Uncategorized — November 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Michigan state Rep. Kurt Damrow: Republican trainwreck (seriously, you won’t believe it)


Last month I wrote about the Republican trainwreck that is state Rep. Kurt Damrow from the thumb area of Michigan. At that time, he had been unceremoniously tossed out of his County party and was facing potential prosecution for making unfounded allegations to the Michigan State Police (MSP) against several folks in Huron County. According to media sources, Damrow gave the MSP a “five-page narrative . . . that included a laundry list of allegations against several officials and residents in Huron County.”

Well, all of this has come to a head this and then some. First, yesterday, a complaint that Damrow filed false allegations was been forwarded to the Tuscola prosecutor by the MSP.

On Tuesday, Damrow was unavailable to comment by phone about the fact that the complaint alleging he filed a false police report has been forwarded to the Tuscola Prosecutor’s Office. However, he did respond to an e-mail the Tribune sent him to see if he knew about the situation and whether he has been contacted about the complaint.

He responded that he “hadn’t heard anything. That’s [Huron County Sheriff] Kelly’s (Hanson’s) option.”

The complaint wasn’t forwarded to the prosecutor’s office by the sheriff, though. It was forwarded by the MSP. Damrow would not clarify whether he meant he was not contacted by the MSP about the complaint being forwarded to the prosecutors or that he was not contacted by investigators whatsoever about the complaint he filed a false police report.

The story leading up to this bit is a trainwreck on an entirely separate track and it’s worth reading about it if you like soap operas.

It turns out that the small handful of people that Damrow wanted investigated was actually more involved that. Using his position of power as a state lawmaker, he made no less than 32 allegations against a variety of people including Sheriff Hanson.

A wide range of allegations against several Huron County officials and residents were authored by 84th District Rep. Kurt Damrow (R–Port Austin) to have the Michigan State Police to investigate.

There were about 32 allegations made. Some were from Damrow; and according to him, some allegations were given to him in confidence by Huron County residents.

You can read the juicy tabloid-like details at the link.

But that’s not all. No, no, no. There’s more! In addition to being tossed out the Huron County Republican Party last month, yesterday Damrow resigned his position as chair of the Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee. The official line coming from Ari Adler, House Speaker Jase Bolger’s spokesperson (who seems to be every state Republican’s spokesperson), is that Damrow “had a number of projects in his district that he wanted to focus more of his time and energy on.”

Yeah, right. Sure he did.

Pretty bad, eh? Well, there’s just one more thing. Turns out that Damrow has been touring the state talking to military veterans about about various issues his committee was involved with and informing them about various benefits available to vets. Then, one day, he told a group of vets he had been injured in Iraq and that he had “fought for everything, so I know firsthand what you go through.”

So, here’s the thing: Damrow wasn’t injured in Iraq. He was actually injured in a car accident in Michigan while he was in the National Guard in 2004 — car accident with a cow which kept him from serving in Iraq.

No, seriously. He was in an accident with a cow.

After this was reported in the news, Damrow walked it back saying he had never served in Iraq and had been misquoted by the reporter. The reporter, for the record, stands by his reporting.

The Daily Reporter’s journalist who wrote the story stands by it as does his supervisors.

“We absolutely stand by it,” said The Daily Reporter Executive Editor Health Jeffrey.

On Monday, The Daily Reporter carried a second story on the issue, which reported that Damrow said the “acoustics were very bad in the hall in Coldwater.”

In addition, the newspaper said that, “While some were not sure of what they heard at the Eby-Klein, Jeff McClelland, who assists Branch County Veterans Affairs Director Charles Scott, said he heard from Damrow that he had been in Iraq.

Said McClelland, “The way he told the story, it sounded like he did a couple of tours in Iraq.”’

McClelland said he took notes and shared with his wife when he got home.

Given Damrow’s astounding level lack of veracity, I’m inclined to believe the reporter, frankly.

I’m thinking Damrow is going to find his butt primaried next year, how about you?