Posts Tagged ‘Cell Phone’

Michigan House of Representatives Votes 68-32 to Ban Texting While Driving

December 15, 2008

Alright, this is somewhat of an old story, but I really wanted to do a post on it, and I got caught up with exams last week:

On December 4th, the Michigan House of Representatives voted on House Bill 5117, A bill to amend 1949 PA 300, entitled “Michigan vehicle code,” (MCL 257.1 to 257.923) by adding section 602b.

The bill was introduced by Steve Bieda (D-Macomb).  Here’s the original version of the bill:

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

SEC. 602B. (1) A PERSON SHALL NOT READ, 1 WRITE, OR SEND A TEXT

2 MESSAGE ON A WIRELESS 2-WAY COMMUNICATION DEVICE, INCLUDING A RADIO

3 TELEPHONE USED IN CELLULAR TELEPHONE SERVICE OR PERSONAL

4 COMMUNICATION SERVICE, WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE ON A HIGHWAY

5 OR STREET IN THIS STATE.

6 (2) A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A

7 CIVIL INFRACTION.

I like this version of the bill.  It’s quick, and to the point.  Frankly, I think the House butchered this bill (although they did add a couple good clauses).

Here’s the version that was passed by the House (along with my commentary):

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

SEC. 602B. (1) A PERSON SHALL NOT READ, 1 WRITE, OR SEND A TEXT

2 MESSAGE ON A WIRELESS 2-WAY COMMUNICATION DEVICE THAT IS LOCATED IN

3 THE PERSON’S HAND OR IN THE PERSON’S LAP, INCLUDING A WIRELESS

4 TELEPHONE USED IN CELLULAR TELEPHONE SERVICE OR PERSONAL

5 COMMUNICATION SERVICE, WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE THAT IS

6 MOVING ON A HIGHWAY OR STREET IN THIS STATE. AS USED IN THIS

7 SUBSECTION, A WIRELESS 2-WAY COMMUNICATION DEVICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

8 A GLOBAL POSITIONING OR NAVIGATION SYSTEM THAT IS AFFIXED TO THE

9 MOTOR VEHICLE.

I will say that lines 6b-9 were a good addition.

(2) SUBSECTION (1) DOES NOT APPLY 1 TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS

2 USING A DEVICE DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (1) TO DO ANY OF THE

3 FOLLOWING:

4 (A) REPORT A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT, MEDICAL EMERGENCY, OR SERIOUS

5 ROAD HAZARD.

6 (B) REPORT A SITUATION IN WHICH THE PERSON BELIEVES HIS OR HER

7 PERSONAL SAFETY IS IN JEOPARDY.

8 (C) REPORT OR AVERT THE PERPETRATION OR POTENTIAL PERPETRATION

9 OF A CRIMINAL ACT AGAINST THE INDIVIDUAL OR ANOTHER PERSON.

10 (D) CARRY OUT OFFICIAL DUTIES AS A POLICE OFFICER, LAW

11 ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL, MEMBER OF A PAID OR VOLUNTEER FIRE

12 DEPARTMENT, OR OPERATOR OF AN EMERGENCY VEHICLE.

Again, another good provision.

13 (3) ENFORCEMENT OF THIS SECTION BY STATE OR LOCAL LAW

14 ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES SHALL BE ACCOMPLISHED ONLY AS A SECONDARY

15 ACTION WHEN THE OPERATOR OF A MOTOR VEHICLE HAS BEEN DETAINED FOR A

16 SUSPECTED VIOLATION OF ANOTHER SECTION OF THIS ACT.

Here’s where they really butchered it in my opinion.  Making this a secondary offense means that in order to give somebody a ticket for texting, they have to have been pulled over for something else.  I have 2 problems with this: 1) It gives cops a motive to pull somebody over for something that they normally wouldn’t pull somebody over for, so that they can give them a ticket for texting; 2) It should be a primary offense.  While driving to work on Southfield Freeway (M-39) I’ve had several encounters with teenage drivers (mostly girls) texting and coming into my lane.  I did have a guy do the same thing the other day, except that was on Fort Street (M-85), but it was in the 35 MPH area, so it wasn’t quite as dangerous.  How permanent this will be is up for debate.  Originally, Michigan’s Click It or Ticket seat belt law was a secondary offense, but that changed pretty quickly.

