On Thursday, MI Democrat State Rep. Karen Whitsett (Detroit), filed a federal lawsuit against Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer and fellow Democrats, claiming they have violated her free speech and for defamation.
From Washington Times – Specifically, Whitsett claimed Whitmer and the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization sought to deprive her of her right to engage in protected speech after she publicly thanked President Donald Trump for his suggestion of using the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat her coronavirus case.
After Rep. Whitsett spoke out to support the president and even visited the White House, the local Democrats recommended that she be disciplined.
Whitsett bravely fought back, even making an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show where she told the host she would not stand by and be silent in the face of attacks from her own party.
"I didn't know 'Thank you' belonged to one political party over another"
Karen Whitsett is being treated terribly by her own party, including Gretchen Whitmer who has been sending Rep. Whitsett nasty texts
"I'm not going to stand by and be silent." Good for Karen! pic.twitter.com/rOYY2di41A
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) April 25, 2020
After the Democrat Party in Michigan voted to censure Whitsett, she tweeted a copy of the 13th District’s formal resolution to censure her to President Trump, telling him, “This is what the Democrat party is doing to me for saying ‘thank you'”
— Karen Whitsett (@KayLyme) April 23, 2020
Washington Times – Chris McClain, a precinct delegate for the organization who wrote the censure resolution, explained the decision to MLive last month, prior to censure vote.
“Her individual circumstance does not apply to everyone,” McClain said. “She misrepresented a lot of the priorities and needs here of the community when she went to go meet with the president.”
McClain, who is not named in the lawsuit went on to say: “Our leaders have a platform and they shouldn’t use that platform to spread misinformation or play with the health and safety of the people that live here.”
According to the lawsuit, Whitsett says she also received a text message from Whitmer on April 19 regarding the meeting with Trump.
“You’re entitled to your opinion, I’m just disappointed you’d take your theories public without seeking to get answers first. Take care,” Whitmer is accused of saying via text.
Whitsett and her attorneys Norman Yatooma and Christine L. Constantino, Jr. claim the political organization worked to silence her free speech. At Whitmer’s prompting, the lawsuit alleges, the organization passed the resolution that bars Whitsett from holding any position or committee membership within the group. The censure also meant the organization would not endorse her in future elections, the lawsuit says.
As a result of the censure, Whitsett says she has been “ousted” by the party, and the defendants continue to hinder her ability to do her job. An example, the lawsuit claims Whitsett arranged for 388,680 meals to be delivered to her constituents in Detroit, and the defendants refused to allow her the help of the Michigan Army National Guard to distribute the meals as previously arranged.
Jonathan Kinloch, the chair of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization said he had not been served with the lawsuit and had yet to read it when reached for comment.
“It’s probably full of banter and bullcrap,” Kinloch said.
“The core question is, does she intend on operating as a Republican while she was elected as a Democrat?” Kinloch asked.
“She has shown herself not to remain interested in being a Democrat. Maybe she should consider the suggestion from President Donald J Trump, to become a Republican,” Kinloch said. “If it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, then it’s a Republican duck.”