Republican members of the Legislature have gotten a little more ambitious, and a little more creative.  So let’s take a look at what they’ve proposed.  Here are links to PDFs of all 3 maps, and I’ve copied the images below, where I’ll analyze them:

This first map is the proposed Congressional districts:

And here’s a zoomed in image of the Metro-Detroit area:

I’ll admit – I cringed when I saw the 14th district, and the 11th district isn’t exactly pretty either.  They’ve got some awkward separations, like putting Farmington Hills in the 14th, but keeping Farmington in the 11th; putting Bloomfield Hills in the 11th, while placing Bloomfield Township in the 9th; Southfield Township is placed in the 9th, while Southfield City ends up in the 14th; Clawson is split up; and Rochester Hills is split up.

In an attempt to squeeze Democratic Congressmen Sander Levin and Gary Peters into the same district and force a primary between the two, saving the Republicans from losing a seat, the map has turned into something I like to call gerrymanderliscious.

But it gets even more creative as we move on to the Michigan Senate map:

And again, a zoomed in view of the Metro-Detroit area:

For the most part, this one isn’t too bad until you get to the Metro-Detroit area. District 1 is incredibly awkward, as is District 6. But the really weird ones are 14 and 25.  You can’t see it on my uploaded images, but if you view the original map at 100% zoom, you can see that Springfield Township and Waterford Township just barely overlap for the 14th to be contiguous.  As for the 25th district, I’m guessing they’ve just connected them along a strip of County Line Road, but I’m not positive.

So that brings us to the state House of Representatives:

And again, a zoomed in view of Metro-Detroit:

And a zoomed in view of Grand Rapids and the southwest corner of the state:

The House map isn’t too bad, other than more awkward county splits than I’m really comfortable with. The Grand Rapids area looks pretty decent, although 86 is a bit wacky. And Metro-Detroit looks pretty good with the exception of the 13th.

So, by far, my biggest complaints are with the Congressional map, but what was really sad was the Republicans claims that they had to draw the lines like that to abide by the Voting Rights Act, which mandates 2 majority minority districts for Michigan.  That’s just nonsense.  There are plenty of ways to draw the lines so that you have decent looking districts that obey the VRA.

Obviously Democrats Sander Levin and Gary Peters weren’t happy with the maps, but even Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is unhappy with the map, because as of the current proposal, Oakland County, the second most populous county in Michigan, would be represented by people who all live outside of the county.

Now, gerrymandering can be a lot of fun; I enjoyed playing around and making this little beauty for Maryland:

Photobucket

But when it comes to ACTUALLY redistricting, our legislature shouldn’t be drawing crap like this for partisan gain. Doing so takes the focus off of the good things the Republicans have done in Michigan and tells voters, “We know you voted for us in 2010, but we don’t trust you for the next 10 years, so we’re gonna cheat to win.”

Am I advocating that the legislature adopts a plan where we have 14 districts and each one is competitive at a 50-50 level?  Absolutely not; that’d be ridiculous.  The GOP won in a landslide in 2010, so it’s expected that the maps will favor us, but there’s no need to mangle the maps the way they’ve done.  That’s just petty politics, and when the people of Michigan see that, it gives them a bad image of the party.

Detroit City Council Session Turns Crazy: Complete with Racism and Hymn Singing

March 9, 2009

Well, if people already didn’t think that Detroit City officials were wacky, this is sure to change their mind.  I heard about this driving home for spring break this weekend, and decided that I HAD to write something about this.

On Febraury 24th, the Detroit City Council voted against transferring Cobo Hall to the Detroit Regional Convention Authority.  Cobo hall is in need of expansion and repair (the roof leaked on some VERY expensive cars this past weekend at Autorama).  On March 4th, Mayor Ken Cockrel, Jr. vetoed the council’s vote.  On Thursday, the council called an emergency session (president Monica Conyers called the session) to override the veto.  Well, that wasn’t legal, so nothing really got done there.  An injunction against that veto will most likely be submitted, probably today, and the Council is meeting again tonight.

