Politics & Prejudices
Charting a future
Restarting Detroit from scratch — with a new attitude
Published: June 20, 2012
Sheila Cockrel is fully prepared to accept that she, a healthy woman in her mid-60s, may never get what, on paper, she is owed. "But you can't take that away from someone in their 90s," who depends on their city pension for a modest standard of living.
Odds are that her days as an elected official are over. Interestingly, she thinks Mike Duggan, longtime Wayne County fixer and current Detroit Medical Center czar, could be elected mayor, if voters are convinced he is the right man to fix their town.
I'm not sure I agree. But I do know that if I had to choose Detroit's next mayor, I'd be a lot more comfortable voting for her.
The bridge to somewhere: You just had to be happy last week when Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Rick Snyder signed the deal to build the New International Trade Crossing. Personally, I would have liked to have been an invisible fly on the wall in Matty Moroun's lair. For years, the old bloated billionaire spider has spent millions and woven webs of deceit to try to prevent this day from happening. But in the end, the good guys won.
For the sake of realism, however, we should note that they won in large part because every other corporate interest made it clear they want and need a new bridge. Essentially, everybody not on Moroun's payroll is against him on this. Not that this is necessarily over yet.
Moroun is likely to fight, in court and out, by fair means or foul, every step of the way, at least till Jesus, Allah or some correctional institution, calls him home.
Whether he can stall the new bridge isn't clear. What is clear is that if I were determining next year's Pulitzer Prize for public service, it would be awarded to blogger Joel Thurtell (joelontheroad.com), who exposed Moroun long before anyone else did.
After a while, a few of us picked up on this and magnified his impact, and eventually, even the Detroit papers, which at first ignored or misrepresented the bridge issue, were forced to come around.
I am convinced that at the very least, Thurtell's gutsy reporting (he had to face at least one shotgun-toting Moroun goon) made this bridge happen years before it otherwise would have. He may be the best and most valuable journalist in Michigan today.
> Email Jack Lessenberry