17 (4) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR

18 A CIVIL INFRACTION.

Same as the original bill.

19 (5) IF A LOCAL UNIT OF GOVERNMENT ADOPTS AN ORDINANCE

20 SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO THIS SECTION, THE ORDINANCE SHALL INCLUDE

21 THE SECONDARY ENFORCEMENT PROVISION IN SUBSECTION (3).

Again, another butchering happened here.  Not only do I disagree with the basic premise of subsection (3), but I disagree with subsection (5) based on the fact that it’s the state government sticking its nose into the business of local municipalities.  If I city wants to make  it a primary offense, good for them.  If they want to keep it a secondary offense, that’s fine too (although I disagree with that decision, they’d have that right).  But to take away municipalities’ rights to make this a primary offense is just wrong.

22 (6) POINTS SHALL NOT BE ASSESSED UNDER SECTION 320A FOR A

23 VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION.

Again, another terrible amendment to the bill.  There’s no reason that people should be texting while driving.  Tack on the additional punishment of points and that will deter people from doing it.

24 Enacting section 1. This amendatory act does not take effect

25 unless House Bill No. 5396 of the 94th Legislature is enacted into

26 law.

Alright, so that’s the bill as passed by the House.  Currently the bill is in the Transportation Committee of the Senate.

I wanted to post a copy of the roll call vote:

Roll Call No. 1003 Yeas—68

Accavitti Dean Johnson Opsommer
Amos Dillon Jones, Rick Pearce
Ball Donigan Jones, Robert Polidori
Bauer Ebli Knollenberg Proos
Bennett Emmons Law, David Rocca
Bieda Espinoza Law, Kathleen Sak
Booher Farrah Leland Schuitmaker
Brown Gaffney Lemmons Scott
Byrnes Gonzales Lindberg Sheltrown
Byrum Green Mayes Simpson
Clack Griffin McDowell Smith, Alma
Clemente Hammel Meadows Smith, Virgil
Condino Hammon Meisner Stahl
Constan Hansen Melton Stakoe
Corriveau Hood Miller Valentine
Coulouris Hopgood Moss Wenke
Cushingberry Horn Nofs Wojno

Nays—32

Acciavatti DeRoche LeBlanc Pastor
Agema Garfield Marleau Pavlov
Angerer Gillard Meekhof Robertson
Brandenburg Hildenbrand Moolenaar Shaffer
Calley Huizenga Moore Sheen
Casperson Hune Nitz Spade
Caswell Jackson Palmer Steil
Caul Lahti Palsrok Walker

In The Chair: Sak

So, it’s pretty apparent that the vote fell mainly along party lines, but there were definitely a good amount of cross-overs (6 Democrats and 21 Republicans).

Representative Caul (R-Isabella) told CM-Life  reporters that he voted against the bill because it was “overstepping the government’s role. … In this case, it’s difficult for enforceability, whether it’s someone using a cell phone or eating a cheeseburger.”

I’m an advocate for personal freedoms (I voted for Proposal 1), but I think allowing texting while driving  goes too far.  Ban it, and enforce that ban.  Hopefully this will pass the Republican-controlled Senate, and with as much Republican support as  this got, I think it will.  I’ve been advocating for a bill like this for a long time, so I’m glad that it’s making some progress.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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53% of Rescued Homeowners Still Not Paying Mortgages on Time

December 12, 2008

I was watching FOX News the other day, and Neil Cavuto the Great (yes, I’ve now given Cavuto the Republican Ranting honorary title of “the Great”) was discussing a bill before Congress that would help bankrupt homeowners restructure their mortgages.  Cavuto discusses the issue with Wall Street Journal editorialist Steve Moore.  Watch the video, and I’ll discuss it below:

Folks, I’ve been saying this all along: these bailouts will not work.  There is an attitude at the heart of this problem, and that attitude is, “If I can’t pay my mortgage, it’s the bank’s fault for giving me that loan.”

And  the way that this bill was sent through doesn’t help matters either.  If you’re at least 3 months delinquent on your mortgage, you’re eligible for federal help.  Well who doesn’t want free money?  What you have happening is people falling a month or 2 behind in their payments and then just realizing, “If I just keep this up for another month or so, I can get the government to help pay for my mortgage!”

