Friday, February 24, 2006

Lessons In (Im)politics

Have you heard about what's happening with the Detroit Zoo?


  1. My god, hasn't anybody put L. Brooks Patterson on meds yet?

  2. Let's be fair Mythago, its not just Mr. Patterson, this is Peyton's Place the public trough edition . . . lets take a look at the personas dramatis:

    Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick - son of a local congresswoman, routinely listed as one of the worst mayor's in America, and routinely accused of abusing his position/authority (up to and including allegations that he was involved in the firing of the police official who led an investigation into his activities.) He gets top billing because after putting together a pretty good sounding bill he drops it off on the way out of town on a fact finding trip to Africa (with his mother). It occurs to me that with a huge deficit at home (among other problems) he might have wanted to stay in Detroit and deal with the issues. What is a mayor doing in a foreign country "fact finding" anyway?

    Monica Conyers - newly elected council member who is the wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers (does anyone get elected in Detroit without being related to someone already in power?), justified her vote against the bill by suggesting that Detroit's major corporations should directly fund the zoo. Mind you, these same companies are in the midst of massive lay offs, but hey, if you want to expend your political capital on lobbying for money for local elephants instead of local people . . . I guess it's good to have a spouse who is a congressman.

    Barbara Rose Collins - former congresswoman, lost an election to the Mayor's mother after holding a fundraiser in a strip club, and in edition to (pretty blatantly) just wanting to stick a thumb in the Kilpatrick family's eye justified her vote by saying, "This is not a plantation . . . Black folks aren't owned by white folks any more."

    Oakland County Executive for Life, L. Brooks Patterson (he was old and had been there pretty much forever before I left Michigan fifteen years ago), spread oil on the waters by saying, "I would rather own a '48 Buick than own Barbara-Rose Collins", adding that the city council members themselves belonged in the zoo. When I was a kid, Patterson used to win elections by blaming everything that was wrong in the world on Detroit's Mayor for Life Coleman Young. It appears he has found a new "straw man".


  3. The best blog coverage I have seen about this has been on Detroit Blog.

    Personally, I cant remember a time when this wasnt the nature of politics in the city of Detroit. I have yet to figure out why that is so.

  4. The Detroit city council is the creature of its structure: nine members, all elected at large, from the whole city. Typically, 125 candidates run in the primary, and the top 18 get to compete in the runoff for the top 9 spots, but the top 9 in the primary are usually identical to the top 9 in the general.

    Having a neighborhood base is worthless for getting on city council. Rather, people who get elected are celebrities who already have citywide fame from, e.g., playing baseball, appearing in a movie, or having the same name as a famous person, perhaps a relative.

    It's in nobody's political interest to worry about whether the garbage gets picked up or the streets are snowplowed in Jeff-Chalmers, say, or North Rosedale Park, so no one does. Instead, they compete to say ever-crazier stuff that will make headlines and guarantee their re-election.

  5. Oh, I'm not blaming L. Brooks alone. I just can't believe he's still running around flapping his gums. Maybe Old King Cole's death finally put him all the way over.


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