Candy Cane or Coal?

Santa has kept a watchful eye on metro Detroit all year, and now he’s ready to divulge who’s been naughty and who’s been nice // Illustrations by Jen Hamilton


The Detroit Tigers, for clinching their division title for the second year in a row, then making it to the World Series.

U.S. District Judge Paul D. Borman, for ruling Secretary of State Ruth Johnson could not require voters to indicate citizenship before voting.

Midtown Detroit Inc., for staging Dlectricity.

• The founders of, for moving their company from San Francisco to downtown’s M@dison Building.

Lear Corp. and General Motors Company, for being among the donors who helped pledge $15 million to keep 17 Detroit rec centers open.

• Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, for standing up to Robert Ficano.

Pure Michigan, for its award-winning ad campaign. The Pure Michigan brand was created by McCann-Erickson’s Birmingham office.

• Three candy canes to Detroit Tiger Miguel Cabrera, for becoming the 10th Triple Crown winner in Major League Baseball.

Gov. Rick Snyder, for proposing additional state troopers to increase law enforcement in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, and Saginaw.

Quicken Loans, for pulling its advertising from Rush Limbaugh following the cruel on-air language Limbaugh used to describe Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke.

• Nine-year-old Detroiter Joshua Smith, who sold lemonade, fruit punch, and popcorn over the summer, then donated the proceeds to the City of Detroit, primarily to keep parks maintained. Joshua raised more than $3,000 and was a given a Spirit of Detroit award from city council.

Chrysler Group LLC, for having a sterling sales year.

Detroit funeral directors, for organizing a mock funeral last January to bring attention to rampant killings in the city.

• Wayne State University and President Allan Gilmour, for toughening the school’s admissions standards.

The Detroit Red Wings, who made NHL history by winning 23 straight home games.

Kid Rock, for donating $250,000 to the Detroit Historical Museum for an interactive music-history project chronicling 100 years of Detroit’s music.

• Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh, for going to the Birmingham Community House (for a WDET-FM sponsored event) to hear what it would take for suburbanites to move to Detroit. Instead of fostering city/suburb antipathy, Pugh kept an open mind.

Whole Foods, for starting construction on a store in Midtown Detroit that’s scheduled to open in 2013. It’s expected to hire about 75 employees.

Community groups and businesses that planted 700 sunflowers last spring on Woodward Avenue between Six and Eight Mile roads.

Chrysler Group, for moving 70 employees into downtown Detroit’s Dime Building.

• Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, for donating six tickets to a Lions-Bears game in Chicago to a Mott Children’s Hospital auction. Then he ponied up $15,000 to buy them back at auction, only to give them to a Mott patient and her family.

The Knight Foundation, for investing $20 million in Detroit’s arts and cultural organizations.



• Federal Court defendant Kwame Kilpatrick, whose mere presence is a painful reminder of his scandalous years as Detroit mayor.

Brooks Patterson, for not wearing a seatbelt.

• Former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, for his strange implosion that resulted in a special election at taxpayer expense.

Matty Moroun. Gee, where do we start? Oh, yeah, his Ambassador Bridge company, for holding the U.S. side of the international crossing hostage.

“Big Bob” Bashara, for making us all want to take a long, hot shower.

Michigan lawmakers, for approving a bill to include noisier and more dangerous fireworks. (Also, a lump of coal to Gov. Rick Snyder, for signing the legislation.) The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House and Senate, but some legislators are reviewing it after a particularly ear-blasting summer.

Charles Pugh, for flaunting his six-pack abs as a vain, albeit health-oriented, distraction while the city was in crisis mode, and for berating an Automotive News intern on Twitter.

Detroit City Council, for its knee-jerk combative stance on nearly everything.

Kid Rock, for violating state law by smoking a cigar at the Andiamo Celebrity Showroom in Warren.

• Detroit Tiger outfielder Delmon Young, for his booze-fueled anti-Semitic rant and assault in New York City in April. Major League Baseball suspended him for seven days.

• Activist Malik Shabazz, for ranting during a town meeting that if the state took control of Detroit’s woeful finances, “we will burn it down first.”

Gov. Rick Snyder, for signing legislation making helmets optional for motorcyclists. Why not repeal the seat-belt law for auto drivers and child-safety seat requirements? Live dangerously!

Ted Nugent, for his inflammatory comments about President Obama. Nugent said he would be “dead or in jail by this time next year” if Obama is re-elected.

State Rep. Tom McMillin, for suggesting that the DIA should get rid of its “deceptive advertising” in its millage campaign. In August, voters in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties approved the millage.

• Wayne County Circuit Judge Wade McCree, for texting a shirtless photo of himself to a female court bailiff. The bailiff’s husband discovered the photo on his wife’s phone and filed a formal complaint against McCree.

• Former Troy Mayor Janice Daniels (who was recalled by voters Nov. 6), for using derogatory language critical of gay marriage on her personal Facebook page and for characterizing “the homosexual lifestyle” as “dangerous” during a town meeting.

• Former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr., who resigned following allegations of affairs with subordinates. At press time, an investigation continued into Godbee’s improprieties.