The co-chair of the Michigan GOP is facing criticism after lobbing what critics say is a homophobic attack against Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
“We’re so blessed this weak little girl moved to Michigan!” Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock tweeted on Sept. 11. “Looks like he’s bringing all his California Dreaming here with him.”
We’re so blessed this weak little girl moved to Michigan! Looks like he’s bringing all his California Dreaming here with him. https://t.co/85MQNcN3f1
— meshawn maddock (@CoChairMeshawn) September 11, 2022
Buttigieg, who is gay, moved his family from Indiana, where he served as the Mayor of South Bend, to Traverse City, Michigan, where his husband Chasten was born and raised, earlier this summer, reports Politico.
Buttigieg recently expressed interest in Califronia’s move to ban sales of new gas-powered cars starting in 2035, an idea Maddock mocked in her tweet.
Democratic Party leaders called Maddock’s tweet homophobic and called for her resignation.
“Once again, the Chair of the @MIGOP has stooped to the lowest of lows spouting homophobic and bigoted attacks on Michiganders once again,” Michigan State Rep. Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills) tweeted. “Step down, you don’t deserve to represent anyone. Hate has no place here.”
Once again, the Chair of the @MIGOP has stooped to the lowest of lows spouting homophobic and bigoted attacks on Michiganders once again. Step down, you don’t deserve to represent anyone. Hate has no place here. https://t.co/obWwH7dKdw pic.twitter.com/o6fvlzGzSZ
— Samantha Steckloff (@SamSteckloff) September 11, 2022
In a second tweet, Steckloff stood by her earlier comment, claiming the attack on Buttigieg was part of a larger “pattern of hate” demonstrated by Maddock.
Lavora Barnes, the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, told The Detroit News that Democrats would use tweets like Maddock’s to raise money and energize voters to vote against GOP candidates in November’s midterm elections. But she didn’t want to give a more direct response, stating: “I am not responding to homophobic crazy.”
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, also condemned Maddock’s tweet.
“Secretary Buttigieg has committed his life to serving our country, from being an officer in the U.S. military to the Mayor of South Bend, and now as a member of the U.S. Cabinet,” HRC wrote in a statement published on Tuesday, September 13. “Maddock’s hateful rhetoric only further stigmatizes and endangers LGBTQ+ youth here in Michigan and across the country.”
This isn’t the first time Maddock’s been criticized for discriminatory tweets, according to The Detroit News. In January, when Democratic Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II tested positive for COVID and posted a video about his diagnosis while wearing a mask, the GOP co-chair called Gilchrist, who is Michigan’s first Black lieutenant governor, a “scary masked man” on Twitter. Others, including Barnes, slammed her language as racist.
Maddock, a Trump supporter who previously served on the grassroots engagement team of Michigan Women for Trump Leadership Team, garnered headlines when she attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Michigan. According to CNN, Maddock posed as a fake Michigan state elector, along with 15 other Republicans, and signed a document falsely claiming former President Donald Trump won the state.
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