Detroit “Mayor” Mike Duggan celebrates abominable “State of the City,” after candidacy ruled invalid by COA, faked election
Meanwhile, the people’s champion Rev. Edward Pinkney imprisoned in Marquette for trying to recall Mayor of Benton Harbor, without evidence
Pinkney hearing on pre-sentence motions Tues. Feb. 24, 9 AM St. Joseph, MI
By Jean Vortkamp
February 18, 2015
Amongst the piles of dirty snow and dying White Pine trees of Pure Michigan a senior citizen and community leader, Reverend Edward Pinkney, sits in his cell in Marquette Prison, eating food not fit for dogs, but good enough to fulfill yet another scam of a private contract.
If they want to tear you away from your family, this Siberian-like place is the prison of choice. He has lots of time to think about the injustice he suffered being charged with “forgery under the Michigan election law” without real witnesses or evidence.
Meanwhile, in Detroit, the marquee in front of the Redford Theater shines brightly in the crisp winter air. There are people getting out of city owned vans to pack the State of the City speech. Inside a white man, Mike Duggan, from the most racist suburb near Detroit, Livonia, coos about his victories in his position as mayor of the bankrupted city.
In reality six billion dollars are being stolen from pensioners and their new healthcare costs will now literally kill them, 70,000 homes go into foreclosure just this year, and Duggan/Bing shut off the water of about 30,000 homes. This white man who comes from the allegedly corrupt political legacy of the McNamara machine became mayor by allegedly winning the primary of a radical African American city with 40% of a write in vote, after a State Court of Appeals ruled he was not eligible to run because he had not established residency by the deadline.
Reverend Pinkney is facing up to ten years in prison for forgery in election fraud in which there were no real witnesses or evidence. He has been fighting the far right’s wayward plan of emergency management/asset theft/gentrification/genocide for decades now.
Earlier he and others in Benton Harbor tried to recall the mayor of Benton Harbor for refusing to institute a city income tax that would have brought tens of millions from Whirlpool, the ogre of a corporation.
Basking in this white male privilege is Fred Upton, a Republican congressman and Whirlpool heir. The Reverend already went to prison once (for quoting the bible). He sits in his cell in Marquette, wishing for more mail. Wondering how he will find justice in a place more akin to Hitler’s Germany than the land of the free and the brave.
Whirlpool used to have jobs for the people of Benton Harbor. Cheaper labor was found elsewhere but the Gold Coast of Michigan doesn’t move. Fred Upton lives on the Gold Coast near Jean Klock Park, with the boat slips and the silky sand. The main park used to be used by families in Benton Harbor. Then it was slipped out of public ownership by “friend of bankers” former Governor Jennifer Granholm and the deal finished off by Governor Rick Snyder and friends.
Now the PGA uses a new Jack Nicklaus golf course near the Park, sponsored by Whirlpool. Rev. Pinkney protested that the park belonged to the public, to the people of Benton Harbor. It does not belong to the crinkly old white men of privilege hitting a small white ball into a hole, over and over.
Whirlpool is a part of Doug Rothwell’s Business Leaders for Michigan, a group of giant corporations who are responsible for much of the sub-standard asinine decisions made in Michigan’s legislature. There you will find Upton’s company represented, along with Dick DeVos, Dan Gilbert, Roger Penske, Mike Ilitch, and a host of the greedy who are sucking community resources dry with their corporate welfare. They should really work for a living.
Sadly they think that because they use white privilege entitlement to run their businesses that they know better than the majority of the good people of Michigan.
While in Detroit in those same decades Duggan’s office was raided by the FBI in connection to the political machine of McNamara. His multiple involvements in contracts (his most favorite things) for the DTW Airport and Detroit Public schools, in addition to his wife’s business have all been questionable.
He stands in front of the crowd in the theater in his suit, happy that he has cheated fate over and over. White privilege may do that for you. Favors owed, favors given.