As I’ve said NUMEROUS times before (such as here and here), the majority of the blame in these instances falls on the HOMEOWNERS for trying to buy homes that they can’t afford.  If you can’t afford something don’t buy it.  And if you try to buy it and fail, you should lose that home.  It’s unfair to the mortgage companies to just let you get a free pass and keep your home because you were financially stupid.  Then again, a lot of these people who “can’t afford” these homes actually can.  They would just rather spend their money on other things.  We have so many people wasting money on cable TV and iPods and cell phones when they can’t make a simple mortgage payment.  If you have cable TV and you’re having a hard time making mortgage payments, stop buying cable.  That’ll save you $30+ a month.  The same with cell phones.  Depending on how many family members have cell phones, you could save over $100 a month.  High speed Internet – get rid of the Internet, and if you REALLY need it, get dial-up (it’s like $12/month).

Trust me, a lot of the people who “can’t afford” their homes simply have terrible budget skills.  And it’s not the bank’s fault, and it’s certainly not the government’s job to fix that.

We have to stop this cycle of “helping” homeowners, otherwise, we’re going to have  the government pay for everybody’s houses (except those of us who would be decent enough to refuse government help because we’re committed to paying for what we bought).

These people need to learn to live within their means, and if that means losing their house, then so be it.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Parents of 2 Suspended Cheerleaders File Lawsuit Over Nude Photos

December 8, 2008

Alright, so here’s a story I heard about that’s supposed to be featured on the news tonight, but I figured I’d go digging and just do the story now: On Monday the parents of two Bothell High School cheerleaders filed a lawsuit in the King County Superior Court against the Northshore School District (in Washington).  The suit alleges that school officials acted unfairly when they suspended the girls from the squad earlier this year after nude photos of the teens circulated through the student body via text messages.

Here’s the background on the case (according to the lawsuit):

  1. Summer, 2005: A topless photo of one of the cheerleaders is taken and sent to her then-boyfriend’s phone.
  2. Summer, 2005: The picture is accidentally sent to other BHS students.
  3. June, 2008: The other teen’s photo was taken when she and another cheerleader used their cell phones to take totally nude pictures of themselves.  Those photos were later accidentally sent to other BHS students.
  4. Shortly after the June pictures were taken: BHS school officials heard rumors the pictures were circulating the student body, especially within members of the football team, so the school sent a letter to all of the cheerleaders’ parents.  That letter said that if inappropriate photos were found, the consequences could be suspension from the squad.
  5. Football players were also told to delete the pictures from their cell phones if they received them
  6. August: BHS administrators received copies of both photos.
  7. Some dispute has arisen over who contacted the police first, and whether or not the school properly notified the girls’ parents about the photos.
  8. One girl is suspended from the squad for 30 days.  The other is suspended from the squad for the year.

Attorney Matthew King, representing both families, told reporters that  the lawsuits allege that BHS administrators violated the girls’ due process rights by needlessly sharing the photos with other school staff members and failing to promptly report the matter to police as child pornography.  King also said that it was unfair that the teens were suspended, but that football players and other BHS students who sent/received the texts were not punished.  King told reporters, “We’re not technically challenging the sanctions as being too strict, we’re saying they weren’t evenly enforced across the school.  There should have been some punishment meted out to those who were in possession of the photos. … It seems like the girls are getting the brunt of it.”  King wants the disciplinary action expunged from both girls’ school records.  Additionally, he wants the girl who was suspended for the whole year to be reinstated to the team, and he is demanding an apology from BHS officials for their lack of discipline on other students.

Northshore spokeswoman Susan Stoltzfus disagrees, saying that the school acted appropriately, reporting the photos to the police and giving the girls a chance to appeal their suspensions to both a disciplinary committee as well as the School Board, saying, “Everyone along the line agreed the discipline was appropriate.  Obviously, we take these things seriously, but we really don’t believe this [suit] has a lot of merit.”

King also claims that the district’s student handbook doesn’t specifically prohibit what the girls did, and that it doesn’t outline outline potential disciplinary action for a case like this.  He told reporters, “My clients fully realize what they did was stupid,” and that they never wanted the photos to be distributed.  King said that he still does not know how they were accidentally sent out.

Northshore officials again disagree, saying that the girls violated the district’s athletic code  According to Stoltzfus, “When you sign up to be a cheerleader–or for any student activity–you agree to certain codes of behavior.We consider them student leaders, and we want them to be role models.”

