At a meeting of officials and contractors in February where Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger faced a rather formidable task – choosing new voting machines for the county – Spranger led off the discussion by hawking her favorite cookbooks and health foods.

According to a videotape of the session, Spranger urged those in attendance to taste the organic snacks she brought to the gathering and to take a look at books for sale that were written by a friend who is a chef.

On hand for the presentation were local city and township clerks, representatives of the three companies vying for the voting machine contract, and Clerk’s Office staff members.

“The food ingredients was (sic) donated by Zerbo’s Health Food Store in Plymouth, Michigan, complements from their store. And the cook, who is a chef, is Valerie Wilson, and she is on the Internet. I do have three cookbooks that she asked me to bring. And if you want to take a look at them feel free to do so. But enjoy the snacks, and you can take some home with you too,” Spranger said on the video.

This sales pitch could be written off as just another example of the controversial clerk’s eccentricities. But it might also violate the county ethics ordinance by using a county facility and staff to benefit a private business.

These handouts were included in the Spranger presentation.

Meanwhile, Spranger’s public display of affection for certain organic foods was an awkward insight into her devotion to offbeat dietary practices.

When she crashed and totaled her county car on April 19, within the messy interior there was no evidence of Clerk’s Office work materials. But on the front passenger seat was a book titled, “Bone Broth Breakthrough.”

The author/chef she recommended at the voting machine forum is known online as Macro Val because she adheres to a macrobiotic vegan diet that consists mostly of grains and beans. The chef, based in Westland, explains on her webpage that she was first inspired by a health food guru who claims he cured himself of prostate cancer through a diet he designed.

The health food store promoted by Spranger (which is located in Livonia, not Plymouth) was started by a man who previously raised chinchillas for their fur. According to the store’s web page, the founder of the shop insists that vitamin supplements he created gave his chinchillas an especially shiny coat.

So, it appears we had a county forum on ensuring that Macomb’s election ballots are counted properly, mixed in with a bit of discussion about foods inspired by rodents.

Spranger would never be mistaken physically for Ivanka Trump, but she seems, in a small way, to mimic the Trump family’s mentality that nothing is out bounds when it comes to hawking a money-making product.


Photo: Spranger appeared in dark sunglasses in Circuit Court on Tuesday to answer a lawsuit filed against her by county officials.