Michigan, Rick Snyder — June 16, 2015 at 9:06 am

UPDATED x2: Three big rumors swirling in Michigan involving Todd Courser, Cindy Gamrat, Lon Johnson, and Rick Snyder


There are an inordinate number of rumors swirling around the state at the moment, all of them unconfirmed. I don’t typically dabble in reporting about rumors but it seems silly to ignore things like this that are being widely talked about in various circles.

The first rumor is probably the biggest potential bombshell if it turns out to be true. It involves Republican tea party state Representatives Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser. According to the rumor mill, the two of them were busted in a tryst at the Lansing Radisson Hotel last March by one of their spouses – supposedly Gamrat’s husband. Police were called after they created a disturbance. From what I’m hearing, the police report does not have the names of those involved and the information is coming from an employee of the Radisson who has, so far, declined to reveal their identity, making the rumor completely unsubstantiated at this point.

A recently-created Twitter account called “T Raddy” has been tweeting out snarky allegations with the hashtag #RomanceAtTheRaddy and #FirmlyInHisGrip. I’m also told multiple news outlets are pursuing the story.

What’s most interesting about this rumor is that both Republicans and Democrats seem equally eager for it to be proven true, showing that Gamrat and Courser have few allies in the state legislature. It was, apparently, a hot topic of conversation at the Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island last month.

UPDATE The Courser-Gamrat affair has now been confirmed.

The second rumor is that Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson will soon announce his candidacy for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District. So far, nobody, including Johnson, have confirmed the rumor. The 1st Congressional District encompasses the entire Upper Peninsula and a large swath of the northern Lower Peninsula, including Johnson’s home town of Kalkaska. As a great fundraiser, a former candidate, and an experienced campaigner who helped with Former Congressman John Dingell’s campaign in the past, Johnson would have a real shot at unseating tea party Republican Dan Benishek.

Finally, Todd Heywood at Between the Lines is reporting on their PrideSource site that Gov. Rick Snyder cut a deal with conservative Republicans who promised to help with road funding if he signed their odious “RFRA for Adoption” legislation into law:

A source with a large national LGBT organization, speaking to Between The Lines on background, says Gov. Rick Snyder traded his signature on anti-gay adoptions bills – dubbed RFRA-style bills by the ACLU and other opponents – in order to get a much needed roads funding bill through the conservative legislature.

The bills would allow religious organizations, which receive taxpayer funding, to decline adoption services to any potential adoptive family which the agency feels violates its “sincerely held religious or moral beliefs.”

“What we’re being told by our corporate allies is there was never any serious doubt the governor was going to sign this bill,” the source said. “We’re told that he traded this for a road construction bill he wanted.”

The Governor’s office is, of course, denying that a deal was cut so this, too, remains an unconfirmed rumor.

If you have any proof of any of these rumors, feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line using the Comments link at the top left side of the page.

UPDATE: There is apparently a 911 call associated with the rumored confrontation between Gamrat’s husband and Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat who were caught in flagrante delicto. My sources tell me there are multiple attempts being made to obtain that tape via FOIA requests. I’ve also heard that Courser was confronted by Republican leadership giving him the chance to come clean before the rumors exploded any further. He simply told them he would “pray on it”. LOL. He ain’t the only one!

There is also a bit more to the story about Rick Snyder’s rumored deal to sign the “RFRA for Adoption” legislation into law. What I’m hearing is that it was not conservative Republicans who initiated it. Rather, it was a group of corporate types (who have been mysteriously silent on the issue after making such waves to get the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act updated last fall) who approached him saying they would support his gas tax road plan if he’d appease other conservatives by signing the legislation and stop talking about prevailing wage (which he has largely done.) Basically it’s a three-way deal. Corporations get their roads fixed (which they care more about than the LGBT community), conservatives get their regressive bigotry signed into law without pushback by the business community, and Gov. Snyder comes out looking great by getting his original road plan passed.

Look for Democrats to start getting offers later this summer from the Governor’s office and from Republican leadership to horse trade their votes on raising the gas tax in exchange for other things they care about.

UPDATE 2: I’m now being told that the 911 tape from March does not mention Courser or Gamrat. Their prayers must be working : )

On a serious note, this is still all just rumor until someone is willing to come forward and make a direct allegation or until actual proof comes to light.

UPDATE 3: The Courser-Gamrat affair has now been confirmed.