Black ex-lawmaker called traitor for endorsing Duggan

lisa howze press picFormer State Rep. Lisa Howze braced for the inevitable accusations and knee-jerk conspiracy theories.
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The 40-year-old accountant was about to endorse Mike Duggan, who is white, for mayor. Howze had med twice with him and his opponent Benny Napoleon after coming fourth in the Aug. 7 primary election. She wanted to keep alive her platform to clean up blight, create jobs and generate much-needed revenue for the city in which she and her five siblings were raised by a single mother.

“Mike Duggan was very sincere,” Howze told me Tuesday after announcing her endorsement. “He liked my ideas, and he’s supporting them. He has a good vision for Detroit.”

But some Detroiters just couldn’t get why a sister would endorse a carpetbagging white dude. Something more sinister was going on, they insisted.

So the rumors made their rounds on social media. Howze was promised a job or paid off, they said.

  • “MY PEOPLE WILL SELL OUT IN A HEARTBEAT, BLACK FOLKS WILL NEVER UNITE!!!!!!!!”
  • “She just exposed her real self.”
  • “How could a good woman like her succumb to selling out her own people that voted for her?”
  • “She sold her soul for a job, to retire campaign debt; I cannot believe that she actually believes in this Carpet-bagging Opportunist.”

For the record, none of the allegations are founded, and Howze denies receiving anything in exchange for supporting Duggan.

“If I went with the vocal minority, then we will never have a higher conversation about what’s next for Detroit,” Howze told me.

She continued: “I know who I am, and they can call me all of the names they want. It’s easier for some people to believe that I was paid off, rather than base my endorsement on the merits of the candidates and their visions for Detroit.”
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Steve Neavling

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.

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  • Dale David

    She’s Supporting “MWD” ………..For BECAUSE SHE IS already Bought and Paid For………She’ll be The Codoleezzaa Rice Of The Duggan Crew……..Maybe They Can Start There Own “SCANDAL EPISODE”

  • Pingback: Did support for white candidate in Detroit provoke break-in? | Motor City Muckraker |()

  • Toka313

    Dangerous rhetoric in the use of “vocal minority.” That’s the type of thing that people like Richard Nixon said. Is that who she’s trying to be like?

  • Dave Armstrong

    Phrases such as “sell out” and “her own people” are reminiscent of why Detroit is in such trouble. Those are similar to the phrases that white folks used to use when any of us supported black candidates…….. before we all packed our bags and fled to the suburbs. Ms. Howze is simply trying to rise above that level of ignorance and intolerance, and support the person who she sincerely believes will be best for the city.

  • imara hyman

    Ms. Howze has the freedom to support whomever she wants without being called a traitor. Too many people are harping on race when we really should be focused on what candidates’ programs are. The times we live in demand that we take a close look at the records of the people running for elected office in Detroit. I have clear reasons as to why i do or don’t support candidates. In the case of Duggan, i don’t support him because he sells public institutions to private entities as in the case of DMC. He was responsible for people getting contract money from the DPS without providing the product or services contracted for; he has a history with Ed McNamara and Wayne county which has yet to be investigated thoroughly for the skulduggery there. Duggan is not who he purports to be and we had better remember his history if we want Detroit to stay out of corporate hands. My candidate of choice is Kristal Crittendon, who is the only person to have risked her career in a principled stand against Snyder and the state of Michigan. IT IS NOT ABOUT RACE!!! Please do your homework and investigate the histories of the people running for mayor of the city of Detroit. And for those of a different hue from me, please know that once corporate capitalists finish with he dark meat, they will move on to the white meat.

  • Steve Sizz

    She endorsed the supposed frontrunner hours before it was revealed that Napoleon had actually won the primary. She must regret that decision.

  • Voodoochik

    I’m glad she is sticking to her principals and not allowing race to enter into what she believes will be a better Detroit. And so what if she ends up getting a job later? She is educated, cares about the City, and has no political baggage that I’m aware of. Assuming Detroit is allowed to continue with the Chap 9 process, solid bean counters with good reputations will be needed when the City emerges. Her CPA and clean record puts her in an excellent position to continue with her political aspirations.

  • Visual Ronin

    i believe the word is “TRAITOR”.

    • james

      Those were quotes. U don’t change quotes if the misspelling does not change the meaning

      • Visual Ronin

        they are not quotes. I used the quotation marks to indicate that the sentence came from a previously published manuscript.

  • Headly Westerfield

    What’s she trading?

  • bebow

    One can never be certain about such things in Detroit, but I think she was probably called a “traitor,” not a “trader.”

    • The____Truth

      LOL, you took the words out of my mouth. Howes represents the younger generation, both black and white who are less about skin color and race than older citizens. For the benefit of younger people, it was the same way when today’s older people were young. Younger people are always more open minded but their opinions become less flexible as they experience more of life.

      That is why advertisers target young people. They are more open to new things and new ways. The ‘ been there, done that ‘ crowd has found what products or opinions they like and are sticking with it. It is tried and true and stands the test of time.

      Young people imagine the potential whereas older people say, ” I’ve watched them for decades and they (black or white) are not going to change.” Of course there are always exceptions among both young and old.