Looks like Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has run up the highest score amongst the many Covid hypocrite politicians in the country.
Let’s count the number of times she has flouted the executive decrees everyone else is required to follow but from which she is exempt.
To start, let’s go back to last June: 6/9/20 – Michigan Capital Confidential – Whitmer Skirted Her Own Executive Orders Twice Before Blowing Them Up.
Article points out she was on the cover of Newsweek (yes, like you, I was also surprised to hear it is still around) featuring her efforts to save lives with strong rules.
Score in the hypocrisy race between the Michigan and California governors
In the race for biggest hypocrite, I’m embarrassed to say that my governor, Gavin Newsom, only has 1 flagrant hypocrisy on the scoreboard.
He has been far out distanced by the Michigan governor who is at 4.5 by my count. I’ll explain shortly how she only earns half credit for one incident.
So, the current score?
- 4.5 – Michigan governor
- 1.0 – California governor
Time is running out to even the score of 4.5-1
Governor of my state doesn’t have much time to even up the score. Several weeks ago he ordered by executive decree that the pandemic will end on June 15, 2021. On that exact date the state color-coding rules will disappear because he knows they won’t be needed anymore.
He only has two weeks to run up the count if he wants to be the hypocrisy champ.
Back to the current front runner…
In June she was seen participating in a George Floyd protest walking quite close to other people – without a mask. That’s a two-fer violation but we will only counted it as one.
This was merely a warm-up stretch for the governor.
In multiple places spread throughout her 113 executive orders (yes, one hundred and thirteen!) there were repeated warnings people could only travel between their residences but even that travel was strongly discouraged.
Article says her husband traveled 184 miles (each way) so he could rake leaves at their second home.
I don’t have an article link and will not take any more time looking for it, but before this trip he also called a marina and told them to put the family boat in the water because he wanted to go out on the lake. Marina owner pointed out that was not allowed under the governor’s dictat. Governor’s husband responded by telling the marina owner he really should get moving on the boat and pointed out HE was the husband to the state governor. Marina owner understood the threat and put the boat in the water.
The abuse of power makes this another two-fer, and I think getting out on the lake in their boat makes it a three-fer, but we will only tally it as one count of hypocrisy.
This one is a multilayered doozy. Probably the biggest, deepest, longest-running, and most deceptive.
On or about April 19 a story surfaced that the governor flew to Florida at the time that everyone in the state was told they cannot go to Florida because during spring break it was so incredibly dangerous there. Apparently the risk of bringing infection back into the state was so high that all out-of-state travel should have been avoided.
Her trip was taken to visit her father who is ill. I certainly understand family issues. The travel wasn’t announced to the public until reporters discovered it on their own.
On the other hand, another article I lost track of said her father earned a mere $1,500,000.00 in his last year of work before retirement a couple years ago. I think he probably could have hired out anything, anything that needed to be done.
The governor said repeatedly it was a two day trip. Yet the flight left March 12 and returned March 15, which is three nights. Add a few hours flight on the two travel days to the two complete days in between. Sounds like a four-day trip, but no matter.
Next step in the story is it was revealed she charted a private jet.
Well… Turns out it wasn’t a charter company.
She took a Gulfstream G280 owned by a company that is owned by another company that does lots of business in the state. Several of the owners in that mix of corporate structures are major political donors in the state according to news reports.
Article I’ve lost track of says one of the owners told a reporter that he knows when a politician asks to use a plane you better agree. Sounds similar to the instruction to put the family boat into the water when it wasn’t allowed.
After the story became public and the question surfaced as to who paid the cost, the governor’s office announced that the company would be reimbursed for the cost of the plane. Notice the company had not already been reimbursed and a check was not on the way, but that the company would be (future tense) reimbursed.
So…The governor paid $855, calculated as the cost of a first-class round-trip ticket.
A security detail went along on the trip which is quite reasonable so the plane was reasonably full. The governor’s office announced that Michigan Transition, a 501c4 nonprofit organization that raised money for the governor’s inauguration and transition costs, would reimburse the remaining amount of $27,521 for the cost of the trip. One of the articles below has a copy of the financial report for May reporting those transactions.
