In praise of democracy 

BEST CANDIDATE TO RUN AGAINST DENNIS ARCHER

Geoffrey Fieger

BEST PERSON TO REPLACE JOHN ENGLER

Jim Blanchard

BEST NEXT JOB FOR ED MCNAMARA

Retirement

BEST OAKLAND POLITICO TO CAUSE L. BROOKS PATTERSON GRIEF

Geoffrey Fieger

MOST TRUSTED POLITICAL FIGURE

Dennis Archer

MOST TRUSTED CORPORATE CITIZEN

Mike Ilitch

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO …

Lee Iacocca

BEST LOCAL ACTIVIST

Michael Moore

BEST WAY TO SURVIVE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

Move to Canada

BEST REASON TO SUPPORT A THIRD PARTY

George W. Bush

BEST NEW JOB FOR AL GORE

President

BEST NEW JOB FOR BILL CLINTON

Porn star

BEST REASON TO CONVINCE BILL CLINTON TO MOVE TO DETROIT

Strip clubs

BEST WAY TO MAKE SURE THE REAL WINNER WINS NEXT ELECTION

Count all the votes

BEST REASON TO VOTE

It’s your right

BEST SUBJECT OF CONVERSATION INSTEAD OF POLITICS

Sex

MOST IMPORTANT POLITICAL ISSUE

Education

BEST NEW JOB FOR DETROIT POLICE CHIEF BENNY NAPOLEON

Security guard

BEST REASON TO GET INVOLVED IN POLITICS

To make a difference

BEST NEW USE FOR THE STATE FAIRGROUNDS

Race track

BEST NEXT HEAD OF DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

TIE: Dennis Archer, Benny Napoleon

BEST PERSON OR JOB CATEGORY TO BE FOLLOWED AROUND BY THE FOX 2 NEWS CREW

Fox 2 News Crew

BEST NEW USE FOR OLD VOTING MACHINES

5. Do this MT poll

4. MEAP test scoring

3. Artificial reefs

2. Pez dispensers

  1. Slot machines

BEST WAY TO MAKE POLITICS FUN

5. Steel cage match

4. Free beer

3. Make candidates dress in drag

2. Elect the third party

1. Vote

BEST WAY TO FIX HAMTRAMCK

5. Turn it into an amusement park

4. Pay the workers

3. Open more bars

2. 10 paczki days per year

1. Merge with Detroit

BEST NICKNAME FOR GEORGE W. BUSH

5. Commander-in-Thief

4. Lame Duck

3. Curious George

2. Shrub

1. Dubya

Ready to rumble

Best Candidate to Run Against Dennis Archer/Best Politico to Cause L. Brooks Patterson Grief

Geoffrey Fieger

Ah, Fieger ... the Pied Piper of plaintiffs, champion of shoplifters, arch-nemesis of daytime talk-show hosts, a grinning, gap-toothed, Grim Reaper of deep pockets everywhere. One kind of wishes brother Dougie would’ve invited him to join the Knack, thereby sparing us from his incessantly high-pitched and reedy Midwestern elocution.

MT readers have selected him as the Best Candidate to Run Against Dennis Archer/Cause Brooks Patterson Grief (two categories that go hand in hand, as naturally any mayor of Detroit will eventually cause L. Brooks some grief and vice versa). A Fieger for Mayor campaign would no doubt captivate the same grass roots disenfranchised who picked up their pitchforks and jumped on his last gubernatorial campaign bandwagon (which eventually crashed and burned in a landslide defeat). One can only hope, however, we won’t have to once again endure the hackneyed and banal campaign slogan, "It’s Fieger time!" Given what some have described as an abrasive, ego-flexing personality, coupled with his love for obscenities, it’s clear that Mayor Fieger would elevate city-suburb acrimony to a level of frostiness unseen since Coleman Young left office. Such a turn of events would undoubtedly set the city back a few decades in terms of measurable progress and credibility (read: business development). Nevertheless, one cannot deny that the supremely humble Fieger, who has described himself to an MT reporter as "one smart motherfucker," and who once admitted to possibly calling John Engler a "bag of shit," would certainly provide a welcome contrast (at least for a few weeks or so) to the prosaic and stultifying regime of Judge Dennis, who’s about as inspiring as a grain of rice . —Casey Coston

King Mike

Most Trusted Corporate Citizen

Mike Ilitch

Hail Caesar, the Macedonian monarch of Hockeytown, lord of all he surveys from his gilded aerie high atop the Fox Theatre. Emperor Ilitch has built up a great deal of trust in the local community due in large part to his heroic efforts in renovating the Fox, erecting Comerica Park, and returning the Red Wings to legendary status with two Stanley Cups. Detroit Tigers fans were most likely underrepresented in this vote, as Ilitch's hopeful statements over the past several years about his perpetually hapless club have done absolutely nothing to engender a modicum of trust in the team’s fan base.

