Michigan Realtors Unanimously Endorse Pamela Sossi for Michigan House

Detroit – Today, Judy Barker, Vice President of the Grosse Pointe Board of Realtors (GPBR), announced that both the Detroit Association of Realtors (DAR) and the GPBR voted unanimously to endorse Pamela Sossi in the District 1 Special Election.

“Since 2005, over 1-in-3 homes in Detroit have been foreclosed; leaving 80,000 abandoned and blighted properties,” Pamela Sossi said. “It is imperative that we quickly demolish and clean up those properties that cannot be saved. Thanks to the quality of the construction, many properties are simply waiting for a family to call them home.” Sossi continued, “Our state must continue to fully fund programs like Step Forward Michigan and Save The Dream so people can afford these homes and we need quality Realtors to put people in these homes.” “I look forward to working with the Detroit Association of Realtors and Grosse Pointe Board of Realtors in Lansing to see how the state can help.”

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Detroit Free Press and Detroit News Endorse Pamela Sossi for Michigan House

Detroit – Today, Pamela M. Sossi announced that she has received the endorsement of both the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News in the District 1 Special Election.

“As a civil rights attorney, I fight daily to protect my clients’ constitutional rights,” Pamela Sossi said. “Our newspapers are at the forefront of the fight to preserve our First Amendment rights and I am proud that they have agreed, I am the most prepared to stand up for District 1 on Day 1.”

From the Detroit Free Press: “Sossi is an attorney specializing in criminal defense and civil rights. A longtime Democratic Party activist who has served as a precinct delegate from Harper Woods, she would be an aggressive advocate for the Detroit region and a potential legislative leader if her party wins control of the state House in 2018. PAMELA SOSSI gets our nod to advance to the November ballot.”

From the Detroit News: "On the Democratic side of the ballot, 10 candidates are vying for the seat. Of that extensive group, Pamela Sossi of Harper Woods stands out as the most reasonable choice.

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Michigan Restaurant Association Endorses Pamela Sossi for Michigan House, District 1

Detroit – Today the Michigan Restaurant Association (MRA) announced that the MRA Board of Directors has endorsed Pamela M. Sossi in the August 8th Primary Election for Michigan House of Representatives, District 1.

“As the daughter and cousin of restauranteurs, I am honored to have received the support of the MRA,” said Pamela M. Sossi. “The MRA represents an industry at the forefront of Detroit’s renaissance, employing over 421,000 and contributing $15.4 billion to our economy every year. I look forward to helping Michigan’s restaurants bring much needed jobs back to District 1.”

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Ironworkers Endorse Pamela Sossi for Michigan House, District 1

Detroit – Today, Chad Rink, District Representative of the International Association of Iron Workers, announced Regional Shop Local 851’s endorsement of Pamela Sossi in the District 1 Special Election.

“As the daughter, sister and niece of Union skilled tradesmen, I am proud to add another building trade to my growing list of endorsements,’ said Sossi.  “The Iron Workers built each and every skyscraper in Detroit’s skyline and will be responsible for erecting the new Gordie Howe Bridge. Detroit would not be Detroit without the blood and sweat of our Ironworkers.”

The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers is one of the charter members of the AFL's Building Trades Department. Formed in 1896, the Association currently represents 120,000 members in North America.

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Pipefitters Endorse Pamela Sossi for Michigan House, District 1

Detroit – Today, Frank Wiechert, Business Manager of the Pipefitters Local 636, announced their endorsement of Pamela Sossi in the District 1 Special Election. “Our local appreciates your support of union members and organized labor,” Wiechert wrote. “We wish you the best in the upcoming election and welcome the opportunity for you to represent our community.”

“I am honored to announce that the Pipefitters are supporting my campaign,” said Sossi. “Much like they did during the New Deal, the United Association (UA) will be on the forefront of Detroit’s next revival. Our plumbers and pipefitters are on the front lines, replacing our outdated infrastructure, rebuilding our libraries and schools, and building new homes in our neighborhoods.” Sossi continued, “One of the most important things our government can do, is to ensure that we have the skilled tradesmen necessary to accomplish such a task. I look forward to working with the United Association to ensure that we have a steady supply of skilled tradesmen to meet the challenge.”

