Respectful Insolence

And there was much rejoicing!

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I’m a Detroit guy.

I was born there and raised there for the first ten years of my life. After that, my family moved to the suburbs, but still Detroit’s my hometown, even though I spent 20 years away from southeast Michigan. Consequently, I really, really hated what has been happening there since January. That’s when text messages revealed that Detroit’s lying, philandering mayor Kwame Kilpatrick revealed that he and the woman with whom he had been having an affair, Christine Beatty, had lied under oath about their affair in a whistle-blowing trial.

Now the chickens are finally coming home to roost, and Kilpatrick has been forced to accept a plea deal that forces him out of office and into jail for 120 days, as well as to pay some restitution to the city.

So what? You might say. Well, the reason for the whistleblowing trial in the first place was that Kilpatrick had fired Deputy Chief Police Gary Brown because he had been investigating potential wrongdoing in light of a rumored wild party at the Manoogian Mansion (the mayoral mansion) at which stripper named Tamara Greene was claimed to have performed. Inconveniently, Greene later ended up shot to death under mysterious circumstances. Brown investigated the Mayor and his bodyguards, for which he ended up being fired. He then sued the mayor.

Here’s where things get bad. The city ended up settling for $8.5 million. However, City Council was never told that the reason the city had settled was because the plaintiffs’ attorney had gotten a hold of sexually explicit text messages showing that Kilpatrick and Beatty had lied under oath to cover up their affair. To me the affair, although a betrayal of their marital vows, wasn’t in and of itself why Kilpatrick had to go. It was his wasting taxpayer money and using his office to cover up his affair and perjury. Things got even more convoluted, as can be seen here. The mayor even allegedly shoved a police officer trying to serve a warrant to one of his friends, resulting in felony charges for assaulting an officer, charges to which he is now pleading no contest.

Through it all, Kilpatrick continued to exhibit extreme arrogance. Instead of resigning for the good of the city early on, he fought every new charge and allegation tooth and nail, in the process trashing anyone who criticized him. When the City Council tried to convene hearings to remove him, he managed to successfully challenge the proceedings in court. However, when Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm decided, at the behest of Detroit City Council, to begin hearings over whether she should exercise her power under the Michigan State constitution to remove Kilpatrick for abusing public trust, the clock began ticking. When Kilpatrick’s last ditch legal appeals challenging the impartiality of the Governor failed, the writing was on the wall. He had to settle or almost certainly lose his only bargaining chip of consequence: The Office of Mayor.

So now Kilpatrick will soon be gone (although I can’t figure out why he was given two weeks to resign instead of being booted out today). I’m glad. Very glad. Detroit has enough more than enough troubles. It didn’t need this huge black eye of a scandal, which had made the national–even international–news. Worse, the ongoing soap opera of the mayor trying to hold on to his office, in essence making it clear that he wasn’t going to be removed from office until the Governor or a judge pried it from his hands, had paralyzed the city, bringing all progress towards addressing its many, many problems to a screeching halt, where it remained for nearly eight months. At the same time, it’s also sad. There was so much potential there, and Kilpatrick, the youngest candidate ever elected Mayor, actually accomplished some good things for Detroit; that is, before his own arrogance and sense of entitlement brought him down.

There should be much rejoicing in Motown today, although there will be even more rejoicing two weeks hence, when Kilpatrick finally leaves. Maybe Detroit can finally put this scandal behind it and try to recover from the damage that Kilpatrick inflicted on the city.

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Comments

  1. #1 David C. Brayton
    September 4, 2008

    Boy, how I long for the honest, halcyon days of Coleman Young.

  2. #2 Green Eagle
    September 4, 2008

    You certainly have every right to post the above material, but may I suggest this, given the purpose of your blog: If you are going to make political posts, you had better gear up to deal with Sarah Palin, who doesn’t believe in evolution, global warming, stem cell research, sex education, or virtually anything else that is based on science. This woman is a poster child for everything you are fighting against, and the world could use your help in dealing with her.

  3. #3 KC
    September 4, 2008

    David C. Brayton, you stole the words from me mouth. I’ll be glad all this is gone and past.

    Hey. So, how about the Wings? This year looks good for them.

  4. #4 Mattie
    September 4, 2008

    I know I’m throwing a Ding Dong! Kwame’s Gone! party in two weeks. haha.

    My city has been run on hip hop for too long. It’s time for someone who is actually interested in bettering the city and not running it into the ground to be Mayor.

    I will say that although I am happy that Kwame’s out, I’m definitely not encouraged with Cockrel Jr., as interim mayor and batshit crazy Coniors as President of city council.

    I think the big problem Detroit has is that it’s politicians aren’t ever voted in because of their records or their politics. It’s name recognition only because Detroiters don’t know a damn thing that’s going on in their own city.

  5. #5 Bruce Small
    September 4, 2008

    Morals of the story:

    It is best to behave yourself.

    If you don’t behave yourself, never, ever lie under oath when asked about it.

  6. #6 Orac
    September 4, 2008

    Yeah, when it comes to politicians it’s always the coverup that gets ‘em. Always.

    If Kwame had just told the truth on the stand, he’d almost certainly still be Mayor, and he wouldn’t be pleading guilty to felony perjury charges. True, his marriage might not have survived, but that would have been his own damned fault.

