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Let us now praise Steven Hood

by: Grebner

Sat May 10, 2014 at 00:59:52 AM EDT

As we watch John Conyers' 50-year career in Congress burnng, let's spend a few minutes to recognize exactly how it occurred. Time to bayonet the wounded.

Conyers has long surrounded himself with crooks and fools.  If we need to cite examples, I suppose we might mention his wife.  Or the campaign manager of his 1993 Detroit mayoral campaign, who converted at least $100,000 of the campaign's money into cocaine, and then inhaled it. There are many more cases, but my point is simply that disaster has always been lurking around Conyers, and only luck that carried him this far.

The present disaster was brought about by hiring Steve Hood, who was paid something north of $5 per gross signature, and who seems to have farmed out the work to people even more incompetent and dishonest than himself. 

Grebner :: Let us now praise Steven Hood

Let's put aside for the moment that two of the circulators weren't registered to vote, and that one is an actual fugitive from the law. Recall that 40% of the submitted signatures were themselves not registered to vote in the right district - an amazing percentage which betokens a complete lack of interest by the circulators in what they're doing.  Having gathered a heap of trash, Hood didn't bother to have it checked against the voter rolls, which means he must have paid without regard to validity. So there was no reason to expect the circulators to do anything but turn in as many filled-in lines as they could, without regard to legal requirements.

Hood has been a fixture of the "Detroit political consultant" scene for quite a while - ten years?  fifteen? - and I can't recall anything he's done that seems inconsistent with this level of shoddiness.  My hope is that each of us will devote a little bit of attention to remembering this acheivement, so every time his name surfaces, somebody will blurt out - "Isn't he the guy....?"  I'm sure he can find another field in which to ply his manifold talents.

I won't be surprised if John Pirich is able to salvage the situation, probably in Federal court.  If he does, he'll certainly be earning his ample fee.  His challenge comes not from a specific legal issue, but the fact that NOTHING was done right, and the more scrutiny the petitions receive, the worse they'll look. 

Is this where Conyers' luck finally runs out?  Or is this just one more close call?  Only time, and the courts, will tell... 

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The Hoods
The Hoods are a pretty prominent family in Detroit, and it seems to me that Steve gets by on his family name more than the rest of them.  He's certainly not his brother, that's for sure.  I've found his political analysis to be average, at best.  He's really good at stating the very obvious.  

That said, he always seems professional, which makes this thing even more galling.  He's not some shady character, some nobody from nowhere.  Hood is not just some guy hired off the street, though, apparently, that's essentially what Hood seems to have done on his end of things.

Apropos of maybe nothing, or maybe very little, but I was surprised to learn from reporting, yesterday, that State Sen. Bert Johnson - who ran against Conyers last cycle, I believe - is Conyers campaign chair.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  It seems obvious thinking about it, right now, that he'd want to get under Conyer's wing so that he has the chance of becoming his successor.  He's quoted in the News as being very eager to help Conyers launch a write-in when it comes to that point.

I'm sure Steve didn't deliberately sabotage Conyers
As you say, Steve just isn't very good at what he does.  He cuts corners, follows the crowd, and charges too much.  So why does he get hired?

When I think of political consultants, I think of them providing of services, not just giving advice.  I think of drafting campaign literature, conducting polls, recording and placing broadcast ads, organizing door-to-door canvassing.  If the Steve Hoods and Sam Riddles of the world limited themselves to high-price bloviating, I wouldn't mind so much.  But they take it upon themselves to write literature and conduct polls - and collect signatures - and they do it SO BADLY.

I'd love to hear a list of "Detroit political consultants" whom you'd honestly recommend.  People who can be counted on for quality service at a reasonable price.  

Normally, the incompetence is only visible in the ineffectual campaigns they run.  I'm seizing upon this event because it uncontrovertibly points to the incompetence of a specific person.

[ Parent ]
I just find this so hard to understand.
Doesn't Conyers have ANY volunteers? Anybody loyal to him? Nobody he's done favors for, who could pass around a sheet at the restaurant -- for free?

Isn't there a District Committee? What am I missing here?

He still has Monica
I think she collected seven signatures for him, which were accepted as valid.

The problem with never having a serious opponent is that it causes any potential campaign aparatus to atrophy and decay.

[ Parent ]
More Grebner, please. I always love reading your stuff.

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