I took a look at the athletic code, and although it doesn’t expressly prohibit the production or distribution of child pornography (or any pornography), it does state the following:

Northshore School District
Student Athletic Code

The opportunity to participate in the athletic program in the Northshore School District is a privilege available to all students. Because of the public nature of athletic programs sponsored by the district, students choosing to participate are expected to conduct themselves at all times during their season of participation and between consecutive seasons in a manner that will reflect the high standards and ideals of their school and community. These high personal standards for conduct promote maximum achievement, safe performances, commitment to excellence in health and conditioning, and fulfill responsibilities as student leaders by setting a positive example for other students.

The regulations below are included in the Addendum of the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities Concerning Pupil Conduct. In addition to this Code of Conduct, individual schools may establish other expectations specific to their own individual programs.

Students must meet the standards for interscholastic eligibility as outlined in Article 18 of the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association handbook, the KINGCO League and the Northshore School District and their individual school. Copies of these rules and regulations may be obtained from the school Athletic Director upon request.

The expectations for being a participant in a schoolʼs athletic program, including specific eligibility requirements, training rules and team rules shall be communicated to team members at the beginning of the season of participation. All program expectations and team rules shall be in writing.

Any athlete in a District-sponsored athletic activity who willfully performs any act that substantially interferes with or is detrimental to the orderly operation of the Districtʼs athletic programs shall be subject to discipline. As participants in extracurricular programs, students are faced with choices. If a studentʼs choices interfere, impede, hinder their personal or group/team performance or render the individual as unfit to serve as a representative(s) of the districtʼs schools, they forfeit the privilege to participate. Misconduct by participants in the athletic program at any time, on or off campus, school related and/or non-school activities during the season of participation and between consecutive seasons of participation constitutes cause for discipline including denial of participation in and/or removal from the athletic program. Seasons begin with the first turnout and conclude with the season ending recognition/awards program in the individual sport.

II. Consequences for Athletic Code violations;

A. Student Athletic Code violations are accumulative during grades seven and eight and then again in grades nine through twelve. Any ninth grade student shall be considered a high school student.

B. Consequences for specific violations:
Probation is a period of time in which an athlete may be given time to correct deficiencies that could result in denial of participation for a given period of time or removal from athletic team participation. Denial of participation means that the athlete is allowed to practice but not compete in games. The loss of athletic eligibility, which may carry over to subsequent sports seasons, means the athlete will not participate in interscholastic competition or be in uniform. During the period when a student is assigned a suspension from school, the student is not eligible for any form of participation or attendance at school activities including athletic program participation.

So, although it doesn’t expressly ban what the girls did, I think what they did falls s under “any act that substantially interferes with or is detrimental to the orderly operation of the Districtʼs athletic programs.”

So, where do I stand?  I stand on the side of the girls; however, I disagree with what they want done.  I agree that BHS officials were way too easy on pretty much everybody other than the 2 girls.  I think that the girls should be suspended (or have other disciplinary action taken against them) for failing to follow the athletics agreement.  In addition, ANYBODY who possessed the pictures (other than the administrators, who I’ll discuss in a minute) should have been charged with possession of child pornography, and should have had disciplinary action taken against them if they were in a sport (but it had to be a sport that was in season at that time).  Obviously, it would have to be proved that the person kept the pictures.  I wouldn’t charge anybody just because they received the pictures.  The administrators, if they really did report it to the police, did nothing wrong.  HOWEVER, if additional copies were passed around for no reason, those responsible should be charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.  I do think that BHS officials are wrong in not punishing the football team and other students; however, the way to solve this is NOT to expunge the records of the girls, but to punish ALL who were responsible.

EDIT: I’ve been talking with some people about this, and the argument has come up that perhaps the girls were of age so that it wasn’t child pornography.  In addition to the fact that the names are not being released because the girls are minors, I found this photograph from July 4th, 2005, courtesy of the Woodinville Rotary Club.  Now, of course this isn’t official, but to me, none of those girls looks 18 (except maybe the one on the left in the front row).  Additionally, the one picture was taken in 2005, so we’re guaranteed that that girl wasn’t 18 when the picture was taken:

bothell_parade_07_04_05_019_-_bhs_cheerleaders

Done Ranting,

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 Faces a Range of Charges

March 24, 2008

Today at 11:00 A.M., Kym Worthy released her decision on whether or not to file charges, and boy was it a big decision.  She filed 12 counts of criminal activity against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (Democrat), as well as some against former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty.  Here’s what the Detroit Free Press said about her decision (I’m not sure if it was a press conference or what, I would’ve watched it live, but I was in class):

“Kilpatrick is charged with eight felonies and Beatty with seven.  They are: perjury, conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.  Worthy said the perjury charges accuse the two of lying during a whistle-blower lawsuit about the firing of Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown and about their romantic relationship.”

