There are dick moves and then there are DICK MOVES. This is the latter.
It's not often you see an elected official act like this much of an asshole and to do it such a dickish and public way.
Ten minutes before the filing deadline to run for the Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday, Rep. Roy Schmidt, a "Democrat" from the 76th District in Grand Rapids, switched parties and decided to run as a Republican. This gave the Democratic party no candidate in a very tough district for Democrats after last year's redistricting.
It was a cowardly act and seems nearly inexplicable given Schmidt's own bad-mouthing of Michigan Republicans. It's particularly dickish given that he had Democrats out knocking doors for him during the previous week.
Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer didn't mince words:
It saddens me that in a desperate, cowardly, opportunistic move at the 11th hour, Roy Schmidt abandoned his constituents and the values by which he was elected for the sole purpose of clinging to office and the perks of the job. . Rather than face a tougher district, Schmidt cut a deal with the Republicans so that no one would run against him in an attempt to ensure his reelection.House Democratic Leader Richard Hammel was similarly derisive:
He has been deceiving voters for months as this was obviously something he had been planning for some time. He chose this sneaky approach in an attempt to guarantee his reelection. We demand he immediately return any money raised from Democrats in the past year. We wish Schmidt well in the anti-women, anti-senior, anti-children Republican Party. He should be ashamed of this desperate, craven deed. Only someone who does not possess the conviction or confidence to face the voters would pull a stunt like this. He’ll fit in perfectly with the Republicans.
[Roy Schmidt] has betrayed the citizens of Grand Rapids and the issues he claims to be fighting for. He has joined a party that passed the pension tax, cut funding for public safety and cut a billon dollars from education. It is clearly more important for him to hang on to office by any means necessary instead of being true to the principles he claims to uphold.There is actually more to this story. It turns out that an unknown named Matt Mojzak filed to run as a Democrat in the 76th District just eight minutes before Schmidt pulled his dick move. Who is Mojzak? A friend of Schmidt's nephew.
Yesterday, however, Mojzak withdrew as a candidate, confirming that this was nothing more than a scam being pulled by Michigan Republicans.
Given this clearly orchestrated fraud, the MDP is now pressing for an investigation.
While Roy Schmidt’s fake Democrat Matt Mojzak has withdrawn from the race, serious legal questions remain. Today, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer sent letters to Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson calling for an immediate and thorough investigation of perjury and election fraud.More from the MDP:
Mojzak’s withdrawal just proves that he was a fake Democrat and it’s obvious the cover-up of Roy Schmidt’s fake Democratic candidate has begun,” said Brewer. “It’s ironic that this cover-up is taking place on the anniversary of the beginning of the Watergate hearings. The voters deserve to know who exactly was involved in this plot, when it began, and why felonies were committed. These illegal conspirators must be brought to justice swiftly.”
Mojzak’s affidavit of three lies demonstrates that he was a Republican plant with the sole intention of clearing an easy path to reelection for Schmidt. The three lies in the affidavit include:
- Mojzak claiming he’s a Democrat.
- Mojzak claiming he’s registered to vote in the 76th district while his home and registration are in the 88th district.
- Mojzak claiming he’s been a resident of Kent County for 22 years when he’s been living in Ottawa County.
Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer is calling for an immediate investigation into election fraud perpetrated by House Speaker Jase Bolger, Representative Pete Lund, and Representative Roy Schmidt. Yesterday, Schmidt changed his party affiliation to Republican and helped place his nephew’s friend, Matthew Mojzak, on the ballot as a fake Democrat. The only problem is, Mojzak doesn’t live in the district – a requirement to run for the seat.I am told by the MDP that they will continue pressing this issue until an investigation is started.
Mojzak was registered to vote in Ottawa County and did not change his registration until late on Tuesday... In his attached candidate affidavit, Mr. Mojzak stated under penalty of perjury that he has been a resident of Kent County for 22 years – an obvious lie. He’s using his grandmother’s address in the 76th district in an attempt to qualify as a candidate there.
“It’s clear this was a plot weeks in the making,” Brewer said. “But Republicans made one critical mistake – Mr. Mojzak lied on his candidate affidavit because he has not been living in Kent County – that’s election fraud.” [...]
“This is just another example of Republican hypocrisy,” Brewer continued. “They claim to be the party of transparency and values, yet they pull these sneaky, illegal tactics in order to hold onto their power in Lansing. Rather than face voters in November, they concocted this deceitful, fraudulent plan. Bolger, Lund, Schmidt, and Mojzak should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
These Republican assholes control everything in Michigan government right now. The Governor's office. The Lt. Governor's office. The Attorney General's office. The Secretary of State's office. The House. The Senate. The Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court.
And yet they are still using unethical and very likely illegal scams like this one to increase their power. It must be rough on the conscience to be a Republican these days. Having to look at yourself in the mirror everyday knowing that you're part of an organized effort to screw over the 99-percent for the benefit of the very wealthy on a daily basis must rub your soul into an inflamed, bloody mess.
This is a house of cards built upon greed and corruption. In November, we must bring it down.
[Image credit: Roy Schmidt campaign site]