Aug 17, 2007

Sak alleged memogate and troopergate does not pass smell test

The rightwing blogosphere, all three of them, is buzzing - whining would be a better description - about an alleged incident where Rep. Michael Sak, D-Grand Rapids, was drunk at the National Governors Association event in Traverse City and allegedly “demanded” a ride form a Michigan State Trooper who was on duty there.

Minority “leader” Craig DeRoche, R-Novi, has even made the ridiculous request that the Speaker of the House relive Sak from his committee and leadership positions. This entire matter does not smell right, and it reminds me of the “Troopergate” issue of the early ‘90s when Rightwing sugar daddy Richard Mellon Scaife paid Arkansas State troopers to make up juicy and unflattering stories and lies about President Clinton.

This episode came to light from a memo the state trooper wrote and the Grand Rapids Press obtained from a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request. As a former reporter covering cops and courts, I have read many police reports, including reports from the Michigan State Police at the Brighton Post, but I have never seen a memo from the state police. Ask Bill Nowling, the new Communications Director of the Michigan Republican Party, about how many state police memos he has read as the cops and courts reporter for the same newspaper where we worked the same beat.

This raises a few of questions for me. Why did the unnamed trooper even write the memo? How did the GR Press know to make a FOIA request for that particular memo?

The bottom line is Sak did not break any laws, and he had the good sense not to drink and drive. Sak denies he demanded a ride or even asked for a ride, but what if he did? Since when is that a crime to have to much to drink on occasion and have the foresight and maturity to ask for a ride instead of getting behind the wheel of a two-ton deadly weapon?

It’s funny that the right-wingers are crowing about this, but they were silent as church mice when Rep. John Garfield, R- Rochester Hills, was arrested for his second drunk driving charge in March, and they even stayed quiet when the charge was dropped on a technicality. He was clearly driving drunk and endangering lives, but do you think we heard anything from the right? You guessed it, they were silent.

The Democratic Speaker declined to relieve Garfield of his committee assignments when he was arrested. Perhaps he believed that quaint and naïve notion of innocent until proven guilty. So why should he relieve Sak when he was not only not charged with a crime but did not commie a crime to be charged with.

Sak has apologized, but that is not good enough for Republicans. Now that the charges have been dropped against Garfield perhaps he can now issue an apology. Don’t hold your breath.


Chet said...

Your spinning awfully hard on this one.

Chet said...

Speaking of "silent as mice," I believe I actually blogged it. I have no obligation to raise attention to Republican foibles - something that might harm my business actually - and I still blogged. No silence here.

And many other Republicans weren't silent. You've got that one wrong.

Communications guru said...

If its spin then unspin it, but again, you can’t. I meant the leading rightwing blogs were silent, and that is true. I notice you often post your rants on the leading rightwing blog, but you didn’t post that one. “Something that might harm my business actually.” I don’t really know what that means.

You are again incorrect, most Republicans were silent.

Chet said...

Republicans weren't silent. Let's go back and pull up the newspapers at the time.

Republicans called for Garfield's removal from all committees - Democrat Andy Dillon refused to do it (which, strategically, allows him and you to still paint Garfield with a broad brush).

If I recall, the Garfield event happened very early in RightMichigan's existence - but I think RightMichigan itself blogged it and condemned it, and I know I did. Do I cross-post everything I write to RightMichigan? No. Indeed, I only rarely cross-post, and only because I want to communicate with a slightly different segment than I routinely reach. I'm not RightMichigan. My goals and purposes are far different from theirs.

Communications guru said...

You certainly were silent. Perhaps “Democrat Andy Dillon refused to do it” because he has this quaint notion of innocent until proven guilty. It would have been a little premature if he relived Garfield of his committee assignments and he was not convicted, which is what occurred. He did not remove Rep. Sak from his committee assignments because he did not commit any kind of crime or misdemeanor.

RightMichigan never mentioned either Garfield’s first arrest, convention, second arrest or his getting off on a technicality.