Here’s some of what Worthy said: This case was about as far from being a private matter as one can get.  Honesty and integrity in the justice system is everything.  That is what this case is about.  Just when did honesty and integrity, truth and honor become traits to be mocked, downplayed, ignored, laughed at or excuses made for them?  When did telling the truth become a supporting player to everything else? … Our investigation has led to other potential defendants, so we will continue our investigation into their activities.  Let me be very, very clear: this was not an investigation focused on lying about sex.  Witnesses must give truthful testimony and we have to demand that they do.  That is why they take an oath. … Some have suggested that the issues in this case are personal or private.  The justice system has been severely mocked and the public trust trampled on. … This case is about as far from being a private matter as one can get.”

Worthy also said that she expects Kilpatrick and Beatty to turn themselves in by 7:00 A.M. tomorrow.

The perjury charge alone could carry up to 15 years in prison as well as disbarment and removal from office.

If Detroit wants to prove that it is going to get out of this pattern of corruption, they MUST convict Beatty and Kilpatrick of the crimes that they are OBVIOUSLY guilty of.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Update on the Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Scandal

February 3, 2008

OK, well details are coming out of this thing faster than details about the 2008 primaries.  See here for my previous post: https://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/detroit-mayor-kwame-kilpatrick-involved-in-another-scandal/.

So, here are the new details:

  1. Monday, January 28th
    1. Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, Kilpatrick’s alleged (and late confirmed) mistress resigned.
      1. In response, Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers (acting president while Ken Cockrel Jr. is over seas) and Councilwoman JoAnn Watson said that the council should not wait for Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s investigation to be finished, buth that the Council should also conduct its own investigation.
    2. Sharon McPhail, a former Councilwoman and opponent of Kilpatrick’s during his last reelection campaign, who is now one of his top aides said that “I’d just be awfully surprised if this resulted in any charges.  I just don’t think it’s there. … When the facts are known this is just going to be a blip on the screen of all the wonderful things he’s done for the city.”  HUH!!!  What screen is she looking at?  Is she forgetting about the “blips” from the Manoogian Mansion party, the death of stripper Tamara Greene, the Red Lincoln Navigator, the controversy over his civic fund (the time that he threw Ray Sayah’s microphone – yeah, he must hate WXYZ), the whistleblower trial that sparked this scandal, or the time that his guards threw Steve Wilson into a wall?  Even my hardcore Democratic grandma can’t stand him.
  2. Tuesday, January 29th
    1. Kilpatrick hired Kandia Milton, an aide, as his new Chief of Staff, saying that he “has proved his skills as my deputy chief of staff and as my liaison with the City Council and I know he will do an exceptional job in this new assignment.  He has worked effectively with Council on a number of initiatives and has shown an ability to develop cooperative, productive relationships that will be valuable in this new assignment.”
      Milton responded by saying, “I am grateful to the Mayor for giving me the opportunity to serve the people of Detroit in this capacity.  I know that under the Mayor Kilpatrick’s leadership, Detroit’s best days are yet to come.”
    2. A proposal brought up by Conyers and Watson in the City Council to perform an investigation was defeated.  Only Watson voted for the proposal.  Most Councilmembers, such as Kwame Kenyatta opposed the measure due to the absence of Cockrel and Councilwomen Martha Reeves and Alberta Tinsley-Talabi (who are in Taiwwan on a trade mission), while Conyers said that she want to hold a closed meeting first.
  3. Wednesday, January 30th
    1. On his way to his televised public apology, Kilpatrick pushed reporter Steve Wilson out of the way and swung at the camera of Mandi Wright, causing the camera to hit her in her face.  Unlike Kilpatrick’s previous encounter with Wilson, I think that Kilpatrick was somewhat justified in moving him out of the way, but not for swinging at Wright’s camera.
    2. That night he gave an apology speech with his wife (available here in full: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080131/NEWS01/801310429/1003):

      Good evening, Detroit.  I want to start tonight by saying to the citizens of this great city, I’m sorry.  To all of you who have believed in what we’ve been doing here since 2002, to all of you who have believed in me, in my leadership, to all of you who have stuck with me through very difficult times, to all of you who prayed for me: I’m sorry.