Now, on to the fun part.  The first video I have for you is from WDIV (Channel 4-NBC).  This is Councilwoman Barbara Rose-Collins going off on how Detroit cannot give up Cobo Hall to the Regional Convention Authority (a group of 5 people – 1 from each of the counties of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb, 1 person appointed by the mayor of Detroit, and 1 appointed by the Governor):

http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/18865456/index.html

Next we have the video of Councilwoman Barbara Rose-Collins singing “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (and she’s joined by Councilwoman Martha Reeves), courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit:

Here Collins defends what she said in the meeting and accuses Oakland County L. Brooks Patterson of being a racist, courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit:

Finally, here’s L. Brooks Patterson defending himself and sharing his views on the situation, courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit:

Now, this just goes to show how sad of a state the Detroit leadership is in.  Barbara Rose-Collins is pretty much the very definition of a racist idiot.  She claims that Brooks Patterson called her a monkey.  He never did that.  He said that “instead of making decisions about the zoo, they ought to be in the zoo.”  Collins and other racists on the Council took that to mean that he was calling them monkeys, and Collins refuses to work with Patterson today because he won’t apologize.  Well, he has nothing to apologize for in my opinion, because he did NOT call anybody a monkey.

If he had compared the councilmembers to monkeys, even I would demand an apology from him.  Do you know how heartless and mean of a thing to say that is?  If I were a monkey, I would have been devastated!  All joking aside, Brooks Patterson did nothing wrong – he simply stood up to the council and showed how ignorant they were.  But he’s white, and most of them are black, so that makes him a racist in their eyes.

I have one other factual error to correct.  Collins talks about his involvement as a lawyer defending bus bombers in Pontiac.  She claims that he defended NAG, who bombed school buses.  Well, that’s also untrue.  For more about that, see the Detroit News piece on that: http://apps.detnews.com/apps/history/index.php?id=161.  I’ll go into quick detail – NAG was the National Action Group, and they opposed busing in Pontiac.  Well, the Ku Klux Klan bombed some school buses.  Patterson represented the head of NAG, Irene McCabe, but neither NAG nor McCabe were ever involved with the KKK bus bombings.  Collins here again twisted the facts to make Patterson look like a racist, but it is COLLINS who is the racist.

It’s not secret that I have great respect for L. Brooks.  Oakland County is one of the most successful counties in the nation, and it’s a county in one of the economically worst states.  Sure, his humor gets him into trouble, but it makes me laugh – I liked his jokes about Collins.

Anyway, I hope that Cockrel’s wish comes true, and Cobo is handed over to the Regional Convention Authority.  We’ve seen before that Detroit leadership ruins more things than it fixes, and I think Cockrel sees that here.  Hopefully his veto stands, and we can move on to fix and expand Cobo Hall.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Another Perspective on the Auto Bailout

December 17, 2008

I came across a column by economist Thomas Sowell this morning entitled “Postponing Reality,” and I’d just like to discuss part of this column with you:

We are told that the collapse of the Big Three automakers in Detroit would have repercussions across the country, causing mass layoffs among firms that supply the automobile makers with parts, and shutting down automobile dealerships from coast to coast.

You should hear the news stations here in Detroit.  The news anchors night after night of covering House and Senate votes keep making comments like, “Some Senators just don’t understand how detrimental this will be to Detroit,” or “The Southern Senators don’t understand what’s happening here in Detroit” or “Talk to your friends in other states about contacting their representatives to explain how bad this would be for Michigan.”  And you can substitute the word Senators with Republicans for a lot of the news anchors, since the media here in Detroit tends to lean left (as does all of Wayne County).

A renowned economist of the past, J.A. Schumpeter, used to refer to progress under capitalism as “creative destruction”– the replacement of businesses that have outlived their usefulness with businesses that carry technological and organizational creativity forward, raising standards of living in the process.

It’s survival of the fittest, economic style.

Indeed, this is very much like what happened a hundred years ago, when that new technological wonder, the automobile, wreaked havoc on all the forms of transportation built up around horses.

For thousands of years, horses had been the way to go, whether in buggies or royal coaches, whether pulling trolleys in the cities or plows on the farms. People had bet their futures on something with a track record of reliable success going back many centuries.

Were all these people to be left high and dry? What about all the other people who supplied the things used with horses– oats, saddles, horse shoes and buggies? Wouldn’t they all go falling like dominoes when horses were replaced by cars?

Unfortunately for all the good people who had in good faith gone into all the various lines of work revolving around horses, there was no compassionate government to step in with a bailout or a stimulus package.

They had to face reality, right then and right there, without even a postponement.

