Monday, January 12, 2015

Calley Shows Guts At Pow Wow While Mackinac Center Caves

State Rep. Cindy Gamrat, left, with LG Calley. Photo by Darlene Dowling Thompson

By Brandon Hall

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Lt. Governor Brian Calley has been receiving praise from tea-party detractors after attending this weekend's Pow Wow to give the oath of office to State Rep. Cindy Gamrat.

Also, apparently the Mackinac Center missed years of Dave Agema controversies and didn't follow his time in the legislature, because they bailed on the Pow Wow last week because of Agema's latest "issue."

Agema came under fire by some because he shared an article put out by Allen West entitled "The Most Racist Article You Will Ever Read."

While the article may well be inappropriate, it's pretty absurd for the Mackinac Center to withdraw from the Pow Wow because of it. Where have they been the last few years? Why now? And the Pow Wow is a pretty mainstream event these days, with people like John Yob and MIRS head Kyle Melinn playing prominent roles this year.

The Mackinac Center said:

"The Mackinac Center’s focus is policy, not politics. But since all policy moves through a political process, even a policy institute must exhibit sensitivity to important political developments...shortly after MI Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema posted offensive material to his Facebook page, the Mackinac Center withdrew from a Jan. 9-10 activist event headlined by Mr. Agema.

We had intended our withdrawal to speak for itself. But instead of letting our action speak louder than words, we granted interviews that produced reports that confused, rather than clarified, our apparent position. This statement is to set the record straight. The reason the Mackinac
Center withdrew from the event was Mr. Agema’s prominent role there."

Calley did not bail, giving the oath of office to State Rep. Cindy Gamrat, lead organizer of the event and one of the most watched members of the new legislature coming to Lansing this week..

"It is a very special and significant moment for both the state and the individual when they are sworn in to office. It is a privilege I consider to be sacred and I was flattered when asked to be a part of it," Calley said.

Tea Party activist Tim Bos is one of many who were quite impressed with the LG. He applauded Calley taking the time to attend, despite a few tea party folks not so happy to see the LG:

"Some of my ideological soul mates were, shall we say...... disappointed, that Lt.Gov. Brian Calley was invited to the Pow Wow to swear in Cindy Gamrat as one of the Conservative grassroots Representatives in the State House.

For starters, I want to personally thank Brian Calley for accepting the invitation, for taking time away from his family and list of things he'd much rather be doing, driving through the winter wonderland up north to Mt. Pleasant, doing a good deed, and then spending more of his precious time getting back to where he would rather be.

To me, that was a Class Act and appreciated.

I believe Cindy's desire to share an important and symbolic moment was genuine and right on the mark.
The whole concept of Limited Government has been given short shrift for many decades in our state and country....And having the Governor's Right Hand Man show up to perform a swearing in ceremony at our annual celebration of Founding Principles, in our event and on our terms- is a perfect way to elevate the significance of our accomplishments."

Kudos to Calley for showing guts, sticking to his word while the Mackinac Center acted like Agema's Facebook post was somehow more worthy of withdrawal than past issues.  The time to beat Mr. Agema was at the convention, and he won in a landslide with almost 70% of the vote.


Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at 


Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson

1 comment:

  1. I appreciated Mr Calley for taking his own time to swear in Cindy. It was first rate. Tim Bos has the right perspective on this, and while I understand others' reluctance to appreciate, I feel we have to move together at SOME point.