by Lee DeVito
The New Yorker published a profile Monday about Oakland County Executive (and Detroit basher) L. Brooks Patterson. Titled "DROP DEAD, DETROIT! The suburban kingpin who is thriving off the city’s decline," the article casts Patterson as the embodiment of affluent Oakland County, and is rife with quotes of Patterson's that sum up the suburb's hostile attitudes toward Detroit.
The article is subscription-only, but Deadline Detroit published a list of some of Patterson's more incendiary quotes, like this one:
“I used to say to my kids, ‘First of all, there’s no reason for you to go to Detroit. We’ve got restaurants out here.’ They don’t even have movie theatres in Detroit—not one.” He went on, “I can’t imagine finding something in Detroit that we don’t have in spades here. Except for live sports. We don’t have baseball, football. For that, fine—get in and get out. But park right next to the venue—spend the extra twenty or thirty bucks. And, before you go to Detroit, you get your gas out here. You do not, do not, under any circumstances, stop in Detroit at a gas station! That’s just a call for a carjacking.”
But maybe the guy's not all that bad? Despite his well-documented attitude about Detroit, Patterson took to the Free Press over the weekend to pen a guest column in defense of the DIA. He said that voting in favor of the DIA millage was a "no-brainer" and pointed out that over 600,000 people visited the DIA last year, "essentially equaling the Detroit Pistons’ total home game attendance in 2013." He also praised Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to support the DIA with $350 million in funds from the state.
UPDATE: Bill Mullan, a Patterson spokesperson, issued the following statement Monday:
“It is clear Paige Williams had an agenda when she interviewed County Executive Patterson. She cast him in a false light in order to fit her preconceived and outdated notions about the region. Mr. Patterson’s record on advancing regional issues in a transparent and responsible manner is unparalleled. His initiatives – including such as Automation Alley, the regional law enforcement management system CLEMIS, and his leadership on the Cobo Authority – have had a highly positive and nationally recognized impact on the region.”