He actually brings up a really good point here.  Industries go through cycles, and to stop these cycles with the use of  government funds is only going to harm us more in the long run.  Like I’ve said before, the main reason that Michiganders support this is because it helps Michigan.  If the technology industry were to suffer detrimental losses, I’d be willing to bet that you couldn’t find 30% of Michiganders who would be in favor of spending billions of tax dollars on helping Silicon Valley in California.

Who would have thought that those who displaced them would find themselves in a similar situation a hundred years later?

Actually the automobile industry is not nearly in as bad a situation now as the horse-based industries were then. There is no replacement for the automobile anywhere on the horizon. Nor has the public decided to do without cars indefinitely.

While Detroit’s Big Three are laying off thousands of workers, Toyota is hiring thousands of workers right here in America, where a substantial share of all our Toyotas are manufactured.

 But Toyota doesn’t have union workers.  Without unions, their workers make (on average) a measly $30/hour.  Wait a minute, that’s not measly.  In fact, that’s more than the average GM worker ($29.78/hour).  The difference comes in pensions and health care.   GM has to pay out an extra $39.22/hour (that includes pensions for retirees), while Toyota has to pay out an extra $18/hour (with far less retirees).  So, the average Toyota worker (assuming he worked 40 hours/week with 4 weeks of vacation), would make $57,600.  That’s not that bad folks.  You assume that his spouse works part time (20 hours/week at $10/hour), that’s another $9,600.  That’s a yearly total of $67,200, which is DEFINITELY enough to live off of (My family of 4 lived off of about $80,000/year until my mom got a job, but she did that more out of boredom than need for more cash inflow.  And we were decently well off.  We aren’t rich, but we’re definitely nowhere close to going broke.), even though they may get a little less when it comes to health care.

Will this save Detroit or Michigan? No.

Detroit and Michigan have followed classic liberal policies of treating businesses as prey, rather than as assets. They have helped kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. So have the unions. So have managements that have gone along to get along.

EXACTLY!  I was just talking about this the other day.  Every time one of the Big 3 is in financial trouble, they go to the UAW and ask them to take a pay cut.  The UAW, being filled with greedy Americans says no.  So instead of setting a good example and taking a 50-75% pay cut, the management simply sat there and said, “You need to take a pay cut, otherwise we may go bankrupt.  The UAW continues to say, “No.  And if you don’t give in, we’ll go on strike.”  So, the company heads wind up giving in.  If I were head of any of the Big 3 right now, I’d immediately decrease my pay to $0.  Then, I’d tell the unions, “Take a pay cut, or go on strike.”  If they didn’t take a pay cut, I’d let them go on strike and hire new workers.  If a court ruled that I’m not allowed to hire new workers, I’d let the strike continue.  Eventually, the workers will have to come back to work or the company will fail.  If the company fails, it was the union’s fault for not showing up to work.  But the UAW wouldn’t let the company completely fail, because then their workers would be out of a job.  The corporate heads need to 1) lead by example, and 2) have some guts and stand up to the UAW.

Toyota, Honda and other foreign automakers are not heading for Detroit, even though there are lots of experienced automobile workers there. They are avoiding the rust belts and the policies that have made those places rust belts.

A bailout of Detroit’s Big Three would be only the latest in the postponements of reality. As for automobile dealers, they can probably sell Toyotas just as easily as they sold Chevvies. And Toyotas will require just as many tires per car, as well as other parts from automobile parts suppliers.

So, there you have it.  This was one of the best analyses I’ve seen on the auto bailout, and I couldn’t agree more.

Who’s at fault, the UAW or the corporate heads?  Both.  The UAW needs to stop being greedy and be willing to take a pay cut.  The leaders of the Big 3 need to lead by example and take MASSIVE pay cuts and start standing up to the unions.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Live: Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Pleading Guilty to Charges, Expected to Resign

September 4, 2008

This is happening live.  Kwame Kilpatrick is about to plead guilty, and he’s expected to resign as Mayor of Detroit.

The judge (supposed to be Judge David Groner, but I never saw anything that said anything today confirming that’s who the judge was) is now informing him of what right’s he is giving up (trial by jury, being assumed innocent until proven guilty, being able to testify, being able to cross examine witnesses, appeal this case).

He has  just said that he will waive those rights and plead guilty.

He has just said that he is pleased with the job his lawyers have done.

He has just said that he is ready to plead guilty today, saying, “I’m here,” implying that he wants this done as soon as possible.

They’re now showing the courtroom around him and wow, there are a LOT of people there.

