Tuesday, May 29, 2018

WATCH: Speaker Leonard Embarrasses Schuitmaker In First Attorney General Debate

Schuitmaker, left, Leonard, right
By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At

Michigan House Speaker Tom Leonard debated State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker last Thursday in Waterford, and the event hosted by the North Oakland Republican Club was a stunning display of the stark differences between the two candidates running to be the Republican nominee for Attorney General.

Schuitmaker started the evening off with a bizarre attack on Leonard, claiming he wasn't doing enough to return House Republicans to a majority in November. 

Leonard responded by noting he has donated over $200,000 to assist Republicans in 2018, money he could have used for his campaign, while Schuitmaker has not really done anything to help.

Schuitmaker's defense of her past support for Common Core and voting against English as Michigan's official language were weak, among other bad answers. 

She even accused Leonard of asking State Rep. Tom Barrett to propose the English law last year as a way to attack her for voting against it in 2006. Leonard praised Barrett's strong conservative record and said he's never had to ask him to do anything. Schuitmaker said she voted against the English bill because it did not address the needs of Hispanic workers in her district.

One low point was Schuitmaker defending the "dirty dozen," 12 moderate Republican House members who prevented a small income tax cut from passing, blaming Leonard for holding the vote and not standing by his caucus members. 

Leonard responded by saying that the state government should have to prepare a budget like Michigan families do, so claims that the lawmakers in question wanted to identify cuts first are essentially a BS excuse.

Leonard also noted that Schuitmaker stood by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof when he targeted State Sen. Patrick Colbeck last fall, stripping him of committee duties and taking over his Senate office. Schuitmaker backed Meekhof's decision.

With her attacks not working, and frustrated by an inability to defend her record, Schuitmaker started lobbing absurdly petty cheap shots at Leonard.

For instance,Tom told a powerful story from his time as a Prosecutor in Flint that really stood out.

A man was facing serious prison time for allegedly trying to kill 3 people. Leonard, who did not file the original charges but was assigned to prosecute the case, decided to spend 5 minutes to sit down with the young man and listen to his side of the story...

The man said yes, everything in the police report is true, but what it doesn't show is I was defending myself.

Instead of ignoring him and trying to shove a deal down his throat, Leonard dispatched an officer to the scene to see if any camera footage existed.

Turns out, there was, and it exonerated him completely, all charges were dropped.
The man was saved from prison, and taxpayers were spared the $30k a year it would have cost. (Also, the footage was about to be taped over in an hour!)

Tonya's response to that story? 

Derping about the fact that Leonard worked as an Assistant Genesee County Prosecutor for 2 years and 9 months instead of 3 years. Yes, she actually said that!

It reminded me of the annoying kid in 6th grade who corrects the teacher when it's a Friday and she says "homework is due tomorrow." Ok, it's Monday, we all know... Lame!

Schuitmaker even personally attacked me, pointing me out as an "internet troll" in the middle of the debate simply for reporting facts! (See 38:42) Unbelievable, absolutely classless. 

While Tonya Schuitmaker did nothing but throw out cheap, nasty attacks  in an attempt to cover up her terrible voting record and deflect attention away from her failing, hateful campaign, Tom Leonard talked about actually getting results for real Michiganders. The contrast was clear.

Watch For Yourself Below: (Please note significant applause for Leonard has been edited out after answers, evidently for time purposes)


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

>>>Email him at


  1. It was a Tonya "smack down" by Speaker Tom. Reminds all that Tonya mostly has attack mailers funded by strange uber liberal groups and really not much else. Great debate victory for Speaker Tom. Will there be another debate? Kind of doubt it.

  2. I am so looking forward to watching this RINO get her behind stomped on like a narc at a biker rally come August.