Monday, March 25, 2013

Detroit Gets Its Emergency Manager, And The Natives Are Restless


Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder finally did what he had to do and appointed Kevyn Orr, a Washington, D.C., bankruptcy lawyer as Detroit's emergency financial manager.

Orr pretty much has carte blanche to try to turn the looted city around in the next 18 months, and it would be an understatement to say that those that did the plundering to suit themselves and their enablers are not happy.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson joined the fight against Detroit’s emergency financial manager on Friday, calling for mass, nonviolent protest in the city to fend off what he called an attack on residents’ voting rights.

Jackson and several other opponents to an EFM pledged to file a lawsuit next week challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s new emergency manager law. It takes effect Thursday and grants broad powers to the incoming emergency financial manager, Kevyn Orr, a Washington, D.C., bankruptcy lawyer.

“As opposed to having a city council that’s democratically elected and a mayor, you’ll have a plantocracy, a plantation-ocracy, replacing a democracy,” Jackson said.

Jackson was joined by Detroit City Councilwomen JoAnn Watson and Brenda Jones, U.S. Rep. John Conyers and a union representative at a rally inside city hall that drew about 100 people. He also called on the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene to protect Detroiters’ rights to vote.

“We marched too long and bled too much and died too young for the right to vote to have a governor … take away the impact of our vote,” said Jackson, president and founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

Of course, it doesn't matter that Orr is black. To Jackson and those whose scam he's interfering with, he's just working for the Evil Republican White Man.

Of course, Governor Snyder could have just let Mayor Dave Bing, the current City Council and the public employee unions keep running things the same way they always have. In that case, after a few more months Detroit would degenerate into two cities - one with a small, embattled  Green Line where electricity and social services were maintained, sort of, and a larger, bankrupt perimeter that was falling apart.

It's gotten that bad.

Jackson, of course, is just rabble rousing and hustling for himself as always, and in a more sensible country he'd be a comic figure. But in Detroit, he's taken seriously because of the racial politics involved.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s office wasn't going to comment on Jackson’s inflammatory rhetoric, and neither would Council President Charles Pugh or President Pro Tem Gary Brown. Jackson, meanwhile is the figurehead who's leading the charge to get Orr's appointment legally challenged and have him ousted, and the public employee unions have likely shoved a wad of cash his way to do it. That's how these things work:

Earlier this week, Conyers of Detroit and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township, both Democrats, asked for a General Accounting Office investigation into the use of any emergency manager laws and history in Michigan. Several Lutheran congregations from Detroit will travel the city via bus Sunday to oppose the EFM and speak out against other problems facing the city.

Jackson warned that Orr’s arrival could harm the city. He described a scenario in which rich people buy up acres of neighborhoods, turn them into vacant lots and sell off the property, forcing residents from their homes.

“Detroit cannot be reduced to a rummage sale,” he said.

Someone should clue Jesse Jackson in that in order to sell anything, you have to have a buyer...and no one wants to buy property in Detroit just now. There are vacant homes and commercial buildings at ridiculously low prices available with no takers, because the city's dysfunctional at this point.

The public employee unions, of course are as horror stricken as Detroit's City council that honest government and fiscal sanity might rear its ugly head:

“There is anxiety. There is fear of the unknown,” said Yolanda Langston, the president of a Service Employees International Union’s local in Detroit. “We don’t know which way he’s going to go. {...}

At the City Council’s last meeting before the takeover, some residents vented their anger, while Council members wondered aloud if they would have any statutory powers at all once Mr. Orr took office.

“I am angry, like so many thousands of other residents of Detroit,” said Kathy Montgomery, 64. “Angry that our governor and mayor decided we need an emergency manager. We must oppose them.”

The emergency-manager law gives Mr. Orr extraordinary powers to reshape the city, including eliminating Council members’ salaries.

“I don’t know what kind of role we can have,” said Brenda Jones, one of nine City Council members. “I feel that we are just sitting here as a symbolic symbol right now.”

The president of the Detroit chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., the Rev. Wendell Anthony, said he expected to see protests in the coming week. “It’s not about how we should brace for Mr. Orr,” he said. “Mr. Orr should brace for Detroit.” {...}

Emergency managers in other Michigan cities have sold assets, privatized services and eliminated entire government departments. But Detroit has been struggling financially on a much larger scale. The state’s review team said its cash shortfall could reach $100 million by June.

Still, there has been stubborn resistance to privatization from residents and unions, suggesting that Mr. Orr is in for protracted battles on possible moves like selling off the city’s water and sewerage department.

“We will not let him do it,” said Michael Mulholland, an official with AFSCME Local 207, which represents 900 city workers. “As they say, when hell freezes over, I’ll fight on the ice.”

If Orr's smart, the answer to  Brenda Jones' question about the council's role will be 'none at all.'
Not only has Detroit's City Council been a huge part of the city's mismanagement, they've consistent obstructed any efforts to make things right.

How did Detroit get this way? A combination of racial politics, corruption and and unfettered rule by Democrats and the public employee unions.

The rot started when Coleman "I don't know nothin' about no Krugerrands" Young took over  in 1972 as Detroit's first black mayor. An advanced practitioner of racial politics, he was a former member of the Communist Party and the National Negro Labor Council, a communist front group Young started with Soviet agent Paul Robeson. Young used to habitually refer to himself as 'the chief muthaf**ker in charge'.

He served five terms, essentially presiding over the city's decline. By the end of his last term, the population of Detroit had shrunk by more than half as middle class taxpayers and businesses fled, the school system became dysfunctional, and taxes skyrocketed along with the crime rate.

When Mayor Young's close friend and political adviser William L. Hart was convicted for stealing $2.6 million from city funds and when other Young cronies in the police department, school boards, sanitation, and other departments took the fall in what the FBI called 'a large circle of corruption surrounding the mayor', a substantial amount of the evidence they used was from wiretaps on Mayor Young's own home telephone.

The only reason he stayed out of jail is because the Carter Justice Department didn't want to indict a popular black Democrat mayor and risk antagonizing a reliable voting bloc.

Young's successors like Kwame Kilpatrick, now a guest of the State of Michigan have continued this legacy with gusto, if not the same ability to get away with it.

A part of what's going on is Republican versus Democrat, but an even bigger part of it is resentment because it is essentially a black-run city, and any attempt to step in with an intervention has led to prompt charges of 'racism'...which is exactly what Governor Snyder and Kevyn Orr are facing as they try and save Detroit from the people who ran a city that was once an emblem of American prosperity into the ground.

Will they be successful? We'll see. After 18 months. the Council can boot Orr out for any reason they want.


louielouie said...

“As opposed to having a city council that’s democratically elected and a mayor, you’ll have a plantocracy, a plantation-ocracy, replacing a democracy,” Jackson said.

so this means detroit will be like the rest of the country formerly known as the united states of america.

Of course, Governor Snyder could have just let Mayor Dave Bing, the current City Council and the public employee unions keep running things the same way they always have.


Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that you know the origin of the term 'the natives are restless'. Or maybe you're just an asshole.

Tantric Logic said...

Me, I'm guessing you're ignorant of the definition of the word 'native'.

Or maybe you're just a racist...that is, someone obsessed by race who sees absolutely everything through that prism.

Oh yeah, and an asshole.