Kwame Kilpatrick has just reentered.  The court is now officially in session.

Judge: “Mr. Kilpatrick, on the dates of October 11,  2004, at a civil deposition in the City of Detroit … and on August 29th … in the Wayne County Circuit Court, did you do something wrong that causes you to plead guilty today.”

Kilpatrick: “Yes, I lied under oath … regarding information that was relevant to claims made by [the police officers]. … I lied under oath … for the lawsuit.”

“The Court is satisfied and will accept the plea for the 2 counts of obstruction of justice.”

The Judge is now setting a sentencing date of October 28 at 2:00 P.M.  The judge has now gone on to another case for Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick is to plead no contest to charge 1 and charge 2 will be dismissed (I’m not sure what charges these  are for now), and he is to tender a letter of resignation no later than September 18, surrender his law license, as well as 120 (I think that’s what he said) days in jail.

The judge is saying the charges are: public officer assaulting/obstruction.  So this was the case where he shoved the cop off the porch.  He’s pleading no contest to charge 1.  He will be convicted of this charge, and at the sentencing hearing, the 2nd charge will be dropped.

The judge is now making sure that Kilpatrick understands the rights that he’s giving up, just like he did with the perjury charges.

The prosecutor now gave the factual basis for the case, and the judge accepted the plea.

The sentencing date for that will be the same as for the perjury charges.

The judge is commending all lawyers on both sides of the case, including Prosecutor Kym Worthy, saying that he’s glad we could settle this today.

And they’re done.  Kilpatrick is now  hugging somebody – I think it’s his wife, but it might be his sister.  Kilpatrick is now leaving the court room.  Kilpatrick has  left the court room.

Well, that’s honestly something I didn’t expect I would see.  I figured it’d go to trial.  I’m glad to see that Kwame finally gave in.  They were saying something about pleading “No contest” and the possibility of a civil suit, so we’ll see what happens.

I’ll keep you updated if anything else develops.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s Guilty Plea Postponed Until Tomorrow Morning

September 3, 2008

This is developing news coming out of Detroit right now.  Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had been expected to plead guilty to charges in the original text message scandal case at 5:15 P.M. EDT today before Judge Edward Ewell Jr., the presiding judge of the Criminal Division of Wayne County Circuit Court.  Apparently the details of the plea deal hadn’t been completely ironed out by 5:15, so the decision was made to postpone the court appearance until 9:00 A.M. tomorrow, where he’ll appear in front of Judge David Groner.

At this point in time, I have to say that this has not been confirmed.  All that we know for sure is that Kilpatrick will be in court tomorrow morning.  One of Kilpatrick’s defense lawyers, Joseph Niskar, told reporters, “I can tell you it’s a not a bond motion.  We’ll see.”  He specifically did not answer the question of whether or not Kilpatrick will be taking a guilty plea.

After reporters headed over to the Wayne County court due to rumors that a plea deal was to be made around 5:00, Maria Miler, a spokeswoman for Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy told reporters, “We believed a plea was imminent. … We believe it may take place [Thursday].”

Kilpatrick’s attorney, James Thomas, told reporters, “It is apparent that they are close” to a plea deal.  Thomas had been at forfeiture hearings that Governor Jennifer Granholm had been holding today to possibly remove Kilpatrick from office.

Now, I fail to see why a guilty plea is even being offered here.  It’s CLEAR that he perjured before.  I see no reason that we should let him off easy.  I say take it to court and if he pleads guilty, then he pleads guilty, but I wouldn’t be offering a plea bargain here.  I think there’s enough evidence to avoid this.  Of course, I don’t know ALL of the facts, but just from what’s been released, I don’t think any jury could find REASONABLE doubt to not find him guilty.  Then again, weirder things have happened in Detroit.

I’ll keep you updated as anything more develops (and if I get time, I’ll try to get some transcripts from today’s hearing by Governor Granholm).

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Jailed for Going to Canada

August 7, 2008

Well, Kwame Kilpatrick has been sent to jail, after it was revealed that he went to Windsor, Ontario for a business trip, violating his bond.  Kwame apologized for the mistake in not telling the judge of the trip, saying, “I’ve been living in an incredible state of pressure and scrutiny.”  He said that he had gone to Windsor to discuss the sale of the tunnel between the U.S. and Canada, saying, “We got the deal back on track. … It wasn’t a spur of the moment, willy nilly, I can frolic in Canada.”

