Detroit businessman and government agitator Bob Carmack has orchestrated another elaborate stunt attacking Mayor Mike Duggan. And his message is reaching a very large audience -- on the Tigers' Opening Day downtown.
High above the heads of tens of thousands of revelers, three planes rented by Carmack are trailing messages. Among them:
"ANY1 HAD SEX W/MIKE DUGGAN 4 A RAISE? CALL 1-800-CARMACK"
"BEEN FORCED TO PAY A BRIBE TO DUGGAN? CALL 1-800-CARMACK"
The third banner makes reference to a woman with whom Duggan was linked last fall, when Carmack paid for private surveillance of the mayor. It includes the woman's name and asks, "MARRY ME? LOVE MAYOR DUGGAN." Then, in red, "OH I FORGOT I'M MARRIED."
Reached by phone, Carmack said the goal of the banners is to highlight the city's ongoing effort to evict him from a Michigan Avenue building he says he owns. The city disputes his ownership.
"I just thought I'd keep it in the news, what happened and so forth," he said. "It's just a fight, you know. Why is he trying to throw me out of a building that ain't worth much money? I have three kids."
Carmack late last year made headlines for broadcasting video footage outside city hall that he claimed showed Duggan driving to his alleged mistress's house in Wixom. The display prompted Duggan to ask Michigan State Police to investigate Carmack for extortion. The case was closed without charges.
Asked whether he's concerned about possible consequences for this latest attack, Carmack said, "I never extorted [Duggan], his people were trying to extort me."
Carmack's beef with the city stems from his unsuccessful bid to develop a riverfront parcel into condos years ago. Since then, he says the city has wrongfully demolished one of his buildings and tried to evict him from another.
Carmack has separately been charged with four felonies over his 2016 sale of a formerly city-owned property in Detroit’s Delray neighborhood. Detroit City Council approved the sale of the land to Carmack in 2007, but the deal reportedly never closed. The city sued last year, alleging the sale was fraudulent.
Officials had little to say about the agitator's latest salvo.
"This is what we've come to expect of Carmack," said mayoral spokesman John Roach.
The war on Duggan has cost Carmack big bucks. The Opening Day plane rentals ran him $4,500 and last year's stunt outside city hall cost about $20,000, he says. Carmack says he's paid for planes to run banners critical of Duggan on two other occasions.