In the wake of Kwame Kilpatrick’s exit from office in 2009, News Hits was making book on when Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano would leave office. Not only does it look like Ficano won’t quit, he’s in the midst of another run at the office.
We can’t recall an election where there’s been so much blood in the water: A trail of scandals and failures has dogged Ficano over the years, ranging from Turkia Mullin’s lavish $700,000 severance award to the failed $404 million jail downtown. Though not apparently culpable of any criminal wrongdoing, to put it gently, Big Bob has been screwing up big-time. This hasn’t passed without notice. A field of more than a dozen contenders has entered this year’s contest, all of them hoping to be Wayne County’s next boss.
And yet there’s something really bizarre here: If one of these challengers has taken the gloves off and landed body blows in what should be the political fight of Ficano’s life, we haven’t heard of it.
Not one unkind word for Ficano’s record? Not one angry denunciation of incompetence? We at the Hits know it’s early in the season, but you’d think that, in a real political campaign, the incumbent’s record would be under serious attack. You make hay while the sun is shining, and, under Ficano’s leadership, Wayne County is like a 640-acre ryegrass field in full maturity under bright, cloudless skies. Given all these patty-cake campaigns, it’s hard to take a single candidate seriously.
Will somebody — anybody — raise even the most timid criticism of Big Bob?