Monday, July 2, 2012

Ex-GOP spokesman denies calling for 'armed rebellion' after health-care ruling

4:58 PM, June 28, 2012
Matt Davis
Matt Davis / Free Press file photo
By Paul Egan
Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau
 LANSING – A former spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party today denied that he called for “armed rebellion” in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the health care reform law.

But Matt Davis apologized for sending an errant e-mail that contained what he called “unedited work product.”

“Mea culpa,” said Davis, an attorney who last year was a spokesman for the state GOP. He also was a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections under former Gov. John Engler and worked as a Free Press reporter in the 1990s.

“I should have read it more carefully. I would take out the part about armed rebellion.”

The e-mail read, in part:
“If government can mandate that I pay for something I don't want, then what is beyond its power? If the Supreme Court's decision Thursday paves the way for unprecedented intrusion into personal decisions, then has the Republic all but ceased to exist? If so, then is armed rebellion today justified?
“God willing, this oppression will be lifted and America free again before the first shot is fired.”
Davis said he wanted to provoke discussion about at what point the American Republic dies.

Davis said Henry Payne, editor of the conservative opinion Web site The Michigan View, had sent an e-mail to his contributors seeking comment about the Supreme Court’s decision declaring the Affordable Care Act constitutional. Davis said he typed his comments and accidentally hit “reply all.”

A story about his e-mail, which Davis described as inaccurate, soon appeared on Michigan Capitol Confidential, a Web site operated by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Davis’ column was later posted on The Michigan View without any reference to an armed rebellion.

Mark Brewer, chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, issued a news release late this afternoon calling on state Republican leaders to repudiate Davis’s comments.

“There is no place for this violent rhetoric in policy or in politics,” Brewer said. “Urging citizens to take violent action simply because you do not agree with policy is alarming, irresponsible and reprehensible.”

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