The UA has established a world class program to train skilled trades. Local 636’s three-acre training center features both classrooms and test stations where on-the-job equipment is used to give apprentices hands-on training. First founded in 1889, the UA represents over 300,000 members in more than 300 locals.

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Pamela Sossi Receives SBAM "Stamp of Approval" in District 1 House Race

Detroit – Today, Autumn Gillard, Grassroots Coordinator & Policy Advisor for the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) announced that Pamela Sossi has received its “Stamp of Approval” in the District 1 Special Election.  

“The SBAM Stamp of Approval recognizes your responses as being friendly to small business,” said Gillard. “SBAM would like to congratulate you on receiving our stamp of approval for the upcoming Primary Election.”

“As a small business owner, I am honored to have received the Stamp of Approval from the Small Business Association of Michigan,” said Pamela Sossi. “The majority of new jobs created in Michigan come from small businesses. As District 1’s next Representative, I will always work to encourage the growth of small businesses and bring jobs back to District 1.”

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Teamsters Endorse Pamela Sossi for Michigan House, District 1

Detroit – Today, Bill Black, Legislative Director of the Teamsters Joint Council #43 announced its endorsement of Pamela Sossi in the 1st House District Special Election. The Joint Council is the legislative and political arm of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters across Michigan. The council represents 90,000 members and retirees affiliated with thirteen local unions, including Local 214, Local 247, Local 299, Local 337, Local 372 and Local 1038 in Detroit.

“I am humbled and grateful to receive the Teamsters endorsement,” said Sossi. “My family has a long history of organizing labor and fighting for the working class and I look forward to continuing that tradition in Lansing.” Pamela’s great-grandfather joined the CIO in 1933 and worked at Ford River Rouge for 30 years; her great-grandmother served as Vice President and President of the Waitresses and Cashiers Union while working at Al Green’s Celebrity Room; her great-uncle was a founding organizer of the IBEW Local 58; her grandfather was an IBEW member for over 50 years, working at Stroh’s Brewery; her father and two uncles have been members of the IBEW Local 58 since the 1970’s and the UAW since the 1990’s; and her brother is also a member of the IBEW Local 58 and UAW (all three work for Chrysler).

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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MMA Endorses Pamela Sossi for Michigan's 1st House District

LANSING — The Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) is proud to endorse Pamela Sossi for Michigan’s 1st House District during the Michigan Special Election on Tuesday, 8/8/17.

MMA represents the state’s leading source of new job creation. Statewide, manufacturers employ over 608,500 people, are responsible for one-fifth of Michigan’s annual gross state product and contribute positively to hundreds of local communities. With Michigan manufacturers constantly competing in a global economy, state policymakers must work hard to improve Michigan’s competitiveness to maintain its position as a global leader for manufacturing job creation.

“One essential part of developing a more competitive Michigan is having confidence that state
lawmakers are familiar with the challenges manufacturers face each day,” said Chuck Hadden, MMA President & CEO. “Pamela Sossi’s background shows she understands these issues and will come into office ready to work toward common-sense solutions. I look forward to the opportunity to work with Pamela to make Michigan the ideal location for manufacturing investment and job creation.”

For 115 years, the MMA has been serving Michigan manufacturers and related industries by providing effective representation at Michigan’s Capitol, timely educational seminars; quality and competitive-rate insurance programs, informational e-newsletters and a monthly magazine. Visit www.mimfg.org for more information.

For more information, contact Brett Gerrish, at 800-253-9039 ext. 533 or 517-487-8533.

 

Senator Coleman A Young II Endorses Pamela Sossi For Michigan House

Detroit – Senator Coleman A Young II today announced that he is supporting attorney Pamela Sossi in the Democratic Primary for Michigan House District 1. Senator Young, the Assistant Minority Floor Leader in the Michigan Senate, serves the 1st Senate District, which includes Detroit. Prior to being elected to the Senate, Senator Young served two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives.

