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Turning Blue in Detroit

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I don’t watch much TV and limit my intake of newspaper reporting to weekends only. Because of this, my “news” is rather “olds” but there’s one thing that has been glaringly apparent in the last six months and that is this:

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick: He’s the bad joke that just won’t go away.

In the last half year since he has been accused (rightly so) of perjuring himself in a court of law, negotiating an astronomical settlement with a couple of cops he had a hand in firing, having at least one extra-marital affair (with his chief of staff), spending lavishly and uncontrollably, Mr. Kilpatrick has somehow managed to maintain both a low profile and his title. In his refusal to step down as mayor, he has taken the stand of hunkering down in the Manoogian Mansion, while definitely under siege by Prosecutor Kym Worthy and is still able to sidestep the press. The mayor has declined most photo ops, and even turned down an appearance with Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. He claims not to want to steal Barack’s thunder, but it could be that he was dis-invited by the Democratic hopeful. With friends like Kilpatrick, who needs enemies?

His low profile may be a good thing for him, because unbelievably, the dirt appears to get dirtier.

My last couple of newspapers contained headlines screaming of text messages suppressed, then the acquisition of new text messages of other Kilpatrick friends, colleagues and relatives, including his father, his sister, police chief Ella Bully-Cummings, etc. It appears that the mayor may have had dalliances with other women besides his wife and his chief of staff. This would ordinarily mean nothing, but it's the opinion that if a man will lie about one affair, he might just lie about other things as well.

For some reason that I couldn’t fathom, neither City Council nor Governor Granholm wanted to step forward to remove the self-proclaimed Hip Hop Mayor. It’s no wonder, with the headlines of the next day. A can of whoop-ass was opened on the Detroit City Council, with claims of corruption among some of those who should have been asking for a resignation.

Is no one clean here?

I have to shake my head when reading the details of how certain council members were bought with as little as $2,000. If you’re a council person about to accept a bribe, wouldn’t you make it worth your while and ask for a little more?

Is everyone in public service there for the express purpose of lining his/her wallet?

I’ve held my breath since January, waiting for a positive resolution to the morass that is the city of Detroit. Yes, I’ve turned blue in the meantime. Instead of being cheered by the hope of a progressive momentum, I’m left breathless waiting for the next steel-toed boot to drop. I’ve also turned “blue” as in losing my rosy outlook of what could be. Despondency is the next step.

I own a building and a business in Detroit, and had I known that all it takes is a few well-placed greenbacks to grease the palms of some key civic leaders in order to get things moving, I might have considered it. It would have saved me a few months of dealing with the fire marshal to get a piece of paper signed. I have seen this over many years of living here, and it’s not just the mayor’s office or city council that is touched by corruption, waste and inefficiency. It appears that all public services, from the mayor, to the city tax department, to the school board, to the water district, to social services, are involved. It all smacks of a level of ineptness and a smidgeon of greed. It’s an attitude that starts from the top and trickles down from there.

While this might seem like a tirade against That Which is South of Eight Mile, in actuality, I would love to see the city turn around, both economically and politically. My business counts on a healthy Detroit. But with the entire world watching the drama, who in his/her right mind would want to invest in a sinkhole like this one? On the other hand, there’s a part of me that holds out hope.

There’s the other part of me that doesn’t want to turn blue and stop breathing before that happens.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • Ruvy

    I see nobody has stopped by to comment, Joanne. Tell you what. If you stop by the articles I put out about Israel that don’t interest you, I’ll stop by these articles about Detroit that don’t interest me….

    I have trouble being overly impressed by the level of corruption you describe. When you’ve lived in a Brooklyn neighborhood controlled by the mob, watched your city nearly go bankrupt from inefficiency and corruption, and live in a country where the “crime minister” is a bought off flunky of the American government trying every trick he can to hold on to an office he ill deserves, the shenanigans of Mayor Kwame Whatisface just don’t impress….

    But hopefully things will get better in your home town before you indeed go blue in the face from frustration.

  • Arch Conservative

    What I want to know is why the people in MI havn’t tried to impeach Granholm for gross negligence and incompetence.

    She is America’s worst governor by far.

  • Ruvy… it’s not neglect. Really. There are so many bloggers, so little time. Actually, I read a lot more than I comment on, but I will make a more conscientious attempt in the future.

    Right after I posted this, I learned of another wrinkle. FoxDetroit’s morning news anchor, Fanchon Stinger, was somehow folded into the mix. (Oops, I mean EX-morning anchor. They wisely heaved her overboard.)

    I’m with you, Arch. Granholm is a worse governor than the one at Louisiana’s helm during Hurricane Katrina. Our disaster is Detroit.

  • Arch Conservative

    You have multiple disasters Joanne.

    Violence in Detroit.


    7.7 statewide unemployment

    Your state has become a big vat of quicksand through which people’s lives are getting sucked into and Granholm and the Democrats in the MI state legislature are a big reason why.

    I saw a report recently in which it was reported that MI’s economy is the worst of any economy seen since the Great Depression.

    She needs to go.

  • I so agree with you, but I’m surrounded by Democrats who are loving it on the government’s dole.

    Try being a small business owner doing business here, Arch. Then add to that being hogtied by bureaucrats at the Secretary of State’s office (our licensing agents) and extraordinarily high taxes.

    I’ve been after the other half to sell out and start elsewhere, but it’s tough when you’re our age. Besides that, whatever real estate we own is now worth less than what we paid for it.

    It’s hard to figure out when enough is enough. But Granholm and her cronies don’t have to worry. They’ll have a pension and health insurance for life, and will probably spend it in Florida.

    Happy days…

  • Arch Conservative

    So are you going to vote for Obama this fall in the hopes that he can deliver on all of the failed promises the Dems in your state dropped the ball on?

    I’m no big fan of Mccain but to me to vote for Obama in a state like MI just seem slike playing a game of “follow the leader” off the edge of a cliff.

  • AC, I’m an independent, so my vote could swing either way. However, what has occurred here in the last few years has had me leaning a little right. (Scratch that, make it very right.)

    I can’t attest to the intelligence of my fellow Michiganians, but perhaps they hold more hope in their hearts than I do. That may account for the voting by lemmings.

  • Clavos


    Aren’t y’all “Michiganders?”

    That’s what my Yooper buddy calls himself. But of course, he’s a Yooper.

  • Michiganites?
    or Mishi-goan-e-ins?

  • I’m a transplant. I’m in exile. I refer to myself as an enslaved Michiga-maniac.

  • It’s supposedly Micheganders as I understand it from a former GF’s family who lived there.


  • I thought it was Micheners.

    I’m pretty sure I read a 32,000 page novel on the subject once.

  • MAOZ

    Isn’t it Meshugges?

  • Lou Kasman

    Continually I read and hear that Gov. Granholm is a terrible governor. But what other governor has had to deal with 400,000 unemployed citizens, major industry of state in shambles shrinking tax revenues and more. Gov. Schwarzenegger of CA has just raised cost of public universities by 46% and has asked for billions in federal government “bailout”. Additionally, NY Gov. Peterson is now going to tax soda pop and ITunes downloads among other things. Gov. Granholm has kept funding of schools untouched, she has turned community colleges into vocational schools. She tried for a year to get wind turbines and other energy enterprises that has transferable skills from auto industry, but Senate Majority leader Mike Bishop (R) blocked it, Now other states have jumped ahead, i.e., Texas, Toledo, NJ and more. Detroit is now compared to Katrina with Detroit worse. So tell me again why she is such a bad governor.