Democratic AG candidate calls for Mike Cox to fire assistant over blog attacking U-M student body president
Michigan attorney general candidate David Leyton today called on his opponent to join him in demanding that Attorney General Mike Cox fire one of his assistants for “harassing and stalking” University of Michigan student body President Chris Armstrong.
The story made national news Tuesday night when CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed Andrew Shirvell about his hate-filled website, which calls Armstrong “Satan’s representative on the student assembly” and a “privileged pervert.”
“It’s absolutely outrageous that Mike Cox continues to give Andrew Shirvell a generous taxpayer-funded salary, even while he cyber-stalks and intimidates a young college student,” Leyton, a Democrat, said in a press release.
Leyton, the Genesee County prosecuting attorney, is running against former Court of Appeals Court Judge Bill Schuette for the state attorney general post.
Cox, who made an unsuccessful run for governor in the Republican primary, issued a statement earlier this month rebuking Shirvell's actions. The statement did not say whether disciplinary action was taken.
“This type of conduct is unbecoming of the attorney general’s office, and it’s yet another example of why we need to clean up Lansing,” Leyton said in the press release. “I am asking Bill Schuette to set aside partisan politics and join me in demanding that Mike Cox fire his bullying lackey.”
Armstrong has not publicly spoken directly about Shirvell, a U-M alumnus, but did read a statement at a recent student assembly. Armstrong is the university's first openly gay student body president.
“I will not back down. I will not flinch. I will not falter. I will not succumb to any unwarranted attacks. What I will do is I will carry on with the utmost pride and vindication,” the statement said. “I, along with the rest of this assembly, were elected to this body to represent the university. And nothing said about us, or regarding our personal merits, will waive our commitment to serve the student body.”
The U-M Board of Regents also weighed in on the issue indirectly, saying at its meeting earlier this month that the university would support any student being attacked by someone outside of the university.
Shirvell has shown up at MSA meetings to protest against Armstrong.
David Jesse covers higher education for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 734-623-2534.