Aug 11, 2009
Whitewash justifies Kahn’s assault
This past week we saw how Republicans use intimidation and bullying to advance their agendas, and now buying appears to be official policy in the Michigan Senate.
As was expected, Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, cleared Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, of any wrongdoing when he verbally assaulted and charged Sen. Irma Clark-Coleman, D-Detroit, in a Capitol elevator on June 17 following a hearing on the Department of Community Health (DCH) budget.
The Secretary of the Senate, appointed by and an employee of Bishop's, conducted an “investigation,” and as expected it cleared Kahn. Fellow Republican Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy, had to restrain Kahn and stepped between the two in the elevator, but his official story is now that, “Never in my wildest imagination did I think Sen. Kahn was going to attack anybody.”
That’s not what he thought at the time. The whitewash justifies Kahn charging at Clark-Coleman with this jewel: “exiting the elevator diagonally toward Ms. Clark-Coleman's side. It concludes that Mr. Kahn "did move toward Sen. Clark-Coleman's side of the elevator. This may be the case because he had to pass in that direction to exit toward the Farnum Building."
Why he couldn’t leave the elevator straight out like most people was unclear. What’s even more disturbing is that the whitewash wasn’t delivered to Democratic leadership or to Clark-Coleman first; instead, it went directly to the press.
As we have seen from the townhall meetings, bullying and intimidation are policy tactics for the Republicans.
Senate Minority Leader Mike Prusi, D-Ishpeming, said the most important thing he wanted was a simple public apology from Kahn, but no such luck. It’s a little funny when you consider what Bishop has punished others for. In fact, he has only sanctioned Democrats, with the exception of his opponent in the Attorney General’s race, and that was because he sided with the Democrats.
Sen. Bruce Patterson, R-Canton, was disciplined by Bishop by teaming up with Democrats to discharge a bill on annexation procedures that effects only his district. Bishop, who has a history of pettiness, also disciplined Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, - his possible opponent in the general AG race - and former Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, for also attempting to represent their constituents.
Those that agree with Bishop are cleared, but those that disagree are hammered. This man wants to be the Attorney General of the state?