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Was Kilpatrick A Total Failure?

Generally, I'm not all that interested in the ongoing saga that is former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and much less so since he got out of jail and receded into the semi-obscurity of life as a private citizen. But as I read the latest reports about his ex-aides being arraigned and how Kilpatrick himself has been ordered to pay $320,000 in restitution to the city in 90 days or go to jail,  I couldn't help but think back to his early days as the city's CEO, when there was so much enthusiasm and excitement and hope surrounding him, the youngest mayor in the city's history. I know what happened to all that promise, of course. He blew the vast bulk of it.


Was it all a complete waste? Did Kilpatrick do anything positive for the city, for the region, during his tumultuous six-plus years in the Manoogian Mansion? Sure, much of his time as mayor was spent mired in scandal — but leaving aside the prodigious amounts of dirt accumulated by Kwame and his cronies, was there anything at all redeeming about the Kilpatrick administration, its policies, its programs?

Most of us don't disagree that Kwame Kilpatrick ultimately proved bad for this city. But — and I ask this in all seriousness — is there anything you can point to from his time as Detroit mayor and say of Kilpatrick, "You did good?"

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  • 1

    Well...he got people to pay attention in the way a heart attack draws attention to your health...

    (gotta have both good and bad in order to learn the difference, right?)

  • 2

    He certainly opened the door to greater scrutiny of city contracts and the bidding process (or lack thereof). As annouce implied - anytime public leaders are held accountable for their actions; whether kudos for positive or indictments for illegal, is a good thing. He did bring energy and youth to the city at first and certainly benefited from the groundwork that Archer laid for things like the Superbowl and NCAA playoffs. From that perspective both those events went off well, although by the time the NCAA was in town it was overshadowed by his behavior. I agree with you DD that KK ultimately was bad for the city and his actions today underscore that fact.

  • 3

    This question of course dependsis a subjective query..Clearly KK has both assets and liabilities...From the perspective of the MSN ( read white) he is a gravy train for media sales and gossip, for those who leverage the racial angle between the city and the region he brings great scapegoat perks..

    For others he is an example of the power of redemption, rebirth and possibility..

    KK unlike those who the MSN and others have deem to be the city's messiah's ( Archer & Bobb) KK to many who are not part of the ruling class nor the banter for white liberals and Black apologists a person that is a living lesson....

    Fact is KK is not as lethal as GM for the city, .KK was not as lethal as the Anti-Affirmative Ballot..KK was not as lethal as how the state underminded DPS..KK was not as lethal as our nation's backward spending on 2 wars etc....

    To be continued..

    • 3.1

      "Fact is KK is not as lethal as GM for the city"

      hahaha, wow. you, sir, live in a deluded fantasy world.

  • 4

    Your question is a provocative one Mr. Dawsey but one thing is for sure....History rarely remembers the good of a leader who fell from grace because of so much bad....It will take a number of years for the masses to be able to actually remember ANY positives related to the Kilpatrick administration...

  • 5

    Did KK do any good on his own for the city? Well if he did it was far out weighed by his smug filppant additude and criminal activities. One good deed will never outweigh his contempt for the law.

    He will stand as the poster child for flippant corruption for a long time. His appolgies were hollow at best and his feigned ignorance was just pathetic.

    Any one who looks at him in a manner of "power of redemption, or rebirth and possibility" is seriously in need of some reality and education.

    The KK years were a joke, filled with scandal after scandal, and a failure to even attempt to govern a city rife with corruption, with out adding to it.

    As our resident racist (gthrasher) likes to point out that GM and MSN could be more lethal to the city, I would truly beg to differ as he has no proof to that fact at all. GM has Kept its home office in the city, when conventional wisdom says it should move do to the failing of city government to keep the city alive. As for MSN well I would hope that reporting the news truthfully would be in the best interest of good news reporting.

    Archer and Bobb? Well I would think that Bobb is on the fast track to getting the schools in order to educate the children in the best way. weeding out lazy teachers that don't really care about the students educations as much as their paychecks.

    Our resident racist also brings up the fact that anti-affirmative action ballot was also to blame. How could that be any farther from the truth. That in its self is racist.

