What happens when a city runs out of viable political candidates? If you don’t think it can really happen, I have one word for you “Detroit.” Although Kwame Kilpatrick’s illegal, immoral, and unethical behavior has been nationally publicized, it’s just the tip of the political corruption iceberg that has become the norm in Detroit politics.
One of the many scandals that has occurred involves representatives from Synagro Technologies, a recycling company, giving hundreds of thousands of dollars directly to Detroit politicians in order to secure lucrative contracts for the company. Synagro’s Rayford Jackson delivered many of the bribes including buying the vote of former Motown star and City Council member, Martha Reeves. Jackson said that dealing with the totally Democrat controlled City government meant greasing the palms of just about everyone.
It begs the question, why would anyone who has something going for them choose to live in that disastrous city? That leaves undesirables for political candidates.
Toledo is pretty much there. One Party rule; City Council candidates from that Party who don’t meet primary deadlines, but are still allowed to run; a Democrat Councilman convicted of bribery—with many of his fellow Party colleagues knowing about it—and not saying a thing; and a mayoral election system that allows for the top two primary candidates, regardless of Party affiliation, to run against each other. This latter situation assures that there will never be a Republican finalist for mayor (the trend is to label oneself an “Independent”—anything but “Republican”).