Detroit, the harbinger?
Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party, has been convicted of bribery and corruption charges.
He was mayor of the beleaguered city for seven years and his father and a city contractor were also involved. Some believe that Kilpatrick’s corruption led to the decline in Detroit during his tenure, but other indicators say otherwise.
He was accused by federal prosecutors of giving up to $83 million of contracts to his friend Bobby Ferguson. It could lead to up to 20 years in prison, based on charges of racketeering, extortion, bribery, mail and wire fraud and tax.
Detroit’s auto industry has been struggling and along with rising crime (which far outpaces the infamous Southeast D.C. or parts of New York City) the city has been regressing since its economic peak during the 1990s. A large portion of the city’s population has moved out of the city limits, which creates a bigger problem. Without adjusting the city limits, the city has to provide water and other public works to the unpopulated areas.
In addition, the burgeoning public employee pensions have burdened the economy and fiscal balance of the city. Now, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is going to place an emergency manager in charge of the city. This sets the stage for the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
In short, the Democrats have governed the city for decades and have continued its union-friendly and economic-unfriendly policies. As landmarks and schools remain uninhabited and empty, squatters now outnumber the residents in some neighborhoods.
Detroit can thank the Democrats for that.