There are a lot of interesting primary races, but the Republican primary in the 11th Senate District is spinning out of control.
The race already has a criminal, a carpetbagger and now charges of lying, inappropriate sexual behavior and playing an imposter entered the race yesterday to make it even more interesting after a pair of reports from MIRS and Gongwer that cover the Capitol.
Squaring off in the open 11th District to replace term-limited Alan Sanborn – one of the most extremists member of the Senate – are former state Reps. Leon Drolet and Jack Brandenburg and current state Rep. Kim Meltzer.
Drolet should be in jail because of his criminal acts in the attempt to recall Speaker of the House Andy Dillon, not to mention his recent campaign violation. Meltzer has been accused of being a carpetbagger because she just rented an address in the safe Republican district, and she also hired the person known for dirty tricks. Brandenburg had escaped notice; until now.
Brandenburg, as well as Drolet served as co-chairs of the crooked Proposal 2 campaign in 2006 that banned affirmative action programs that used fraud to get on the ballot.
Jennifer Gratz, who led the 2006 ballot proposal, said that a political action committee (PAC) she is involved with had mailed flyers into the district to accuse Brandenburg of lying about his role with the so-called “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative” campaign; Brandenburg claimed he was the co-chair. Gratz, now works for the American Civil Rights Institute, the California-based group that's primary purpose is to oppose affirmative action.
According to subscription only MIRS, when Gratz was asked what led to Brandenburg to leave the campaign, she had this to say:
"We were on a conference call with me, Leon, Jack and Ward," Gratz said. "There may have been some others on the call as well, but I can't remember exactly. "Ward (Connerly) asked for help more help from Leon and Jack. Then Jack said, 'F*** Off.'"
Gratz said that as far as she knows, that parting shot was Brandenburg's final involvement with the MCRI movement.
But Brandenburg had this to day to MIRS in response. "On that conference call Ward Connerly was basically chewing Leon and I out," Brandenburg said. "Leon and I had worked our butts off for a year. We weren't getting paid anything. It was voluntary. I think Gratz was getting paid at that time, but we weren't."
"So then Connerly wanted Leon and I to come up with $50,000," Brandenburg continued. "At that point, I said that even if I had $50,000 I wouldn't give it to him. He asked me if I could come up with the money tomorrow, and I said no. But when he said 'You haven't done anything,' that's what I really didn't appreciate. I said, "Hey Ward, F*** off."
But the story was even more explosive in Gongwer, and Gratz either didn’t tell MIRS the entire story, or MIRS chose not to include the allegation.
During an interview with Gongwer about the flyer, Gratz was asked why she just didn’t call Brandenburg and ask him to stop claiming he was the co-chair. Gratz apparently told Gongwer she would never contact Brandenburg because of “an incident that she said occurred in January 2006 when Mr. Brandenburg was serving his second term in the House.” Gratz claims she received a message Booth Newspapers columnist Rick Haglund had called to interview her.
Gratz said she “returned the call, and the first couple questions were standard journalistic fare. Then, "He said, 'Can I ask you a personal question?' He said, 'How do you feel about oral sex?'" Ms. Gratz said.”
Brandenburg denies the incident ever occurred.
Drolet served as co-chair of the ballot campaign with Brandenburg, but Drolet stuck with the racist campaign. Gratz is supporting Drolet in the primary election.