Local commissioner apologizes for controversial Facebook comment - WNEM TV 5

Local commissioner apologizes for controversial Facebook comment

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Source: Rep. Gary Glenn Source: Rep. Gary Glenn
BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

A state lawmaker is calling for action after a Bay City Commissioner made a controversial comment on Facebook.

Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Larkin Twp., called on Bay City Commissioner Ed Clements to delete a June 21st Facebook comment regarding Republican Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, in which Clements asked, "Why is Tom Leonard allowed to live?"

The comment was posted one week after the Congressional shooting in Alexandria, Virginia where Rep. Steve Scalise was wounded. 

Scalise was readmitted to the intensive care unit Wednesday night because of new concerns for infection.

Glenn said Clements commented on the Facebook page of Rep. Brian Elder, D-Bay City, in response to a post by Rep. Elder criticizing Speaker Leonard's delay of a House vote on legislation providing tax breaks for major industrial investors and developers.

Two other Facebook users with prominent names in Bay City politics expressed agreement with Clements' comment, Glenn said.

According to Glenn, former Bay City Public Schools board member Benton Gibson posted in response to Clements: "I often ponder the same question. It may sound bitter, and perhaps it is, but I do think the planet might be better off with some people's departure!"

Gibson's comment was then "liked" by Commissioner Clements and Judy Brunner, wife of Elder's predecessor, former state Rep. Charles Brunner, D-Bay City, Glenn said.

Glenn released the following statement on his call to action:

"Though we not surprisingly have differences of opinion, Rep. Elder and I had an entirely respectful and civil public discussion on this same tax breaks issue and others just last week during the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce legislative luncheon.

I'm confident Rep. Elder would agree with me that that public exchange should serve as a model for our political discourse in mid-Michigan, rather than prominent political names in Bay City using his Facebook page to publicly suggest that a young husband, father, and leader who's felt called to serve our state as a prosecutor and state legislator shouldn't be allowed to live.

Coming only seven days after a Democrat activist actually tried to kill a couple dozen Republican congressmen, including another friend of my wife's and mine, John Moolenaar, it's all the more unthinkable that people looked to as leaders in our community would think it's appropriate to make such irresponsible comments publicly.

Commissioner Clements and Mr. Gibson should immediately delete their comments from Rep. Elder's Facebook page, apologize to the public as I have on occasion, and assure residents of our community that they won't make public comments in the future suggesting that anyone in elected office shouldn't be allowed to live.”

Clements responded to the controversy Thursday, July 7, apologizing for his comment and saying his "frustrations" got the best of him. 

I sincerely apologize for my comment on Facebook. The comment has been deleted. I apologized to Rep. Leonard, and wish him the best. My frustrations on that day got the best of me, for which I regret. I was frustrated that the bi-partisan tax incentive plan was not voted on. This would have brought jobs to the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Our state government needs to focus on job creation, by giving employers all the tools to create jobs; public education, increased funding directed to classrooms, and attracting the brightest to teach by offering competitive salaries and stable and secure retirement; senior citizens, ensuring they have access to affordable healthcare and housing; and increased revenue sharing to local governments, so they can provide better services to residents like improved roads and and safe bridges.

Sincerely,

Ed Clements

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