Jordan D. Haskins, candidate for Michigan Legislature, wants everyone to know conservatives embrace imperfect people, too. So let him explain his multiple felony convictions for breaking into government vehicles, disconnecting the sparkplugs, and jerking off while the engines cranked.
"I have dreams, and I want to make a difference," says Haskins, the Republican candidate in a heavily Democratic House district. But don't tell him about the odds. He probably can't hear you, anyway, since he's still on parole until just before Election Day in November.
Haskins' criminal charges stem from trespassing on private and public property in four cases from April 2010 to January 2011, when he was sent to prison. As part of the break-ins, he started vehicles to facilitate an uncommon sexual fetish Haskins called "cranking" in interviews with police...
"I was just a lonely, angry kid at the time," he said. "If anything, I could be put on 'World's Dumbest Criminals.'"
Haskins said he was drawn to criminal behavior for the "the thrill."
"I was bored," he said. "It was the rush."
The young man apparently racked up a bunch of juvenile raps as well as "a lengthy list of sentences to prison, county jail and probation for offenses Haskins committed in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009," mostly auto- and theft-related.
But after a move from North Carolina to Michigan, things got a little out of hand:
Haskins admitted to police that, on both occasions, he broke into the yard where vehicles were parked, incident reports from the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department show. He said he pulled spark plug wires on sheriff, mosquito control and other vehicles parked there.
"Jordan would remove the spark plug wires and sit in the car and masturbate while the motor was sparking and making noises," the police report states.
Haskins was charged with additional misdemeanor offenses related to a third incident at the mosquito control property in October 2010.
According to that incident report, Haskins again said that he damaged county vehicles by pulling spark plug wires to "masturbate while cranking the engine." Deputies said he told them the act is a sexual fetish he learned about online.
Sentenced to probation, he ended up back in jail after felony convictions related to another couple of similar incidents:
According to police reports, Haskins said he jumped a fence at the city of Saginaw's parking lot at 1435 S. Washington on Jan. 7, 2011. He told sheriff's deputies in a later interview that he went joyriding in the parking lot and masturbated in a city police cruiser and a city pickup, the report shows.
On Jan. 24, 2011, according to police reports, Haskins jumped a chain-link fence and opened a garage door at Scientific Brake, 314 W. Genesee. Then he drove a truck on the grounds, he told police. Again, police reports state he admitted to "listening to the engine idle and masturbating."
Now a few years older and wiser—and after a 20-month stretch in state prison—Haskins is sparkplug-free, like a Diesel engine. He says he's "found my niche, my passion" in conservative politics.
"The three values that make up my stool of conservatism are faith, family and freedom," he says. "And I believe that many of the citizens of Saginaw share those same values."