Detroit Public School Board members in the State House?

Cross-posted on Right Michigan at www.RightMichigan.com.

It is the middle of July which means it is time for the media to start covering every angle and bit of minutiae associated with the rapidly approaching primary elections.  And with good reason.  We head to the polls three weeks from tomorrow already!

At the Lansing State Journal the calendar means a discussion of the political implications of term limits on this year’s race for the House while the Ivory Tower immediately brightens all of our weeks by discussing the desire of a few Detroit School Board members to receive a fat promotion all the way to Lansing.  Hey, you think they screwed things up down in the D just wait until you see them in the Capitol City!

Jimmy Womack, Annie Carter and Terry Catchings all seem to tell the rag the same thing… it isn’t our fault that DPS is a mess, it takes six votes to get anything done here and we’re only one each.  No word on whether or not anyone from the FREEP informed the candidates that if they’re successful they’ll suddenly find themselves one of one-hundred-ten.  Think it’s tough getting things done when you need to convince five other people to come your way?  Try fifty-five people who consistently shake their heads in shame (one would assume) when they read about your handling of the state’s biggest school system.  

The DPS three are among the candidates vying for one of sixteen open seats currently held by Democrats.  Term limits have also bounced twenty-eight Republicans this year, which could be a blessing or a curse.  Name ID will take you a long ways in these quasi-local races but as the top candidate recruiter in the House GOP points out, not having that proverbial “I” after your name could work wonders this year:

Read on…

“In this particular year, in this particular climate, fresh new faces and fresh new leadership could be a plus,” said GOP Rep. Brian Calley of Portland.

Nineteen of the 65 House incumbents seeking re-election face a primary challenger. Sixteen of them are Democrats, including House Speaker Andy Dillon of Wayne County’s Redford Township, who’s being challenged by former Redford Township public safety director David Parker and former automotive service station owner Frank Tomcsik in the primary.

Talk about positive thinking.  Hey, here’s hoping, right?  But I’d put the odds of the sitting Speaker being knocked off by another Democrat somewhere between the odds that Ron Paul wins the White House and space aliens today over-running Istanbul.  Unfortunately we have a nasty tendency of choosing the “devil we know” more often than not in these situations.  

The thinking seems to be that `it takes 56 votes to get anything done in the House and my guy is only one person… who cares!’  It’s that sort of thinking that gets you a multi-billion dollar tax hike and people like Jimmy Womack trading in his bona fides (solely name ID, unfortunately) in a school district with the lowest graduation rate in the nation like it’s some kind of positive calling card.  Then again, if anyone in Detroit is paying attention to what the man says they’ll keep him as far from the Capitol steps as humanely possible.  FREEP reports:

Womack said the district could be facing reconfiguration once DPS enrollment falls under 100,000, unless state law is changed to prevent more charter schools in the city.

And he said it like reconfiguration would be a bad thing.  Jimmy, parents in Detroit are PRAYING for some sort of reconfiguration.  But by all means, prevent more charter schools from opening their doors and offering hope for kids trapped in a failing system.  “Failing system.”  That sounds so cold and clinical and detached.  There are children, little kids, five, six, seven years old, who are falling so far behind in a school district plagued by scandal, corruption and constant arguments over adult issues, that they are being placed at a serious disadvantage that will follow them for years, maybe even the rest of their lives.  Not because of any deficiency of their own.  But because all of the other kids, including kids in Detroit charter schools, are being given every advantage they are not.

And that’s the issue Jimmy Womack wants to run on?  That’s his campaign strategy?  Elect me so I can ruin more futures?  Jimmy.  Chief.  C’mon.  

The worst part of all, the man is one of sixteen Democrat candidates in his district.  Sixteen!  Meaning a little name ID goes a long ways.  I guess the good news is, if he gets to Lansing, he’ll only be one of one-hundred-and-ten.