LANSING — Today, Republican legislators took their partisan games one step further by introducing a bill as a public stunt to try to criticize the Governor’s travel – even though just months ago the primary sponsor flew to DC to push the same false claims about the 2020 election that led to the deadly insurrection on January 6th.
Despite one already being spelled out in Michigan’s constitution, primary sponsor state Sen. Tom Barrett claimed that the intent of his bill is to establish a chain of command when “a real emergency arises.” For the Republican we assume he means the crisis that called him out of state and straight to the White House in November 2020.
Before the 2020 presidential election results were even certified, Barrett, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, and then-House Speaker Lee Chatfield travelled to Washington DC to huddle with Trump, willingly enabling the former president’s baseless claim that the election was stolen from him with the theft path allegedly running right through Michigan. Not only did these three Republican lawmakers help promote Trump’s dangerous lies, they have yet to disclose how the travel was paid for.
Besides the meeting apparently going well enough to warrant popping $500 bottles of Dom Perignon at Trump’s hotel afterwards on someone’s dime, unfortunately the only thing we do know is the danger of GOP legislators across the country letting Trump use them as an echo chamber to sow distrust in democracy. The spread of the Big Lie directly led to the violent January 6th insurrection at our nation’s Capitol that killed five.
Additionally, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey gained national attention for happily meeting with the very militia member who plotted to kidnap and kill the governor and it was reported that he invited multiple militia groups to his office to discuss their strategy.
“This has to be a new level of Republican lawmaker hypocrisy in Lansing,” said Rodericka Applewhaite, MDP spokesperson. “Considering the extremism that grew to ultimately and credibly endanger Governor Whitmer, that those same legislators that fostered this violent political climate are now turning around and requiring that she hand them information that would allow them to track and stalk her movements seems unwise at best and malicious at worst. Sens. Barrett and Shirkey should stand up to the Republican extremism that led to the dangerous insurrection and disclose how their Big Lie envoy to DC was arranged. While they compile that information for us, we’re looking forward to a brighter Michigan as Governor Whitmer eradicates COVID-19 statewide thanks to her successful Vacc to Normal program that will reopen our economy and positively impact families hit hardest by this pandemic.”