He stands in the carcass of democracy, devoured by Snyder and the Business Leaders for Michigan, proud of the way he is funneling all tax money and public assets out of the public’s own hands. He shakes hands, smiles, puts on his “Well, gee guys, let’s work together” smile and lives guilt and conscience free. He even invites the Pope to Detroit.
After the primary election where he was declared the winner, the ballots, of which thousands were in a very obvious similar handwriting, were silently slipped around from authority to authority like a hot potato. The Department of Justice, the Secretary of State, the Wayne County Prosecutor, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers did not choose to do their jobs and crack open this piñata of injustice. They chose not to expose the truth about Detroit. – That it is not a democracy.
We, regular Detroiters, have not chosen to make Detroit like this. Duggan’s campaign supporters were many of the people who mysteriously supported the “Grand Bargain” (a/k/a “Grand Theft”) along with the man who spearheads the Detroit Future Cities gentrification plan, Ken Cockrel, Jr., who helped lead Detroit into a state takeover as City Councilman, and many from the Business Leaders for Michigan.
In Berrien County, regular people took the stand as the prosecutor witch-hunted the fine politically active Americans who took part in the political process there. Where does Rev. Pinkney’s group, BANCO, meet? Who is its leader? It was a string of questions that were more of an FBI investigation into some fringe group than anything about recall petitions. You see, they were saying that Rev. Pinkney wrote 1’s and 2’s on the dates to make the recall petitions fit in the time frame to turn them in.
They had no one who could say they saw Rev. Pinkney do it and the handwriting expert said he could not say who did it. There was even a witness who came forward to say she saw a particular woman do it. Contrast this to the ballots in Detroit where they had the candidates in the recount select the ballots for the handwriting expert. When the candidates said that the very similar ballots were spread throughout the precincts, they were allowed to choose ballots for examination by the handwriting expert from ONE precinct at a time, with as many ballots from that precinct that could fit on two tables. Cat and mouse.
So when the papers reported on the handwriting expert’s opinion they could say they were not similar. When ballots in an absentee case were opened and two matching ballots came out right next to each other on the table, the Board of Canvassers went and sat down away from the ballots and continued the meeting. They go on and on, the instances where the truth sat in the room and was ignored.
And so it goes. Reverend Pinkney sits in prison and Mike Duggan occupies the office overlooking the river. The barges serenely float by out the window, luncheons and dinners are served. Meetings are called, deals are made to complete the right wing takeover of the city.
Reverend Pinkney looks down at his slimy food, ironic because he used to help deliver food to the people in need in his community. Rev. Pinkney is an unwelcome prisoner, having been counseling African Americans suffering grave injustices for years at the hands of the Berrien County Injustice system. He spent his days in courtrooms being the spiritual adviser to the oppressed and accused. He may just be putting all kinds of ideas about justice into the heads of his fellow inmates.
They put his trial on his birthday so in the overflow room his outraged supporters from Chicago, Detroit and Flint sang him a rousing Happy Birthday. Once back in the courtroom, the judge made sure to tell the press not to record anything from the overflow room.
You can’t help but notice the stark contrast between fancy St. Joseph versus Benton Harbor. At the courthouse the Benton Harbor supporters of Rev. Pinkney need new shoes as they shuffle in to support him. They need good jobs. They need hope because they have been fighting so long ignored in this pocket of Michigan. It is very much like the gentrifiers of midtown Detroit versus most regular Detroit neighborhoods. Boarded up houses and schools versus shiny new buildings built with taxpayer money. Destruction from the war of the overstuffed rich on the ever skinnier poor, which starts at the ballot box.
______________________________________________________________________________ To see some of the ballots from the 2013 election visit http://detroitrecount.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-handwriting.html
Contact BANCO at at http://www.bhbanco.org/. Site includes a PayPal donation button to send badly needed funds for Pinkney’s legal defense, or they can be mailed to BANCO, 1940 Union Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022.
Contact Moratorium NOW on campaign against tax foreclosures, http://moratorium-mi.org/, phone 313-671-7426.