Inman likely no more guilty than many others in the legislature.

I was driving through St. Louis when I got the news that Larry Inman had been indicted.

It was pretty big news.  Disappointing, yet it didn’t surprise me.  In fact, there has been so much ‘questionable’ activity going on in Lansing for decades that it was not surprising that a representative with a record of poor instincts would be the victim of a sting operation.

At least that is my assessment of what happened.  Clearly there is pay for play in our state politics.  The existence of the MEDC, and by extension any organization that profits from doing business with the state would have incentive to fill campaign coffers.  Ask any one who still raises money after they have been term limited why they do so.  If they don’t tell you directly, then look at their campaign statements on the debt side.

It’s not for charity.

Mistakenly express the the wrong sentiment, in a way that is contextually vulnerable, to the wrong people, in the wrong format. Then whammo!  You get a Representative Larry Inman indictment.

But the GOP led house, wishing to remain unscathed in a (heavens forbid) scandal of such magnitude would prefer to let Larry off the bus, ask him to inspect the rear brake lights, and …well as one might see by now, the bus does have reverse.

I ran against Larry in 2016.  I did so because of his poor instincts.  I did so because in 20 years of being a commissioner in Grand Traverse County, I felt he left it in a bad place.  I could cite the failures that happened under his watch, but I already did that during my campaign.

And while I say all of this, I like the man. He is not a bad person in the sense that men can be evil.  He is flawed in his own ways, but if one got to know him, and his history, they might find he is just like a brother, or close friend who has very human problems and issues to deal with.  I have been both his friend and political adversary, and for some of the same reasons.

As a friend I have advised him to keep his head up and fight to remain seated.  Do not resign.  In fact, using the very same medium which has brought him trouble I told him why.

In 2015, I had asked Representative Inman (and other reps) to not vote to expel Cindy Gamrat from the house.  My reasons then were the same as now, until there is a conviction, such a move is for political expediency.  Gamrat was NEVER convicted of anything, and her expulsion was a stain on that body in Lansing.

Much in the same way they are pushing Inman’s removal, I believe it is their own shame they deflect.  Lansing’s affairs are as plentiful as personal campaign debt being covered by engorged constituencies.  One need only follow the money trail to see all of the other legislative graft going on. One need only have a private spook follow a few legislators to their favorite watering holes to get an idea on that other stuff.

Unfortunately, Larry voted like all the others to remove Gamrat.  It was one of the many reasons I challenged him in 2016.  The removal vote was premature.  It violated the spirit of due process, and was used to punish a political maverick, a non conformist, a non-team player.

Heaven forbid individual thoughts and unique ideals occupy the minds of those who (being human) will at some point show a weakness, or vulnerability.

In the end, when it mattered least (except to her). she was cleared.

Larry Inman likely understands so-much-better my argument about Gamrat’s expulsion and disagreement with his vote.  At least now he gets to see firsthand how party loyalty is subject to political survival instincts. From the Detroit news

Lansing — A resolution introduced Tuesday by Michigan’s Republican House speaker urges indicted lawmaker Rep. Larry Inman to resign or face the potential of “further disciplinary action.”

House Speaker Lee Chatfield said Inman’s alleged attempt to sell his vote on prevailing wage legislation to a labor union and subsequent statements to the press have “drawn ridicule and disgrace” to the state House, shaken the public trust and distracted “from the serious issues and debates before this body.”

Chatfield, who previously refrained from discussing expulsion, wrote in the resolution that the House would reserve “the right to take further disciplinary action” if Inman refuses to resign.


As long as they remove him, perhaps none of his sin will wash off onto them?  They must certainly know how guilty he is (sans an immediate conviction) based on their own perception of what truly goes on in the state capitol.  I suspect few would openly agree with this point, but trust that they feel it, they know it, and they live it personally.

And some may exclaim profusely how wrong I am.  That our legislative body is beyond reproach.  “No sinners here, sir!”

Then by golly I won’t argue with that.  It’s merely one man’s consideration, and as usual, while this writing may not meet most popular opinion, I trust that we DO have something called ‘due process.’

Don’t we?



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  2 comments for “Guilty?

  1. Victoria Pratt
    June 6, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Jason you are not wrong! And your words were well written as usual. I voted for his opponent 😉 but agree he is a decent man. What galls me is this trend of not believing in presumption of innocence until proven guilty! Let the investigation play out!

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