Prosecutor Robert Moran told the court, “It’s not serious to him that he’s a criminal defendant. … This court should be outraged.”  And that’s true.  This is all just more fun and games for Kwame.

36th District Court Judge Ronald Giles said, “What matters to me … is how the court overall is perceived and how if it was not Kwame Kilpatrick sitting in that seat, if it was John Six-Pack sitting in that seat, what would I do?  And that answer is simple.”

Kwame’s defense attorney, Jim Thomas, told reporters, “I think it’s the most extreme measure he can take,” as he headed to the circuit court a few blocks away to have the ruling overturned, but Circuit Judge Thomas E. Jackson asked for a transcript from Judge Giles, and said that he wouldn’t hear the case until tomorrow morning at 9:00 A.M., meaning that Kwame will spend the night in jail.

Thomas pleaded with Jackson to here the case today, but Jackson told Thomas, “I just gave you my answer.”

Meanwhile, Jim Parkman, said that the defense team would  attempt to try to get an electronic tether for Kilpatrick to keep him out of jail.  That also failed.

Kwame will NOT be kept in general population, due to the fact that he is a high-profile individual.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy applauded the ruling, saying, “Judge Giles treated this defendant as any other defendant would have been treated.”

I think this is FINALLY justice for Detroiters.  Kilpatrick is finally being treated how he deserves to be treated – LIKE A CRIMINAL!

I’ll keep you updated as this case just keeps getting more interesting.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Millage for Detroit Zoo Will Pass

August 5, 2008

As of about 11:10 P.M. EDT, here are the results for the millage for the Detroit Zoo:

Wayne County (needs 60% to pass) with 933/1236 (75%) precincts:

  1. Yes 122,742 76%
  2. No 39,401 24%

Oakland County with 408/541 (75%) precincts:

  1. Yes 99,355 77%
  2. No 29,181 23%

Macomb County with 322/394 (81%) precinct reporting:

  1. Yes 64,413 67%
  2. No 31,088 33%

So, it’s officially passed.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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I’m a Republican, And I’m Voting For a Tax for the Detroit Zoo

August 4, 2008

Well, this is a decision that wasn’t exactly easy for me to make, but now that I’ve made it, I’m confident that I  made the right decision.  I have decided that I will vote for the 0.1 mill to help fund the Detroit Zoo (a copy of the proposals can be found below).  The zoo is located in Oakland County.  The mill would be imposed for 10 years, from 2008 through 2017.  If it passes, it is expected to raise a total of $14,968,031.11 if it passes in all 3 counties, as it is expected to.  It would cost a taxpayer with a $200,000 home (market value) about $10.  And that’s the main reason I voted for it: it’s a low tax, but it’ll help the zoo, which is loved by many in the area, and it’s in financial trouble.  If, down the road, it recovers, they may not need the money.

Zogby International did a poll for the zoo officials, and the results were that it would pass in all 3 counties,  with 71% supporting int in Wayne County, 70% in Oakland County, and 65% in Macomb County.  The sample was 300 likely voters in Wayne, 303 in Oakland, and 302 in Macomb, with a margin of error of +/- 5.8%.

WAYNE COUNTY ZOOLOGICAL AUTHORITY

The Wayne County Zoological Authority was established pursuant to Public Act 49 of 2008, and formed to allow for continuing zoological services for the students, residents and visitors of the County of Wayne. The law allows the Authority to seek authorization from the electors to levy a tax of not more than 0.1 mill (10 cents per $1,000 of taxable value) on real property and personal property to provide revenue for this purpose. Accordingly, to continue providing zoological services to benefit the residents of the County, shall a 0.1 mill on all taxable property located within the County of Wayne be imposed for a period of ten (10) years, being years 2008 through 2017. It is estimated that if approved and levied, this new millage will generate approximately $5,299,640.48 in 2008.

or

OAKLAND COUNTY ZOOLOGICAL AUTHORITY

The Oakland County Zoological Authority was established pursuant to Public Act 49 of 2008, and formed to allow for continuing zoological services for the students, residents and visitors of Oakland County. The law allows the Authority to seek authorization from the electors to levy a tax of not more than 0.1 mill (10 cents per $1,000 of taxable value) on real and personal property to provide revenue for this purpose. Accordingly, to continue providing zoological services to benefit the residents of the County, shall a 0.1 mill on all of the taxable property located within the County be imposed for a period of ten (10) years, being years 2008 through 2017. It is estimated that if approved and levied, this new millage will generate approximately $6,474,597.63 in 2008.

