A letter was recently sent to the Midland Daily News and the Midland and Bay County Democratic Parties (and probably from others) purporting to be from a retired Korean War veteran named William Miller. The letter, titled “Open letter to the Midland Democratic Party and the citizens of Bay and Midland Counties” and sent by email, contains the link goo.gl/idnIMf which takes you to a 2006 message board posting at Michigan-Sportsman.com titled “Fort Lewis Soldier Says He’ll Refuse To Go To Iraq”. In the comments of the thread, a user named “gmalicoat” makes some truly repulsive comments about veterans. Mr. Miller’s letter connects this user to Geoff Malicoat, a Democrat opposing noted bigot, homophobe, and anti-worker extremist Gary Glenn, the Republican legislator from the 98th House District representing the Midland/Bay City area.
Mr. Miller’s letter finishes by noting that Malicoat had “attended the most recent Veterans and Memorial Day ceremonies in Midland and Sanford as the official representative of the Midland County Democratic Party” and asks “Midland County Democrats not to send Mr. Malicoat or anyone who holds views so disparaging and disrespectful of our military to represent your organization in future veterans memorial ceremonies.”
As I said, Mr. Miller sent this letter not only to the Midland County Democratic Party and the Bay County Democratic Party, he also sent it to the media. That’s curious given that his intent appears to be to stop a man who he perceives as anti-veteran from representing the Democratic Party groups in his area.
However, a closer inspection of the email has revealed that the “goo.gl” link was actually uploaded from a file with with the path “file:///C:/Users/jrwar/Documents/Jeremiah/Gary%20Glenn/Malicoat”. Here’s a screenshot of the email with the mouse hovering over the “goo.gl” link to reveal the source:
So, who is exactly is the user “jrwar” or “Jeremiah” revealed in the file path? As it turns out, Rep. Glenn has a college student named Jeremiah Ward as his campaign manager. That’s his Facebook profile picture there on the right. He has been actively promoting events for Gary Glenn’s reelection campaign and his Facebook timeline has photos of him with Glenn going as far back as January 2015 when Ward was still in high school.
So, it appears that Gary Glenn’s campaign manager is the actual source of the letter sent to the media, not an 80+ year old Korean War veteran named William Miller. This, of course, explains why it was sent to the media. Glenn is literally exploiting an aged Korean War veteran in an attempt to smear his Democratic opponent Geoff Malicoat by casting him as someone who insults and disparages veterans. The hypocritical irony is nauseating.
Malicoat has written a response to this “open letter” written by
William Miller Jeremiah Ward which you can read HERE. In it, he makes it clear that these comments were NOT written by him (emphasis mine):
I’m in receipt of the email that was sent to the Midland and Bay County Democratic offices by a Mr. William Miller regarding comments that were posted under the username ‘GMalicoat’ on an outdoor website forum.
These comments are reprehensible. As someone who has devoted themselves to serving veterans, I was offended to read them myself. Speech which dismisses the service and bravery of our servicemen and servicewomen should rightly be called out as ignorant and cruel.
I must acknowledge that the account referenced in this email was created by myself nearly a decade ago. It was then shared with several others, quickly banned, and has remained inactive for years. I did not write these things, nor had I ever seen them until today.
I never planned to enter politics, but I was motivated to enter into the field for the same reasons that I was motivated to practice elder law: I wanted to make positive changes for my community. As a VA accredited attorney and volunteer, I frequently assist veterans both within and outside of my practice.
As someone who has written about the foul career of Gary Glenn for many years, this sort of attack is not surprising. He learned sleazy political tactics from his many years at the American Family Association of Michigan, an anti-LGBT group that worked overtime to prevent gays and lesbians from having the same civil rights and access to services (and justice) as everyone else in our state. Glenn is anti-labor and was a leader in the effort to make Michigan, the birthplace of organized labor, a “right to work” state. In other words, Gary Glenn’s worldview is the antithesis of our deeply-held Democratic values. So it’s no surprise that he would exploit an elderly veteran for political gain.
If you’d like to support a man who truly values everyone (including veterans), stop by Geoff Malicoat’s website at MalicoatForHouse.com and drop some shekels on his fundraising page. You’ll be doing the entire state a huge favor.
UPDATE: When confronted by MLive about the letter originating from his computer, Ward admitted it was true:
The blog posts were highlighted in an “open letter” sent Oct. 19 by Ward on behalf of William Miller, a Korean War veteran from Auburn and a former Michigan commander in the American Legion.
What MLive doesn’t mention is that the original letter had nothing overt to connect the effort to denigrate Malicoat back to his Republican opponent. The letter, which includes Mr. Miller’s phone number has no trace of the Glenn campaign on it. It was only after they were busted for it that Ward is admitting it. He also says he “doesn’t believe” Geoff Malicoat about comments on a forum that were posted when Ward himself was just ten years old. Given that there is nothing else in Malicoat’s career to point to that suggest he’s in any way anti-veteran, it’s far easier to believe him than it is to believe a 19-year-old campaign manager who forged a letter for an elderly veteran in order to damage his boss’s political opponent.