Gamrat Gets Barred While Schuette Hurts Those Behind Bars

By Todd Heywood

Political Hors D'oeuvres

Gamrat Barred From State Republican House Caucus Indefinitely

Poor State Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell. She's just trying to represent her constituents, you know? To accomplish that, she tweeted from a closed meeting of the House Republican Caucus about budget issues.

"Listening to subcommittees reviewing their budgets. How do we get to free market solutions when our starting point is Medicaid and more and more government programs being funded, from daycares to dental programs to planned parenthood," she wrote on Facebook.

Because, you know, essential life saving safety net issues are totally bogus. People should just be left to find the cash to pay for those needs or die, am I right? Cause that's the free market at work.

Anyway, Gamrat's post violated the rules of the Republican House Caucus. So, House Speaker Kevin Cotter tossed Gamrat from the Caucus, MLive's Jonathan Oosting reports.

It might be time for Cotter and team to bust out a loud rendition of "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" replacing Maria with Cindy. If nothing else, singing members of the House in the Capitol Rotunda would entertain the touring school children.

Schuette On 'Duty' for Rape Victims

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has added yet another odious mark to his right wing legal and political history. After issuing subpoenas for notes from reporters digging up stories about the rape of teens convicted as a adults and housed in state prison facilities -- a move he quickly stopped -- he's back at it. This time his targets are the victims themselves.

Eleven inmates have filed suited against the Department of Corrections, Corrections officials and Gov. Rick Snyder over allegations they have been repeatedly subjected to sexual harassment and rape while in custody. The plaintiffs filed the action anonymously, fearing retribution from other prisoners and prison officials. A court has already provided for some of those plaintiffs to remain anonymous, but new plaintiffs' anonymity is being challenged by Schuette, the Detroit News reports.

Schuette argues naming the prisoners suing the state is necessary for the state to defend itself against the allegations. His office claims that the cloak of anonymity would make a mounting a defense incredibly difficult -- but didn't bother to note that despite the cloak of anonymity, the state actually knows who the prisoners are.

ACLU officials say the move is akin to intimidation to force the plaintiffs to drop the case. And that is not an irrational understanding either. One of the prisoners is claiming that his Feb. 19 stabbing was motivated by other inmates who had learned he was suing the state over the rape allegations. He was stabbed 27 times.

Now here's the thing -- when Schuette kicked off his re-election campaign last year, he told rape victims he was their "voice." Apparently, his voice is broken for prison victims.


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