    In closing the actions of KK were disrespectful of the office he held and to the people of the city of Detroit. The damage of which will echo in history for a long time to come.

    I'm certain that out little trash talking racist will have some unfounded and fact less psycho babel to puke up here shortly for my blatant dig on his ignorance as he usually does for any one who does not agree with his vomit like words of hate and ignorance. So pile it on g. Lets here more about your theories of the black apologists and the white devils, that have destroyed the city.


  • 6

    So much vitriol!

    Darrell, some of us appreciate your purpose here in this particular post, but you state the question in such a way that it invites the negative--not that you weren't going to get that anyway.

  • 7

    I like it when my comments and constructs force posters to attack me with racism..It confirms the power of my presence and impact in forums like these..

    Truth is empty suits like Archer & Bobb will never really make a transformative difference in the city.It is only iconic people like me and others which have that presence and depth to truly impact those in the city who have weather the storms of racism and contempt for thier very being...

    Fact is backward leadership in companies like GM and others have destroyed the very economic foundatio of this region...The racist tabloid driven journalism of media outlets like the TIMES, DN, FREEP have stained this region for decades...

    Instead of exploring the assets and talents of people like KK for the common good, the backward convention is to demonize the KK's of the world while the real failures get a pass..

    Truth is people like KK and other have made value..People like myself and others make a difference in this region..My cultural DNA created the leader and icon I am and that truth simply offends many and creates the nasty envy often expressed in here towards people like KK and progressives like ME

    • 7.1

      I hate to tell you, but spending all your waking hours commenting on internet blogs does not make you a "leader" or an "icon", nor does it "make a difference." I don't know how you developed this ridiculous self image, but an icon is an important and enduring symbol, you sir are neither of those.

      Kwame is an icon in this city, but for all the wrong reasons. Whatever positives resulted from his time in office have been overshadowed by the corruption and blatant disregard of the law that ended his tenure. To add insult to injury he was offered a kush job with Compuware who, go figure, has a rather large operation in the city he just finished swindling. Kwame could be purple or blue for all I care he is a criminal and deserves to be remembered as one.

  • 8


    Kwame has done more to destroy the goodwill that was being created in the civil rights movement than any other single person. He has hurt Obama.

    The revolting thing is that ML's gang of four produced that horrible, disgusting, and reprehensible attack ad against Freeman when Kwame, of his own accomplishment, was about to go down.

    Kwame thought that they had his back. They don't. But they should pay for the costs that they perpetrated by helping get him reelected through that dirty trick Republican style ad.

  • 9

    Funny that when you scream racism its ok, but when somebody else points out that it is you who is the racist you turn around and come back with the same ole gthasher vomit. Can you give any other argument except that every one is a racist?

    You don't make a difference at all you can't even give a name to your so called "firm" your blog is a joke with virtually no comments from anyone, and your psychotic outpouring a verbal vomit is undescribable in it's stupidity.

    I did say I was no longer going to respond to your baseless banter, but you know what, I have to. Just like your blog, that is filled with useless garbage, you have brought that same garbage filled bag here too. You offer nothing constructive to the discussions at all. You just puke out some BS, again with no facts.

    Why don't you really show us all what your "firm" really is. Because I'm guessin your just some fat lazy shut in that could never keep a job due to your bad additude and your own cultural DNA.

    Ha ha ha! You, just like KK are nothing but trash. And from what I read on your blog you are hardly progressive at all. But I will thank you for the entertainment that you have provided for us all that really read what is presented to us here in the Time blogs. And if you really think that you are the sterling representative for the city of Detroit, well we are in for an even bigger let down in the future.

  • 10

    Help me Jesus..Help a brother..PLEASSSSSSSSSSSSE

    Only a truly shallow and empty vessel would dare to utter than one man let alone KK destroyed the good will of the civil rights movement..Gee you must really be such old,lol,lol KK has nothing to do with,lol,lol..Please stop playing the race card

  • 11


    Get a grip man!! I know I have incredible presence and skills and the ability to get folks emtional with my words and wisdom but your reactions have been over the top!!