or

MACOMB COUNTY ZOOLOGICAL AUTHORITY MILLAGE

The Macomb County Zoological Authority was established pursuant to Public Act 49 of 2008 and formed to allow for continuing zoological services for the students, residents and visitors of Macomb County. The law allows the Authority to seek authorization from the electors to levy a tax of not more than 0.1 mill (10 cents per $1,000 of taxable value) on real and personal property to provide revenue to an accredited zoological institution for this purpose. Accordingly, to continue providing zoological services to benefit the residents of the County, shall a 0.1 mill on all of the taxable property located within the County be imposed for a period of ten (10) years, being years 2008 through 2017? It is estimated that if approved and levied, this new millage would generate approximately $3,193,793 in 2008.

I’m usually not one for taxes, but I think that it’s worth it here.  I’d encourage everybody in the Tri-Counties area to vote for this proposal in the August 5th Primary.

Done Endorsing,

Ranting Republican
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Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Shoves a Cop Off a Porch, Faces Assault Charges

July 29, 2008

Well, the Kwame Kilpatrick scandal continues.  Early last week, sheriff’s deputy Brian White was serving a subpoena to Bobby Ferguson, a friend of Kilpatrick’s.  Kilpatrick threw White into his partner, Joann Kinney, and made a comment shaming her (a black woman) for working with a white man.

Personally, I am appalled that he wasn’t arrested.  If he weren’t a corrupt mayor with a corrupt mother as a Congresswoman, he’d be in JAIL right now.  Although, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Moran did not request that Kilpatrick be taken into custody for the assault.

Instead, 36th District Court Judge Ronald Giles changed Kilpatrick’s $75,000 bond from a personal bond in the perjury case (which he was not required to pay – I don’t know why) to requiring him to post $7,500 cash to stay out of jail.  He also revoked Kilpatrick’s privileges to travel without a court hearing, except for already-scheduled travels.  He also ordered periodic and random drug test on Kilpatrick.

Judge Giles said, it doesn’t “matter whether investigator White was pushed or thrown … the fact that defendant Kilpatrick decided to inject himself into this situation where the officers were attempting to lawfully serve a subpoena … defendant Kilpatrick had no right … to come into contact with investigator White or say anything to investigator White. … I  see the behavior as totally irrational.  I don’t know what was going on in defendant Kilpatrick’s life that he exploded, for want of a better term.  This is ridiculous. … I have locked up defendants for approaching or saying things to witnesses for a lot less, let alone touching them. I’m at a loss to defendant Kilpatrick’s behavior here. It’s irrational.”

He made a statement directly to Kilpatrick in the court, saying, “You’re a licensed attorney.  You’re a public official.  Everything you do, every step you take, every word you say is somewhere recorded for everyone to hear.  You need to keep that in mind.”

Robert Moran told reporters, “This underscores a problem that perhaps he’s not taking this as seriously as he should … you can’t bully police officers.”

Here’s what White testified to the court:

He was on his way to serve a subpoena to city employee Brenda Braceful when he saw a Ferguson Enterprises truck in the neighborhood and stopped because he had a subpoena for Ferguson.  He checked the address, and the house was Ayanna Kilpatrick’s, the mayor’s sister.

He approached the mayor’s bodyguard standing outside.  “I identified myself immediately as a police officer, I raised my ID and said I needed to speak to Bobby Ferguson.  He made a sweeping motion with his right arm to the house … he accompanied us to the front door.”

After meeting someone who called himself Derrick Ferguson, White heard shouting from inside.

“‘Don’t tell those f******* anything … Get the f*** out of here.’  At that point Kilpatrickcomes storming out through the door, grabbed me with both of my hands behind me and throws me into investigator Kinney.”

White testified that Kilpatrick then said: “Get the f*** out of here.  Leave my f****** family alone.  Get off my f****** porch.”

White testified Kilpatrick continued accusing him of harassing his family.

Kinney later testified: “It happened so fast … I was like, I couldn’t believe this was happening.”

Kinney said the Mayor told her: “You, a black woman being with a man with the last name White, you should be ashamed of yourself.  Why are you a part of this?”