Also, Ilitch seems to have retreated from the public eye, leaving his progeny to take the reins of the Olympia empire. While rumors continually swirl concerning the Ilitch family and their holdings, including stories that they want to build a new hockey arena behind the Fox, the pizza chain is floundering, and the Tigers are up for sale, Mr. I. remains a silent "eye" in the middle of the supposition storm. In any event, the considerable reservoir of trust that Ilitch has built up over the years should be enough to get him through another decade of inferior Tiger teams who lose more than they win, as long as the hockey team brings home another Stanley Cup or two. Win or lose, however, there can be no doubt that the impressive Ilitch legacy will be permanently enshrined in structures such as the Fox, Second City/Hockeytown Cafe and Comerica Park, developments which have forever altered the downtown Detroit streetscape. It is from legacies such as these that folks like Peter Karmanos take their cue. All we need now are a few more homegrown, self-made millionaires and we'll have a reborn downtown on our hands. —Casey Coston

He guarantees it

What ever happened to …

Lee Iacocca

These days you can find Lee Iacocca — or at least a picture of him — leaning back in cyberspace, jacket slung over the back of his chair, hands behind his head, confident salesman’s smile on his lips. "Find the equipment you need here, I guarantee it," he’s quoted as saying, as he solicits your bid at Online Asset Exchange! That’s where you can pick up a used Roberts Vertical 8 Stage Indexing Broach Machine or a Traub CNC Turning Lathe Model TND-360 or similar goodies from a reported inventory worth $12 billion. You can snap these up at a live, Web-only auction, no less.

Not that being the only board member pictured at Online Asset’s site is enough to keep Lido busy, even at age 77. He’s also peddling an electric-muscle power hybrid bicycle, the E-bike (staring price $995), and probably trying to forget such less-successful, post-Chrysler ventures as the Koo Koo Roo fast-food chicken chain.

Now, while we try not to overanalyze the results of the Best Of Detroit contest, we can’t help but thinking that curiosity about Ol’ Lee is directly related to the sad fate of the company he once saved. Iacocca’s crowning acts of salesmanship were: 1) Persuading Congress and the president to pony up a $1.5 billion bailout package to save Chrysler from bankruptcy in 1979; and 2) selling the company’s products to wary consumers with his personal guarantee.

But that was before presiding over another downhill Chrysler slide before his 1992 exit. And before his role in a failed takeover bid that drove the company into the warm, protective arms of Daimler-Benz. And we’re still finding out how far downhill that road goes. —W. Kim Heron

Rabble rouser

Best Local Activist

Michael Moore

I’ve written exactly one fan letter my entire life, and it was to Michael Moore, back in 1999, when his cable show The Awful Truth premiered. One of the segments involved a diabetic who was dying because his health maintenance organization refused to provide him with the pancreas transplant he needed to stay alive. After the program aired, the HMO, shamed by the horrible publicity, reversed course. And a life was saved.

It was a remarkable piece of television, and I wrote Moore to say so, and to tell him how important he is to progressives such as me. He makes us laugh, sure. But he also inspires. From his days running an alternative newspaper in Flint to his landmark documentary Roger & Me, to a groundbreaking television series to his in role Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign, the guy steps up again and again to take on corporate special interests and venal political hypocrites, racists and homophobes, greed meisters and polluters and brutal cops, always on behalf of those drowning in poverty or struggling to survive the relentless toil of a blue-collar existence.

And through it all, his sense of humor remains intact. Even, as is the case these days, when the attacks are coming from some of his former allies on the left.

On his Web site a few weeks back, he described this scene at a recent Writers Guild Awards dinner in New York City:

"My wife," he wrote, "told me that, while I was on the way up to the stage, the people at a nearby table hissed at me.

