Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Due To 'Credible Threats Of Violence,' Michigan Capitol Shuttered As Electoral College Meets To Confirm Biden Victory

"It is a sad fact that the shameful actions by certain Republicans to smear our democratic institutions and deny the clear will of the voters has undeniably created this dangerous, hostile atmosphere."

by Kenny Stancil, staff writer

When Michigan's electors to the Electoral College meet in Lansing on Monday afternoon to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory at the polls, the state capitol, including legislative buildings, will be closed to the public due to security concerns, officials announced Sunday night.

Amber McCann, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R), told the Detroit Free Press that the Senate chose to close its offices on Monday "based on recommendations from law enforcement."

"The decision was not made because of anticipated protests, but based on credible threats of violence," McCann said Sunday.

State Rep. Kevin Hertel (D) tweeted that precautions were being taken "because credible threats have been made as Michigan's electors to the Electoral College will meet at the Capitol."

Gideon D'Assandro, a spokesman for House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R), did not provide details about potential security risks to reporters. He told the Detroit Free Press that while the Michigan State Police (MSP) did not mandate closure of the office buildings, "House and Senate Leadership conferred with [MSP] and then made the call... to ensure everyone's safety."

Rep. Gary Eisen (R) on Monday morning was reprimanded by his Republican colleagues in the state legislature for refusing to disavow a violent disruption of the Electoral College vote at the capitol in Lansing, as The Hill reported.

During an early morning radio interview, Eisen told the program host that he could not promise that nobody would be hurt "because what we're doing today is uncharted." Though it remained unclear what Eisen was referring to, he said that "it'll be all over the news later on."

Heightened fears of possible political violence coincide with the relentless efforts of President Donald Trump and more than 100 Republican lawmakers to challenge the election results in Michigan and other key battleground states won by Biden.

After the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday threw out Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's lawsuit—the latest in a series of failed attempts to overturn Biden's decisive victory through baseless claims of voter fraud—supporters of the lame-duck president descended on the nation's capitol over the weekend.

During the pro-Trump rally, which was countered by anti-fascist demonstrators, white supremacist vandals attacked Black churches, and at least four people were stabbed.

As Common Dreams reported on Sunday, commentators linked this weekend's street violence to a comment Trump made in September during a televised debate, when he told the far-right Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by." The president provided further encouragement to the anti-democratic protestors on Saturday, tweeting, "Wow! Thousands of people forming in Washington (D.C.) for Stop the Steal."

This pattern has played out in Michigan throughout the course of 2020. As recently as last month, Scott Atlas, a former member of Trump's coronavirus task force, urged the state's residents to "rise up" against new public health measures implemented by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to combat the surge in Covid-19 infections and fatalities.

Atlas' call for an uprising came just one month after the FBI foiled a right-wing plan to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow the state government, a domestic terrorist plot that many connected to Trump's incitement of anti-lockdown protests earlier in the year.

Regarding the closure of Michigan's legislative buildings on Monday, House Minority Leader-elect Donna Lasinski (D) noted that "it is a sad fact that the shameful actions by certain Republicans to smear our democratic institutions and deny the clear will of the voters has undeniably created this dangerous, hostile atmosphere."

Lasinski added that a routine quadrennial process "has now become a target for threats, intimidation, and violence."

This story has been updated with news about Michigan Rep. Gary Eisen's (R) refusal on Monday to disavow a violent disruption of the Electoral College vote at the state capitol in Lansing.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: U.S. Capitol Insurrection As Seen From Abroad

In the wake of the white nationalist mob takeover of the U.S. Capitol and Trump’s pending second impeachment, I contacted journalists and activists overseas to get an idea of how the rest of the world currently views us.... More>>


Ian Powell: Health Restructuring Threatens Patient Voice

The opportunity for public voice is vital for the effective functioning of New Zealand’s health system. Inevitably voice boils down to the accessibility quality of comprehensive healthcare services for patients both at an individual treatment and population health ... More>>


Boris Johnson At Sea: Coronavirus Confusion In The UK

The tide has been turning against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Oafishly, he has managed to convert that tide into a deluge of dissatisfaction assisted by the gravitational pull of singular incompetence. Much of this is due to such errors of ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Demise Of The Tokyo Olympics

As the Covid vaccines roll out around the world, the Tokyo Olympics are looming as a major test of when (and whether) something akin to global normality can return – to international travel, to global tourism, to professional sport and to mass gatherings of human beings. Currently though, it looks like a forlorn hope that Japan will be able to host the Olympics in late July. Herd immunity on any significant scale seems possible only by December 2021, at the earliest... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Encircling China And Praising India: The US Strategic Framework For The Indo-Pacific

The feeling from Rory Medcalf of the Australian National University was one of breathless wonder. “The US government,” he wrote in The Strategist , “has just classified one of its most secretive national security documents - its 2018 strategic framework ... More>>

The Conversation: The Numbers Suggest The Campaign For Cannabis Reform In NZ Will Outlive The Generations That Voted Against It

Like Brexit in the UK, cannabis reform in New Zealand fell into an age gap — given time, a second referendum would probably succeed. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog