It’s over for Kwame Kilpatrick. The embattled mayor of Detroit has now become the ex-mayor of Detroit and a future convict.
Kilpatrick has pleaded gulty to two felonies, and will serve time. As reported by the Detroit Free Press:
Kilpatrick’s guilty plea this morning ended a nearly eight-month drama that has transfixed the region, paralyzed much of city business and halted a political career that once held such promise.
In a courtroom this morning, Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obstructing justice by committing perjury. He will spend four months in jail, pay up to $1 million in restitution, and serve five years’ probation. He also agreed not to run for office during that five-year span.
In addition, the mayor agreed to a no-contest plea to one count of felonious assault for shoving a sheriff’s deputy in July who had tried to serve a subpoena on Kilpatrick’s friend. He agreed to serve four months on that charge, too, but it will be served at the same time as his other sentence.
The deals also call for Kilpatrick to turn over his state pension to the City of Detroit, which paid $8.4 million to settle two whistle-blower lawsuits three former cops filed against the city. The mayor was charged with eight felony counts ranging from conspiracy to perjury to misconduct in office to obstruction of justice after the Free Press revealed in January that the mayor lied on the witness stand during a police whistle-blower trial and gave misleading testimony about whether he intended to fire a deputy police chief investigating allegations of wrongdoing by members of his inner circle.
In a rushed monotone, before a standing-room only audience, Kilpatrick told Wayne Circuit Judge David Groner: “I lied under oath in the case of Gary Brown and Harold Nelthrope versus the city of Detroit … I did so with the intent to mislead the court and jury, to impede and obstruct the disposition of justice.”
Such a shame, such a waste. But consider this:
Although African Americans are 12% of the US population, they were 40% of all prison inmates in 2005.
At a time when so many black men are wallowing away in prison, the last thing we needed to see was a high profile figure in a position of trust cheat, lie, and cover-up, with the idea that he could somehow “game” the system.
Look, son: maybe Bill Clinton could get away with it… but “we” can’t.
I regret what this has done to Kilpatrick’s family. But even more, I regret the negative impact in terms of despair and cynicism on a once great city.
The NAACP will hold its 99th Annual Convention on July 12-17 in Cincinnati. The theme of the Convention is “Power, Justice, Freedom, Vote.” More than 8,000 NAACP members, delegates and visitors are expected to attend.
Although there are many who doubt the relevance and effectiveness of the NAACP, it still has enough pull to attract two prominent guests: Sen Barack Obama will speak to the convention on July 14, and Sen John McCain will speak on July 16. More information on the Convention is here; but be aware that some of the information at that link is outdated (as of July 8, it incorrectly showed that Obama will speak on July 17… it’s hard to understand why nobody’s updated that web page yet).
Two black Democrats are big-time dark horses in their races for political office-pun intended.
One effect of the long, drawn-out Democratic presidential primary was the toll it took on presidential candidate Barack Obama’s financial warchest.
Through the end of May, the Obama campaign raised $287,397,945, and spent $244,250,611. At the end of May, the campaign had $43,147,333 million on hand. This information is available from the excellent web site OpenSecrets.org.
Through the same period, the McCain campaign raised $119,594,596. But because his expenditures were lower-the GOP race was decided long ago-McCain had only spent $83,633,159. He had $35,961,436 million on hand at the end of May.
As noted out by Truthout.Org:
For the first time in the campaign, Republican John McCain in May raised about the same amount of money, $22 million, as Democrat Barack Obama…
Obama spent $27 million in May… $4 million for television ads, $3.3 million for travel, $3 million for direct mail, and nearly another $3 million for phone banking. He spent another $1.7 million on print advertisements and nearly another million dollars on Internet ads.
Meanwhile, McCain spent just $12 million. The Arizona senator dropped about $3.5 million on television ads and spent another $1.4 million on postage. No other spending category for the month of May reached a million dollars.
Having effectively wrapped up his party’s nomination, McCain spent the month focused almost exclusively on replenishing his coffers. His schedule was dominated by money-generating events that helped produce his biggest fundraising month to date.
This is one reason why some folks were hoping Sen Hillary Clinton would concede the Democratic presidential race earlier than she did…
Barack Obama has decided to opt-out of public financing for his general election campaign. This caused John McCain, as the LA Times put it, to have a “hissy fit.”