Republican Michigan State Sen. Tom Barrett ripped Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer after reports emerged that her husband Marc Mallory sought to use the couple’s status to take a boating trip this past weekend.
Mallory attempted to pressure a Michigan dock company to allow him to take his boat out over Memorial Day weekend according to now-deleted Facebook posts from Northshore Dock LLC and the company’s owner, Tad Dowker.
Whitmer’s office didn’t address the matter in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation, but Barrett told the Caller that Whitmer’s office denied the allegation to him and to state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey after Barrett posted about the incident on his own Facebook page.
The Facebook posts came days after Whitmer lifted restrictions on Northern Lower Michigan and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula but warned residents in other parts of the state not to travel to the popular vacation spots, advice that her husband allegedly ignored. (RELATED: Gov. Whitmer: ‘I’m Never Going To Apologize’ For Shutting Down Michigan)
“I feel that I was misled by the governor’s office, and lied to,” Barrett said. “They basically made me an accomplice to a cover-up without my knowledge.”
While public officials often refuse to publicly discuss members of their family, Barrett told the Caller that the governor has an obligation to address her husband’s Memorial Day activities. (RELATED: Authoritarianism On The Rise In The Age Of Coronavirus)
“If they’re willing to deny it to my office, they should be willing to deny it publicly as well,” Barrett said. “They can’t have it both ways.”
Barrett added that he saw Mallory’s alleged actions as representative of a “failure of leadership” from the governor.
“The governor’s family tried to cut in line ahead of the rest of the people in the state and that’s a failure of leadership,” Barrett said. “They appear to be violating the governor’s own directive.”
Whitmer has implemented some of the strictest coronavirus restrictions in the nation and recently extended the state’s stay-at-home order until June 12. The latest extension is the fifth time she has extended the order, which was originally enacted on March 23.
Whitmer defends her actions, claiming that her decision-making process is being guided by science. Michigan has had over 54,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with over 5,000 deaths, according to a running tracker from the New York Times.
“The governor says she’s being guided by the science, but it seems like she’s being guided by political science instead,” Barrett said.
Barrett, a 39-year-old combat veteran of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, is the only Iraq War veteran serving in the Michigan Senate.
He also served overseas in Kuwait, Guantanamo Bay and South Korea. Barrett still serves in the Army National Guard as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot.