Mayoral candidate Mike Duggan, who boasted of building a large network of volunteers, is paying dozens of Detroiters $70 each to hand out glossy campaign literature at voting precincts until the polls close at 8 tonight.
But it appears his campaign team forgot to tell his workers that state law prohibits them from disseminating campaign material from within 100 feet of a polling station. In a random review of 20 voting precincts across the city, the Motor City Muckraker found that half of Duggan’s workers were violating the law by peddling campaign material and wearing sandwich boards at the entrances of polling stations during today’s primary election for mayor, council, clerk and police commissioner.
While volunteers for a smattering of campaigns handed out modest flyers, the paid workers peddled three-page, full-color brochures listing Duggan’s platform and instructions on how to write his name on the ballot.
But not everyone was as eager. Some Duggan workers slouched on lawn chairs, talking on cell phones or listening to music. At one east-side precinct, a paid worker with dreadlocks admitted he didn’t even like Duggan as a candidate.
“Not bad money though,” he told me.
Of the 20 voting stations we visited, all were flanked with Duggan workers. No campaign came close to matching that.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.