After five months of sitting in court while federal prosecutors aired their case against him, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is waiting for a jury to decide his fate.
But in the meantime, Kilpatrick has been active on both social media sites Facebook and Twitter using the outlets as a form of inexpensive PR to restore his image as a God-fearing family man. Posting multiple pictures of his family along with praise of his loved ones and self-help quips, Kilpatrick is focusing on the positive—his family and God—and decrying the haters.
He posts regular inspirational nuggets for his Twitter followers:
“No Doubt! Sometimes through pain, darkness, tight spaces, u are pushed to rebirth. Just like the womb Bro! Blessings to u!” And: Guy just asked if "I was mad at everybody." No Sir! When I finally forgave myself, I knew I couldn't harbor unforgiveness of others. #newlife."
Kilpatrick, his father Bernard, and longtime contractor friend Bobby Ferguson face dozens of federal charges including extortion, bribery, conspiracy and tax fraud. The defendants pleaded not guilty and defense attorneys worked throughout the trial to argue that Kilpatrick and his co-defendants did nothing illegal, often hammering out the difference between law and ethics. During the trial, Kilpatrick was forced to sit through some of his closest confidants testifying against him in exchange for a plea deal.
Kilpatrick has made his facebook fan page a way to share his methods of getting through touch times:
“The thing that usually devours, now feeds u. The thing that tried to kill u, is now your stepping stone for new life. #digthat.”
Kilpatrick seeks to reclaim an image he had has a family man before the years he's spent in the spotlight amid scandal.
“My Family is Awesome! Through hell & high water, by grace, we have survived & even spiritually prospered. #footstool.” “Hello Family! Just wanted to thank you for your support, words of encouragement and prayers. I also want you to know that Joy is not a feeling, its a fruit of the Spirit. And by God's grace, I still have mine. Much Love Family!"
“Jonas just informed me that he'd earned an all "A" report card. He also told me that Cornell Univ was "back on the table." #mydude #blessed
Kilpatrick also has taken some chances to lash out at negative postings about him. He Tweets in response to his critics:
“What stealing money? Maybe, just maybe u are ignorant & misinformed. Forget supremacy 4 a moment. What makes u right?”
And: “Ppl hve been told 2 hate me for yrs. "It would be better when I left.' Hell followed my exit. Hate reigned."
Ultimately, Kilpatrick's advice to the world, and himself, is: “Don't pray and doubt. Its all in God's hands. Thankfully not the Media’s.”
In his fourth (and possibly last) State of the City Address, Detroit mayor Dave Bing avoided the fact that the city is likely about to fall under state receivership.
His only acknowledgement of the issue came when he boasted that his administration has had “no emergency manager to date.”
Local political pundits took to the social media website Twitter to point out the Mayor’s game of dodge ball on the topic.
Detroit Free Press columnist Stephen Henderson tweeted:
“Bing should also take credit: No swarms of locusts since he has been mayor. To date, that is. #BingSOTC2013”
Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley also took a crack at the mayor via Twitter:
“Elephant? What elephant? Bing barely mentions consent agreement and says nothing of pending financial manager. Reality avoidance.”
Free Press Columnist Rochelle Riley tweeted her two-cents as well:
“Bing speech sounds like its being delivered by a guy who knows it soon won't matter.”
The tweeting pundits noted that much of the Mayor’s claimed progress in the city has come from handouts rather than internal changes.
City Council President Pro-Tem Gary Brown posted:
“Mayor Bing lists accomplishments; he can be proud. But most came by way of federal funds. He better hope that keeps coming. #BingSOTC2013.”
Riley took the chance to note something else: Recently Bing closed 50 city parks due to a $6 million budget shortfall but…
“Mayor Bing announces plan to raise $60 million to keep 17 rec. centers open a week after he announced plans to close 51 parks. #BingSOTC2013”
Interestingly, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, who is planning a run for mayor in 2013, tweeted his agreement with the Bing more than once during the speech, avoiding criticism of his possible opponent in the race.
After Bing refused an interview to prominenet (and often abrasive) Fox 2 news reporter Charlie LeDuff, Fox 2 pulled Bing’s post-speech airtime altogether.
Detroit Mayor Bing refuses me as his interviewer after State of City. Fox2 bosses Refuse him airtime all together. I work for a good org.
Bing also avoided giving any hints as to whether he plans to run for re-election this year.
Did anyone else watch the State of the City? Your thoughts?
After the Detroit City Council decided not to allow a millage proposal on the November ballot that would cost property owners hundreds of dollars a year, a twitter storm broke out.
One Detroit pastor dug into City Councilman Kenneth Cockrel Jr. after Tuesday’s vote. The twitter spat seemed ironic coming from a pastor, whose faith, above all things, commands forgiveness and non-judgment.
The background of the dispute started on Tuesday when Police Chief Ralph Godbee and the Detroit Police Commission had the city council decide whether to ask voters in November if the city should put 8 mills on property tax and that could raise enough money to put 500 police officers to the street.
For people who own houses worth $50,000 the tax would be $250 a year on top of other city taxes and millages.
Cockrel went to twitter after the council voted 7-2 to strike down the ballot proposal, saying the police department financial problems should not be on the backs of the people who are already “taxed to the max”.
Cockrel criticized Police Chief Ralph Godbee in a tweet:
"I am not convinced that our problem is a lack of manpower issue. I'm convinced that our problem is a lack of an effective management plan issue."
That’s when J.A. Williams II, senior pastor of Spirit & Truth Christian Ministries and presiding prelate of Kingdom Builders Association jumped in to defend Godbee.
The following twitter spat ensued:
Williams: @kencockreljr2, @Ralph_Godbee is a much more efficient administrator of DPD than you've been as a councilman or mayoral fill-in. #ijs
Cockrel: @BishopJawill @Ralph_Godbee Both crime stats and word on the street suggest otherwise.
Williams: @KenCockrelJr2 @ralph_godbee On the other hand sir, the City was in the black when you first took your seat.
Cockrel: @BishopJawill @ralph_godbeeUntrue. It was my admin that actually uncovered the extent to which city's budget books hadn't been maintained.
Williams didn’t stop there. He continued:
Williams:…We meant every word. We continue to pray for you, our city & other leaders - even Ken Cockrel. Lol.
Williams:Detroit City Council = cowardly. @Ralph_Godbee = courageous. I normally don't express these positions publicly but WE DESERVE SAFE STREETS!
Was Pastor Williams being fair or should he been more of a twitter diplomat?
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!