Michigan GOP official rejects calls to resign

A Michigan member of the Republican National Committee rejected calls to resign Friday after making anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks.
AP Wire
Jan 26, 2014

 

Dave Agema said he's made mistakes but pledged to continue to "honor the trust and fulfill the responsibilities to those in the Michigan Republican Party that elected me."

He issued a statement hours after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan Party Chairman Bobby Schostak called for his resignation.

"For the good of the party, we believe Dave Agema should resign," Preibus and Schostak said in a joint statement.

Last March, Agema posted an article on Facebook with an unsubstantiated claim that gays account for half the murders in large cities. In December, he told Berrien County Republicans that his experience as an American Airlines pilot made him familiar with efforts by gays to get health insurance coverage because of the ravages of AIDS.

He also came under fire from the Council on American-Islamic Relations for a Facebook posting this month questioning Muslims' commitment to charity.

A number of leading Democrats and several Republican members of Michigan's congressional delegation already have called on him to resign.

"I acknowledge errors in judgment and how I addressed them, feel badly about the impact this has had on many here in the land I love, and have learned valuable lessons about the requirements and responsibilities that are to be expected and honored by all who are in leadership positions, including myself," Agema said.

He said he appreciates the "charitable efforts" of Muslim-Americans and apologizes for posting an article on Facebook "that has been re-quoted as my words."

The controversy comes as Republican officials from across the country gathered in Washington for the RNC's winter meeting. GOP leaders are particularly focused on broadening the party's appeal to younger voters and minorities.

Agema did not attend the Washington meeting. In an earlier statement, he said his "liberal critics" would use his attendance as an excuse "for a drawn-out fight between liberals and conservatives within the party."

GOP Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land, Michigan's other RNC member elected at a state convention, on Friday said in a statement that Agema should resign. She had previously expressed disagreement with Agema but had not asked him publicly to step down until Priebus and Schostak weighed in.

Republican strategist Dennis Lennox, a leader in the coalition to push Agema out, said Priebus' action "sends the message that Republicans have learned their lesson on tone and messaging."

"The last thing Republicans need to be talking about is KKK rhetoric," Lennox said.

Comments

bigdeal

He realizes he made mistakes (by publicly posting hate), so like any good person in the spotlight he apologizes, hits rehab (oops, not this time), and changes his thinking. Or not. Agema is a joke, so glad he decided to stay. R=KKK, love it Lennox. This should be fun...

tetrahydra

At least this guyhas the gal to say what he really thinks. Not that his opinion is not disgusting. Seriously do people think he is the only politician with views so ignorant?

skyking007

Election time will take care of this hater. He has proven He can not serve all the people of Michigan.

Lakota05

Bigot. Hateful bigot. Wonder what he says behind closed doors if this is his public face. Ignorant perhaps, hatefilled and unfit to lead, definitely.

theQuin

I do believe he is hateful and a bigot. At best, he is a loose cannon and a liability to the Republican Party. Remember when he missed crucial sessions and votes because he was in Russia hunting bear? Who paid for that? Didn't he sponsor a bill that REQUIRED principals to carry guns? Right - I want someone who doesn't know anything about guns to be required to carry one. I seriously doubt his reasoning skills and his ability to judge and execute proper behavior!

LessThanAmused

What's the real issue here? He's just saying out loud what most, if not all of them are thinking....

If this were the Civil war era this guy would be the one carrying the flag into battle. The other side always loved to shoot the flag bearers first. I'd guess that's his function here, to carry the flag, to take that first hit, to test the wind, so to speak, to see just how much stupid, crazy stuff a republican can say before he's eaten by his own......

I'm not sure we're quite there just yet....stay tuned.

Peter56

You can always tell a tolerant Democrat just watch for the ones calling the most names.

newsblogger

I was thinking the same thing.. so much for tolerance...

zwesterhouse

He has the right to say what he thinks. And I hope he doesn't resign and stays. The other ones have no problem walking the "Naked Mile". The others have no problem with screaming for homosexual rights. No one is calling them to resign. Its his 1st amendment right of free speech and opinions are like rectal orifices we all have one. So I hope Agema stays and runs for congress and let us all duke it out at the polls.

Lanivan

My feeling is that he should ignore the calls for his resignation from his colleagues and benefactors, and remain in his position until 2016, at least.

According to Mr. Agema, he claims he speaks to packed audiences who are appreciative of his bigoted, hateful, and racist remarks. I say then, speak out, Dave, for those people who share those 'Family Values' you hold so near and dear. In fact, I think you should devote 100% of your time speaking out; you are wildly famous - you and your little escapades are all over the blogosphere.

Think of the Glory! The Money! The Notoriety! Exercise that First Amendment Right!

LessThanAmused

Wow, what a cynic! LoL :-D

Lanivan

Gee - was it something I said?? ;-)

rj18rad

Political correctness will be the poison that kills this country: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m...

LessThanAmused

Wow, I can find nothing in there that I disagree with and I keep getting "accused" of being a liberal (whatever that really means). I'd have to agree with you 100% on the P.C. statement. Speaking the truth is not always pretty, but always a good idea.

 

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