Michigan's Favorite Fornicating Former Lawmakers Headed For The Big House, Maybe
All that lust wasted on two dipshits
After a torrid -- or at least torpid -- affair that led to the stupidest cover-up ever, it looks like the firm hand of Lady Justice is coming for Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, the outlaw lovers and Christian wingnut ex-legislators from Michigan. After investigating their extramarital shenanigans and subsequent conspiratorial tomfoolery, state Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Friday the licentious legislative lovebirds would be arrested on felony charges of misconduct in office, all stemming from their attempt to cover up the affair by spreading a false rumor that Courser cavorted with gay hookers while addicted to porn and drugs. It was unclear at press time whether either former legislator would also be given a big dope slap for being such big dopes.
[contextly_sidebar id="9L7JcuMnTtuYhsuDZ313z4YZ0GQRSnnz"]Todd Courser, the goateed family-values crusader given to long Facebook rants and claims of being persecuted by the "Lansing Mafia" because he was too conservative for the powers that be, will be charged with four felonies:
A perjury charge for lying under oath while testifying before a special House committee about letting an aide forge his signature on a bill he wanted to file before other representatives could.
“Only legislators sign legislative proposals,” said Schuette, a former state senator.
Three counts of misconduct in office for allegedly lying to the House Business Office, which investigated the two lawmakers; instructing his staff to forge his signature on bills; and asking House aide Ben Graham to send a fake email to Republicans across the state, which Graham refused to do.
[contextly_sidebar id="LEDmgUpVAhtQv7C4KLXALQEk7CBOAvAL"]Cindy Gamrat, who admitted the affair but insisted she broke no laws, will face two counts of misconduct in office:
[F]or giving false information to the House Business Office and instructing a staff member to forge her signature to speed up the filing of draft legislation, Schuette said.
If convicted, the two could be off to the Big House, or at least a very harsh minimum-security country club for white-collar crimers. Courser faces 15 years in prison on the perjury charge, and each misconduct in office charge carries a penalty of up to five years or a $10,000 fine -- that's maybe another 15 years or $30,000 for Courser and 10 years or $20,000 for Gamrat (Wonkette: Where we do the easy math for you™).
With characteristic pious dickishness, Courser took to Facebook to complain he was being oppressed by political enemies who had spent "tens of thousands of your dollars" on the investigation, and that the charges were "political in nature and have come at a time to take heat off the misconduct of others," amounting to nothing more than "another extension of corrupt government." Strangely, he didn't manage to work a single Bible verse into his post, which suggests he's off his game.
Gamrat's attorney Mike Nichols was considerably less confrontational, but put on a brave lawyer face and told the Detroit News, "I think Bill Schuette expects she doesn’t any fight left...I think they’re probably underestimating Cindy Gamrat.” Or maybe they're working on a plea bargain already, not that we'd ever be so cynical. Maybe Courser and Gamrat could be sentenced to community service digging up lead water pipes in Flint.
[contextly_sidebar id="RXuElI4eoXMTf4S9cL5WX69gIlMhroC4"]As you'll recall, the whole sordid mess started when both legislators received anonymous text messages from someone who claimed to know all about the affair. Usually, when Family Values types get caught with their pants flung across the cloakroom, they go for the tearful "I have sinned" public confession and request for forgiveness, because if Jesus can forgive them, surely the voters can, too. But not Todd Courser, super-peenius, who decided instead to send out an anonymous email accusing himself of obscene carryings-on with rent boys, a bunch of smears so ludicrously over the top that if news of the real affair came out, he could dismiss it as yet another of the baseless smears against him, just like the gay thing. Courser called the fake gay story a "controlled burn" that would "inoculate the herd" against further revelations, mixed metaphors be damned. Problem is, the aides Courser tried to talk into helping with the scheme balked, and instead made recordings of Courser and Gamrat talking about the plan, which the aides then shared with the Detroit News. Oops. After a prolonged investigation, the House expelled Gamrat in September; Courser resigned before a vote could be taken to expel him. Both subsequently lost, badly, in special primary elections to fill their former seats.
[contextly_sidebar id="RnD9QobHHEQs9f0VroTH4iDn7qs5xaSL"]Courser claimed he made up the outlandish cover story so he could flush out the anonymous person who was "blackmailing" him. He was only looking for the real criminal! Turns out at least the part about receiving anonymous text messages was true: the texts were sent by Cindy Gamrat's now-estranged husband, Joe, in an attempt to get the two to break off the affair. In November, Lapeer County prosecutor Tim Turkelson decided against prosecuting Joe Gamrat and a friend who sent some of the texts, explaining the "motivation behind the text messages sent from the individuals was to assist Joe Gamrat in ending the extramarital affair” and the texts "therefore do not rise to the level of criminal extortion." Turkelson said there was little chance of a conviction in what he called "this embarrassing and costly chapter in our county’s history." So now you know ... the rest of the story.
Courser, true to form, went straight into Asshole Mode, accusing the former aides of plotting with Joe Gamrat and Michigan House leadership to destroy him and Cindy Gamrat, all over a little bit of extramarital diddling:
“The larger story is these bastards were involved from the beginning, had motivations, meeting secretly with the speaker’s office and handing off information to Joe Gamrat and his buddy,” Courser told The News.
Attorney General Schuette found no evidence that House Speaker Kevin Cotter had plotted against Courser. Because they're all in it together, no doubt.
In addition to the criminal charges announced Friday against Courser and Gamrat, the two former aides who blew the whistle on the whole mess, Ben Graham and Keith Allard, are suing the former legislators for creating a hostile work environment in which the aides were expected to cover up for the lovebirds. Graham and Allard are also suing the Michigan House of Representatives for failing to protect them under federal whistle-blower laws. The two former aides issued a statement Friday calling for Courser and Gamrat to be "held accountable for their actions."
“We have been trying for more than a year to bring the illegal and unethical actions of these elected officials to light,” the statement said. “We were fired and publicly humiliated for trying to do the right thing.”
Yr Wonkette hopes Graham and Allard get a nice fat payout, as well as jobs as consultants on whatever movie ends up getting made about this ridiculous farce. Joel and Ethan Coen, are you paying attention?
[Detroit News / Todd Courser on Facebook / Detroit News again]
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