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.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Brooks: Almost There
After months of berating, bad mouthing and blasting every Cobo Hall expansion plan to come down the pipe, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is within a half of sandwich of embracing the latest proposal penned by none other than Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Wonder of wonder and miracle of miracles! Please note that Patterson has not seen the details and is not endorsing anything until he does, but check this out. "We're getting there…the numbers are making more sense," he says for the first time. He wasn't a math major but Patterson figures the mayor's $90 million version is less that the $600 million first floated by his Wayne County counterpart Robert Ficano. "$90 million is a whole lot more palatable that $600 million," he reasons and once you divvy that up among all the shareholders, he thinks Oakland County can afford to get on board. Patterson believes the state, the three counties, the automakers and the three casinos in Detroit will all contribute and that means the "bite size portions" are more easily digested. The key to all this, he contends however is Red Wing owner Mike Ilitch. Patterson says the pizza guy has to unload Cobo Arena as part of the deal and, "I think he will be working the deal where he gets out of the arena, but he gets a sweetheart deal on this hockey arena." Asked if he thought the Cobo expansion and new home for the Wings were linked as suggested in this space sometime ago, Patterson says, "I absolutely believe it." To be sure nobody has told him that but he is "just trying to read the tea-leaves" and he concludes the leaves are pretty clear. "I think so," he continues. If all this finally falls into place, it will not only save the North American Auto Show from moving to another state, Patterson calls it a "win-win-win" for Mr. Ilitch, Detroit, and if it's down to $90 million, "the taxpayers win," too. As long as it stops at that figure, Patterson reveals, "This one I can handle." You may now stand up…if you can.