  7. #7 D. C. Sessions
    September 4, 2008

    This woman is a poster child for everything you are fighting against, and the world could use your help in dealing with her.

    I don’t think it’s really necessary to light up the searchlight with a box outline yet. In the case at hand, Respectful Insolence ™ may be overkill.

    Frequent airing of her own speeches should be more than enough, especially if you intercut between ones where she not only contradicts herself but slams the positions she promoted.

  8. #8 I am so wise
    September 4, 2008

    The mayor of the East Coast Detriot (Baltimore) is next in line for a firing and jail time. At least with her, she may be corrupt, but she can manage the city.

    For the record, Detriot and DC are the lead standards by which Baltimore views itself. As long as we are better than you, we’re okay.

  9. #9 Azkyroth
    September 4, 2008

    So how long do you think it’ll be before some troll shows up to claim that Kilpatrick is just a victim of racism?

  10. #10 Dr. T
    September 4, 2008

    “So how long do you think it’ll be before some troll shows up to claim that Kilpatrick is just a victim of racism?”

    Two hours and five minutes.

    Kilpatrick is just a victim of racism.

    He got ahead in politics by riding the wave of anti-white racism that exists among the black majority in Detroit. If not for that racism, he probably would not have been elected mayor, and none of this scandalous behavior would have occurred. (Well, at least it wouldn’t have occurred in the mayor’s mansion!)

  11. #11 bug_girl
    September 4, 2008

    I’m really, really hoping Dr. T is just a troll.

    I agree to all you’ve said here Orac–and do call me for a beer if you’re ever in Lansing!

  12. #12 Brian X
    September 5, 2008

    The one thought I couldn’t get out of my head every time more news about the collapse of the Kilpatrick administration made it to Massachusetts was just how mobster-fabulous Kilpatrick seemed. I mean, he dresses and carries himself like someone out of a gangster movie, like Marcellus Wallace or Tony Soprano but in an expensive (and somewhat tacky) suit. It may be massive confirmation bias on my part, but in the news reports I’ve seen, he just looks like a sleaze.

  13. #13 anonimouse
    September 5, 2008

    Sharpe James thinks that Kilpatrick’s got issues.

  14. #14 Nuthatch
    September 5, 2008

    Well, it’s hardly over yet, with at least two more scheduled court cases and an FBI probe still churning related to Kwame’s administration. And in what should have been his contrition speech last night, he instead talked about all the great things he did and thanked Detroit for “setting him up for a comeback”! I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see this intriguing city with its rich history truly be reborn and appreciated.

    Willing to meet up with you and BugGirl next time you’re back home!

  15. #15 Toaster
    September 5, 2008

    I always found it odd that Kilpatrick needed a large armed escort at all times. I mean, sure, 8 Mile is not a place I’d want to be lost on foot at night, but shouldn’t the mayor of a town be comfortable enough to feel safe in it?

    I dunno though, I live in A2 and our mayor is boring.

    On an aside, why the bloody hell did Detroit decide to build its tiny mass transit system on platforms above the roads!? I moved here from STL, where mass transit is slightly more logical, and have always been dumbfounded that Detroit would waste money on big cantilevered raised rails when it could have easily converted the middle lane of all the one-way streets for streetcars.

  16. #16 Capt. Craig
    September 5, 2008

    Green Bird:
    Mighty white of you to tell Orac he has every right to post and it seems you have now moved from BDS to PDS.
    Sarah believes in evolution and creationism.
    Sarah believes in real science not political BS global warmism.
    Stem cells; you have a point but science is working around that so it’s not the big issue it once was.
    Sarah believes in sex education just not the kind you want where the parent is out of the loop and need I say it, out of the responsibility!

    Now!
    “…virtually anything else that is based on science…”
    Is a pure unadulterated neanderthal driven ad hominem attack which makes you look really stupid. Just for laughs:
    Sarah is a hunter, she knows about ballistics,that comes under physics, physics is a science.
    Sarah is a pilot, she learned about Bernoulli’s principle, lift/drag ratios and more, that’s all science too.
    Sarah, I’m sure knows quite a lot about science and I would be willing to bet dollars to donuts that she has forgotten more science than Obama has ever learned! I think you should get out more often as it appears you really are living up to your name.

  17. #17 Heather
    September 5, 2008

    As a native of Detroit who now lives elsewhere, I was thrilled to read the news. FINALLY is all I can say; it took far too long and 120 days is a joke.

  18. #18 Sam
    September 6, 2008

    As a former Detroiter, my favorite bit came from his resignation speech:

    “Detroit, you done set me up for a comeback.”

    A comeback to what, precisely?

  19. #19 Ace of Sevens
    September 7, 2008

    What about Tamara Greene? Did we even find out why she got shot?

  20. #20 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  21. #21 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  22. #22 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  23. #23 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  24. #24 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  25. #25 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  26. #26 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  27. #27 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  28. #28 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  29. #29 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  30. #30 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  31. #31 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  32. #32 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  33. #33 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  34. #34 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.

  35. #35 Monado
    September 8, 2008

    It was the “Inconvenient Witness” program.