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Oakland County, polls, and Kwame Kilpatrick

by: Eric B.

Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:08:19 PM EDT


Could this be the year that tips Oakland County to the Democratic Party?  Party leadership thinks it might.

Party officials said they will target two state House races and seek to win a majority of the county board of commissioners, on top of a congressional race already on the radar of the national party. If successful, they would add to Democratic successes in the county in recent statewide elections for president, governor and senate.

I don't think it's a secret that Oakland County is also key to the odds of the Democrats winning Michigan in the presidential race, which makes it critical for the Democratic candidate -- I'm guessing it'll be Obama -- to win the thing come November.  That is to say, without a very strong showing in Oakland County, Obama won't win Michigan and if he doesn't win Michigan there's only a very slim chance he can win the presidency (most people say no chance, but I dissent from that this year).

Currently, John McCain enjoys a very slim lead in Michigan (statistically insignificant, matter of fact), unless you factor in the very unlikely race of Obama-Clinton versus McCain-Romney (I'd prefer Kathleen Sebellius, who the Republicans are apparently engaging with more wedge issue nonsense no one's going to care about come November).

Eric B. :: Oakland County, polls, and Kwame Kilpatrick

Meanwhile, another poll shows that a majority (58 percent) in Oakland County want the governor to exercise her authority and remove Kwame Kilpatrick from office.  Statewide, although a vast majority of people want to see him leave office, they prefer that he do it under their own steam.  When the question is phrased as whether he should be compelled to do so by the governor, 40 percent said they thought the legal process should play out.

Although I don't know that there is any quantifiable way of knowing whether a Kilpatrick scandal would hurt Obama in Oakland County come November, it does raise interesting questions about how the governor approaches this is perceived there.  If Oakland County residents are anywhere near as cynical about government as the rest of the state has gotten, it's not inconceivable that it might be interpreted as Democrats protecting one of their own, the corrupt mayor of a city with which the county shares a history of strife.  If that's the case, it's not hard to suggest that how the issue is resolved could impact the Democrat's chances for winning the White House.

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Who cares what Oakland County thinks about Kwame? (4.00 / 2)
I live in Oakland County, and I don't see why the opinion of anybody outside of Wayne County should impact Gov. Granholm's considerations. Kwame was elected by the people of Detroit, and they are his constituency - not residents of the suburbs.

Detroit, and ONLY Detroit should decide what to do with Kilpatrick (4.00 / 2)
Do I want want Detroit telling us how to run Livingston County? No. Do I want Ann Arbor telling us how to run Livingston County? HELL NO. (And I didn't agree with the Detroit school board takeover either for that matter)

And Detroit has the same attitude about Oakland County. Just as many of us Livingston natives get irked when some people from the tri county area move here and then tell us how to run things as this is how it was done in Farmington Hills/Novi/West Bloomfield, Detroiters get irked when people move out of their city and then tell them how to run the city they left.

Detroit elected their officals. They can unelect their officials. It's their place to do that, not Oakland County, not Green Oak, not even suburban Wayne County.  

"He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security" - Benjamin Franklin

Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP


Yikes (4.00 / 1)
I don't believe I just gave RM a 4, but why are people polling non-residents on a public official that doesn't represent them? I know. More of the us vs. them racial divide that the media keeps playing innocent about. "What... who me??? I'm not a racist!"

As someone who formerly lived in Detroit, I have strong opinions about the fiasco, but really it is none of my d@mned business if he stays or goes.

Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the back of the poor. People who don't have lobbyists or clout.


[ Parent ]
Answer... (0.00 / 0)
Alas, we never lived in days when things were so easy as to pass them off as someone else's problem.

I don't personally care if Hizzoner stays or goes, but I have to recognize that in some small part he is dragging our collective name through the mud.  I mean, I can see why someone running a Traverse City campground might prefer that when someone first hears the word Michigan, it be associated with northern pines and Aurora Borealis rather than Mayor Text Message.  I amplify this by suggesting that if the mayor was so accused in the city of Mt. Pleasant he or she would have been compelled to resign weeks ago.

