Can a Pig Beat a Drunk Driver in a Mayoral Election? How About a Murderer?
It’s safe to say it’s not politics as usual in Flint, Michigan. Three notables are running for the office of mayor:
- A convicted drunk driver
- A convicted murderer
- A pig named Giggles
We’re not sure where to go with this post. Long story short, a lawyer named Michael Ewing was disturbed about the histories of the first two, who were front runners in the race. So he wrote in the name of his one-year-old pig, Giggles, as a candidate. So far the candidate has proved popular.
Candidate 1, Flint City Councilman Eric Mays, was convicted of impaired driving in 2013. Candidate 2, City Councilman Wantwaz Davis, served 19 years in prison for second-degree murder.
Giggles has no previous record.
This piece of theater raises a real question, of course. Should convicted felons be ineligible for office? Davis claims that his up-close view of the prison system would be an advantage for running a city like Flint, which has a serious crime problem.
Like Mr. Davis, Mr. Mays has paid his debt for his crime. Should he be allowed to go no farther up the political ladder?
Mr. Mays was fortunate to have been caught in Michigan, which has very lax drunk driving laws. As is often the case in the state, he was able to plead down to a lesser charge which carries lighter penalties.
Michigan does not require ignition interlocks for first OWI offenders, except for “Super Extreme OWI” cases in which the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .17 or above – more than twice the national legal limit for intoxication. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.
The state also does not suspend the licenses of drivers who fail their breath tests immediately upon arrest, as is the practice in most states.
We don’t have a stake in this mayoral race, but we’d support any candidate for state office that would promise to support a better ignition interlock law for Michigan, one that mandated devices for all OWI offenders with a BAC of .08 or above.
And if possible, we’d like that to happen before pigs fly – they’ve already started to run.