The “Voice of Northern Michigan” must find his voice, stand up to former GOP speaker in light of stunning reports
LANSING — If state Rep. Jack O’Malley won’t return campaign donations from a former GOP speaker facing allegations of operating a “criminal enterprise” out of public office, when will the “Voice of Northern Michigan” use his own voice and speak out against Lee Chatfield?
This week’s stunning revelations laid out by the Detroit News about criminal allegations by the one-time Republican House leader should be prompting members of the GOP, including O’Malley, to stand up and call for a top-to-bottom audit of the chamber’s expenses during Chatfield’s time as speaker.
O’Malley, R-Lake Ann, should be among the loudest voices in that group considering more than $50,000 in donations came to him from the Chatfield Majority Fund through O’Malley’s own campaign committee and the House Republicans’ Fighting for Michigan Political Action Committee.
“Reports of paying relatives who didn’t work and funding lavish trips with campaign donations don’t sound like Northern Michigan values,” said Chris Cracchiolo, chair of the Grand Traverse Democratic Party. “If Jack O’Malley really does consider himself the ‘Voice of Northern Michigan,’ he should be fighting for the same values – honesty and integrity – in public office. Instead, his silence on the issue shows that he’s willing accept the most abhorrent behavior from his Republican colleagues as long the campaign donations keep coming.”
O’Malley is facing Traverse City Democrat Betsy Coffia to represent the 103rd House District, which covers Leelanau County as well as parts of Benzie and Grand Traverse counties.