“The businesspeople are behind guys like Duggan and Snyder because they are not politicians. He doesn't want to go back to the private sector. He's not about the money; he wants to do something in community service, and the Wayne County spot is the way to go.”
-- Conway Mackenzie principal Van Conway, quoted in Crain’s Detroit Business
One can only assume Crain’s writer Dustin Walsh has a wicked sense of humor. Otherwise, it’s hard to fathom why he includes Conway’s tortured thinking in an article about ex-mayoral candidate Mike Duggan’s political future.
The notion that Duggan and Gov. Rick Snyder aren’t politicians is prima facie false.
Snyder is Michigan's governor. That makes him a politician the same way building things with wood 40 hours a week makes someone a carpenter. No one with an IQ above 50 can honestly say Rick Snyder isn’t a politician.
Duggan, of course, was more or less running for Detroit mayor for several months. Before his tenure as the Detroit Medical Center CEO, Duggan was the elected Wayne County prosecutor. And before winning that office in 2002, Duggan earned a reputation as one of the shrewdest guys in local politics managing government operations and running campaigns as the deputy Wayne County Executive for 15 years.
People do change careers, of course, so one might consider Duggan a former politician at this point.
But you know who does not consider Mike Duggan a former politician? Van Conway.
He says as much in the second part of his quote about not-a-politician Mike Duggan: “He doesn't want to go back to the private sector. He's not about the money; he wants to do something in community service, and the Wayne County spot is the way to go.”
The “Wayne County spot” he’s referring to is Wayne County executive. An elected political office.
Sorry to repeat myself, but what do you call someone who is looking to perform “community service” in the public sector (as opposed to the private sector) by seeking a political office? A politician.
If Mike Duggan or anyone else wants an apolitical public sector job, they can take the civil service exam.
Maybe Van Conway should consult a dictionary. Until he does, reporters should really stop quoting him (about politics, anyway) because he sounds like an imbecile.