You are free to counter argue that small towns and cities are less complex than big ones, and that an ultimate answer may not be so simple and demanding someone's head.  On the other hand, I remind everyone that when something like that gets big and complex, it's a sure sign that the implications stretch out beyond its borders to where people who aren't citizens of a municipality in question have a vested interest in things that threaten to tarnish them through guilt by association.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
Really a stretch (0.00 / 0)
Your comment is really thought out, Eric, but it doesn't answer the question. Of course what happens in Detroit is an interest around the state, but since people in Traverse City doesn't get to vote, or otherwise participate in, Detroit elections, why in the hell would you be polling this information if not merely to cause/exacerbate a wedge issue?

Even if the mayor is dragging Michigan's collective name through the mud (which I don't think he's doing), being that we can't do a darned thing about it, I repeat my assertion -- What's the point?

Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the back of the poor. People who don't have lobbyists or clout.


[ Parent ]
The answer is very simple... (0.00 / 0)
I mean, I point to media reports in Wisconsin and Ohio, and make comments on their lack of progress on the Great Lakes Compact despite the fact that there is nothing you, I, or anyone living in Lansing can do about it.  It's information that is important and that could very well have a negative direct impact on our lives.

As for Detroit and the rest of the state ... Detroit is our biggest city.  Big news that happens there is big news for the entire country.  The mayor's scandals topped Google News for an entire day a little while back.  Detroit isn't influential enough on its own, like New York City, to not be associated with the state in which it is geographically located.  So, it's not unreasonable for people to conclude that bad news from Detroit attaches a negative stigma to the rest of the state.  This is certainly the case for Oakland and Macomb and the non-Detroit parts of Wayne counties.  Slaying the messenger -- in this case, me -- isn't going to prevent the creation of a wedge that everyone knows already exists.

At any rate, we can do something about this.  The governor was given the power, apparently, to remove the mayor from office.  Considering that the entire state elected Jennifer Granholm twice as governor, there's nothing at all wrong with consulting the entire state about how deeply she should get involved in Detroit's internal affairs.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
Recalls (0.00 / 0)
Given how familiar we all should be by now with recalls, that would seem like the best way to get rid of the mayor if the people OF DETROIT so chooses.

I'm sorry, but anyone who believes that the Governor will or should get involved with this issue is just plain stupid (politically speaking). Further, anyone who believes that Wayne, Oakland or any other county should get a say in who gets - or stays - elected in another district is even more off base. That's just not how our democracy works.


Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the back of the poor. People who don't have lobbyists or clout.


[ Parent ]
Huh-wha? (0.00 / 0)
First of all, before you start accusing me of wanting to kill poor people, what say we steer this back to what it's really about.

A)  No one is advocating a statewide vote to remove Kwame Kilpatrick from office.  In fact, as far as I can tell, no one's done anything beyond answering a telephone survey question.  Someone called them up and said, "Do you think Jennifer Granholm should remove Kwame Kilpatrick from office.  Push 1 for yes, push 2 for no."  Forty-seven percent statewide pushed 1.  That number goes up to 58 percent for people living in Oakland County.

B)  Also, it wasn't the citizenry at large for the state of Michigan that petitioned the governor to exercise her powers, but the Detroit City Council, which unless I've missed something, was elected by the people at Detroit.  The poll in question ... that was someone asking the people of Michigan whether they thought she should grant the request of the Detroit City Council and do what that body appears to be unable to do on their own.

That means the people you've called stupid would be the Detroit City Council.

C)  My point was that the governor should consider the potential ramifications in November before she makes her decision.  Again, I don't really care if she does or doesn't.  There is clearly a divide between the city and suburbs, and many of those suburbs lie in an area basically everyone thinks will be critical to winning the November election.

Maybe this is really what you think is stupid.  On the other hand, the governor was smart enough to win three elections to statewide office, including one in which she was declared all but dead by the national and state pundit class that she went on to win by 17 percentage points.  So, I assume that the thought that there might be political ramifications to her decision has already entered into her head.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]

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