During his time in the Legislature, Senator Young has passed a number of pieces of legislation, including HB 4327, the Tisha Prater Act, which stopped discriminatory employment practices against female police officers and pregnant women. This important piece of legislation passed unanimously and was the first time that Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, the ACLU and Michigan Right to Life came together in one room during the Governor's signing of the bill into law.

Sossi stated, “Every day in the courtroom, I fight against discrimination and for my client’s civil rights. Senator Young has a long record of working across the aisle to do the same in the Legislature. I am honored to have the support of such an accomplished member of the Senate and cannot wait to get to work!”

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan Assign Pamela Sossi 100% Score

Detroit – Today, Pamela Sossi, Democratic candidate for the Michigan House in the 1st District, announced her 100% score from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.

“I am proud to stand with Planned Parenthood. Under constant attack from Donald Trump and the Republican Congress, Planned Parenthood does so much more than just provide access to reproductive healthcare," said Sossi. "Planned Parenthood’s wide range of services, from contraception to cancer screening, are invaluable to the millions of women who depend on them. We must do all that we can to maintain funding for these services.”

Christina Soliz, Program Coordinator of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, added: “We appreciate and thank you for your hard work and commitment to ensure Michigan women and families have access to all reproductive health care options. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan is pleased to indicate to our supporters that you meet all of our criteria for being a women’s health champion in your 2017 campaign for State Representative.”

Soliz continued, “Your 100% score on our questionnaire shows us that you support Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan’s mission and you pledge to fight for a woman’s access to all her reproductive health care needs.”

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Representative Ed Gaffney Endorses Pamela Sossi for Michigan House

Detroit - Former State Representative Ed Gaffney today announced that he is supporting attorney Pamela Sossi in the Democratic Primary for Michigan House District 1.

"Pamela Sossi is intelligent, articulate and cares very deeply about the needs and concerns of the people in the 1st District," Gaffney noted. “Of the 14 candidates in the August 8th Primary Election, Pamela Sossi is the most qualified.”

“I am humbled to receive the support of community leaders from both sides of the aisle,” Sossi stated. “I love our community and will do all that I can to make sure that each and every resident of District 1 has a voice in Lansing. No one will ever outwork me. I am committed to standing up to the special interests and powerful forces in Lansing so we can have safer streets, better schools for our children, and good paying jobs for our talented workforce.”

Although there are two Republican candidates and a Libertarian candidate running, Representative Gaffney explained why he is crossing the aisle: “Whoever wins the August 8th Democratic Primary will be our next State Representative. The most important thing concerned Republicans can do is vote in the Democratic Primary on August 8th.”

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Michigan Farm Bureau's AgriPAC Endorses Pamela Sossi

Detroit, MI – Today, the Michigan Farm Bureau announced that it is endorsing Pamela M. Sossi in the Special Election for Michigan House District 1. AgriPAC’s “Friend of Agriculture” endorsement recognizes Pamela’s exceptional support for the agriculture industry, as a fourth-generation member of a farming family. The non-partisan organization previously named Pamela a “Friend of Agriculture” in 2016.

"We need leaders who understand, appreciate and respect agriculture's contribution to Michigan's economy," said Sarah Black, AgriPac secretary and director of MFB's Public Policy and Commodity Division. "It's one of Michigan Farm Bureau's top priorities to identify and help elect Friends of Agriculture."

 “I am honored to again receive the support of Michigan’s farmers,” said Pamela Sossi. “Agriculture is the second largest sector of our economy and supports nearly one in four jobs. I look forward to working with our farmers and food processors to restore educational and vocational opportunities to District 1.”

Candidates were interviewed and evaluated by the Wayne County Farm Bureau, whose recommendations are then considered by the state-level AgriPAC committee. Since 1977, AgriPAC has served as Michigan Farm Bureau's voice in the electoral process, endorsing candidates for offices whose positions align with those of Michigan's farmers.

