Ex-Con Elected to Michigan Legislature
Democrat Brian Banks was elected to represent a Detroit district in the Michigan State Assembly last Tuesday. The 35 year-old Banks defeated Republican rival Dan Schulte by a 68% to 32% margin. The fact that Banks had been previously convicted eight times for check kiting and credit card fraud did not deter voters.
“They’re all crooks anyway,” said one supporter. “Why not have someone with relevant experience to help us get a bigger piece of the pie?”
Banks says his experience in financial matters gives him “a leg up in the fight for benefits for my constituents. As I understand it, most of how the government is funded is based on passing the bill forward to the next generation or maybe just reneging on it. The only difference between that and what I’ve done before is that legislators don’t get prosecuted for doing this.”
Though the Michigan Constitution appears to bar convicted felons from running for office, the ban only applies to those who’s felonies occurred while acting in an official capacity for the government. Inasmuch as Banks’ crimes occurred while he was a private citizen he is fully eligible under state law to serve in the legislature.