Politics & Prejudices
Bye-bye time for Brooks?
Could Oakland County's Patterson be on the way out?
Published: October 17, 2012
He spent years in the private sector, serving as CEO, chief operating officer and chief financial officer for a number of both traditional and high-tech venture capital companies.
But he isn't an ivory tower executive; he and his partner, Jason, live in Huntington Woods with their two children, who they adopted from Ghana and Guatemala, and who attend public schools.
The campaign has been a frustrating one; Brooks was badly smashed up in a car accident in August, and his staff has said his recovery means there can be no debates. "Actually, they told me I hadn't 'earned' a debate," Howley says, amused. "Wouldn't you think the people have earned one about their county's future?"
Getting any kind of media attention for his race has been hard, he acknowledged. The presidential contest sucks up most of the light, and nobody really thinks Brooks can lose.
Yet I wonder. On Election Night in 2008, I remember seeing a stunned Republican staring at a sheet full of numbers. The figures said that Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford Taylor, who nobody thought could lose either, had gone down in a landslide.
Politicians are usually invulnerable until they aren't any more. Howley might indeed lose, and Oakland County may find itself in 2016 with a 77-year-old executive who thinks adding more lanes to I-75 is the solution to whatever problems we have.
But this much is certain: "These issues that I am raising aren't going away," Howley says. One wonders how much better off we all might have been if those running the auto companies had a little vision before it was too late to stave off bankruptcy.
Last word on the veep debate: I'm writing these lines before the second presidential debate, which will be history by the time you read this, and for all I know Mitt Romney has now persuaded the entire nation to become Amway salespeople. (My territory would be Zug Island.) But the best thing said about the last debate was posted on Facebook by Desiree Cooper, once the Metro Times' editor. "We already have a job creator in the White House, Eddie Munster!" she wrote.
Indeed. Except that when you looked into Paul Ryan's hard, cold face, and saw a personality formed by the worst aspects of Roman Catholicism and the contemptuous cruelty of Ayn Rand, it was enough to make you shudder. Especially when you think about what might become of the untermenschen if he were president.
Though I have to admit that, watching on HDTV, I couldn't stop wondering what brand of plastic they used to do his hair.
Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
> Email Jack Lessenberry