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While Rep. Chatfield and Sen. Shirkey meet with Trump, we need to remember who bankrolled them

November 20, 2020

As I write this, Representative Lee Chatfield and Senator Mike Shirkey are meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington. Trump is continuing to delay his ouster from the White House in the aftermath of the November 3rd Election, even though it is pretty clear that Biden won the election.

An opinion piece in the magazine Politico, states the following:  

The danger to democratic elections is well understood. The Constitution authorizes state legislatures to decide how states choose presidential electors. For more than a century, every state legislature has chosen to do so by popular election. According to one school of thought, though, a state legislature could choose to set aside a popular vote if it doesn’t like the result and choose different electors instead. This is a pretty undemocratic idea, as well as one that misreads the history of election law: the National Review recently described it as “completely insane.” (State legislatures have the power to change the system for choosing electors in future elections, but not to reject an already conducted election just because they don’t like the result.) Nonetheless, the president is pushing for it. By so far refusing to go along with Trump, Republican state legislators have been standing up for the idea that fair, democratic elections are more important than any individual president. If Shirkey and Chatfield are reconsidering that view, they are playing with the possibility of throwing out the results of a free and fair election. That’s not something that the system comes back from easily.

The Trump administration has demonstrated over the past 4 years that they have engage in illegal an corrupt executions of power. These crimes are well known and have been well documented.

However, in the case of Chatfield and Shirkey, we also need to begin to ask who else is responsible, even if this meeting is just for show? In other words, which organizations and which people are responsible for these men getting elected an staying in office?

Rep. Chatfield was first elected in 2012, an according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, the largest organizational campaign contributors have been the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC.

Then there are individuals and families who have contributed handsomely. Among the names listed are the DeVos family, Peter Secchia and David Van Andel. Now, the DeVos family is listed as having contributed $67,500, but this is misleading, since the number one contributor to Rep. Chatfield is the Republican State Leadership Committee, which has contributed $250,000. The DeVos family, through the Amway Corporation, has contributed $1 million to the Republican State Leadership Committee since Chatfield was elected in 2012, and that doesn’t include contributions for the 2020 election cycle, based on OpenSecrets.org.

In looking at who have been the major contributors to Senator Mike Shirkey, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, we see two prominent members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure listed, with John Kennedy (CEO of Autocam) contributing $200,000 to Shirkey, and the DeVos family contributing $71,000.

So I ask, what responsibility to these groups and these people, like DeVos, Kennedy, Secchia and Van Andel, have in this situation? I would argue that they are complicit in the actions of Rep. Chatfield and Sen. Shirkey, because they were both bankrolled by the members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure. In fact, I would argue that, unless DeVos, Kennedy and others denounce Chatfield and Shirkey for meeting with Trump, they are equally complicit and equally guilty of election fraud.

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