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Senator Rebekah Warren Endorses Pamela Sossi for Michigan House

Detroit, MI – Today, Pamela Sossi announced that Senator Rebekah Warren has endorsed her in the Democratic Primary for Michigan House District 1. Senator Warren is the 10th elected official to endorse Pamela since announcing her candidacy for House.

Senator Warren has served as a state legislator since 2007 and serves as the Vice-Chair of the Natural Resources, Regulatory Reform, Michigan Competitiveness, and Economic Development and International Investment Committees. She also is a member of the Finance Committee. Senator Warren is the only female serving in the Senate Democratic Caucus.

"I am honored to have the support of such a dedicated leader," Pamela said. "Senator Warren will be instrumental in helping me reach out to other Senators as we work together to challenge the status quo in Lansing."

 “Our next Representative must be able to bring both parties together to make progress on the tough challenges we face," Pamela said. "Michiganians are tired of divisive politics and are ready for a change in the way our government operates. I am proud that Senator Warren believes I am the most qualified candidate to hit the ground running and I look forward to working with her in the Michigan Legislature.”

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Michigan Spanish Speaking Democrats Endorse Pamela Sossi for Michigan House

Detroit – Today, the Michigan Spanish Speaking Democrats (MSSD) announced that they have endorsed attorney Pamela Sossi in the Special Election for Michigan House, District 1.

“It is an honor to have been endorsed by the Michigan Spanish Speaking Democrats, a voice for Spanish speaking Democrats across the state,” Pamela Sossi said. “ALL families should have the chance to achieve the American Dream and I am excited to be a voice in Lansing for those working hard to achieve it.” “District 1 is one of the most diverse districts in Michigan and I am proud that my broad coalition of support reflects this diversity.”

The 1st District includes the cities of Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods as well as portions of Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores. The Primary Election is August 8.

www.pamelasossi.com

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Banks pleads to misdemeanor, resigns Michigan House seat

Kathy Ryan Staff Writer

February 09, 2017

Detroit — Brian Banks (D-Harper Woods) resigned his seat in the Michigan House as part of a plea deal agreement stemming from charges he committed fraud in applying for a loan from a local credit union.

Banks, who represented Michigan’s 1st House District, which includes Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Shores, pleaded guilty Monday to a single misdemeanor charge of making a false statement of financial condition. Two felony charges of uttering and publishing and one felony count of using a false pretense to defraud or cheat were dropped. He could have faced up to life in prison on the charges because he also was being charged as a habitual offender based on several other fraud charges dating back two decades.

Banks appeared before Judge Michael Hathaway in Wayne County Circuit Court, who set sentencing for Friday, Feb. 17.

Banks was re-elected to his third term in the house in the November 2016 election.

Gov. Rick Snyder will have to call for a special election to fill the empty seat. According to Grosse Pointe Woods City Clerk Lisa Hathaway, the state has set election dates for May, August and November, but she had not received word by press time of a date when the special election would be held.

Banks’ Republican opponent in last November’s election, Will Broman, issued a statement following the announcement Banks would resign.

“Brian Banks should have resigned before the November election,” Broman wrote in his statement. “Detroiters deserve a representative who will fight for them every day to tackle the issues plaguing the district from 48205 to Lakeshore Drive.”

Broman said he has not decided if he will run again for the seat.

“It’s something I have to discuss with my family and I’ll be making a decision once the date has been set for the election,” he said. “But I’m not ruling it out.”

Pamela Sossi, who came in second to Banks in the Democratic primary, also said she will run for the now-vacant House seat.

“It’s time to turn everyone’s attention back to the needs of the district rather than focusing on the representative’s behavior,” she said. “I’m glad he did not waste the taxpayer’s time and money with a trial.”

Statement From Pamela M. Sossi, Esq. Regarding Brian Banks Resignation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               Contact: Mike Norris
Monday, February 6, 2017                                                                             Phone (863) 307-9553
                                                                                                Email: mike@whitefalconconsult.com

Statement From Pamela M. Sossi, Esq. Regarding Brian Banks Resignation

While today’s news about Brian Banks saddens me, I applaud him for resigning, rather than dragging the constituents of District 1 through a lengthy felony trial.

