Thursday, September 4, 2008

Meteoric rise ends in dramatic crash for Kilpatrick

His reputation in tatters, Kwame Kilpatrick leaves the mayor's office with an uncertain future and an inescapable legacy.

The man who came into power as the youngest mayor in Detroit history leaves his 11th-floor office as the city's only sitting chief executive convicted of a felony. In one day, he goes from being the most powerful man in the city to not having a bed of his own in Detroit -- he and his wife sold their home when they moved into the Manoogian Mansion.

Kilpatrick's meteoric rise, and even more dramatic crash, is a story of hope and hubris, of a man whose potential was matched only by his flaws.

"He's very bright and very charismatic," said Timothy Bledsoe, a Wayne State University professor of political science and a Democratic candidate for the Michigan 1st District House seat. "But at some point, he wasn't able to restrain his use of power. It's like the old saying: power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Kwame Kilpatrick was born to be a politician. His father was chief of staff to Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara, and his mother was a state representative. He graduated from Cass Technical High School in 1988. There, he became friends with Christine Rowland, later known by her married name Christine Beatty, a woman who would later figure prominently in establishing Kilpatrick's political career, and later, destroying it.

He was a star football player, and earned a scholarship to play at Florida A&M in Tallahassee. While there, he met and married his wife, Carlita.

Kilpatrick returned to Detroit, where he became a popular elementary school teacher at Marcus Garvey Academy, forming the school's first basketball team and Boy Scout troop. When his mother, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, ran for Congress, Kilpatrick ran for her state House seat. He was a state legislator at 25, and the first African-American leader of the Democratic Caucus at age 29.

"He was a rock star," recalled Kelly Rossman, CEO of the Lansing-based Rossman Group public relations firm, who worked with Kilpatrick during his tenure in the Capitol. "He had this presence about him -- he was larger than life."

In 2001, nine years out of college, Kilpatrick stood on stage on election night as the newly elected mayor, sporting a brilliant smile and a hole in his ear lobe where a diamond stud once rested.

The 31-year-old was suddenly in charge of a nearly $3 billion budget, overseeing a city work force of 15,000 people.

The former college football player was bigger than life from the moment he entered the mayor's office in 2002, carrying the hopes of a wounded city on his shoulders. National magazines wrote glowing profiles. Comedian Chris Rock based a movie character on Kilpatrick.

"I went with (Kilpatrick) into a neighborhood on a project early in his first term (as mayor)," Rossman said. "It was like Jesus walking down the street -- people were rushing out of their homes to touch him. I've worked with politicians all my adult life and I'd never seen anything like it."

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson recalled "feeling like a Lilliputian" when he sat in meetings with Kilpatrick. "He brought that kind of image to the city, that they had a guy who was big enough for the job, physically and intellectually. He was very quick on his feet and a great communicator."

Detroit's downtown enjoyed a renaissance under Kilpatrick's leadership. Compuware completed its move downtown (a move begun under the Archer administration); Campus Martius, the center-city park complete with an ice rink, opened; Detroit hosted the Super Bowl and a baseball All-Star game. Kilpatrick renegotiated deals to build three permanent casinos in the city.

The riverfront opened with a 2.5-mile Riverwalk that eventually will span five miles. Two venerable, closed hotels, the Book Cadillac and the Fort-Shelby, are under reconstruction with plans to open in the near future.

But Kilpatrick's success was always overshadowed by his scandals.

Rumors of a wild party at the Manoogian Mansion involving a stripper in 2002 persist six years later, not because there's evidence, but because the rumor fits with the partying persona of the "hip hop mayor." Kilpatrick spent over $200,000 on city credit cards on out-of-town travel, buying lavish meals and partying at nightclubs.

His wife drove a city-leased Lincoln Navigator, costing Detroit $25,000 at a time when her husband was laying off police officers.

Many wrote his political obituary after he finished second in the city's mayoral primary in 2005, garnering only 34 percent of the vote compared to 45 percent for Freman Hendrix. Kilpatrick came back to beat Hendrix in the general election, even after exit polling showed him losing.

