Mark G. Michaelsen

Mark G. Michaelsen writes frequently about public affairs.

Birmingham Sewer Vanity Follies

 

Elected in 2007, Larry Langford had to step down as mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, but not by his choice. A Tuscaloosa jury convicted Langford in October of all 60 counts of bribery, money laundering, conspiracy and tax evasion in federal court when he was president of the Jefferson County Commission. Langford was undone by vanity. […]

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No Shortage of Contempt in Detroit

 

Detroit has seen better days. There is a shortage of auto sales, jobs and public money but there is no shortage of contempt charges against attorneys. Two Detroit Mayors have served since Kwame Kilpatrick was forced to resign in 2008. Yet the attorney who uncovered the conspiracy, perjury and obstruction of justice scandal which forced […]

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Wolverine State Wolves

 

Just when one thought nobody could be as foolish as former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, two sex scandals in Michigan have Democrats there reeling. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had an affair with his chief of staff, Christine Beatty. Usually, what consenting adults do behind closed doors would not matter so much except Kilpatrick is […]

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Beg Your Pardon?

 

If a Democrat is elected President of the United States, former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, a Democrat, might be pardoned. There might even be pressure on a President Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to appoint this former Alabama Attorney General as a federal judge or a U.S. Attorney. In 2005, jurors in Montgomery found Siegelman […]

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Alabama Friday Nights

 

High school and college football is a religion in Alabama. There are only two seasons: football season and talking about the next football season. So successful at winning football games, Hoover High School head coach Rush Propst has been a saint to many. Hoover is a growing affluent suburb of Birmingham, and Hoover High School […]

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Refinery Shortage

 

Last Thursday, a fire at the aging Chevron refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi, temporarily sidelined one of the 10 largest oil refineries in America. Although Chevron says most of the refinery is undamaged, it has not restarted yet. The Pascagoula refinery celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2003. It makes gasoline and jet fuel, among other products, […]

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Hmong Elementary

 

In the mountainous region of Laos, the Hmong people were American allies during the Vietnam War. They rescued downed American fliers and attacked convoys moving supplies from North Vietnam to the Viet Cong along the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Laos. It is likely that Vang Pao’s “Secret Army” also carried out covert missions in […]

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Milwaukee’s Unfavorite Son

 

Among gritty industrial cities along the Great Lakes, Milwaukee has always been something of an oddity. European immigrants who came to work in its brewing, printing, and metal-bending industries elected three Socialist mayors who served for 44 of the 50 years from 1910 to 1960. Despite the party label, city government was like people who […]

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It Could Have Been Worse

 

It is easy for the media to still focus on the national Democratic tsunami that swept away the Republican majorities in the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate, leadership elections, and recriminations about failed national and state GOP strategies. In several states, for instance, referenda on gay marriage, capital punishment, and other issues that were intended […]

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Old School Bribery in the Old South

 

Give the jurors in Montgomery, Alabama, credit for endurance. This wasn’t an FBI sting or about cash in the freezer. Instead, there were piles of documents to support 65 total indictments for bribery, conspiracy, mail and wire fraud and obstruction of justice against four defendants. They braved 32 days of testimony and 11 days of […]

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