      For the embarrassment and the disappointment the events of the past few days have caused you, for what you as my supporters, many of you, have had to hear as you traveled around our city to beauty shops and barbershops, what you had to hear when you were in church this past Sunday from people who know that you have supported me.

      For those of you who have not always been Kwame Kilpatrick supporters (isn’t this most of the city?), but who lift up our city, who live in our city, who support this town in various ways, I truly apologize to each and every one of you individually and to the whole city.

      Most of all tonight, I want to make a public apology to my entire family, and specifically to the four people who I love the most in this world.

      First, I want to apologize to my sons, Jelani, Jalil and Jonas. For the first time in my life, I had to have a conversation with my 12-year-old twin sons about very grown-up things. It was, without a doubt, the hardest conversation that I’ve ever had in my entire life.

      Finally, and most importantly, I want to make a public apology to my wife, Carlita, who I fell in love with when I was 19 years old. We decided to build a family together, and we did that.

      Our marriage has not been perfect, but it has been great. Now, I put her in a situation which many couples deal with in the privacy of their own homes, but in our case, it’s on the front page of the newspaper. This dynamic, strong, caring woman has been forced to go through this very difficult experience because of me. I truly apologize to you.

      As many of you know, I’m not the type of person who displays my emotions in public, but I have to tell you I’ve felt more emotion in the last week than I have in the past 20 years. I’ve been truly hurting. I’ve been hurting because I know that many of you are hurting. And most of all, I’ve been hurting because I know my family is hurting. And I’m responsible for that.

      Over the past few days, there’s been some speculation about who is in charge of the city. Make no mistake about it, since 2002, I have been in charge of the city (unfortunately).

      There have been ups and downs, there have been hills and mountains and valleys, but through it all, I remained in charge of the city (what ups?). I believe we built a team here that understands the mission and focus and commitment that we must have to serve our citizens. We’ve done some amazing things, but we have a lot of work left to do (in 5 years, you’re gonna be blown away?).

      Over the past few days, there has also been a lot of speculation about me resigning from office. Let me be clear tonight: I would never quit on you (trust me, nobody would see it as that – they’d be happy). Ever. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and with your help, I’m going to continue to lead this city in getting the work done. I am truly blessed and grateful that my wife is beside me tonight, and she has some personal remarks of her own to make.

      Detroit, I am determined that we will keep moving forward. I am determined to continue the tremendous progress we are making in this city, in the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.

      Detroit, together we have managed to do great things. We have paved more streets than ever, we have built more new houses than ever. We have balanced our budget and wiped out a $300-million deficit.

      We have developed 75 buildings downtown, large and small, we have built seven new hotels, we have built three new rec centers in neighborhoods that have not seen rec centers in 20 years . We are building out our riverfront, and we are not stopping now (I’ll give him these things – that’s been a great improvement to Detroit).

      Detroit, please continue to pray for our family, for our city and for our continued progress. God bless you, Detroit. I love you, and I’ll see you at work tomorrow.

      The thing that stuck out to me the most here is the part that I bolded. Nowhere does he say that he’s hurting because he cheated on his wife or because he hurt his family, but becaue his family is hurting and the people of Detroit are hurting. He doesn’t admit that he’s the cause of this hurt and it makes it sound like the only reason that he’s sorry is because he got caught (which is probably true considering how many strippers in and out of Detroit he’s been involved with before).

