The Detroit News reports that half of that city’s eight declared mayoral candidates are convicted felons. According to the news account, “Three were charged with gun crimes and two for assault with intent to commit murder.” That fact alone is remarkable, but what’s more telling for Floridians the utterly blasé response of people in Detroit. A political consultant quoted in the article says, “Black marks on your record show you have lived a little and have overcome some challenges.” Excuse me . . . what? Assault with intent to commit murder is just a “black mark on your record”?
The article notes that under Michigan law, “convicted felons can vote and run for office as long as they are not incarcerated or guilty of certain fraud-related offenses, or crimes involving a breach of the public trust.” And that’s the not very slippery slope . . . if felons are allowed to vote, it’s not much of a stretch to argue that they should be allowed to hold public office too. Or serve on juries. Or own guns. And you can bet that the ACLU and others behind the current felon voting rights restoration movement won’t stop at voting rights.