Yesterday, I wrote about a diatribe posted to Facebook by tea partier Todd Courser where he referred to subsidized daycare as “gubmint child’s care centers” & “government re-engineering centers”. In that same bizarre screed, he also said this:
It takes you…Calling all true pro-lifers! Lots of reasons to vote against this coming budget, it cuts road funding (you heard me right), it of course increases Medicaid funding, more money for gubmint child’s care centers (government re-engineering centers), increases child dental, more for education and more expanded government; BUT one particularly egregious reason for pro-lifer’s to both stand against it and vote against it is that it funds Planned Parenthood – Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the country and has no business getting funding from our state government!
This same complaint about the budget Republicans are considering was made by Courser’s sister-in-arms, tea partier Cindy Gamrat. The day before Courser’s Complaint, she posted a similar one on Facebook:
Listening to subcommittees reviewing their budgets. How do we get to free market solutions when our starting point is Medicaid and more and more government programs being funded, from daycares to dental programs to planned parenthood.
The next day, Gamrat posted, again to Facebook, that House Speaker Kevin Cotter had removed her from the Republican caucus, forbidding her from attending their closed-door strategy sessions and discussions.
I ran for office on a platform of transparency and accountability. Yesterday, I made a Facebook post regarding some thoughts on House budget bills that had already gone through public hearings before being passed by their respective subcommittees. I did this while in attendance at what had been described to Republican legislators as a “budget workshop.” Today I was informed that the Facebook post, attached below, was a violation of the sanctity of the caucus, and was told by the Speaker of the House that I was no longer welcome as a participant in the weekly Republican caucus meeting.
In no way did I reveal anything confidential from the meeting, and I have never violated the integrity of our caucus. I may disagree on issues with my colleagues, but I respect the trust between us. I was elected to be accountable to the hard working taxpayers of Allegan County and the state of Michigan. I will work diligently and independently every day for their best interests. I appreciate your prayers and support as I continue to stand as a strong voice for personal liberties, Constitutional rights, and fiscal responsibility, even if I must stand alone.
With firm reliance on divine providence,
Cotter’s office would not comment on the matter other than to tell MLive.com, “Sorry, but we’ve got a long-standing rule: what happens in caucus stays in caucus.”
Now, they only difference between Courser’s comments and Gamrat’s comments is that Gamrat actually mentions that they were “listening to subcommittees reviewing their budgets”. Other than that, they both mention the same liberty-killing things like providing dental care for the children of poor parents, expansion of Medicaid, and funding of Planned Parenthood. In fact, Courser complains about MORE things than Gamrat.
As of Friday morning when I’m typing this Courser is still welcomed into caucus meetings and Gamrat, one of three female candidates to replace Terri Lynn Land on the Republican National Committee, is not.
This inconsistent treatment of Courser and Gamrat did not escape the folks at Progress Michigan. Here’s communications director Hugh Madden:
It seems that the Republican War on Women now extends to Republican women. If Rep. Gamrat is not allowed to attend caucus meetings, why is Rep. Courser still allowed? Why is Dave Agema still allowed to represent Michigan Republicans at the national level? It’s fitting that just days after Equal Pay Day, that Kevin Cotter would dish out unequal punishment to a woman in his own caucus. Speaker Cotter has made it clear that dissent will not be tolerated – unless you are a man.
Is it because Gamrat is a woman? Or is it, perhaps that they don’t want a woman who be a female version of the odious bigot Dave Agema?
I suspect that Republicans have been simply waiting for a reason to oust Gamrat, Courser, and their other tea party pal Gary Glenn and Gamrat was the first – at least in their minds – to do so. I feel pretty certain that Courser and Glenn both have short shelf lives as caucus members, as well. Pop some popcorn and stay tuned.
UPDATE: MIRS News Service is reporting that Gamrat’s Facebook page post was not the only reason Gamrat was booted from the caucus:
[A] handful of GOP sources told MIRS today that Gamrat’s expulsion was not about a single Facebook post. Other said complaints that she was letting secret information out had been floating as well.
“There’s been a whole series of issues with Rep. Gamrat that have got Republican members complaining to leadership and others for a while,” once source said. “This last event is just one more in a long line.”