For decades, Macomb County has served as the undisputed Michigan champion of weird and wacky politics due to its overabundance of controversial political candidates and elected officials.
But in recent days it seems that neighboring Oakland County is making a late run in the bizarro category as the November election approaches.
Matt Murdock, a Republican candidate for state House from Milford, announced today that the featured guest at his upcoming campaign fundraiser will be the infamous Dog the Bounty Hunter of cable TV notoriety. (I assume readers know, or can guess, who’s who in the photo above.)
Dog previously endorsed Murdock and the 44th District candidate has adopted this campaign message: “Help send Mad Dog Maddock to Lansing!” To be quite clear, Dog the Bounty Hunter is not the type of character most conservatives would want to embrace at election time – or any time.
For those who are unaware, Dog (real name, Duane) Chapman gained legions of fans for his loud, foul-mouthed antics on his A&E reality show, which from 2004-12 dramatized his life as a bounty hunter, chasing down those on the run from the law.
But Dog’s fame also brought to light another side of Chapman – a junior high school dropout, motorcycle gang member, arrested numerous times for violent crimes, convicted felon, known to spew racial slurs, married several times, alleged by his daughter to be a cocaine addict.
It appears that what Maddock and the bounty hunter have most in common is an admiration of President Trump. In advance of the upcoming campaign event – tickets are $50, $100 if you want your picture taken with Dog – the candidate released a 23-second video of the two them. Dog says: “Vote yes. Vote for him … this is a man after Trump’s own heart.”
This is happening in buttoned-down Oakland County? Well, just consider that Oakland is now home to a bar where liquored-up patrons compete in axe throwing contests. In Macomb County, people don’t engage in those kinds of hijinks – although some probably wish they had thought of the idea.
In a different vein, we learned this week about another Oakland County candidate for state House, a Democrat, who allegedly engaged in such an egregious, hair-brained plot to embezzle $100,000 that she has been denounced by her No. 1 supporter and other embarrassed Democratic officials as she heads into a key election.
Jennifer Suidan had served as the bookkeeper for county Treasurer Andy Meisner’s campaign committee until Meisner realized in recent days that things didn’t add up. Lots of money was missing. On Monday, he withdrew his support for Suidan and issued a press release that almost surely will destroy her candidacy, which he had enthusiastically supported.
“Jennifer Suidan has been removed as the committee’s designated record keeper,” wrote Meisner, a Democrat who is up for re-election in 2020. “She has betrayed my trust and the trust of all who expected her to perform her duties honestly and in compliance with the law.”
So, Suidan allegedly stole money from a guy who deals in cash transactions and balance sheets on a daily basis. Did she think that the county treasurer would not notice that $100,000 was absent from the kitty?
In Macomb County, after the political corruption scandals of 2017, more than a dozen politicos were nabbed by the FBI for extortion, bribes and such. Oakland County can’t compete in that category although, to be fair, Macomb politicians seem to be willing to sell their souls for a few thousand dollars while in upscale Oakland County it appears that the going rate is in the six-figure range.
Suidan has yet to face any criminal charges but the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the matter.
Still, it appears the evidence against her must be quite strong as the co-chairs of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, Rep. Kristy Pagan (D-Canton) and Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-Saint Clair Shores), quickly called for Suidan to immediately suspend her campaign.
Suidan is running in the 39th District, which includes West Bloomfield, as one of three highly touted Oakland County Democrats running for Republican House seats that the state Democratic Party targeted, hoping to flip them from the GOP to the Dems.
With less than six weeks to go before the November election, with Democratic prospects looking strong, she may have been on the path to a seat in the state Legislature, a job that pays nearly $72,000 a year.
What was she thinking?