As Mr. Banks resignation is immediate, our District is left without a voice in Lansing. Mr. Banks immediate resignation means that the 1st House Seat in the Michigan House of Representatives is vacant, and will remain vacant until filled by a Special Election.

In 2016, I ran for the Democratic nomination in District 1 to restore a voice to all of the District; as we were ignored by our current Representative. Now, voters have the opportunity to send a Representative to Lansing to replace Brian Banks. A new representative who will stand up for the people of District 1 and stand up to the Lansing elite.

I am running for the 1st House District seat because I want to fight for the people of my district. District 1 deserves to have a Representative in Lansing who reflects the communities of the District. Someone who is not afraid to do what is right for the people, rather than what is politically beneficial. This campaign is for ALL of the residents of District 1 who choose to live here and work hard to provide a safe home for their family here.

Public service is a privilege and not a game of musical chairs. All voices matter. I will put the people first and will work for the needs of everyone of District 1.

THIS CAMPAIGN IS ABOUT MORE THAN ME — IT IS ABOUT MAKING SURE DISTRICT 1 HAS A VOICE.

I want to be that voice and I hope I can earn your support.

Please vote Pamela Sossi for State House, District 1.

Regards,
Pamela M. Sossi, Esq.
(313) 318-5992
law@pamelasossi.com
www.pamelasossi.com

Rep. Banks resigns, pleads to misdemeanor

Embattled Michigan Rep. Brian Banks, who won three terms to the state House despite eight prior felony convictions, resigned his office Monday after negotiating a plea agreement involving a $3,000 bank loan that cost him his seat and perhaps his political future.

Banks was charged last year with two felony counts of uttering and publishing each punishable by up to 14 years in prison — one felony count of using a false pretense to defraud or cheat, and one misdemeanor count of making false statements of financial condition.

Banks pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge Monday before 3rd Circuit Judge Michael Hathaway and will be sentenced Feb. 17 in the Wayne County courthouse. The charge carries a penalty of up to a year in jail.

The Harper Woods Democrat was accused of using false documents to try to obtain a $7,500 personal loan from a local credit union. He received $3,000 after initially not being approved by the Detroit Metropolitan Credit Union on East Jefferson.

An affidavit from Peter Ackerly, a special agent investigator with the attorney general’s office, reported Banks lied on his application using pay statements from IHI Attorneys + Consultants of Farmington Hills to get the loan. Banks said the loan was to pay for a course as he prepared for the Michigan Bar Exam.

The bank ended up suing Banks for non-payment on the loan. He agreed to repay 90 percent plus interest and eventually repaid the reduced amount, according to charging documents.

Banks’ resignation comes on the heels of a volatile two-year session in Lansing marked by unusually high turnover and personal turmoil in the state Legislature.

Former Sen. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, resigned in late March after pleading guilty to malicious destruction for shooting up his ex-wife’s car. Republican Rep. Todd Courser of the Lapeer area stepped down and GOP Rep. Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell was expelled in September 2015 over allegations they misused state taxpayer resources in an attempted cover-up of their extramarital affair.

Banks’ tenure in Lansing has been tumultuous and included accusations of sexual harassment by a former staffer in a case the state House quietly settled for $12,000 in the fall of 2015.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office filed the felony charges against Banks in June. Monday’s plea came as jury selection in his criminal trial was about to get underway.

“As an elected official, you carry a higher burden of responsibility and are expected to act as a role model in your community,” Schuette said in a statement. “Former Rep. Banks violated the trust placed in him by his neighbors and constituents.”

Banks has eight prior felonies from 1998 to 2004 for writing bad checks and credit card fraud. Banks could have faced up to life in prison as a “habitual offender” with the felony charges.

House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, said Monday that Banks’ former 1st District legislative office will remain open to handle constituent services despite his resignation. Gov. Rick Snyder would have to call a special election to fill the open seat.

“Rep. Banks had one legal issue after another during his time in public office,” Leonard said in a statement. “I am glad to see he is finally taking responsibility for his actions, and hopefully today’s plea agreement provides the fresh start he needs.”