Kilpatrick has always worn his foibles on his cuff-linked sleeve, but his personal charm makes voters forgive and forget, said state Sen. Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit. "The current mayor has exceptional personal gifts. He's intellectually a brilliant person. He's very politically savvy and shrewd. He's charismatic. He can genuinely connect with people."

The more scandals he survived, the more an air of infallibility grew around the Detroit mayor. His staff, made up of childhood friends and relatives, wore "Team Kilpatrick" jackets. Kilpatrick began referring to himself in the third person.

"People in high-profile positions have to believe what they are doing is innately right," said Renana Brooks, a Washington, D.C., psychologist who specializes in counseling politicians and their families during crises. "The problem is when you do that, it becomes increasingly difficult to have any sense of moral center."

In 2002 and 2003, Kilpatrick apparently had an affair with his chief of staff and high school buddy, Christine Beatty. Their liaisons were chronicled in sometimes flirty, sometimes obscene text messages on their city-issued pagers. Those messages were revealed in January 2008, and appeared to contradict the testimony of Beatty and Kilpatrick when they denied having an affair in a 2007 whistle-blower civil suit.

Under siege but undaunted, Kilpatrick vowed to remain in office -- an attitude that had served him well in past scandals.

But the scandal became a cancer on the administration, enveloping the city law department and paralyzing the City Council. Kilpatrick and Beatty were charged with multiple counts of perjury and obstruction of justice in March. As many as 15 lawyers worked at various times to keep the text messages secret or keep the mayor out of jail.

Kilpatrick spent a night in the Wayne County Jail in August after he violated the terms of his bond by visiting Windsor. When he got out, Kilpatrick was immediately charged with two more felonies for a shoving incident in late July involving a sheriff's deputy trying to serve a subpoena on his friend, Bobby Ferguson.

The dam had burst. Business and church leaders who up till then had remained supportive of Kilpatrick began calling for his resignation. Gov. Jennifer Granholm accelerated a timetable for ouster hearings that began Wednesday and ended with his resignation Thursday. IRS documents indicated Kilpatrick spent money on lawyers nearly as quickly as he raised it.

The media-savvy mayor had lost control of his own life story. The man who billed himself as a new kind of leader became known as the man with an electronic tether over his black dress socks.

For political scientist Bledsoe, Kilpatrick's story is a metaphor for the city's own problems. "You have this façade of a pretty vibrant downtown, but then you go into the neighborhoods and you have abandoned homes," Bledsoe said. "Here you had a man with great charisma, who had these faults. Charisma can only take you so far in a city so desperate for leadership."

Stripped of his law license, removed from the political post he once claimed "he was on assignment from God" to hold, Kilpatrick faces an uncertain future.

Despite the tragic turn of events, Rossman believes Kilpatrick has plenty of time -- and ambition -- to redeem his reputation. "He still has half his work life ahead of him," Rossman said of the 38-year-old Kilpatrick."He can still do some amazing things in his life if he learns from this -- maybe not in politics, but he could run a nonprofit or he could teach."

Patterson is less hopeful. Kilpatrick had it all and threw it away.

"He'll be a footnote in history," Patterson said, "but not in the way he intended."

source:detnews.com

42 comments:

Sandi said...

Hi,

My name is Sandi and I'm working in association with Thumbplay.com, a leading online platform of mobile entertainment content that offers ringtones, wallpapers, games and text-based services through a membership-based, community experience.

I feel the information on your site you provide is very useful. I would love to know if you could link to our ringtone resource.

Best regards,
Sandi

EdwinaHugh said...

a片洪爺色情網a色情小說a色情影片av色情a片下載av色情dvdav免費色情片av免費色情影片av女優線上免費色情影片av女優色情影片av成人情色色情光碟圖庫有碼女優色情影片色情av女優介紹go2avaa色情免費看aa色情網站85論壇色情18禁色情網站18禁色情小說18禁地色情線上遊戲18禁地色情遊戲18禁地少女色情遊戲18禁成人色情漫畫18色情排行榜18街色情18歲色情影片3d色情3d色情遊戲520色情影片69色情網85cc成人色情片觀看85色情街85街色情av直播室情色小說72免費情色影片777-情色光碟網777情色光碟網7kiss情色網85cc免費影片-成人-情色論壇-成人文章

單存 said...