    Should I report you to Homeland Security? Should I tell your mom?
    What is driving your hate for me? It is my cultural dna? Is it because I am better and smarter than you? Do you have i/q and or penis envy?

    Please tell me maybe I can help..You are making me blush in here..I have even made you break your own word and promises. Diversity, alternative views, dissent, plurality are american ideals..Come man get a grip here..

    Should I pray for ya??Please leave me a email at my blog I will keep it on the down low..I think I can really help ya..I really do...

  • 12

    Time and Time again your only comments are defamatory to those that call you out for what you are, a sham. You still fail to tell us all about your "firm" Yet you are so quick to vomit up insults and innuendos. It is not hate that I have for you it is pity really. You are a very lonely man, and I use the term man loosely. I'm sure you are equally as verbally abusive to your wife and children if you have any, or did they finally give up on you and leave. Could that be the reason for your bitterness? You have become my personal elevator, I push the button and you appear just like a good elevator should.

  • 13

    @ robertprince,

    So in other words my post was right on the money about you and your rage and fixation over me..

    I think I need that elevator now not for me but for you.....You got it bad man this fetish and twisted obession over me..

    Let it go..Get over me..I hate observing you making yourself a liar..You cannot even keep your own promise to yourself....

    Again pleae visit my site and leave me an email..I would like to help you...I really mean that...United We Stand..We Are the World...He ain't heavy he is my brother....tee hee

  • 14

    BTW our local MSN outlets will soon be publishing a commentary of mine where I opine how folks like Bobb, Archer, Worthy, Bing and others have failed as transformative leaders in the city...

    It will be the talk of the town...

    To be continued...


  • 15

    Historically big city politics have often had an element of corruption weaved into their structures and day to day operations. Generally city bosses new the line not to cross in order for people to look the other way. This element of corruption has always been a roadblock for these cities to reach their potentials. Most big cities have experienced this, Chicago, L.A., New York, Detroit, etc. But when city executives cross that line, it becomes hard to look the other way. Mr Kilpatrick crossed the line and Detroit will benefit from this. The good people of Detroit now have leaders that can give them hope for the future. So thank you Mr. Kilpatrick for crossing the line.

    • 15.1

      A cynical approach, but I think it is right on. The Kwame saga has shaken people from their complacency and opened the curtains of detroit politics to the harsh light of day. I hope it lasts long enough to make a difference. If it does we can thank Kwame.

  • 16

    Detroit has failed not because of its mayors .The city's decay and decadence is much more layered than who the mayor is...

    These singular driven narratives reflect the lack of depth of those who make such shallow propositions...

    Truth is because the nature of Detroit's decay reflects a series of shortcomings and causes.

    Such a comprehensive analysis would invite a more honest perspective yet it is easier and lazy to blame Detroit's demise on KK a good black scapegoat also is easy to digest and deflect...

    • 16.1

      Your comment is irrelevant. The question on this thread is not who is to blame for Detroit's decline, the question is, "is there anything you can point to from his time as Detroit mayor and say of Kilpatrick, You did good?." The question is focused on a single man and demands an answer relating to a single man. There is no premise in the question that assumes Kwame caused all or even a significant amount of Detroit's problems, it simply asks what he did.

  • 17


    You are wrong as always especially when you dare to question me..

    The title of the blog is :"Was Kilpatrick a failure"

    Your post was
    "is there anything you can point to from his time as Detroit mayor and say of Kilpatrick, You did good?."
    Nothing in your post mirrors this verbaige

    My comments are right on point your post obessing over me again as usual was wrong...

    Again when I am in here either step up, step aside or get stepped on...You are not my equal..You do not measure up to me..You are ot of your element..

    Now get lost or wait to salivate over my next post...

    • 17.1

      can you please respond with an decent argument as to why GM is worse for the city than the mayoralty of KK? please note that a mostly nonsensical rant does not count as a decent argument.

  • 18


    I have already posted about GM's lethal impact in this region..

    Please do not post to me another nonsensical rant posing as a decent question it does not count...

  • 19

    [...] Detroiters got folks like former Mayor (and most recently, former inmate) Kwame Kilpatrick, who didn’t trouble himself much with actual governing.  As Michael [...]

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