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  1. #1

    Default This should be required reading [Kilpatick Looting of Detroit]

    This article is not quite as partisan as the title sounds. It makes the point (among others) that both state and federal officials, who normally monitor municipal corruption, turned a blind eye to what were clearly both corrupt and bad business practices in Detroit. It does have the one fundamental flaw, about which I emailed the author. He refers to Detroit's political machine. I don't think Detroit has had a political machine in the typical sense in ages. Machines might be corrupt, but they did tend to be centrally organized and still provide some governance. In our case, I think, the corruption was widespread but not top down. Everyone took what they could, all but abandoning any pretense of public service. Government needs government workers, but it does not exist for government workers. Or shouldn't, anyway.

    When Detroit finally emerges from the mess (and, for the record, I am confident it will), there should be some sort of Truth and Reconcilliation Commission-style group to study how things went wrong, and what procedures and policies will keep things honest and efficient in the future. The idea wouldn't be to persecute and prosecute (let the prosecutors do that, where applicable), but determine how to prevent the cronyism, nepotism, misappropriation, etc. in the future.

  2. #2


    I don't think you know history, then.

    I propose the McNamara regime as the agent of leadership in the GENERATIONS of corruption which followed.

    They were the ones who stacked the deck. Remember, at the time of Kwhyme's extraordinary boldness...who was governor?! A sweetheart McNamara alumni.

    Who was in D.C.?! Kwhyme's Mommie.

    Do we think Conyers had enough power and sway also, to affect a 'blind eye' to it all?!

    Of course, there IS the pesky conspiracy theory that since ol' Coleman was a military pilot, and within the culture of Top Secret clearance and protection...he was 'given' the city to do with as he order to affect exactly what we are suffering today, as some huge social experiment.

    I still don't grasp that yet, but if true it WOULD explain a whole excrement-load of mysteries. Say, like how they could never quite pin anything on him...because there is no way his regime wasn't corrupt.

    I knew one of his top-five guys who claimed only city-paid salary, but was steadily buying adjoining units on one of the top floors of the Lafayette building. With the river view.

    And he bought many, many, many, many thousands of dollars of hifi over the years. Had one of the most impressive systems KEF reference monitors and ConradJohnson electronics.

    Hardly the stuff affordable on $45k annual income...

    So's been organized. How do you think they slammed and crammed all the judge seats at so many levels of government?! They studied and parsed the divisions of power, and made sure their people were in place...surely, should one of their own get a wee bit big for his britches. the Kwhymeister. Bitches.

    Why do you think Ms. Worthy tried to exclude the ENTIRE 36th District Court...the Judicial Ghetto, according to one very frustrated but ethical city attorney I used to cross paths with over a lunch counter?!

    Cheers, thanks for the wishful thinking, though.
    Last edited by Gannon; May-06-12 at 06:44 PM.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Gannon View Post
    Of course, there IS the pesky conspiracy theory that since ol' Coleman was a military pilot, and within the culture of Top Secret clearance and protection...he was 'given' the city to do with as he order to affect exactly what we are suffering today, as some huge social experiment.
    Coleman was a bombardier and navigator. He was not a pilot.

  4. #4


    The affirmative action period in Detroit has certainly stacked the decks in favor of whoever wanted to keep power which henceforth suburbanized the region to the nth degree. So the city administrations were corrupt and inefficient, but let's not forget that cities have had these problems along these lines for the longest time. It doesnt compute that a second wave of black immigration threw a wrench in the great machine that was Detroit. I feel sorry for all Detroiters of every shade, who cannot after a lifetime of decent contributions capitalize on the sale of their property to ensure a better retirement.

    The result of the transfer to black power in Detroit proper was that it ensured a slow, painful failure of the incoming Coleman and subsequent administrations, much like what happened in countries like Hati. It was very important to some people that black Detroit should not work as an experiment. Regardless of the stories of cronyism and banditry, what failed in Detroit is the whole region, and the systematic thought that promoted the deep divisions between blacks and whites.

    I applaud Gilbert's efforts at rebuilding the net of downtown, which in turn should strengthen the whole metropolis. I think Detroit needs business leaders who are aware of how important it is to build M1, restore confidence and majesty to the city center, and bring some unity, abolish the racial division and classism in any way possible across the metro.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    Coleman was a bombardier and navigator. He was not a pilot.
    Thanks for the correction, Wheels. I wonder if they have to have the same clearance...I thought all military pilots needed Top Secret level, but I'm sure there'll be somebody who might correct that, too.


  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Gannon View Post
    I don't think you know history, then.
    Well, Gannon, I wouldn't say Detroit has had a traditional politcal machine operation in ages. With Tammany Hall, the Daleys, Dan Pendergast and their ilk, two things seem clear: there was someone in charge (the Boss); and things still got done. Corrupt as Kwame was or Ficano is, neither is truly large and in charge, or operated an effective government. One reason that old time bosses are not always viewed negatively is that they derived their power, ultimately, from getting stuff done. They provided make work jobs, infrastructure, helped out the widows & orphans, etc. Not advocating them at all, but Detroit's recent leaders (including CAY) really didn't do that. The closest recent example, I think, would be McNamara. But I think Detroit and Wayne County political operations are not the same; there is overlap, but there are very different power bases and agendas involved (racial, geographic, and economic). I guess Detroit (ironic, considering our industrial history) is missing a political machine because there is no MACHINE. Lots of parts strewn on the garage floor, perhaps, but not put together into any kind of useful gadget.

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