Todd Courser has finally spoken publicly about the greatest political scandal ever, the one in which he hatched a cockamamie scheme to plant a fake story about himself having sex with gay prostitute in order to cover up his affair with another Tea Party legislator here in Michigan.
He released a 27 minute audio file responding to the “Detroit News hit piece” that revealed all of this. It cracks me up that he calls it a “hit piece” and then admits that every accusation in the article is true. He had no choice, of course, because it was all recorded. But he has excuses and diversions to offer, like claiming that he was being blackmailed.
State Rep. Todd Courser claimed Monday he distributed a story accusing himself of paying a male prostitute for sex to “expose” individuals trying to blackmail him into resigning office over a relationship with Rep. Cindy Gamrat.
In his first response to The Detroit News’ story Friday exposing Courser’s role in the email, Courser claimed his former aides Ben Graham, Keith Allard and Joshua Cline were behind the anonymous text messages he received, threatening to expose his relationship with Gamrat, a fellow Republican from Plainwell.
“The email in question was really put in motion to disrupt, disrupt the blackmailer and to give me some clues as to what their ability was as far as surveillance over my life and the threats they were making,” Courser said in an audio recording released early Monday morning.
That is not, however, what he said on the recorded phone calls with his aide asking him to send the email about him having sex with a gay prostitute behind a bar in Lansing. He said he was doing it because that accusation would be so shocking that if the affair he was having with Cindy Gamrat did come out, it would seem “tame by comparison.” But either way, it’s simply the most idiotic plan ever conceived. It’s absurd to think that putting out the fake scandal about the gay prostitute would do anything but add to the adultery scandal. And he never explains why he could possibly have thought that putting out the fake scandal would “disrupt” the alleged blackmailer or give him any information about who they were or what they could do. Meet the new explanation — just as idiotic as the first explanation.
In his recorded response Monday, Courser acknowledged the salacious email that said he was an alcoholic and drug-addicted “bisexual monster” was “over the top, it was wrong.”
“It was a fast decision on my part to do the emails,” Courser said. “It was not my finest moment. It was the only option that I felt would be unpredicted by the blackmailer.”
Genius. The guy is just a fucking genius.
Courser accuses Graham, 25, of being part of the blackmail plot. In May, Graham refused to send the email for Courser. Weeks later, Courser gave Graham a 6 percent pay raise, state records show. On July 7, Courser fired Graham without explanation.
“The blackmailer’s still operating, goading me,” Courser said on the audio recording. “So I’m not sure how big the ring still is, but they’re still out there and still anonymous.”
Even if this blackmailer claim is true (and he offers no evidence for it whatsoever), he had two realistic options at that point: He could admit to it before they released it, thus robbing them of their leverage, or he could contact the FBI or the state police to investigate it. He could have done both of them or either of them. Instead he chose to tell the public that he was an adulterer and an alcoholic bisexual who has sex with prostitutes. It’s just genius.
Courser accused Graham, Allard and Cline of being “ill-suited” for legislative work and claimed they “bugged and then wiretapped” the combined House office he and Gamrat ran — an unusual arrangement at the Capitol — at the behest of Speaker Kevin Cotter.
Graham, Allard and Cline are his former employees, aides in the office that he and his mistress Cindy Gamrat shared in the House office building (a highly unusual arrangement, to say the least). He’s the one who hired them. And Cline is an old friend of his from his hometown. And he gave Graham a raise weeks before firing him. I think the one who is ill-suited for legislative work is obviously Courser (and Gamrat too).
But this is the best part:
Courser, a tea party conservative who has battled Republican leaders since being elected to office last year, said in the recording he would not resign as representative of the 82nd District in Lapeer County.
“I could have resigned, this is really the option that anonymous texter wanted, and doing so quietly,” Courser said. “I simply would have been submitting to the authority of the establishment machine and doing so to protect myself and protect my family.
“… I felt that in of itself really allowed them to win and continue to do this in the way that they do in finding the screw and the thing that they can turn and turning it,” Courser added.
Courser said remaining in office is “absolutely essential” to advance the cause of smaller government.
“I feel it is absolutely, absolutely essential to have these clandestine operations to control public officials exposed,” Courser said. “So I refuse to leave quietly and have decided to that these efforts really need to come out.”…
“I have the problems in my background, the difficulties in my background like anyone else,” Courser said. “And yet when I look to our founding fathers, they were all flawed and some deeply so. And yet they didn’t seem to see that … as a reason to not serve. And they served.”
Ah yes, the old “I can’t resign because I have such important work to do” argument. How many politicians have we heard use that one? And to blame this all on “the establishment” is equally ridiculous. But comparing himself to the Founding Fathers? That’s the icing on this giant cake filled with stupidity and desperation. But he’s trying like hell to protect Gamrat:
“But there’s also another group that I need to ask forgiveness from and that’s Representative Gamrat and her family — and especially her husband,” Courser said. “My actions in and around these events and the email that was sent to misdirect attention were my doing, both in planning and execution. No one else has the responsibility in those actions. They are mine and mine alone to carry.”
Except that on the original audio recordings, you can hear Courser interrupting the talk with Graham to take a call from Gamrat and telling her that he’s trying to get Graham to send the email. So at the very least, she knew about it in advance and was presumably okay with the idea.
God, I’m enjoying this. It’s just the greatest political scandal ever. It has everything — hypocrisy, stupidity, deceit. I love it.