Matt Maddock slams ‘mess’ after being kicked out of Michigan House GOP caucus

“The only thing I’m focused on right now is winning elections and getting Republicans elected at all levels,” Maddock said in a brief exchange after a House session.

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The state legislator’s second-term quest to turn the House into an ‘Operation MAGA’ has alienated some colleagues, and his expulsion from the GOP caucus has emerged as the latest front in an uphill battle between fierce loyalists of Trump and the more traditional Republicans for control of the party.

Maddock has recruited a slew of new candidates who could vote for him to become the next Speaker of the House. And he’s used his PAC leadership to support them, including at least one Republican running against a fellow incumbent: Spring Lake’s Mick Bricker, who is challenging state Rep. Greg VanWoerkom, R-Norton Shores, in a primary. of the GOP.

Maddock was officially kicked out of the caucus for violating confidentiality rules, House GOP spokesman Gideon D’Assandro confirmed Wednesday, but did not give details. The decision was made by chairman Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, who declined to speak to the media for the second day in a row.

“I have no idea what that means,” Maddock said of his ouster explanation.

Maddock and House GOP leaders have been at odds for months, if not longer. Although Wentworth didn’t explain his decision to punish Maddock, “the things that probably pushed him over the edge have been going on for over two years,” said state Rep. Scott VanSingel, R-Grant.

Tensions escalated last month when Maddock openly criticized Wentworth and fellow state Rep. Andrew Fink, R-Adams Township, at a Young Americans for Freedom event at Hillsdale College, which is in the district of Fink.

Maddock, who owns a surety company, accused Fink of promoting a “left-wing agenda” to “put sureties out of business,” according to audio obtained by MIRS News.

Wentworth, Maddock said, is “not a fighter” and made a “big mistake” by not doing more to “show our Republican base that we’re here for them.”

When asked if those comments could have led to his expulsion, Maddock said Wednesday that he had apologized to Wentworth and Fink last month. At the time, Wentworth deprived Maddock of access to central personnel services, including policy analysts and communications teams.

Fink declined to comment on Maddock’s expulsion on Wednesday, saying only that he “isn’t pushing any leftist agenda” and “not trying to end cash bail.”

“A Fight in the Family”

Rep. Andrew Beeler, a Republican from Port Huron who sits between Fink and Maddock on the House floor, declined to discuss details of the caucus deliberations, but he said Wednesday that it was “difficult to work with people actively campaigning against other people in the room.”

The drama is “unfortunate,” Beeler told reporters. “Nobody thinks that’s a good thing. Nobody is happy about it. It’s a fight in the family, like a lot of things…and I’m physically in the middle of it.

Beeler said he doesn’t think the expulsion speaks to larger divisions within the party. But Maddock supporters decried it as the latest attempt by the “establishment” to retaliate against Trump loyalists who have effectively seized control of the Michigan GOP, including his wife, party co-chair Meshawn Maddock.

“I don’t see it any other way,” said Hillsdale County Republican Party Secretary Jon Smith. “The base has spoken, and they are challenging it now.”

Maddock and his wife were instrumental in helping several State House candidates win Trump’s endorsement. They also helped Trump reverse his 2020 election defeat, trying unsuccessfully to seat an “alternative list” of voters who were denied entry to the Michigan Capitol.

His expulsion came two days after a Michigan COP convention dominated by Trump supporters voted to endorse statewide candidates who joined the former president’s quest to reverse or undermine his defeat. Election 2020: Matt DePerno for Attorney General and Kristina Karamo for Secretary of State.

Trump loyalists have also been endorsed for other statewide offices, including university councils.

As Trump celebrated the convention results, Republican veterans predicted that DePerno and Karamo would hurt the party’s chance to ride what could otherwise be an election wave due to Democratic Chairman Joe’s low approval ratings. Biden.

Tony Daunt, a longtime conservative operative, responded to the endorsements by quitting Michigan’s Republican Party Central Committee in disgust.

“Irresponsible and cowardly party ‘leaders’ have made the election here in Michigan a test of who is most cowardly loyal to Donald Trump and question the results of the 2020 cycle,” Daunt wrote this week in a resignation letter first reported by The Detroit News.

“Unbelievably, rather than distance themselves from this unruly loser, far too many Republican ‘leaders’ decided that encouraging his delusional lies – and, even worse – cynically placating him while knowing they were lying, was the best way to go. easier to keep them in power, to hell with the consequences of the general elections.”

“A strong conservative”

The ousting of the caucus means Maddock will no longer be able to meet with House Republicans behind closed doors to discuss legislative strategy and policy ahead of floor votes.

He no longer has access to shared caucus staffers and his page on the House GOP website has been taken down.

But Maddock is still a state representative. He can still introduce or vote on bills, still has an office, still has his own staff, and loses no committee assignments.

And he can still run to lead the caucus next term, either as Speaker of the House or as Minority Leader, depending on whether Republicans retain their majority after the fall election. Maddock, whom Trump has endorsed for the leadership job, is competing with state Rep. Matt Hall, R-Marshall.

Despite his ousting from caucus, Maddock remains an influential figure in the Legislative Assembly, said State Rep. Steve Carra, R-Three Rivers, who told Bridge MIchigan he has yet to take sides in the leadership race.

“He’s a strong conservative,” Carra said of Maddock. “I enjoyed working with him and will continue to work with him in the future.”

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