Traverse City Record-Eagle

Op-Ed Columns

March 31, 2013

George Weeks: Agema out of step


Every state gets one Republican National Committeeman, and Michigan has had some notable ones who long performed with distinction but were not always in step with party leadership. 
Longest-serving in the post was Chuck Yob, originally of Grand Rapids and now of Hesperia, who was elected in 1989 and served 19 years. He was an early supporter of Gov. Rick Snyder, who recently designated him as the next chairman of the Mackinac Island Park Commission — an interesting move since ex-Gov. John Engler once dumped Yob on the commission after he defied Engler on a state convention nomination.
Yob succeeded National Committeeman Pete Secchia of East Grand Rapids (appointed U.S. ambassador to Italy), who was not always chummy with GOP Gov. William G. Milliken. Earlier, National Committeeman Peter B. Fletcher of Ypsilanti was a Milliken ally.
Now comes brand new Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema of Grandville, a former three-term state representative who decidedly is out of step with the Michigan and national GOP as they wisely try to broaden party appeal. 
Agema has scoffed at demands that he resign over an anti-gay posting on his Facebook page of an online article (not authored by him) that condemns gays’ “filthy lifestyle” and portrays them as promiscuous and prone to transmitting sexual diseases. 
Those demands have been effectively — at least so far as media splash — spurred by Dennis Lennox, 28, a Grand Traverse County Republican precinct delegate and former Cheboygan County Drain Commissioner who tends to rock political boats where ever he is, including his days as a student at Central Michigan University. 
Among the dozens of emails I have received from Lennox, a columnist for the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun, on the subject is a statement signed by 20 other Republicans condemning Agema’s “deplorable actions” and calling for his resignation. 

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