Moments after Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) campaign manager blasted out an email accusing the Michigan Republican Party of “launching a statewide effort to suppress the Democratic vote” and urged Democrats to “fight back,” the Michigan Republican party received a threatening phone call on Friday from a caller who used language from the Stabenow campaign’s e-mail.
The Michigan Republican Party contacted the Lansing Police Department, and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak called on Stabenow to condemn the e-mail and threatening call, saying in a statement, “there is no room nor excuse for threats or acts of violence in the political arena.”
“Sen. Stabenow needs to stop hiding behind surrogates and spokespeople and take responsibility for the email that was issued on her behalf by her campaign manager,” Schostak said. “I am calling on Sen. Debbie Stabenow to personally refute the email issued by her campaign manager that takes out of context an email I issued, and I am asking Sen. Stabenow to join me in sending a strong message by condemning this and any threat in the political arena.”
Schostak said Stabenow’s “clumsy and misleading email was out of line,” and “her campaign clearly incited supporters to act out irrationally.”
Stabenow’s campaign was responding a Michigan GOP email asking for volunteer poll challengers as part of its “Election Day Task Force.”
“We want to make sure you are a part of this important project,” the Michigan GOP e-mail said. “We need your help as a volunteer poll challenger.”
The Michigan Republican Party noted both parties use poll challengers to combat voter fraud and referenced a Michigan Secretary of State pamphlet that says these volunteers are critical in “the election process as a safeguard against election fraud.”
Schostak, the Party Chairman, said, “anything short of personally condemning her campaign’s email message will only embolden individuals to make additional threats that have no place in political discourse.”