In this morning's news...

Jun 9, 2011

Detroit City Council corruption caught on video tape

The videos have been viewed in the U.S. District Court in Detroit, but never broadcast publically. The Detroit News has posted video from 2008 of a city council aide accepting cash from a company seeking to win a sludge hauling contract.

From the Detroit News:

John Clark, then an aide to City Councilman Kenneth Cockrel Jr., is handed a wad of cash from James Rosendall Jr., vice president of sludge-hauling firm Synagro Technologies Inc., which was awarded a $1.2 billion sludge-hauling contract.

"Woo-hoo," Clark says after counting the $2,000 on Feb. 20, 2008. "You helped me out, man."

The money was a reward for Clark's work getting the Synagro contract on the City Council agenda and for helping rally community support, according to the FBI.

The FBI surveillance videos were shot as part of a federal probe into Detroit City Hall corruption that has, to date, led to 17 felony convictions. Here's one of the videos obtained by the News:

Mr. Romney goes to Michigan

Republican presidential hopeful is swinging through the state this week. He's making fundraising stops and working to build his campaign machine in the state.

That he's running into criticism from Motor City Democrats is no surprise - on his Facebook page, Congressman John Dingell said he "hopes Governor Romney has answers for Michigan's working families he abandoned two years ago when the American auto industry was in its worst crisis ever" (Romney has responded that President Obama pretty much did what Romney recommended in the auto bailout - no blank checks, structured reorganization).

But the fact that he's running into criticism from fellow Republicans is a surprise. Michgian Radio's Sarah Hulett reported on a press conference Republican Congressman (and potential presidential hopeful) Thaddeus McCotter held yesterday:

Romney plans a campaign stop at a diner in Livonia diner – right in the heart of Congressman Thaddeus McCotter’s district. That prompted McCotter to call a press conference to criticize Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout, and his one-time support for a healthcare overhaul in Massachusetts that created a system of subsidies and mandates, among other issues:

"I’m like 54 percent of the Republican electorate, who are unimpressed or are currently not supporting any of the candidates."

Fever breaks, cold front makes its way through Michigan overnight

The dog days of spring are over as a front swept across the state overnight. The front swept out the 90 degree temps and will bring in temperatures in the mid to high seventies today. High winds moved through the state as the front came in. From the Grand Rapids Press:

Numerous trees and power lines were reported down as high winds swept through West Michigan overnight.

The National Weather Service reported high winds arrived about midnight as a storm front moved across Lake Michigan.

Wind gusts up to 50 to 60 mph were reported in parts of the state.

The heat wave that passed through Michigan, and a good portion of the country, was a record setter according to Jeff Masters at the Weather Underground:

An intense blast of heat set new daily high temperature marks in 14 states from Texas to Minnesota Tuesday, including a remarkable 103°F in Minneapolis. It was the hottest day in the city in nearly 23 years, since 105°F was recorded on July 31, 1988, and the second earliest date the city had ever hit 100°.