Aug. 5 2015 12:00 AM

Lansing says goodbye to longtime Democratic strategist


Dozens from the Lansing political world joined the non-political friends and family of the late Ken Brock at River Terrace Church in Lansing to remember the life of the long-time consultant.

Brock, 55, a well-known Democratic consultant, died unexpectedly July 22. Brock was the chief of staff of former U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer and worked in Lansing with the Senate Democratic staff for several years.

Most recently, Brock was an adviser for Schauer´s 2014 gubernatorial campaign until personal issues caused him to take a leave of absence.

Schauer and Wayne County Commissioner Burton Leland both shared emotional stories Friday about the impact Brock had on their personal and political lives. Leland kissed a picture of Brock positioned at the front of River Terrace Church in East Lansing before starting his remarks.

Leland credited Brock with turning his 1998 race for the state Senate into a landslide victory with beautifully done mailers and advice. Brock also spun the admittedly thin resume of his then-22 year-old son, Gabe Leland, into something that earned the youngster three terms in the House and a current seat on the Detroit City Council.

Schauer praised Brock for masterminding a brilliant response to a planned 2010 Tea Party rally against Schuaer´s support of the Affordable Care Act with a betterattended pro-ACA rally shortly before Tea Party activists populated the same location.

Both Schauer and Leland returned numerous times to their personal friendship with the political adviser, who cut his teeth with former gubernatorial hopeful Howard Wolpe.

My heart is broken, Schauer said. Zack Pohl, the AFL-CIO spokesman and former Schauer hand, was given the opportunity to read one of Brock´s favorite quotes from former President Theodore Roosevelt. Pohl brought up the irony of reading a quote from a Republican president coming at the staunch progressive´s funeral, which earned laughs.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better, Roosevelt said. The credit belongs to man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.”

Brock grew up in Ann Arbor, attended Pioneer High School and Albion College. He´s survived by his wife of 28 years, Sue Poppink, and his daughter, Emma Brock.

Among those seen attending the service were Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. and Rep. Sam Singh, both D-East Lansing, former Sen. Ken DeBeaussert, former Michigan Democratic Party chairman Mark Brewer and Department of Civil Rights Deputy Director Leslee Fritz.