Ass of the Week is a new installment on Richardcyoung.com that will celebrate the most asinine politician of the week.
This week’s Ass is Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. She has been hailed as a possible VP pick by Joe Biden, but has infuriated her constituents with draconian lockdown rules.
While Michiganders suffered under Whitmer’s strict lockdown, her husband attempted to leverage her position as governor to receive preferential treatment at a marina where the Whitmers launch their boat.
Marrying someone who would use his wife’s political power to seek favors is what makes Gretchen Whitmer the first, Ass of the Week.
Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press reports:
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday that her husband made a failed attempt at humor when he asked a boat contractor whether his status as Michigan’s “First Gentleman” would help him get his boat in the water ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
“He thought it might get a laugh,” Whitmer said of her husband, Marc Mallory, a dentist.
“It didn’t, and to be honest, I wasn’t laughing either when it was relayed to me because I knew how it would be perceived.”
She said the controversy was the result of “a failed attempt at humor.”
Whitmer said her husband regrets what he said and called on Michiganders to show kindness and empathy as the state deals with the COVID-19 pandemic that will be around for some time.
On Monday, Whitmer’s office would not comment on whether Mallory cited his unique status when he contacted NorthShore Dock LLC, north of Traverse City, before the Memorial Day holiday.
Republican State Sen. Tom Barrett said Monday he felt he unknowingly became part of a cover-up of the incident, having removed his Facebook post about the incident Friday night after officials in Whitmer’s office reached out to him through the Senate Republican leader’s office to say the allegations made by an owner of the boat company were untrue.
On Tuesday, Barrett said he didn’t find Whitmer’s explanation to be credible.
“The governor needs to explain why (her staff) was so insistent on Friday that it wasn’t true, if the whole thing was a bad joke,” Barrett said. “I will never trust them again.”
Whitmer’s remarks did not address whether her staff had called Senate Republicans to deny Mallory had made the remarks. Whitmer spokeswoman Chelsea Lewis did not respond to an email asking if Whitmer’s officials had told Senate Republicans on Friday that Mallory never made such remarks.
Michigan Republicans were not amused.
“Using your wife’s political office to score favors is not a laughing matter,” Laura Cox, the state party chairwoman, said in a news release. “How many times has Gov. Whitmer’s husband told this ‘joke’ to gain special favors from businesses? The only joke here is that Gov. Whitmer doesn’t seem to understand how serious it is for a family member to misuse your office.”
Tad Dowker, an owner of NorthShore Dock, said in a widely circulated Facebook post late last week Mallory contacted his company about getting a boat in the water at the family’s northern Michigan cottage ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
Dowker, who later removed his Facebook post but has stood by its contents, said he “was out working when the office called me” and said “there was a gentleman on hold who wanted his boat in the water before the weekend.”
Because it was a holiday weekend and the company was three weeks behind because of the stay home order, there was “no chance” that would happen, Dowker said in the post.
His staff explained that to Mallory, who said: “I am the husband to the Governor,” and asked whether that would make a difference, according to Dowker’s post.
“As you can imagine, it does make a difference, that would put you to the back of the line!!!” Dowker said on Facebook.
“Too good not to share,” Dowker said. “I love it when karma comes around, even if just in small doses.”