向小善致敬,它使人生旅程較為平順。........................................

lady said...

第一次睇你blog,鐘意!........................................

pass said...

尋夢元聊天性愛性交性愛線上性愛線上看女優性愛免費av片上看免費av片線上觀看免做愛影片免看色情片免妹影片西洋成人色片西洋辣妹做愛西洋影片網西洋線上影片免下載a片線上看免下載成人片免下載做愛影片免下載情色影片免下載無碼短片免卡通影片免免費成人影片免妹成人影片免妹視訊免費av成人情色電影免費av成人電影免費a片長片下載免費a片馬上看免費a片動漫下載免費a片照片免費A片線上小魔女自拍小魔女自拍天堂 情色視訊聊天室歐美免費影片

曉豪 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。 ..................................................

林于名 said...

天下沒有意把鑰匙,可以打開所有的門......................................................

明宏明宏 said...

I do like ur article~!!!..................................................

BlancaMcleroy1230 said...

很用心的blog,推推哦 ........................................

凱倩 said...

Nothing comes from nothing.......................................................

文君 said...

唯有穿鞋的人,才知道鞋的哪一處擠腳......................................................

文迪 said...

your artical is so funny!! it make me so happy!! .............................................

毅群 said...

人生中最重要的是要自尊、自愛、自立、自強、自信。 ....................................................

怡君 said...

Good la........................................

730A_ngelinaRabideau0 said...

豆豆聊聊天080人聊天室尋夢元聊天性愛性交性愛線上gogo成人網gogo成人影片gogo色情gogo258影片gogo258goav線上go2色情影片網go2免費ago2免費a片go2免費成人影片go2免費影片卡通go2免費影片觀看go2亞洲免費影片go2線上a片go2線上免費go2線上影片go3avgoav成人網goav免費影片線上gogo色情網gogo色情影片hi免費影片hk免費影城hot情色httpsex520net視訊辣妹亞洲情色風暴貼圖ut男同志聊天室情色視訊

俊翔劉 said...

Necessity is the mother of invention.............................................................

子帆 said...

真正的愛心,是照顧好自己的這顆心。........................................

亦妮亦妮 said...

人生的光榮,不在永不失敗,而在於能夠屢仆屢起。......................................................................

楊俊美 said...

好的blog需要我們一起努力!.................................................................

江婷 said...

一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。.................................................................                           

韻枝 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債....................................................................

于庭 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

原秋原秋 said...

Unable to give you a heart. so have a reply to push up your post.
..................................................................

宛真宛真 said...

No garden without its weeds.............................................................

蕙春蕙春 said...

多謝美味的心靈雞湯......................................................................

雅俊芬凱陳許 said...

一個人就像一個分數,他的實際才能是分子,他對自己的評價是分母。分母越大,則分數的價值越小。..................................................

曹依潔曹依潔 said...

及時行樂-快樂不需要理由............................................................

陳佑發 said...

精彩,thanks!............................................................

王美妹 said...

i consder your artical is so nice!............................................................

姿柯瑩柯dgdd憶曾g智曾 said...

從來愛都不知它的深度,非得等到別離的時候.................................................................

徐禎緯 said...

百發百中不是一試就成的。..................................................

家唐銘 said...

永遠支持你呀!!HO!!HO!!HO!!HO!!~~..................................................................

吳承侯政霖虹 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債.................................................................

文王廷 said...

一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。..................................................

陳雅吳水以竹 said...

成功可招引朋友,挫敗可考驗朋友......................................................................

秀李李迪秀李李迪 said...

在你一無所有的時候 是誰在陪伴你 他便是你最重要的人......................................................................

淑君韓淑君韓淑君韓 said...

認真的看完~~幫你推一下............................................................

孫邦柔 said...

很耐斯的部落格,留言支持你繼續加油............................................................

48684 said...

你怎麼能經過一片海,而忘記它的藍?......................................................................

fwqtsd said...

心平氣和~祝你也快樂~~..................................................

SadeRa盈君iford0412 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。..................................................