Monday, April 15, 2024

Republicans in Michigan Vote to Censure State Senate’s RINO Majority Leader

"I think Mike is good man and a more than able politician, but the time for compromise and capitulation went out the window with 2020..."

(Headline USA) Republicans in the Michigan college town of Hillsdale last week confronted state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey for failing to stand up in support of conservative values.

“Shirkey has failed to provide effective opposition to Democrats in Lansing over his tenure,” said Hillsdale County Republican Party Chairman Daren Wiseley, who voted “yea” on the censure.

But Shirkey, who initially offered a tepid defense of his record, is now backpedaling after his comments hit the mainstream media.

Halfway between Chicago and Detroit, the southern-central Michigan town is known as a bastion of conservatism, largely due to the presence of conservative-friendly Hillsdale College.

Hillsdale County is one of three counties Shirkey represents in the state Senate. But Republicans there have been less than satisfied with their representation after the battleground state was one of several thrust in the limelight during the run-up to the 2020 election.

Shirkey was among seven Michigan lawmakers who met with Trump at the White House after the election.

At the time, state lawmakers were exploring legal and political remedies for the vote fraud that occurred in heavily blue counties surrounding Detroit, as well as the vote-switching that several GOP counties believed was the result of algorithms coded into the machinery by Dominion Voting Systems.

Shirkey and then-House Speaker Lee Chatfield told Trump that state law did not give the Legislature a say in awarding Michigan’s 16 electoral votes. Days later, the state elections board certified Biden’s victory.

Even before Michigan was thrust into the center of the debate over vote fraud, the clashes between its deeply conservative pockets and its radical leftist lawmakers had come to a head over Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s authoritarian policies.

Shirkey also met with militia leaders last May, weeks after armed protesters had entered the state capitol in Lansing to object to a coronavirus lockdown.

But he called some demonstrators “jackasses,” and said he challenged the groups to develop a “code of conduct” so they could protest safely.

Some of the men who carried guns at protests against Whitmer’s stay-at-home order last spring, including one at which Shirkey spoke, were later charged in a plot to kidnap her.

They have suggested in their legal defense that FBI plants infiltrated the group and attempted to entrap them.

On Feb. 4, Hillsdale County GOP’s executive board censured him for a number of reasons, including backing a ban on the open carry of guns into the Statehouse, supporting the controversial National Popular Vote movement and allegedly not doing enough to fight Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Hillsdale Mayor Adam Stockford, who also serves on the GOP committee, cast the first “yea” vote the for the censure, which passed by voice.

“I think Mike is good man and a more than able politician, but the time for compromise and capitulation went out the window with 2020,” Stockford said. “… [T]his is not a comment on Mike’s character, it’s a remark on his public service career.”

Shirkey, who spoke in his own defense, downplayed the censorship motion. “This is just a piece of paper,” he said. “It doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t matter.”

However, he seemed to express regret for some of his past actions, including a bill that supported the controversial National Popular Vote initiative to eradicate the Electoral College.

The inconsistent election administration and vote-fraud allegations during last year’s presidential race only underscored the alarming implications of the radical leftist movement, which would require participating states to back the official popular vote member, regardless of how their own constituents voted.

“No one can claim to be a ‘conservative’ and support usurping the Electoral College, one of the last checks we have remaining in our Republic,” Wiseley said.

“Supporting the National Popular Vote was the most egregious of his sins, directly defying the Constitution he took an oath to uphold, and the principles underlying it,” he added.

The Michigan House passed the legislation binding it to the resolution in December 2018. Shirkey said that he had “forgotten” about his decision to co-sponsor the legislation in support of it.

Despite last week’s rebuke from his own party, Shirkey found himself apologizing to the Left for comments prior to the vote that were deemed controversial by mainstream media outlets.

Three Republicans spoke with Shirkey at a restaurant a day before the censure vote.

At one point, a participant who said he was at the Jan. 6 protest in Washington, D.C., asked Shirkey about it.

He responded: “That wasn’t Trump people. That’s been a hoax from day one. That was all prearranged.”

Another participant, who also said he had been in D.C., suggested that police tear-gassed “their own guards.”

Shirkey said: “Why wasn’t there more security there? It was ridiculous. It was all staged,” claiming that then-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “was part of it. …They wanted to have a mess.” He added that some Trump backers “probably got caught up in the emotion” of the mob.

Jon Smith, the Hillsdale County GOP’s secretary who helped organize two busloads of people to travel to D.C., told The Associated Press that he recorded the hour-long conversation with a phone in his pocket because he was worried Shirkey would lie.

It was unclear whether Shirkey knew he was being recorded.

Shirkey released a statement in which he appeared to be apologizing for calling the Jan. 6 uprising at the U.S. Capitol a “hoax” and saying that supporters of former president Donald Trump were not involved.

“I said some things in a videoed conversation that are not fitting for the role I am privileged to serve,” he said in a statement.

“I own that. I have many flaws,” he continued. “Being passionate coupled with an occasional lapse in restraint of tongue are at least two of them. I regret the words I chose, and I apologize for my insensitive comments.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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