Jun 23, 2010

Time to send a politician with integrity to Congress

Disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was indicted this afternoon on 19 fraud-related charges by a federal grand jury, including 10 counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, five counts of filing false tax returns and one count of tax evasion.

According to the Detroit News, the indictment, the most high profile of a City Hall corruption investigation that has spanned more than five years, alleges that Kilpatrick used the nonprofit Kilpatrick Civic Fund to pay for his mayoral campaigns in 2001 and 2005, as well as personal items for him, his family and friends.

The news also said, “although sources and some court documents have indicated that investigators have looked at the role Kilpatrick's father Bernard played in his son's administration, he was not named in today's indictment.,“ however, the investigation is still ongoing.

“A federal grand jury subpoenaed records and testimony related to possible abuses in fundraising and expenditures connected with the former mayor's nonprofit foundation, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Detroit, the mother of the former mayor and ex-wife of Bernard Kilpatrick, was twice subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury, first in March and again this month.”

As far as I’m concerned, Kwame Kilpatrick is old news, and I’m more concerned with his mother. We simply need someone in Congress who is above reproach, like State Sen. Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit. Last year’s primary showed Kilpatrick was vulnerable because of the scandal that sent her son to jail, and she was almost unseated in the primary after 13 years in Congress.

I want Democrats to be above reproach. Democrats like Eliot Spitzer resign, but Republicans like David “Hooker” Vitter, Mark “Appalachian Trail” Sanford and John Ensign continue to serve.

You can’t fault a mother for defending her son, but when so many people are involved in the scandal - from associates and family to friends - it’s hard to believe she is 100 percent clean. But the perception is there

But Clarke took the high ground, and he was quoted in the Detroit News saying, “
said the indictment is "sad news for (Kilpatrick) and his family."

"Even though it's just an indictment, it reinforces the perception that Detroit politicians are self-serving and dishonest," he said, who added he won't make the indictment a campaign issue. "That image we must change in order to change the region economically. Detroit is the brand for the entire region, if not the state."


carraig said...

Keep the focus where it belongs. As near as I can tell the integrity issues are almost all in the Democratic camp.

Truly, they're either not smart enough to avoid getting caught or there's just culture that accepts corruption as the norm in there.

Communications guru said...

Seriously? We have a long way to go to reach the level of Republican corruption. I’m happy to see Kwame Kilpatrick brought to justice, even though it’s very unusual for a first time offender with no history of violence to get jail time. I would like to see someone above reproach replace his mother. I would also like to see Vitter, Sanford and Ensign suffer the same fate as Elliott Spitzer. Wouldn’t you?