Council pro tem Cushingberry defends 'Go to hell' comment - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Detroit Council pro tem George Cushingberry stands by his 'Go to hell' comment

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(WJBK) -

Newly-elected Detroit City Council pro tem George Cushingberry Jr. defends the comment left by his official Facebook account telling The Detroit News to 'go to Hell' after posting an unfavorable editorial.

"Those who have studied my career and know what I've stood for over the years, you know I'm a jobs, justice, peace and equal-opportunity Democrat that's not afraid to speak up," says George Cushingberry.

But speaking up - is exactly why he's in the spotlight. The Detroit City Council president pro tem has been on the job for less than 48 hours and, despite the years in Lansing and Wayne County, many insiders are predicting his term will be disastrous.

A Detroit News headline reads, "City Council is off to a bad start." The article calls Cushingberry an "old school political operative" and newly-elected Council President Brenda Jones an "obstructionist." Many readers chimed in on the comments section of the article, including Cushingberry's Facebook. The staff members responded from his official account with: "Dear Detroit News, Go to hell. Go straight to hell. Do not pass go and don't even think about collection $200. Jones and Cush will lead the Push for an even Greater Detroit. #WeLoveDetroit."

Cushingberry says, while he did not post the response, he does support it. "They can take all that straight to hell because that's hellion activities," he tells Fox 2's Alexis Wiley.

VIDEO: Click on the video above to hear more from Cushingberry in Alexis Wiley's report

Cushingberry says critics are ignoring his track record, but some fear comments like that could be a warning of things to come.

"No, we won't be combative at all with the major because he's on the same wavelength with us," he says. He adds, "The emergency manager is our bankruptcy lawyer, as far as I'm concerned. And, he's been doing excellent as that and I hope he's successful because when he finally finishes it will allow us to wipe out a lot of the mistakes of the last four years."

Despite the predictions, former councilmember Sheila Cockrel says the new leadership deserves time to prove its effectiveness.

"People in the city of Detroit voted for competence, character and change. And I think people are expecting that the political leadership on council, as well as the mayor's office, is going to reflect this," she says.

Meanwhile Cushingberry says he'll focus on what he came here to do: "Improve the quality of life here for people, stabilize the finances and exit bankruptcy."

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