Michigan Democrats, Michigan Republicans — July 1, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Why is Virgil Smith still in the state Senate? Is it because he’s the Republicans’ useful Democratic idiot?


Virgil Smith (r) shown hanging out today with Senate Republican Leader Arlan Meekhof and Republican Mike Kowall

On the morning of May 10th, Democratic Senator Virgil Smith from Detroit pumped 10 rounds into his ex-wife’s car from a rifle. Smith admits to having done it saying it was “stupidest thing he had done in his life”. Last Friday he was bound over for trial on felony charges of felonious assault, malicious destruction of personal property of $20,000 or more, and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

But Virgil Smith is still a state Senator. Why is that? Why haven’t Republicans moved to quickly expel him from the Senate?

Maybe it’s because Virgil Smith has become very, very useful to them. Smith has backed them on numerous votes. He has sided with Republicans in their attempts to water down our No-Fault insurance laws. He has sided with them on moving forward with a special insurance plan for Detroiters that would give them lower-cost but completely inadequate auto insurance. And, most importantly, he’s been the one Democrat who has sided with them on their various road funding plans, all of which screw the poor, involve slashing our state budget by cutting things like education, and eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit for working poor Michiganders.

And when Virgil Smith votes with them, they get to tell everyone their regressive policies have “bipartisan support”.

Just hours ago, the Senate passed their version of the plan to fix our roads. As I wrote about yesterday, it involves raising gas taxes, lowering income taxes during a time when our state is struggling financially, and, even worse, blows a $700,000,000 hole in our state budget. Only one Democrat voted with the Republicans on this bill.

That would be Virgil Smith.

Yeah, it’s pretty easy to see why Republicans have kept Smith around. He’s their useful Democratic idiot.