Lee Chatfield is a state House Representative from northern Michigan and a white man with a real fetish for guns. He loves his guns so much that he proposed a bill in 2016 that would have made illegal local gun ordinances even more illegal. Apparently not a big fan of local government control, Chatfield’s bill was described as “super-preemption”:
Yeadon explained at last night’s meeting, as well as in a memo submitted in conjunction with the meeting, that if the bill passes, the City will have no real option other than to repeal any existing ordinances that might set off the penalties described in the bill, and to not attempt to pass any new ones. The way the bill is designed was described as consisting of “super-preemption,” meaning it attempts to stop local governments from even considering doing anything against the will of those in power at the State level, in this case, pro-gun-rights Republicans.
Linda Brundage, Executive Director of the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, spoke “in total opposition” to the bill during Public Comments last night. Brundage warned Council that if this bill passes, “any kind of regulation involving firearms, even the most mundane, would become too risky.”
Chatfield, the House Speaker Pro Tempore (the number two Republican in our state legislature and clearly being groomed to be the Speaker of the House unless Democrats crush it on November 6th), is a darling of the Koch brothers and, like other corporatist water-carriers, either promotes or works to diminish local government control as it suits his corporate benefactors’ needs.
But the truth is that Chatfield actually appears to have a gun fetish problem. The 30-year old father of five and graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University attempted to bring a loaded handgun onto a commercial flight this past summer. He has paid one fine and now faces an additional, much higher fine from TSA:
Michigan state Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) has paid one fine associated with a July a incident in which he had an unregistered, loaded handgun in his carry-on bag as he attempted to board a commercial flight in Pellston, but it will likely be several more weeks until he finds out what a second, more costly fine will be.
According to officials with Emmet County’s 90th District Court, the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office filed a state civil infraction complaint for “failure to register a pistol” against Chatfield on Aug. 21. Court officials noted that when Chatfield came to the court office the following day, he admitted responsibility and paid the associated $250 fine.
A state civil infraction is similar to a traffic ticket in that it is not considered a crime and therefore a person “admits responsibility” rather than pleads guilty.
However, a representative with the Transportation Security Administration recently said it will likely be several more weeks before officials with that agency determine what fine they will assess against Chatfield for the same incident.
TSA documents show a person who brings a loaded handgun into a security checkpoint is subject to a civil infraction fine ranging from $3,920-$9,800.
Not only did Chatfield attempt to bring a loaded weapon onto a commercial flight, the gun itself was not properly registered:
Chatfield had a loaded, unregistered .380-caliber handgun in his carry-on bag while going through a security checkpoint on July 15 at Pellston Regional Airport. Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin said Monday morning Chatfield will be issued a civil infraction because the firearm brought to the airport was not registered within 10 days of purchase, which is required by law. Wallin said he didn’t know exactly how long Chatfield owned the gun, but the lawmaker was in possession of the firearm “for a while.”
Guns aren’t the only thing Chatfield has trouble controlling. His reelection campaign is now engaged in push-polling to tear down his Democratic opponent Joanne Galloway. The political geniuses at Davis Research LLC who were conducting the push poll actually called Galloway’s campaign office. A sharp office staffer recorded the several-minute call. After a few minutes of standard poll questions, the survey took a radical turn and the pollster began seeking feedback on statements of glowing praise about Chatfield and deceitful, inaccurate statements about Galloway. You can listen to the push poll part of the call here:
Clearly Chatfield knows he faces a real threat from a solid Democratic opponent. Galloway raised nearly twice as much money as Chatfield did in the most recent reporting cycle and is part of an increasingly more powerful coalition of strong female candidates looking to change the face of our state and federal government in 2018.
You can learn more about Joanne Galloway on her Facebook page and on her website JoanneGalloway.com. Donate to her campaign HERE and help to retire the out of control Chatfield and send a message that corporatist gun fetishists have no place in our state government.