Here are Three Overlooked or Ignored Stories Every Political Junkie Should be Aware of:
- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) hasn’t stopped damaging his own party, even after he cast the deciding vote against “Skinny Repeal” of Obamacare last month. He has now joined with his fellow senator, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), in a brief in the potential milestone reapportionment case now before the U.S. Supreme Court. Both Whitehouse and McCain are arguing on behalf of Wisconsin Democrats that they have been the victims of “gerrymandering” by Republicans in the Dairy State. McCain & Co. contend that a new principle advanced by some Wisconsin professors called the “efficiency gap” proves that Democratic voters have been disenfranchised. The case should be decided this fall, and could have national ramifications, including in Michigan, if the Democrats prevail.
2. A Genesee Co. judge ruled last week that Flint Councilman Scott Kincaid had to decide by Tuesday of this week whether he was going to seek re-election or mayor of Flint, but he couldn’t do both simultaneously. Kincaid announced at a UAW Labor Day celebration in Flint on Monday that he would give up his council seat to seek the mayoralty in a recall scheduled for Nov. 7 against incumbent Karen Weaver. So what happens in Kincaid’s 9th Ward after he easily won the primary last month and had advanced to a November showdown against his opponent, Eva Worthing? With Kincaid out, it appears only Worthing will actually have her name printed on the 11/7 ballot. However, let’s not overlook write-ins. An organized write-in might easily defeat Worthing; it happened in 2013 in Detroit for now-Mayor Mike Duggan. What if Kincaid’s son with the same last name ran as a write-in? If elected, he could either serve a full four-year term, or he could resign and, if Kincaid loses the mayor’s race, the council could appoint Scott Kincaid to fill the vacancy. Even if the council did not name the senior Kincaid, whomever else they might appoint could serve only until a special election was held, probably in May of next year, to fill out the balance of the term. Could such a person beat back a challenge from Kincaid, who has been elected for 32 straight years to the council? Stay tuned.
3. The last person who served as a delegate to the 1961-62 Constitutional Convention AS WELL AS a member of the Michigan Legislature under the old 1908 Constitution has died. Charles N. Youngblood, Jr., who passed away at age 85 last Saturday (Sept. 2) was a Democratic delegate from Detroit at the 1961-62 Con-Con, and he was then elected to the state Senate for a two-year term in 1963-64, the last session of the Legislature that operated under the 1908 Constitution. After the current Constitution toofk effect in 1964, he served nearly 10 more years in the Senate under the “new” charter, until he resigned after being convicted of bribery in a case involving a Farmer Jack’s liquor license in early 1974. That verdict was later overturned on appeal, but Youngblood’s political career was over. Only nine Con-Con delegates are believed to be still alive, and there may be fewer than that because the fate of two of them is unknown.