"‘That's the first time I have ever heard someone hiss you just at the mention of your name,’ she said. ‘Usually they wait 'til you've said something obnoxious or stupid.’"

"‘I think it's Nader residue,’" my wife said later. ‘They hold you responsible.’"

Maybe so. But all the Best Of voters who sent your name to the Metro Times feel differently. They, like me, simply hold you in awe.

And to you lefties who still blame him for helping put George Bush in the White House, he offers this olive branch:

"Our work is cut out for us. Is everybody ready to mend some fences and get busy? I am." —Curt Guyette

Best of chads

Best New Use for Old Voting Machines

Slot machines

When did we get new voting machines? Or is this sensible question spoiling our readers good time? Sorry, I’ll play along. So, we have new voting machines, which is just swell. Now, what to do with the antiquated ones that sometimes fail to thoroughly poke out those naughty chads and cause all hell to break out in a panhandle state governed by a brother named Jeb. (Good thing it wasn’t a close presidential election or those little chad boys may have created a "constitutional crisis" and forced us to rely on our trusted U.S. Supreme Court to settle the matter, which no doubt would have shown that there is no test our failure-proof legal system can’t pass.)

Well, according to our high–minded readers, the old voting machines should be used as Pez dispensers. That was your second choice and not a bad one except that the little original Pez dispensers are so handy and fit so neatly in one’s pocket. What about your third choice: use them as artificial reefs? Wooh! That’s way out there folks, so far gone I don’t even know what the hell you’re talking about.

You also suggested using the little ballot-punchers for MEAP test scoring and for this Metro Times Best Of poll; which came in fifth and forth place, respectively. I like it; after all, there isn’t much difference between the two. In fact, next year, I suggest we run MEAP tests instead of the Best Of ballot; that way we will truly be able to gauge the minds of our reading public. Now, for your final suggestion and the best of all: Use the vote counters as slot machines. Brilliant! Considering the last election, the whole thing seems to be one big gamble. —Ann Mullen

Power up the people

Best Way to Make Politics Fun

Vote

It surprises me that readers even bothered to respond to this category. You know darn well that politics is fun; it’s a goddamned Greek comedy. Recall our recent political history: Big Willie is in the Oval Office getting his tingling diddled by the Intern; Holier-than-thou Ken Starr makes sure he airs out every prurient detail of the affair for the good of this country — and of course the press; nerves-of-denial Hillary plods on to be the first First Lady to become a U.S. Senator; Gore boy, who has worked his whole life to be president, loses to a charming dumbbell (that’s more of a Greek tragedy, or maybe a geek tragedy); and the man blamed for Gore’s loss is a guy named Ralph. Forget "Survivor," politics is the best entertainment going.

But in case the usual antics of our nation’s leaders don’t do it for you, you gave us plenty of suggestions, and emphasized that the best way to make politics fun is simply to vote. I vote for electing a third party for no other reason than to put more folks in the mix to make us laugh — as they say, the more the merrier. —Ann Mullen

Hamtown yuks

Best Way To Fix Up Hamtramck

Merge with Detroit

Poor Hamtramck can’t catch a break. It seems that our readers take this town of about 20,000 for a hardy-har-har laugh riot. When asked what the best way is to fix the city, you suggested that it be turned into an amusement park. What kind of plan is that? Do you really expect people to plunk down a handful of change for a ticket allowing admittance to corner bars and a face full of paczki? Mmmh. On second thought, maybe you have something there. Before settling on the amusement park idea, let’s consider your other suggestions. "Merge with Detroit" received the most votes How boring. And besides, do you really think you can talk Mayor Dennis Archer into taking on this financial drain? "Create 10 paczki days a year" received the next highest number of votes (may as well combine that with the amusement park idea). "Open more bars" took third place — that also goes along with the amusement-park theme, don’t you think? "Pay the workers" (damn civil servants probably wrote that suggestion) was number four.

Though I’m not much of a beer drinker and paczki give me a stomachache, the amusement park idea is admittedly best. Let’s see, there could be a Trashcan Roller Coaster for the kiddies and all-day rat shoots. (Don’t take it personally, all great cities have ’em.) And who would want to miss The Great Pothole Adventure? Plus, if you put the council members in Spandex tights and tone down their meetings a tiny bit, people will surely pay to watch, just like they do for pro wrestling. As they say, if you can’t beat ’em … —Ann Mullen

Best Things to Do In Detroit

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