GOPocrisy, Michigan Democrats, Michigan Republicans — May 1, 2013 at 8:37 am

Mich House Speaker retaliates against Dems holding Republicans accountable for leaving No Fault ins. hearing


Intentionally furthering the divide

Last week, Republican members of the House Insurance Committee walked out of a hearing on No Fault insurance reform to avoid having to hear testimony from victims of catastrophic accidents and their families. The disrespect shown to these citizens who had traveled to Lansing to participate in our democratic process prompted Democratic House Leader Tim Greimel to call for their replacement.

In response, House Speaker Jase Bolger, in what can only be described as a petulant and childish act, removed eight Democrats from their committee assignments for missing meetings in the past. He took no action whatsoever against Republicans, of course.

The top Republican in the Michigan House removed eight Democrats from committees Tuesday because they missed meetings last week amid heightened tension between Republican and Democratic leaders in the chamber.

Speaker Jase Bolger of Marshall acted after his Democratic counterpart called for the replacement of five Republicans who left a hearing last week on a bill that would end Michigan’s unlimited medical care for people catastrophically injured in car accidents.

Bolger responded Tuesday by removing any Democrat who missed a committee meeting last week. The changes are effective starting Wednesday. {…}

“Rep. Greimel made a demand that members of one caucus be removed for attendance issues. So in that spirit, Speaker Bolger is holding Minority Leader Greimel’s caucus to his standards,” said Bolger spokesman Ari Adler.

These are standards that Bolger clearly doesn’t hold his own caucus to and, with this action, took a bold step toward furthering the divide between Republicans and Democrats, ensuring gridlock in our state legislature. Given that Republicans will need Democrats’ cooperation on a variety of issues including funding of road and bridge repair, the real losers in this whole affair are Michigan citizens.

Attendees of last week’s No Fault insurance reform hearing. Photo credit: Michigan House Democrats.

House Democrats’ spokesperson Katie Carey responded this way in a statement:

Our main concern was to make sure that the voices of these victims of tragic car accidents, many of whom were severely disabled and in wheelchairs and traveled a great distance, were heard. Instead, the speaker chose to retaliate against Democrats, and only Democrats

Representative Brandon Dillon, who is quickly becoming an outspoken leader in the House, had this to say:

Speaker Bolger has an unfortunate history of silencing people he disagrees with. House Democrats were hopeful Bolger’s actions would live up to his rhetoric about putting the past behind us. The Speaker has said that he is “eager to work with anyone who will put solving the problems of Michigan citizens over partisan politics” and Democrats were hopeful his actions would align. However, the Speaker’s relentlessly partisan action proves that this is nothing more than empty rhetoric.

He has unilaterally decided that playing petty political games and retaliating against Democrats for speaking out in support of the disabled is more important than finding common ground. The Speaker silenced women last year when he didn’t like certain words they said and now he is again silencing Democrats for having the audacity to speak out in support of disabled victims testifying against no fault reform.

Petty. Childish. Petulant. Divisive. All of these adjectives and more accurately describe House Speaker Bolger, a man under indictment for election fraud and corruption charges. He and his ideological pals in Republican caucus are harming our state and doing it with bold impunity.