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L. Brooks Patterson Wants Pa Cooper Out In 2012


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http://dailytribune.com/articles/2011/06/24/news/doc4e053cb896d20978856864.txt

 

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson says he's encouraging former Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop to run for county prosecutor in 2012.

 

Patterson, a Republican, said Friday that he's backing Bishop against Democrat Jessica Cooper because it was Cooper's map of county commission districts for the next 10 years that was adopted and will likely give Democrats control of the county commission after the 2012 election, if the map survives a legal challenge.

 

The map, he contends, is blatant gerrymandering.

 

Patterson has worked with Cooper on legal issues, including an investigation into Democrats who allegedly engaged in election fraud through a fake tea party operation last year.

 

"Up to this point in time, when she was the one who filed those redistricting maps, which shows she's just a political hack, not the person of principle I thought she was," Patterson said Friday.

 

"I've been trying to talk Mike into it," Patterson said. "I think Mike would make an outstanding prosecutor.

 

"When you look at Mike's performance over the years in public office, he's always above reproach, very ethical, very even-handed and I think that's what we need in the prosecutor's office, so I'm supporting Mike bigtime," Patterson said. "I hope he jumps in."

 

Democrats control the five-person committee that redrew county commission districts.

 

Bishop is part of the legal team that's challenging the map in court. The map that was adopted was drawn by Cooper.

 

Patterson, however, said court challenges to political district maps rarely succeed.

 

"I don't have a whole lot of confidence in court challenges," he said.

 

Bishop, 44, left the state Senate at the end of 2010 because state term limits prevented him from running for re-election.

 

Bishop could not immediately be reached for comment by phone or email about his future political plans.

 

Both Republicans and Democrats have been accusing each other of gerrymandering, the term used to describe district boundaries drawn for political advantage.

 

State lawmakers have yet to give final approval to the new maps for congressional and state legislative districts. But Republicans faced immediate accusations of gerrymandering when the maps were released.

 

Patterson said he supports the maps the lawmakers have come up with.

 

"These Democrats who are hollaring about gerrymandering at the state level should come down here and look at the county map that was drawn for county commission districts by the Democrats," he said.

 

"They want to see a lesson in gerrymandering, look at what the Democrats did to the county," Patterson said. "They're screaming about the state but they did the same thing here in spades. It's the hypocrisy of it."

 

Cooper, a former judge in the district, circuit and appeals courts, was elected prosecutor in 2008.

 

She said Friday that she was "inches away" from getting 5-0 approval on the redistricting commission for a county commission map.

 

The map that was approved was along a 3-2 party line vote.

 

"That map isn't a Demoratic majority map," Cooper said.

 

The map that was approved was Cooper's second map. She questions the arguments in the lawsuit to block her map from taking effect.

 

"They say in one part of the pleadings they like my first map, then say there's a problem with minorities. Those districts were strengthened in the second map," Cooper said. "It makes no sense to me."

 

Contact Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649, charlie.crumm@oakpress.com or follow him on Twitter @crummc and on Facebook. More information is at oaklandmichiganpolitics.blogspot.com. Keep up with Gov. Rick Snyder at snyderwatch.blogspot.com.

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