GOP operative Ron Weiser of Ann Arbor in hot water over remarks about Detroit voters
Ann Arbor resident and high-ranking GOP fund-raiser Ron Weiser is facing criticism after a video surfaced of him making allegations of voter fraud and crime in Detroit at a tea party gathering in Milford, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday.
"There's no machine to go to the pool halls and the barbershops and put those people on buses and then bus them from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times," Weiser says in the video. "And there's no machine to get 'em to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall. And it does make a difference."
He added: "Obama has hired a lot of people to help him get that vote out. But if you're not from Detroit, the places where those pool halls and barbershops are, you're not going to be going at 6:30 in November. Not without a side arm."
Democrats and others said Weiser used racist stereotypes to bash Detroit.
Weiser told the Free Press he believed there had been voter fraud in Detroit in the past but said his remarks "were never intended to be racist comments." He doubled down on his remarks about needing a side arm, saying "I challenge you to find anyone who says you can walk around the neighborhoods of Detroit at 6:30 in the morning and not find it dangerous."
Weiser, the founder of Ann Arbor-based McKinley Real Estate Management, was chairman of the Michigan Republican Party until being named national finance chairman for the Republican National Committee in 2011. He suspended his campaign for a seat on the University of Michigan Board of Regents in August to work against a ballot initiative that sought to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.
In June, Weiser acquired the shuttered Detroit Science Center for $6.2 million. The museum is set to reopen Dec. 26 as the Michigan Science Center under new management.
For more, read the Free Press story.