Saturday, September 12, 2015

It's the cover-up that does it

A month ago, Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, two GOP members of the Michigan House, were caught trying to cover up an affair using a bizarre email and an aide who refused to lie for them. The scandal has roiled Lansing since then. After investigations the issue went before the full House on Wednesday. The session went through the night. Though Courser had vowed to never give up, around 3:00 am, he saw how the proceedings were going and gave his resignation. Gamrat insisted she deserved censure, not expulsion, and asked for a vote. She was expelled. Since the pair pushed an extreme conservative agenda, I'm not sorry to see them go.

Jack Lessenberry of Michigan Radio adds a few details. The reason why the session went so long into the night was because the 2/3 majority required for expulsion needed a few Democrat votes and they held out for a while wanting to expand the investigation in hopes of catching some of the GOP leadership as well. Of course, the GOP leadership wasn't going to let that happen.

Lessenberry reminds us the expulsion wasn't because the affair (though some commenters are skeptical). It was because of the abuse of state resources to cover it up. Lessenberry also says expulsion was also because Courser and Gamrat didn't have a clue how to be legislators and refused to learn. A big part of that, says Lessenberry, is Michigan's term limits, which prevents lawmakers from gaining the expertise to do their jobs.

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