Money could propel Duggan to victory
By Zenobia Jeffries
The Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Mike Duggan is back in the race for mayor of Detroit. Duggan announced June 28 that he’s going to run as a write-in candidate after the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling two weeks ago that Duggan did not meet the Detroit City Charter residency requirement.
Political consultant Adolph Mongo says if a candidate has money, there is a chance at winning any election.
“The senator from Alaska (Lisa Murkowski) won as a write-in, the former mayor of DC (Adrian Fenty) won as a write-in. If you’re organized and got money, it’s a threat,” said Mongo.
The real threat, however, Mongo says is gentrification and the business elite ridding the downtown and midtown areas of Black politicians and business leaders.
“They’re white-washing Detroit because what they want to do is cleanse anybody of color that’s downtown (and Midtown),” Mongo said. “If Duggan was a Black candidate and had skeletons in his closet from a corrupt administration, like McNamara’s, they’d be kicking his behind.”
Mongo says the same people who backed Mayor Dave Bing are backing Duggan’s campaign. “They outsourced the mayor four years ago. (And) they want to see Duggan in office.”
Mongo says a more effective way of going after Duggan, rather than fighting his name on the ballot, is to expose his record. “Going to court and (getting him) on technicalities can only go so far,” he said. “Duggan is part of a history of corruption.”
He named Duggan for being a part of the change in law eliminating residency requirements for city employees, getting rid of recorder’s court and misused school bond money from the early ‘90s.
Duggan has a lot of baggage, says Mongo, who believes Duggan, is a maverick Democrat like Andy Dillon who’s a part of the Republican takeover of the city.
The day after the Appeals Court ruled him off the ballot, Duggan announced he would respect the ruling and not seek further action in the state’s highest court.
“Too much damage” has been done, he said, stating that his campaign couldn’t recover from the two court rulings declaring him ineligible to run.
However, at a press conference announcing his write-in campaign, Duggan says the rulings to take him off the ballot fueled his support and thanked mayoral candidate Tom Barrow for filing the lawsuit to have him removed.
In response, Barrow called Duggan’s effort “creepy” and “desperate.” “It’s creepy when a man tries to force himself on you against your will, and that is what Duggan is doing in his last, desperate grasp to satisfy the political bloodlust of his supporters,” he said.
Barrow says Duggan’s actions to move forward despite the court’s ruling show the former DMC CEO, his supporters and campaign contributors seem to care nothing for the rule of law.
“With this decision, Duggan thinks he is better than the City Charter, better than the four judges, better than two Michigan courts, better than an entire field of qualified candidates,” said Barrow, who plans to file another suit challenging the write-in.
“According to Judge (Lita) Popke’s order, Mr. Duggan is ineligible to appear on the August 6, 2013, ballot,” says Geoffrey Garfield, Barrow’s campaign director.
Garfield says the judge’s order states the defendant (City Clerk Janice Winfrey) shall remove Duggan’s name from the list of candidates. Any action, he says, where Duggan’s name is on the August 2013 ballot is against the judge’s order.
Barrow sent a letter to Winfrey, dated June 30, stating Judge Popke’s ruling prohibits the clerk from taking any actions inconsistent with the order. The letter was sent to the city’s law department.
Duggan’s attorneys say they will seek sanctions against Barrow’s attorney for bringing a frivolous lawsuit.