Politics & Prejudices
Stinking to high heaven
Ficano’s follies include sweetheart payoff to appointee
Published: October 5, 2011
But, hey — Crain's Detroit Business did tell us two years ago that Turkia Awada Mullin was one of a number of "women to watch."
Guess we should have paid better attention. By the way, which Wayne County community do you suppose Mullin lives in? Where do you think she is reinvesting, in the form of property taxes, some small fraction of the hundreds of thousands of dollars taxpayers have paid her?
Give up? The answer is ... none of them! She lives in Birmingham, in Oakland County. Incidentally, I'd like Bob Ficano to know that I could be persuaded to leave the Metro Times and write this column for a Wayne County newsletter. He could even pay me a little less than Turkia gets; I am a modest and humble man.
It all depends on the severance.
Solidarity, not forever: Last week I talked to Mark Gaffney, who was forced out of his job as state director of the AFL-CIO this week, primarily because the Democrats got wiped out in the elections last year. This was a little like firing a good manager for the sins of a really bad baseball team. I admired Gaffney, who understood the plight of the workingman and also knew the world was changing.
Gaffney was a Teamster and National Maritime Union guy who worked hard jobs on Great Lakes freighters in his youth, before earning degrees in both philosophy and labor relations from Michigan State. When I saw him last week he was less worried about himself than he was America's 14 million unemployed.
He knows that not only do workers need strong unions; society needs them too, if democracy is going to survive. He also has never seen politicians before like the ones we have now.
"Disagreements are fine, but the purpose of our legislature should not be to reduce the living standards of working people," he told me. I think labor may miss his voice more than they know.
> Email Jack Lessenberry