Kwame Kilpatrick Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison
WWJ-AM 950 is reporting that Kwame Kilpatrick has been given the maximum sentence — 28 years — for his conviction on charges brought under the RICO act. Mr. Kilpatrick’s conviction should serve as a cautionary tale for politicians everywhere: abuse the public trust, and justice will be served.
Although Mr. Kilpatrick’s misdeeds by far eclipse any of those done by Sterling Heights politicians, one parallel is clear: arrogance will lead to a politician’s rapid downfall. Ours is a town which once fired its appointed City Manager for falsifying his college degree. Our city has seen many similar scandals, both minor and major, erupt at the corner of Utica Road and Dodge Park.
As we consider who to re-elect, or possibly install in office for the first time in the election, we should carefully consider the character of the candidates. Which candidates behave themselves well in public, let alone council chambers? Which candidates speak in measured tones, and which are given to wild exaggeration and innuendo? Which candidates carefully keep the city’s legal liability in mind, and which ones seemingly present a risk of myriad lawsuits, both for the city and in their personal lives?
We as electors have a duty to the public trust in much the same way our politicians do. We are all directly responsible for the people who find themselves in our government. Who we support and vote for matters to our city, our residents and ourselves. Our lives are directly impacted by the people we elect to office.
In order to honor our duty, it is up to us to educate ourselves about the candidates, become familiar with the issues, and most importantly, show up at the polls on election day! As a reader of this blog, I know you are already more involved and probably better informed than most of the electorate. Why don’t you help a friend or neighbor find their way this blog, take them to a City Council meeting, or sit down with a cold beverage and watch the council meeting on cable TV or live via the Internet? Perhaps you could offer them a ride to the polls on November 5th once you’re confident that they know enough to make intelligent choices on who to vote for.
Really, an effort such as this is the only way we will avoid electing the Sterling Heights version of Kwame Kilpatrick. Doesn’t that seem worthwhile?