Ex-Rep. Banks plots new political fundraiser
Former state Rep. Brian Banks, the Detroit-area Democrat who resigned Monday as part of a plea deal to avoid trial on bank loan fraud charges, isn’t waiting long to plot his next political move.
Banks sent an email to supporters Wednesday inviting them to a March 6 fundraiser at Sinbad’s restaurant in Detroit, with tickets starting at $50 and topping out at $5,000 for a platinum sponsorship.
“Come and support a true fighter for the people as he launches ‘Banks FORWARD’… his next move, as the work MUST continue,” says the invitation obtained by The Detroit News.
It’s not clear if Banks plans to seek re-election to the state House, another office or pursue a new role in politics. Banks is a Harper Woods resident, so he would have to move to qualify for this year’s Detroit elections for city offices including mayor and nine City Council positions. Gov. Rick Snyder has not yet announced special elections to fill Banks’ seat.
Banks did not immediately return a voicemail seeking comment.
The fundraiser invitation directs attendees to make checks payable to Bank on Banks for Michigan, an independent political action committee. State records show the PAC was created in September.
Banks on Monday pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of making false statements of financial condition as part of a deal that saw Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office drop two felony charges against him.
He was accused of submitting fake pay stubs while seeking a personal loan from the Detroit Metropolitan Credit Union in June 2010. Banks said the loan was to pay for a course as he prepared for the Michigan Bar Exam.
Banks could face up to a year in jail on the misdemeanor conviction. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 17.
“I made the decision to resign based upon what I believed would be in the best interests of my family and constituents,” Banks wrote Wednesday in his email to supporters.
“However, in a time where the attacks on public education, pensioners, women’s rights, seniors, and labor issues have been prevalent, we must remain diligent in our efforts to change the dynamic in Lansing. Therefore, we must move forward and fight for what is right as the work continues.”
Banks was convicted of eight separate felonies between 1998 and 2004 for writing bad checks and credit card fraud. If he had been convicted of any additional felonies, he could have faced up to life in prison as a “habitual offender.”
Banks and his supporters have alleged the charges, filed against him in late June, were an attempt to derail his re-election efforts last year. Schuette has denied any political motivation, saying the case was passed on to his office after federal investigations.
Pam Sossi of Harper Woods, who lost 45 percent to 36 percent to Banks in the August Democratic primary, said Wednesday she plans to run again when Snyder calls a special election to fill the seat.
Washington Youson of Detroit, who finished a distant third in the August Democratic primary, has also announced plans to run again in the 1st House District, which includes parts of eastside Detroit, Harper Woods, Grosse Pointe Woods and part of the Village of Grosse Point Shores.