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Detroit: DancinĂ?¢ââ??‰â??¢ in the Streets

With Detroit’s unemployment hovering between 12.7% and 15% (or well more than twice the jobless rate in Michigan or nationwide) and city government increasingly operating in red ink, Motor City voters almost turned out Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

However, the nation’s youngest (35) big-city mayor finally claimed victory by a margin of 53% to 47% over Freman Hendrix, who had been chief of staff to former Mayor (1993-2001) Dennis Archer. Both Hendrix and Kilpatrick are African-American Democrats.

Along with his city’s moribund economy, Kilpatrick, son of Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D.-Mich.), was repeatedly hit by embarrassing reports in the Detroit Free Press about how he handled his own money. Among the things the mayor was forced to explain and apologize for were running up $210,000 in three years on his city MasterCard (including big tabs at a Washington, D.C., nightspot and a Las Vegas spa) and spending $144,000 from the city’s petty cash account on such items as Detroit Lions tickets and a skybox at a Rolling Stones concert.

In promising strong management of the city budget and lower taxes, the 55-year-old Hendrix also told voters: “I won’t embarrass you.”

One celebrated winner in the at-large races for City Council was Martha Reeves, best-known for such hits as “Dancin’ in the Streets” while the lead singer for Martha and the Vandellas. Citing cases in which her businesses were struck by Detroit’s crime wave, the Gold Record-winning songbird ran on a tough anti-crime platform.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ?ť and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ?ť and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â?ť video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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