Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D), who last week confirmed that she is in talks with Joe Biden to potentially become his running mate, has come under fire this week as allegations have arisen that her husband tried to circumvent her strict shutdown rules and attempted to use political clout with a small business owner.
Governor Whitmer, who has pushed some of the strictest regulations in the country during the coronavirus crisis, announced last week that she was lifting some lockdown restrictions in areas before Memorial Day weekend. In doing so, however, she warned Michigan residents, “If you don’t live in these regions…think long and hard before you take a trip into them. A small spike could put the hospital system in dire straits pretty quickly. That’s precisely why we’re asking everyone to continue doing their part. Don’t descend on [waterfront] Traverse City from all regions of the state.”
Three days later, NorthShore Dock, LLC owner Tad Dowker wrote on Facebook that the governor’s husband, Marc Mallory, had contacted his company asking its workers to get his boat in the water before Memorial Day. According to The Detroit News, Dowker’s post (which has since been made private) read, “This morning, I was out working when the office called me, there was a gentleman on hold who wanted his boat in the water before the weekend. Being Memorial weekend and the fact that we started working three weeks late means there is no chance this is going to happen. Well our office personnel had explained this to the man and he replied, ‘I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?'”
Whitmer’s main home is located in Lansing—a three-hour drive from Traverse City. She and her husband also enjoy the privilege of a vacation home, which is located about half an hour from Traverse City. Apparently, the governor felt her family was conveniently excluded from her own demand that Michigan citizens not “descend on Traverse City.” Adding insult to injury, her own husband name-dropped with the local marina in an effort to suggest the governor’s boat, peculiarly named “Big Gretch,” be put in the water before those of Michigan citizens.
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Whitmer did her best to ignore this story over the holiday weekend. Her office initially cast it off and called it a rumor, but it quickly escalated and she was finally compelled to respond. In doing so, the governor claimed her husband was “just joking” when he dropped her name in an attempt to float his boat ahead of Memorial Day. “Knowing it wouldn’t make a difference, he jokingly asked if being married to me might move him up,” Whitmer said of her husband during a press conference Tuesday.
“He regrets it. I wish it wouldn’t have happened. And that’s really all we have to say about it,” she added. The comments came only after Whitmer, whose strict coronavirus lockdown policies have caused highly-publicized revolts in the state, took intense heat when it was revealed that her husband was trying to flout her own rules.
Whitmer landed in President Trump’s crosshairs in March when she complained about the federal government’s response amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trump responded to her comments by tweeting, “I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude!”
It’s amazing the governor’s husband can maintain such a sense of humor, considering 60 percent of Michigan’s small businesses have either been forced to close or lay off employees under his wife’s edicts in recent weeks. Perhaps the most accurate Democratic campaign tagline in 2020 should be “For me, but not for thee.”
This piece was written by Amy Johnston on May 27, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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