Darwin Jiles, certainly fooled Dave
Agema, center, by sanitizing his life story.

The raging story in political circles of the state GOP vice chair, twice
convicted of violent gun crimes, is now simmering to a conclusion. Everything
is coming into focus. After capturing one of the Republican Party’s top posts, Darwin
Jiles told anyone who would listen that the reports indicating he has suffered two
major run-ins with the law – not just a single incident last year — are lies,
a smear tactic.

The obvious question: Why would Jiles engage in such a
blatant disinformation campaign when the details of his first arrest on four
felonies – two for attempted murder and two for illegal firearms violations –
were part of the public record? I posted yesterday on this blog the entire
court record for his 2001 crime in Flint, which led to a guilty plea on two of
the charges.

Yet, in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday, Jiles
wrote this on Facebook:


He certainly knew that these assertions of lies were …

Was he delusional? No, he thought he was being smart.

What happened, it’s now becoming clear to me, is that Jiles’
attorney arranged for his first conviction, as a teen living in Flint, to be
expunged – dismissed from the record. But the Genesee County Circuit Court
never removed those records from their website.

The documents don’t appear on the Michigan State Police
database. But they’re still easily accessible on the Genesee County website.
And Jiles did not understand that.

He thought his secret was safe.

I’m told that Jiles’ attorney arranged to have the
records expunged, apparently in 2005, because the ex-con was having trouble
landing a job due to his prior 2 1/2 years of incarceration. He was able to convince a judge
that he had turned his life around and was trying to chart a new path.

Eight years later, he was involved in another shooting,
this time in his new home, Auburn Hills.

As he wooed delegates heading into last weekend’s GOP
state convention, Jiles thought he could talk his way out of the 2014 crime,
when he shot and seriously injured a man during a heated altercation. He
claimed it was a minor incident, even a simple accident. As for the first crime,
he believed it would never come up, never cause him any grief.

For years, it seems, he was told that no one would ever

He certainly fooled his newfound mentor, bigoted
Republican National Committee member Dave Agema.  The RNC bad boy vouched for Jiles, endorsed
Jiles, and told convention-goers that stories about the 2014 shooting were “half-truths”
designed to derail the 29-year-old’s vice chair candidacy.

He certainly fooled the convention Credentials Committee,
which accepted Jiles’ version of the truth and approved him as a delegate and a
candidate. The Credentials Committee obviously did not fulfill its role as the
credibility committee.

And he certainly fooled those who cast votes on Saturday,
giving him a resounding victory over the incumbent “Ethnic Vice Chair,” Linda
Lee Tarver.

He got away with a sanitized version of his personal
story. He succeeded. Now, the damage is done.

How much?

Paul Welday, a prominent Republican from Oakland County,
one of the grown-ups in the Michigan GOP, said the election of Jiles could be the most
disturbing chapter in the state party’s history.

“Disgraceful and shocking,” he tweeted. “May be the most inappropriate candidate ever.”