Well… Turns out a nonprofit can not reimburse the costs for some reason, so it was announced later the governor’s campaign coffers would pick up the tab instead of the nonprofit.
So… Now the opposition party is formally asking if it is legal for a political campaign to pay for the personal travel costs of a politician. Another possible illegality. Sounds like a question for the Federal Election Commission.
Well… Back to that whole charter concept.
Turns out the company that owns the jet does not have a part 135 certificate which would allow them to run a charter operation. In other words, they did not have FAA permission to have paying customers on board. They only have a part 95 certificate.
So… It was an illegal flight. The FAA is investigating the company for said illegality.
oh yeah…The governor said the trip was no big deal because she was caring for her dad, not out partying. I guess that makes it okey-dokey to ignore her rules.
Finally…State law says the governor has no power when physically out of the state. Since the trip was announced, the question arose as to who was technically the governor during her four-day, three-night trip. Did the lieutenant governor have executive power? Or was it the next-in-line secretary of state or third-in-line attorney general? Which of those were physically in the state? Did one of those know they were acting governor? Did anyone else in the executive branch know who was governor?
What are we looking at?
- The entire trip was not disclosed until a reporter tumbled to it.
- No travel out of state, especially to Florida, should have happened during that timeframe.
- Uncertainty as to who was governor during the trip.
- Initial flight was going to be a donation, perhaps possibly ‘encouraged’ by the governor’s office.
- Cost was not reimbursed until questions were asked.
- Reimbursement turns it into a charter which is illegal without a part 135 cert.
- Using campaign donations for the reimbursement is a second possible illegality.
- This entire thing is no big deal since she wasn’t ‘out partying.’
Based on the gargantuan size, multiple dimensions, and month and a half duration, seems like this entire fiasco ought to count as several rounds of hypocrisy but we will only tally one incident.
Just a few of the articles used for this discussion:
- 5/17/21 – New York Post – Michigan gov used unauthorized company for Florida charter flight
- 5/17/21 – Fox 17 Online – What we know about Gov. Whitmer’s controversial Florida trip
- 5/27/21 – The Detroit News – Whitmer’s Florida flight cost shifted to campaign; owner won’t let pols use anymore
Number 4 is tiny compared to number 3.
Up until after this incident, hyper strict restrictions were in place in Michigan mandating that no more than six people could gather together at one table at an indoor restaurant and those groups of no more than six must be 6 feet apart from other groups and may not intermingle with other groups.
Gov. Whitmer was photographed at an indoor restaurant with 12 other people (13 total) at one table, all enjoying themselves. Oh, and not one of them was wearing a mask.
Another flagrant violation of Covid rules which she imposed on everyone else in the state.
You can find many articles on this issue. For just one consider this from Foundation for Economic Education on 5/24/21: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Gets Exposed for Lockdown Hypocrisy (Again!)
Article also points to the hypocrisy of her flying on a private jet to Florida to visit her father.
Hypocrisy Four and a Half
The governor’s director of the Department of Health and Human Services and the governor’s chief operating officer vacationed in Alabama and Florida, respectively, at the same time as the governor was urgently insisting people avoid all travel during spring break to keep from bringing more sickness back to the state.
Said imperatives clearly didn’t apply to the director of DHHS and one of the governor’s most senior aides, her chief operating officer.
It is not clear if this flagrant hypocrisy should be fully credited to the governor, because extremely senior level government officials have full agency.
However, she has set the very clear tone-at-the-top. Given her ongoing pattern of hypocrisy it is no surprise that her senior staff concluded the rules don’t apply to them either. They caught on to modeling from their boss that special people need not bother with those silly little rules. And they are clearly special.
In combat during a military engagement, if two pilots are working on downing an enemy airplane and it is unclear who fired the critical shot, each of them gets half credit. Since is not clear whether the governor is directly and fully responsible for these two incidents of flaming hypocrisy it is still crystal clear she set the tone at the top that following the rules is not necessary. Thus it is proper she gets half credit for this hypocrisy.
The sports analogy would be an assist.
Thus, the governor has 4.5 counts of flaming hypocrisy.
That I’m aware of.