Michigan State House Speaker Hobbles Fellow Republican
For the second time this month, a Michigan state legislator has been stripped of committee assignments. It’s a strong punishment for any elected lawmaker. Michigan Republican Representative Gary Eisen is serving his first term representing the 81st State House District in the Port Huron area, northeast of metro Detroit.
Eisen is an outspoken conservative and vocal supporter of President Donald Trump. State House Speaker Lee Chatfield says Eisen went over the boundaries of the acceptable during an interview with a local radio host at WPHM in Port Huron early yesterday morning. Host Paul Miller asked Representative Eisen about his view of the situation with the state’s Electoral College meeting at the state capitol to presumably cast all 16 elector votes for Democrat Joe Biden. Eisen replied with a suggestion that there’s, “...going to be violence…” at the Capitol. When pressed by the show host if he could assure listeners it would be a safe meeting of the elector's event in Lansing, Eisen responded, “No.”. Eisen also said, “I don’t know, because what we’re doing today is uncharted. It hasn’t been done. It’s not me doing it, it’s the Michigan House... it’s the Michigan party. I’m just a witness.” Little explanation of all that was offered.
Outgoing State House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Speaker-Elect Jason Wentworth issued a joint statement shortly after reviewing Eisen’s radio interview, starting off with the terse revelation that Eisen no longer has a seat at any statehouse committee through the balance of the term. Their statement reads, “We have been consistent in our position on issues of violence and intimidation in politics – it is never appropriate and never acceptable. That applies to threats made toward public officials, and it must also apply when the public officials open the door to violent behavior and refuse to condemn it. We must do better.”
Representative Eisen later issued a statement saying he was not promoting or condoning violence. Speaker Chatfield earlier this month imposed similar sanctions on a Democratic State Representative from the Detroit area. Representative Cynthia Johnson posted a video of herself on social media threatening supporters of President Trump.