Jun 18, 2009
Senate Republicans now using physical intimidation against opponents
LANSING -- We already know Senate Republicans will verbally attack even one of their own when they step out of line like they did last week with Sen. Valde Garcia, R-Howell, but they are even worse on Democrats, resorting to physical violence.
Subscription only Gongwer is reporting that Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, the chair of the Senate Department of Human Services Appropriations Subcommitttee, attacked Sen. Irma Clark-Coleman, D-Detroit, in a Capitol elevator on Wednesday following a hearing on the Department of Community Health (DCH) budget, and Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy, had to restrain Kahn.
The attack took place in front of several witnesses, and Clark-Coleman filed both a police report and a formal complaint with Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester.
The Senate Republicans made some draconian cuts to the DCH budget, including killing the Healthy Michigan Fund, cutting the Medicaid reimbursement rate and cuts to community mental health.
Clark-Coleman said Kahn "charged at me like a bull,” before he was restrained, according to Gongwer, and he continued his "bellowing" as she left the elevator. Clark-Coleman said she felt "fearful that given the opportunity, this legislator would continue to use physical intimidation to reinforce his policy positions."