Napoleon connection to negative Duggan ad? - New York News

Napoleon connection to negative Duggan ad?

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Mike Duggan Mike Duggan
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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Less than 24 hours after a judge bounced Detroit mayoral candidate Mike Duggan from the ballot saying he didn't meet the City Charter's residency requirements and around the same time Duggan vowed to appeal, a negative political ad hit the air.

"Follow the Charter. Keep Duggan off the 2013 ballot," the ad says.

Who paid for the commercial? Political action committee Detroit Forward, and the Duggan camp claims there is a Benny Napoleon connection.

"We're very disappointed because we're 100 percent certain that entity that's behind the ad is a Benny Napoleon affiliates PAC," said Bryan Barnhill, who manages the Duggan campaign.

He points to the records. Wayne County campaign finance information shows in 2012 Christopher Jackson contributed $1,000 to the Committee to Re-Elect Benny N. Napoleon Sheriff. He listed his work address, the Jackson Consulting Group at 1442 Brush Street in Detroit.

The political action committee Detroit Forward, which is clearly behind the political ad and Jackson happens to be the treasurer of, is also registered under the same Brush Street address according to the state's Bureau of Elections and the IRS.

"We have so much divisiveness in this town already, the last thing we need is somebody out there running a dirty campaign," Barnhill said.

We went to speak to Jackson at his Detroit home and office on Brush Street, but he was not at either location.

Records may show Jackson supports Sheriff Benny Napoleon, but does that mean the candidate for Detroit mayor is behind or somehow with this PAC or political ad? Napoleon's camp said no.

"Absolutely not true. We have no reason to do something of the sort. As you recall, we have had no comment, no dog in this fight about Mr. Duggan and his residency, and we've done that for one very specific reason. That's because we can care less who's on the ballot. We saw it for the first time when you did. I don't know how to speak to what his intent is, but what I can say is that ... PAC has nothing to do with Napoleon for Mayor," said Jamaine Dickens, a spokesperson for Napoleon's campaign.

Jackson would not call us back, but Greg Bowen, the spokesperson for Detroit Forward, did and said there are several people who are part of this PAC and he claimed support different candidates. He also provided the following statement:

"Detroit Forward believes the law should be applied equally to everyone. The election to select the next mayor of Detroit is too important for one person to get special consideration to be on the ballot when the newly revised Detroit City Charter is clear. Anyone running for office must be a resident for one year at the time they file their petition. The ad commercial is a reminder to the public about the clarity of the law and the need to apply the rules fairly."

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