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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

[Originally published at Eclectablog.]


The worst-kept secret in Lansing, Michigan is that theocrats and über-moralists Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser, both Republican Michigan lawmakers, are having a sexual affair. Republicans and Democrats alike have been trying to bust the two for months without success. As of Friday morning, however, we have definitive proof from Todd Courser’s own mouth that they have had an ongoing affair. Because the two of them knew their not-secret would be revealed sooner than later, they concocted a plan to release an over-the-top email accusing Courser of being a homosexual, having paid-for sex behind Lansing nightclubs with male prostitutes, and of being a “porn-addicted sex deviant.” The first reporting on this “false flag” plan came from Brandon Hall at the West Michigan Politics blog on July 9.

Unbeknownst to Courser and Gamrat, their mutual (and former) aide Ben Graham recorded a conversation he had with Courser where he was asked to release the false flag email anonymously to throw their enemies off the scent and to create an image so bad that none of their supporters would believe it or anything after it. “I need to, if possible, inoculate the herd against gutter politics that are coming,” Courser told Graham.

Graham released the recording to journalist Chad Livengood at The Detroit News and now the two of them and their smiling, hypocritical faces are on the front page with the audio available for all to hear.

As you listen to the recording, it’s pretty clear that the affair has been going on for quite some time. Livengood reports that Gamrat and Courser merged their staffs despite the fact that their districts are on opposite sides of the state and that they did everything together, including disappearing for several hours on Thursday afternoons:

[W]ithin weeks of taking office, [former aide Joshua] Cline said, “everything was merged.” Courser and Gamrat began sitting in on meetings with constituents and lobbyists who wanted to meet with just one of them, he said.

“It didn’t matter if it was inside the office or outside the office, all meetings were held together,” Cline said.

Courser and Gamrat would demand that no meetings be scheduled on Thursday afternoons after the House adjourned for the week and most representatives were driving home to their districts, Cline said.

The pair would frequently leave the office together for several hours on Thursday afternoons, asking the staff to stay in Lansing until they returned to the office for evening staff meetings that sometimes stretched on for hours, he said.

Sexual affairs in politics are survivable. There are countless examples of that being the case. What isn’t survivable is being the sort of hypocrites who literally act as if they are “holier than thou.” Both Courser and Gamrat sent email tome after email tome to their lists in which they cite God, the Bible, and their profoundly held religious convictions, castigating those that don’t share their religious fervor or extreme religious views. Government and religion are not only not separate in their minds, but they should be melded into one entity that shapes the lives of everyone whether they subscribe to Courser and Gamrat’s worldview or not. There are even photos of Gamrat reading her Bible on the floor of the Michigan House during session when she was supposed to be working.

Their moral superiority in the face of their ongoing sexual relationship and their decision to lie and deceive their constituents (and everybody else) to hide their illicit affair only serves to highlight their utter religious hypocrisy. We’re sure to hear them tell us about how they are flawed sinners begging to be forgiven by the Lord and the people they were elected to represent. It’s a scene we’ve seen again and again both from politicians and from religious scam artists posing as “leaders.” Courser and Gamrat, of course, are both.

Fortunately, Ben Graham was smart enough to say “No!” to Gamrat and Courser. Two days later, he was fired and within a month, he had released the audiotape to The Detroit News.

It’s time for Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser to apologize to their constituents (“the herd”) and then resign, never to enter the realm of politics again. They were given a privilege, an honor, when voters elected them and they have both proven they are completely unworthy of it. It’s time for them to exit stage left in disgrace, never to besmirch our state Capitol building again.

“In his grip,” indeed.

House Speaker Kevin Cotter is calling for an investigation into Courser and Gamrat’s use of public resources to hide their affair. U.S. congresswoman Candice Miller is calling for Courser’s resignation (though strangely not for Gamrat’s):

Based on these revelations, under no circumstance can Todd Courser continue to represent the residents of Lapeer County, who are good, hard working community and faith-based folks,” said Miller, a Harrison Township Republican, in a statement. “This behavior is a slap in their face, especially from someone who presents himself as a moralist.

Via Keith Allard, one of the former staff members shared by Courser and Gamrat (note that Courser sometimes signs his emails “In His grip”):

A version of this article was originally published at Eclectablog.

For those of you who want the background on Courser and Gamrat’s theocratic BS in Michigan, click here for coverage at Eclectablog.

Image: Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, Eclectablog

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