If you have a couple of hours to kill and want to learn more about the Detroit bankruptcy filing, listen to today’s Craig Fahle show (audio pending). I listened while doing data entry at work, and got a ton done just because I couldn’t stop listening.
In the press conference that took up the show’s first hour, Kevyn Orr was typically badass. It is refreshing to finally be able to hear someone in a leadership position in Detroit be able to speak with authority and honesty about what has to happen. It’s even more so to know that he actually has the power to execute his prescription. There are a lot of people upset about the alleged lack of democracy embedded in Michigan’s emergency manager law; I have no problem admitting that I’m not one of them.
There are a lot of people who choose to point the finger at him for the sacrifices the city’s retirees are going to experience. They are pointing it at the wrong person, as it is clearly not Mr. Orr who is responsible for their pain. If they want to point the finger at public officials, they need to be pointing it at a series of people who for the most part are no longer in office: in descending order of culpability,
- Kwame Kilpatrick (whose name came up repeatedly during the show as the primary culprit);
- Those on City Council serving during the period of 2001-2009 (those elected thereafter being, with the exception of Charles Pugh, much more conscientious elected officials);
- Jennifer Granholm;
- John Engler;
- The last decade of state House & Senate leadership; and
The show featured a full hour of discussion with 2 of my favorites, Jeff Wattrick and the delightfully salty M.L. Elrick, plus extended commentary from Sheila Cockrel. All 3 — Cockrel and Elrick in particular — are hard-nosed, no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners observers who know what they’re talking about. For hard-core Detroit affairs geeks like me, this was a fun line-up.