  4. Thursday, January 31st
    1. Kwame Kilpatrick reports for work as usual.
    2. Some people weighed in on the Mayor’s speech:
      1. Diane Murphy from Sterling Heights: “Perjury’s not private.  I wanted him to say, ‘I lied and I’m sorry.  I screwed up.’  In his personal life, he may be squared away, but not his professional life.”
      2. Others were upset about the loss of the $9 million.
      3. Still others sypathized with Beatty (why – she wasn’t a scapegoat, she was his MISTRESS!).
      4. Stephen Henderson, a Free Press columnist said, “This is about sex with an employee.  About the ruined careers of three police officers.  About lies told under oath, in a courtroom.  And about $9 million in public money that was spent to settle lawsuits inspired by his personal behavior.”
  5. Saturday, February 2nd
    1. Norman Yatooma, an attorney representing Jonathan Bond, the son of Tamara Greene (a stripper known as Strawberry), who was shot on April 30th, 2003.  Yatooma is representing Bond in a federal lawsuit which claims that both police and citiy officials covered up her death.  Former Police Lt. Alvin Bowman said in a lawsuit that city officials transferred him out of the homicide division because he was investigating how Greene was killed.  She was rumored to have performed at the infamous Manoogian Mansion party in the fall of 2002.  (At the time, Attorney General Mike Cox dismissed the rumor as just a rumor.)  Bowman later left the department citing stress leave and then sued the city.  Bowman was awarded $200,000 for the lawsuit.  Now Yatooma is asking SkyTel to provide copies of incoming and outgoing text messages and calls, originating from any Detroit SkyTel messaging device from a list of 34 people.  Kilpatrick, his bodyguards Mike Martin and Loronzo Jones, Christine Beatty, former Police Chief Jerry Oliver, Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings, and Alvin Bowman are all on the list. 

And that’s what all has happened in Detroit involving Kilpatrick these past few days.

I think Kilpatrick will get investigated by the Council eventually, and will be impeached if he doesn’t eventually resign.  There’s no way he can avoid it – he perjured.  He admitted to this – he said he cheated, and that means he perjured.  He needs to be booted, and so do half of his corrupt associates, like Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Involved in Another Scandal

January 26, 2008

Well, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has got himself into (another!) scandal.  How the man ever got re-elected is still a question I’ve never been able to figure out the answer to – heck, even my hard core Democratic grandma can’t stand him.

So, here’s what’s going on.  According to a Free Press article, the Mayor and Christine Beatty, his Chief of Staff, had an affair.  No biggie right?  Wrong – unfortunately (or I guess fortunately for Detroiters if it gets this moron out of office), Kilpatrick and Beatty denied having an affair … while under oath … during a trial (a whistle-blower lawsuit brought by former cops Gary Brown and Harold Nelthrope)… the outcome of which cost the city $9 million.  It also says that the two misled jurors when they said that they did not fire Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown back in 2003.

So, today Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy got involved after first seeing allegations in the Free Press article.  Here’s an excerpt from her press conference:

There are people who mistakenly believe that this office has been conducting an investigation. That could not be farther from the truth. And we have received no information whatsoever from any police agency.

News reports and newspaper articles are not investigations and they are not evidence. We cannot and will not at any time make any potential charging decision based on that.

However, here is a decision that I have made. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office will conduct an independent investigation that will be fair, impartial and thorough.

We will not be rushed by anyone or anything. We will only be influenced by the evidence and the facts that developed and nothing, I mean, nothing else.

Then, Kilpatrick decides to call Worthy and tell her that he will remain neutral in her upcoming re-election.  Some people say that it was only suspicious, while others say it was a conflict of interest (most likely to get her off the case).  Knowing Kwame, he couldn’t have had good intentions, but I have FULL FAITH in Worthy that she’ll do a good job in this investigation, and hopefully we can prosecute the crap out of this failed Mayor!

In the mean time, Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams has taken over the job of Mayor while Kilpatrick has “fled” to Florida with his family.

I think this picture sums up what Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson described as a “hell of a self-made mess”:

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said he will hold off on making any decisions to investigate or prosecute until Wayne County (Kym Worthy) is done with its investigation (and if they do prosecute, then he would not).

If convicted, Kilpatrick and Beatty could face up to 15 years in prison, under Michigan law.

It’s kinda funny, regarding the lawsuit and questioning about the (at that point alleged) affair, Kilpatrick said, “I think it was pretty demoralizing to her — you have to know her — but it’s demoralizing to me as well.  My mother is a congresswoman [and a bad one at that - she's opposed to the war in Afghanistan - who even Democrats mostly support, not to mention that her office was terribly disorganized when I went to just get a pass for the Congressional chambers].  There have always been strong women around me.  My aunt is a state legislator.  I think it’s absurd to assert that every woman that works with a man is a whore.  I think it’s disrespectful not just to Christine Beatty but to women who do a professional job that they do every single day.  And it’s also disrespectful to their families as well.”

My best wishes to Kym Worthy in her investigation.  Let’s boot this guy out of office!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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