House Minority Leader Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, said he respected Banks’ decision to resign, wished him the best and noted the former lawmaker “was a passionate advocate for his district.”

Banks’ resignation letter specified he is stepping down immediately, according to the Attorney General’s Office. House Clerk Gary Randall said he received the letter but cannot release it until it is read into the public record during Tuesday’s legislative session.

State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, D-Detroit, one of Bank’s closest allies in the Michigan Legislature, was with him at the courthouse Monday and said Banks was motivated to take the plea deal out of concern for his mother, whom he takes care of.

“Any mother would not want to face their child having to possibly serve life in prison, especially for something so frivolous as this,” she said in a phone interview Monday afternoon.

Gay-Dagnogo called the charges against Banks a “well-calculated and politically motivated” attempt to deny him re-election last fall. He has admitted his role in the scheme, she said, but did not act with the intent to defraud and has repaid the loan in question.

“The people of his district have lost a champion that fought on behalf of Detroit Public Schools, has fought to protect auto no-fault as we have it in Michigan, has fought for Democracy,” Gay-Dagnogo said. “The people lost today.”

Schuette, a Republican, denied this summer the charges of a politically motivated prosecution against Banks during a Detroit News interview. He noted the case came from the Democratic Obama administration.

“The fact is the FBI worked on this, passed it to the U.S. Attorney and it came to the Department of Attorney General,” Schuette told The Detroit News Editorial Board and reporters. “That’s what happened.”

Banks had served as chairman of the Detroit Caucus in the state House. Gay-Dagnogo, vice chair of the caucus, said it is “much too soon” to speculate who could replace him.

Banks’ attorney, Ben Gonek, told reporters after Banks’ arraignment in June the charges against his client were politically motivated and he alleged Banks was targeted because of his vote on key issues such as the Detroit Public Schools’ financial bailout by the state and a controversial insurance program, called D Insurance, promoted to Detroiters.

Banks fended off five opponents in August, and in November, the lawmaker earned 66 percent of the vote in his battle to retain his seat in Michigan’s District 1, which includes Harper Woods, Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Shores and a portion of northeast Detroit.

Pam Sossi of Harper Woods, who lost 45 percent to 36 percent to Banks in the August Democratic primary, issued a statement applauding Banks for resigning rather than “dragging the constituents of District 1 through a lengthy felony trial.”

Sossi made clear she plans to run for the seat again when a special election is called.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

News Flash: All the legislative incumbents win

Here’s what we learned from Tuesday’s primary election: Southeast Michigan residents love the Detroit Zoo, which is not in Detroit and is no longer controlled by the city. They overwhelmingly voted to keep supporting it.

Apart from that, it’s become clear that one of the effects of term limits is the creating of a sort of elected hereditary aristocracy. Wives are elected to succeed husbands; next year, if they win their general elections, Sylvia Santana will succeed Harvey Santana; Cara Clemente will follow Paul, and Daire Rendon will succeed Bruce.

Children are also following parents, and when direct succession isn’t in the cards, famous names are the best things to have. Ian Conyers won a primary yesterday in a special election for a state senate seat in Detroit. He has no prior political experience, but his great-uncle John Conyers has been in Congress for more than half a century.

The elder Conyers is 87 now and way past the point when some think he should have retired. But he won renomination yesterday too, easily beating a challenge from the much younger and vibrant Detroit city clerk.

In fact, it was a great night for incumbents. Every single member of the legislature who was challenged managed to win. This was sometimes discouraging; you would think the voters would want to be done with Brian Banks, who is looking at three more felony charges and just had to be defended at state expense in a sexual harassment suit filed by a former staffer.

Yet voters, incredibly, chose to nominate him again rather than choose Pam Sossi, an impressive young attorney. In both Conyers and Banks’ case, the primary is the general election; there are virtually no Republicans in their districts.

Famous names can be a mixed blessing. Up in the northwest Lower Peninsula, Democrats thought they had a dream candidate in Erin Kieliszewski. But she was beaten by someone named Robert Kennedy, a slightly more famous name than Kieliszewski.

