Jase Bolger’s tenure as Speaker of the Michigan House has been shaky at best. The man is just not cut out for leadership. He careens from wielding nominal control over his caucus to being embroiled in a scandal that could swallow everything he’s worked for; and he does it all with the grace of a 400 pound bear on ice skates. Here are the five most terrible and hypocritical things done by Speaker Jase Bolger:
1. It’s almost hard to believe, but while Speaker Jase Bolger, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and the entire Michigan GOP went on a crusade to eliminate voter fraud, Jase Bolger and Rep. Roy Schmidt hatched a devious scheme to rig an election in the 76th District. As William Forsyth, the Republican prosecutor, said – embarrassing. He went on to write that the ploy “was clearly intended to undermine the election and to perpetrate a ‘fraud’ on the electorate.” Adding insult to injury, he declared, “As a Republican elected official, I am embarrassed and offended by what transpired.”
2. Almost immediately after being caught, Speaker Jase Bolger decided he would ignore House Democrats‘ proposals to clean up our elections, but pushed a weak Republican bill that merely tweaked the filing deadline for local elections, saying:
“The whole elections process in Michigan has come under scrutiny lately and many people, me included, have suggested that we need higher standards,” said Bolger, R-Marshall.
3. Years before he was busy ripping off Grand Rapids voters, Bolger owned a collections agency, and managed to rack up over $100,000 in unpaid payroll taxes. At the same time, he also got himself into some trouble with Wachovia Bank. In 2001, Wachovia Bank filed a lawsuit alleging that Bolger “willfully and fraudulently misappropriated sums of money which belong to the Plaintiff.”
4. Despite his swift denials and downplaying of the event, Bolger has been more than clear in the past about his opinion of cheats and embezzlers receiving taxpayer dollars. Soon after he arrived in the state House, an investigation revealed that the Michigan Economic Development Corp. had awarded a tax credit to a convicted embezzler. Playing up the significance of what Republicans branded a “felon fiasco,” Bolger fumed,
“What’s troubling here is that the MEDC and Gov. Granholm seem to want to downplay the significance of this failure by pointing out that the embezzler did not actually receive any money from the state,” said Rep. Jase Bolger, ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Investigations Committee.
5. So, after defrauding a bank and then crusading against financial fraudsters; after preaching the evils of election fraud and then committing election fraud; after attempting to defraud the voters of the 76th District of their right to a free and fair election and then passing a watered-down bill that didn’t fix a thing; after all of this Speaker Jase Bolger is just getting started. His next play: rigging Michigan’s elections. Rather than learning from his past mistakes, or the walloping the GOP took at the polls in the 2012 elections, Jase Bolger has finally decided it’s easier to cheat than to change. In short, he’d like to allocate electoral votes based on who wins the popular vote in the districts he helped draw to favor Republicans:
“They feel closer to voting for their congressman or their congresswoman and if that vote coincided with their vote for president they would feel better about that.”
With this setup, while Romney lost Michigan by nine points he would have won more electoral votes than President Obama.
From a guy still under an active grand jury investigation for election fraud, this should come as no surprise. Think Jase Bolger should resign as Speaker? So do we. Sign our petition calling on him to do just that.