Wednesday, June 02, 2010

[Detroit] Kwame Up the River

Kwame Up the River: Well, I have to laugh. Detroit's former leader, the self-styled "hip-hop mayor," Kwame Kilpatrick, got sentenced to 1.5 to 5 years in prison for trying to hide assets from the court and just generally being Mr. Scammy McDirtbag. Hee. Hee. Hee. There will of course be an appeal.

The most telling point of the story, and the one that perfectly illustrates how Detroit works, is the angle on Kwame's lost job. It seems once Kwame was ousted as mayor he managed to land a cushy no-show sales job with Compuware, one of the few employers left in Detroit. He was salaried at 120k per year, yet never closed a deal. No doubt he was spending all his time trying to stay out of jail rather than cold calling prospects. Now under prison sentence, Compuware has decided to let him go.

The telling thing is that Compuware put him on the payroll to begin with. Do you know why? They did it because there was a realistic chance that he would come back; that he would not only beat the charges, but get re-elected mayor. And if that happened, then they would have the mayor in their pocket. It was worth 120k per year to Compuware to take that risk. If you understand that you understand Detroit. And you understand why it is a failed city.

Poor Mayor Bing is working like mad. He's doing the right things and is putting his heart into it, but I'm afraid it's just too late. Whatever progress he makes will be immediately undone by the next Coleman Young or Kwame Kilpatrick. Guys like Dennis Archer and Dave Bing are just little Dutch boys. Frankly, I don't think Detroit deserves them.