Now, the issue is a State Police issue, since the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office handed it over to the state to investigate, so that there would be no appearance of a conflict of interest.  Attorney General Mike Cox was happy to take the case, and he has previously expressed his opinion that Kilpatrick should resign.

I trust that Cox will do a good job, and hopefully we can get Kilpatrick out of office and into a prison cell!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Councilwoman JoAnn Watson Pleads With Kwame Kilpatrick to Resign: “Nobody wants a white woman in Lansing to decide the fate of a black man in Detroit”

May 15, 2008

Alright, so here’s what happened:

JoAnn Watson had been in talks with the Mayor since the weekend, trying to get him to resign.  She had even called him as late as 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, right before the city council met, where they voted on 2 ways of ousting him.

After the meeting, and the votes to oust Kilpatrick, Watson’s aides gave her a piece of paper, a message from Kilpatrick urging her to reconsider her vote.  The council adjourned, and she went down to talk to Kilpatrick face to face.  She went in to his office, and after 15 minutes, reporters saw Sharon McPhail, former councilwoman, turned wanna-be mayor, turned aide to the man he ran against.

Watson had asked the mayor, again, to resign.

She told reporters what she had been telling him all along, “I urged him to resign if the council voted.  I even said, ‘If there are issues around vesting your pension, I’m happy to play a role in assisting with that.’  He called back while I was in session.”

She went back to her office, ate lunch, and hoped Kilpatrick would call.  She told reporters, “If he calls, I’ll answer, but if he doesn’t put it in writing, I’m not going to reconsider [my vote].”  She would wait until 2:30, when the council would reconvene, and hear what she thought.

She told reporters as she waited, “He’ll call,” and he did call.  As she talked in her office with the door wide open for the reporters to hear, here’s what was heard:

“You’re a young man.  You can come back.”

“It’s not for us!  It’s not for us, Mr. Mayor.  It’s for the city!”

“The City Council had nothing to do with it.”

“‘When yall gonna take care of that?’  That’s what people ask me.”

“Mr. Mayor, we don’t want to!  We want you to help the city move on.  Help the city move on!”

“Didn’t Marion Barry [the former Washington, D.C. mayor who was busted for using crack] come back?  He resigned and came back!  You can resign and come back.”  Well, Barry didn’t lose the city millions of dollars.

“Nobody wants a white woman in Lansing to decide the fate of a black man in Detroit.  That’s why I’m begging you to resign.”  HOLY CRAP!  Well, that’s racist.  If I said, “Nobody wants a black man in Lansing to decide the fate of a white man in Ohio,” everybody would swarm me and I’d never be able to run for public office.

Then, Cockrel knocked on her door and told her that the council couldn’t wait any longer, and she hung up the phone.

She left her office and told reporters that she would not be changing her vote.  After the meeting, she sat in her office, when her aide told her, “You showed everybody how much of a chance you gave him,” but Watson replied, “It’s not about us.  It’s for the city.  The city deserves better, and who wants to be saddled with this drama for the next weeks and months?  We have work to do.  I’ve got to fight to get the incinerator closed.  I’ve got to fight for summer job right now.  All you have to do is look at the faces around the table.  Nobody’s happy with it.  There’s no dancing in the streets over this one.  I said to him, ‘Resign.’  [He said] ‘I can’t.  How will I fight?’ … If you’re thinking about using the mayor’s office to raise money for the defense fund, that’s not going to work anyway because the council will be watching every vendor you bring forth to see if they contributed.’ … This business is painful for me.  It’s painful.  My overwhelming concern is for the city, not one person.  And  as a city official, I must look at the big picture, and citizens don’t deserve to be submerged in this business any longer.”

She told reporters, “I perceived movement.”

She said that she doesn’t believe Kilpatrick’s lawyers when they say that there never was any movement, “He said it would  look like he was giving up.  I said no, it would look like he was stepping up.  It acknowledges that the city is bigger than you.”

As of late Tuesday, the pair had not had any more conversations.

I honestly don’t even know why she tried.  It’s obvious that Kilpatrick doesn’t have the city at heart.

I am somewhat (not completely – it’s the Detroit City Council, I’ll never be taken completely by surprise by anything they do) shocked that she admitted that one of the reasons he should resign is so that a white governor doesn’t step in and decide what happens to a black “man.”  I can’t honestly call him a man – he acts like some gang animal.  With all of his parties in Washington, D.C., and his attitude of being a mayor, he doesn’t deserve to share the tile of “man” with me and others.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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