ICYMI: Detroiters iffy on Craig’s gov run, Kilpatrick gets remarried, the Olympics aren’t worth it, and more

click to enlarge Retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig. - Steve Neavling
Steve Neavling
Retired Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Last year, law enforcement announced it had thwarted an extraordinary domestic terrorist plot to kidnap and murder Governor Gretchen Whitmer, thanks to the work of FBI informants who embedded themselves in the group. However, new reporting from Buzzfeed News shows that those FBI informants "had a hand in nearly every aspect of the alleged plot, starting with its inception," adding, "The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them." One informant became so embedded in the militia group that he rose to become its second-in-command. Now, all but one of the six defendants have pleaded not guilty and allege they were set up.

Former DPD Chief James Craig is making a bet that Michigan voters will be willing to give him a chance in his campaign to unseat Governor Whitmer. But a new poll by USA Today, Suffolk University, and the Detroit Free Press found only 28 percent of Detroiters said Craig's record as chief would make them more likely to support him as governor. It also found some Detroiters were surprised to learn Craig is a Republican who embraces Donald Trump, who earned just over 5 percent of the vote in Detroit in 2020. "[As] far as him coming out and saying he's going to run under the Republican Party, that rubbed me the wrong way," James Gibbs, 77, a retired city worker, told the Freep. "I don't understand that." Craig's status as a rare Black Republican is irresistible to Fox News, however, where Craig officially announced his candidacy last week on Tucker Carlson's show.

Last week, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics finally launched, a year behind schedule, with its opening ceremony held in a nearly empty stadium — because of the national emergency declared because of the historic COVID-19 pandemic, duh. But it's not just health concerns that have people rethinking the Olympics this year. The Tokyo games are reportedly some $20 million over budget, which is actually par for the course. According to The New York Times, every Olympics since 1960 has run over budget, at an average of 172 percent in inflation-adjusted terms, according to an analysis by researchers at Oxford University. "If we were living in a rational world, we would have the same city hosting the Games every two years," NYT's Andrew Ross Sorkin and Sarah Kessler write. "There's no reason to rebuild the Olympic Shangri-La every four years." Might we suggest ... Greece?

Looks like the nearly 650,000 Michiganders who received letters saying they may not have qualified for unemployment benefits they received due to a government error won't have to repay the money after all. "No one who followed the rules and received benefits through no fault of their own should have to pay back money to the federal government," Whitmer said in a statement last week. "We expect to utilize the waiver process that was granted by the federal government to ensure that you are made whole." The SNAFU happened when the state issued pandemic relief guidelines that wound up different than the ones from the federal government. Whoops!

Congratulations are in order for Kwame Kilpatrick, the embattled former Detroit mayor whose life has radically changed since Trump pardoned him in the 11th hour of his presidency, freeing him of a 28-year sentence for wire fraud and racketeering after serving just seven years. Kilpatrick returned to Detroit on Saturday to marry Laticia Maria McGee at Detroit's Historic Little Rock Baptist Church, a woman who he reportedly met when she was 20 and working as a receptionist in his office in 2002, according to Deadline Detroit. Kilpatrick has said he plans to live in Georgia, where he and McGee filed articles of incorporation for a nonprofit named Movement Ministries last month.

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