Dems sweep special elections, yet another former MIGOP Speaker brought up on corruption charges

LANSING — This week, Democrats won special elections in the 13th and 25th as voters continued to reject the MAGA MIGOP candidates in a sweeping endorsement of Michigan Dems’ track record. As newly elected Mai Xiong and Peter Herzberg head to the House, Michigan Democrats will be able to continue delivering for Michiganders without the MIGOP’s partisan temper tantrums standing in the way.

While Michigan Dems won big on Tuesday, the MIGOP took a turn for the worse as the second former MIGOP Speaker over the past year was charged with corruption from their time in office. What’s the old saying again? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on the party for consistently supporting politicians who lie and steal from the public that voted for them. 

Just last year, Former Speaker Rick Johnson was sentenced to 55 months in prison, and now Lee Chatfield has been charged with counts of embezzlement, larceny, and conspiracy – that could send him to jail for over 20 years. 

Like every other week, we’re glad we’re not the MIGOP. 

Lots of things this week! Take a look at the very good and very bad below:

The very good: Democratic candidates Peter Herzberg and Mai Xiong were victorious in two key special elections that made national headlines in the 13th and 25th state House districts — securing the majority in the legislature which will allow Democrats to continue delivering for Michiganders without Matt Hall and his MAGA caucus standing in the way of progress:

Detroit News: Democrats retake majority in state House after Herzberg, Xiong outpace opponents

  • “These seats will allow Democrats to continue fighting for a brighter future for all Michiganders,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes.
  • The wins mean House Democrats are able to break a five-month 54-54 tie that’s brought the lower chamber to relative standstill when it comes to the passage of significant legislation.

Bridge Michigan: Democrats retake Michigan House with special election wins

  • Democrats are back in control of the Michigan House – and the full state government – for the rest of the year after their candidates in two special elections won big Tuesday night. The contests put an end to a months-long partisan stalemate with Republicans in the lower chamber…
  • “These seats will allow Democrats to continue fighting for a brighter future for all Michiganders,” Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes said in a statement Tuesday night as polls closed.

This week, Michigan Dems also made a big down payment on maintaining the state House majority with an impressive $10.5 million in TV reservations across the state, in addition to $8 million in reservations in the Detroit market from Democratic House entities to ensure Michiganders understand the importance of holding majorities in the House and Senate that allowed the passage of crucial legislation on reproductive rights, civil rights, and lower costs: 

The Hill: Michigan Democratic Party reserves more than $10M in ads ahead of state House elections

  • Michigan’s Democratic Party is reserving $10.5 million in ad reservations in a bid to support candidates running in the state House elections in November. 
  • The party will spend $2.5 million in each of Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Detroit. Another $1 million will be spent in Marquette, while $700,000 will be allocated to ads in Traverse City and the South Bend, Ind., market. Another $900,000 will be spent in Flint. 
  • The party’s major ad reservation is in addition to the nearly $8 million that Michigan House Democrats spent in reservations in the Detroit media market. 

Michigan Democrats don’t take days off, so by Thursday, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party Lavora Barnes joined other upper midwest state party Chairs to show unified Democratic efforts in battleground states: 

Chicago Sun-Times: No cracks in Blue Wall? Top Democrats vow Chicago is ready for convention, despite party divisions

  • Democrats are deeply focused on Wisconsin and Michigan to help bolster Biden’s re-election chances — and officials, in town for meetings hosted by the Democratic National Convention Committee, say they plan on showing voters a deep contrast between the visions of the Democratic and Republican parties…
  • “Democrats in the Midwest and across the nation are focused on protecting freedoms and making real progress,” said Lavora Barnes, Michigan Democratic Party chair.

And then, the very bad from the week: Attorney General Dana Nessel charged former Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield with 13 embezzlement, conspiracy, and larceny counts after he stole and misused private and public funds to bankroll his lavish lifestyle. 

Another one bites the dust. To no one’s surprise, this is not the first time a former MIGOP Speaker has faced criminal charges for corruption from his time in office. These deeply troubling patterns have become all too common in the MIGOP as they show once again they are not worthy of holding office at any level: 

Detroit Free Press: Ex-Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, wife charged with embezzlement, conspiracy

  • Former Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield embezzled public and private funds to support a lavish lifestyle of fine dining, ritzy hotels and trips to exotic locations, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Tuesday in announcing felony charges against the former GOP leader and his wife Stephanie.
  • Chatfield, who held a powerful post as the majority party leader at the state Capitol, is charged in East Lansing district court with 13 embezzlement, conspiracy and larceny counts, Nessel said at a news conference. The most serious charge is a 20-year felony…

In the patterns we have come to expect, the MIGOP is mired in corruption while Michigan Dems are showing up for Michiganders to deliver on the issues they care about most. Maybe next week will see a functional, reasonable MIGOP — but we’re not holding our breath. Til next week. 

Signing off, 

Michigan Dems


The post Weekly Roundup: Michigan Dems Maintain House Control While MIGOP Corruption Continues appeared first on Michigan Democratic Party.