For Cox, openness is best policy on Manoogian mess

Attorney General Mike Cox is running for governor on a respectable platform that includes eliminating obstacles to business recruitment and an actual realization that the state cannot spend more money than it takes in. He cites real accomplishments from his tenure and can brag that he’s the only candidate who already has won a statewide election.

But here’s the problem: Politics is war. And all is fair in love and war and politics. So Cox is still answering questions about an old investigation into an alleged party that allegedly happened at Detroit’s Manoogian Mansion during which stripper Tamara Greene was allegedly assaulted, allegedly by the former first lady of Detroit, allegedly because something was going on that would make a wife go off on … well, you get the picture.

A party agnostic

Greene was later killed — no rumor there — in a still-unexplained barrage of drive-by bullets on a Detroit street. No, this is not an Elmore Leonard novel, and no, that rumored party is not going away.

Cox, who said then that the party had all the earmarks of an urban legend, now has become agnostic about the rumored throwdown.

“I’m agnostic in the sense that my job wasn’t to determine whether the party happened,” he said. “My job was to determine whether there was evidence I could use in criminal charges that related to a party. We didn’t find any evidence of a party let alone whether a crime occurred.”

Cox was later deposed for more than seven hours in a separate lawsuit filed on behalf of Greene’s children. That deposition remains sealed. And U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen probably will never release it, despite the fact that Cox’s life and campaign would be easier if he did.

Cox’s critics say he’s the holdup. He says he’s not.

“I wanted (the deposition) to be open at the beginning,” Cox said. “The judge knows he doesn’t need me to unseal the deposition. The judge knows it’s up to him.”

Demand transparency

Cox, for all his faults, is a good candidate: military experience, a can-do attitude and an appreciation for “The Godfather” (Yes, he endearingly lists his favorite films on his campaign Web site).

But if Cox wants to be governor, he should, among all the things he’s doing on the stump, have his attorneys demand that Rosen unseal the deposition.

Whether Rosen opens it or not, Cox will have displayed the kind of transparency he has promised if elected.

He will show that he understands that, in politics, as in love and war, all is fair. And if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t.

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