It may not be an election year, but a House recall race is heating up in Genesee County, and state Rep. Paul Scott is getting desperate to hold on to his job. Rep. Scott recently said that those working to recall him are motivated by racial bias, since he is the only African-American in the House Republican Caucus. Let’s stop right here and briefly run through possible other reasons that Paul Scott’s constituents might be eager to get rid of him:
- Rep. Scott moved a staffer from the state payroll to his campaign after it was discovered she was pregnant. This came after he made clear his belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, so as not to undermine that cornerstone of American society: the family.
- Rep. Scott announced this staffer would be having his child, but they would not be getting married. He said, however, that they were in a strong relationship, even though the announcement came as a surprise to many observers.
- Rep. Scott was fined $300 by the Michigan Secretary of State in 2010 for failing to file campaign finance reports on time.
- Rep. Scott drew criticism from—of all folks—notorious right-wing advocacy outfit, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, when he revealed during the 2010 campaign that a consultant on his campaign was a part-time staffer in his legislative office at the same time.
- Rep. Scott believes it is disgusting that students are taught about, what else, proper contraceptive use in a voluntary sex education class in his district.
- Rep. Scott has repeatedly made race an issue when it is not, saying in 2008 of his campaign: “Racism isn’t dead, but we took a big step toward eradicating it tonight. We showed a minority can win in any district.” Yes, Paul Scott believes that his victory in a Republican primary for the state House was a big step toward eradicating racism.
- Rep. Scott sponsored an “education reform” bill that was written by Students First, a Washington-based interest group that is working to undermine teachers across the country. A Students First document said that Paul Scott worked extensively with them on a series of bills, and that Jason Mancini, former staffer in the House GOP Policy office, “literally ran every amendment by me before deciding to allow it in committee. He also sent me multiple drafts of the bills during the drafting process.”
- Rep. Scott voted to pass a 2012 state budget that instituted a new tax on pensions that is currently being debated before the state Supreme Court, and slashed funding to education to pay for a massive business tax cut.
The Republican Party has been quick to stand behind him in the recall effort, and Senate Republicans are backing his campaign with a $100,000 contribution as they try to cast this as Paul Scott standing up to special interests and the status quo. You read that right – Paul Scott, who takes orders from Washington interest groups and defended cuts to education funding to pay for a massive tax cut for corporations and CEOs, is “standing up to special interests.”
In 2010, Paul Scott released a mailer casting his opponent and another Democratic member of the House—one Hispanic and the other African-American—as criminals by placing them in photos manipulated to look like mug shots. Is Paul Scott guilty of espousing exactly the kind of racial animus he now claims his opponents are promoting? More importantly, is he trying to distract his constituents from the real issues? We’ve attached this mailer from the 2010 campaign below so you can decide for yourself: does Paul Scott’s mailer play the race card?