By M.L. Elrick
Fox 2 News
DETROIT (WJBK) -- Detroit has been through a lot over the past decade from a failing economy to series of political and sex scandals. It's enough to make you want to pull a George Bailey.
Bedford Falls has a lot in common with Detroit. We have a river. They have a river.
They have a leading citizen who felt his life didn't quite reach its full potential and we have Kwame Kilpatrick.
The difference, the good people of Bedford Falls know what life would have been like if George Bailey had never been born. Not so for the people of Detroit... until now.
The Fox 2 Problem Solvers proudly present "It's a Kwonderful Life".
There's no question Kwame Kilpatrick has left his mark on Detroit and a few satin sheets, but what would our fair city be like if he had never been born and how would the lives of some of our leading citizens be different?
Without Kwame Kilpatrick we'd still have a foul-mouthed guy helping run the city, but it would be Gil Hill, who ran against Kilpatrick in 2001, and not Bobby Ferguson, who got his key to city hall after his pal became mayor.
Without Kilpatrick, Ferguson would still be in business knocking down houses and digging holes. He might not have done as well, but the feds wouldn't have seized all of his equipment, either.
Kilpatrick's father, Bernard, might still be working for Wayne County or even working as a greeter at the Greektown Casino where we've heard he spends a lot of time -- a whole lotta time.
Life would be a lot simpler for Christine Beatty, too. For starters, no one would know who she is.
And strawberries, well they'd still be known mainly for their work on shortcakes.
But some of us might not be better off at all. Without Kilpatrick, I might still be selling newspapers.
Most folks would have never heard of Judge David Groner. He sent the mayor to jail -- and then to prison.
Fox 2 Legal Analyst Charlie Langton might still be hosting "Meet the Mayor" on Macomb County public access.
And defense attorney Mike Rataj, well he'd probably be at home yelling at squirrels and telling kids to stay off the lawn.
Then there are the things that would have happened regardless of whether Kilpatrick was born like the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and Super Bowl. Kilpatrick sure likes to take credit for them, but it was really Mayor Dennis Archer and the team owners that brought them to town.
But Detroit isn't Hollywood, despite Governor Granholm's best effort, and we can't turn back the clock, so in the spirit of Detroit we'll pick up the pieces and rebuild. And, remember, whenever a government witness sings, a defense attorney gets his wings.
By M.L. Elrick