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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Black Caucus Reacts On Kilpatrick

  Black Caucus React on Kilpatrick
     Two members of the Detroit legislative caucus are not embracing what the Mayor of Detroit said in the last five minutes of his State of the City address on Wednesday night.
     "It was unfortunate that he had to do something of that nature in order to get his message across," says the son of former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young.
       Rep. Young Jr. declined the first offer to comment on the controversial speech saying,"Let me get back to you." Then he requested a minute to think about his response and added, "Personally I think it is sad…It was unfortunate he had to go to that level.  That was the wrong way to express it."
       In his remarks Mayor Kilpatrick lashed out at the media coverage of the so-called text messaging scandal and reported death threats and the use of the "N" word against himself and his family.
       Young's observations were echoed by fellow Detroit democrat Rep. Bert Johnson who says, "I wouldn't have done it."  Up to that point Johnson believes the Mayor delivered an effective message on what the city has accomplished on his watch.  "It was the Mayor at his best…he had laid out a pretty good case for accomplishments…."
       Then came the coda to the speech.  Johnson reflects, "There was an emotion (and) that component just got the best of him."
       Asked if he perceived some slippage of support for the mayor inside the Black Caucus, Johnson says, "I don't think that's so.  I've not heard that." 
       The mayor told his audience on Tuesday night that he would not quit and Johnson says he is not in a position to advise the mayor on that.
       "I don't know.  I'm not that sophisticated.  I can't say," he explains.
        So far there appears to be no negative impact on Detroit issues in the legislature, but one GOP lawmaker working on economic development issues wondered out loud saying, why would a company from Germany or Japan want to come to Detroit?
      Johnson says some of his white colleagues have told him, "Let me know what we can do" to help. 
      The freshman Detroit lawmaker will have a chance to expand on his remarks on Off the Record later this week.


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