Incredibly, much the same thing happened two years ago; Kennedy, no relation to those Kennedys, wasn’t that strong a campaigner, and the Democrats lost a seat they might have won. They are worried this is déjà vu all over again.

All this doesn’t mean the voters aren’t paying attention. Up north, there was a huge and nasty Republican primary election battle between Tom Casperson, a state senator from the UP, and Jason Allen, a former state senator from Traverse City.

There was also a political unknown on the ballot; a retired Marine Corps general named Jack Bergman. He was clearly deeply conservative, but said little, refrained from personal attacks – and won the Republican nomination for Congress in a stunning upset.

Voters at the top of the state will choose in November between Bergman and Democrat Lon Johnson, both of whom were virtually unknown in the district a year ago.

By the way, politicians may tell you that nobody is willing to pay more taxes, but that is clearly not the case. Across the state, voters approved more than 80 percent of tax increases on the ballot, especially for public safety or roads.

When people have enough time to evaluate what’s facing them, they normally make rational decisions. Which is one more argument to let everyone in the state vote absentee.

Jack Lessenberry is Michigan Radio's political analyst. Views expressed in his essays are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management or the station licensee, The University of Michigan.

Thank You!

I want to express a heartfelt thank you to my family, friends, supporters and the voters of the 1st House District for supporting me during my campaign for the Michigan House of Representatives. I am honored and humbled that so many of you placed your trust in me. The support I felt on Election Day was incredible.

Although we were not able to overcome the massive war-chest Brian Banks accumulated, we showed what can be accomplished when people work together. Hard work, determination and unwillingness to quit enabled us to nearly overcome 150,000 dollars in misleading literature and the relentless attacks of the Lansing establishment.

I cannot thank the volunteers enough who knocked doors, handed out literature, made phone calls, held signs, worked the polls and performed all of the thankless tasks that must be done to get our message out. Due to the hard work and support of everyone involved, our message was heard, loud and clear, by our elected officials.  We will no longer be ignored. We will no longer be lied to and taken for granted by politicians who pretend to be on our side but vote against our interests when they get to Lansing.

The best part of this campaign was the opportunity to meet so many new people. Over three months, I personally knocked over 5,000 doors. I reconnected with old friends in Harper Woods and made new friends in Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Shores and Detroit. What became crystal clear to me during this experience is that the hard working residents of District 1 insist that their elected representatives rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges, invest in mass transit systems, repair our dysfunctional schools and replace outdated infrastructure. The residents of District 1 also demand that our Legislature reins in its rogue members, and operates ethically and transparently.

Two more years of the same failed leadership, however, likely means this work will not done, leaving future legislators much to do. With this in mind, I am going to run again in 2018, so that I can ensure that ALL of District 1 has a voice in Lansing! With your trust, I will work tirelessly on your behalf to help address our challenges, and to secure lasting and meaningful improvements to our quality of life.

In the months ahead I will need your help to convert our momentum into meaningful change. I cannot move forward without you and will be asking for your support to achieve our goals. Thank you again for your hard work and dedication. I look forward to working with each and every one of you in the weeks and months ahead.

Again, I thank you for the opportunity to serve.

 

Sincerely,

Pamela M. Sossi, Esq.

(313) 318-5992

law@pamelasossi.com

www.pamelasossi.com

2016 Endorsement List

National Organization for Women, Michigan Chapter

Arab American Political Action Committee

Detroit Ecumenical Ministers Alliance

Michigan Credit Union League

Small Business Association of Michigan

Michigan Restaurant Association

Michigan Retailers Association “Friend of Retail”

Michigan Farm Bureau

Detroit Free Press

United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local 149

Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Local 292

Harper Woods Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl A. Costantino

Harper Woods City Councilman Tom Jenny

Harper Woods City Councilwoman Veronica Paiz

Grosse Pointe Woods City Councilman Kevin Ketels

Grosse Pointe Shores City Councilman Doug Kucyk

Rev. Horace Sheffield III