From left to right: Sens. Ed McBroom, Lana Theis and John Bizon
The deepening divide between Michigan Republicans who subscribe to the conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump did not lose to President Joe Biden in 2020 continues to grow, with the latest infighting taking shape as a Change.org petition from a GOP former state senator.
Ex-state Sen. Pat Colbeck (R-Canton) started the petition on Monday, titled, “Call for Censure of McBroom, Theis, and Bizon by MI GOP.” State Sens. McBroom (R-Vulcan), Lana Theis (R-Brighton) and John Bizon (R-Battle Creek) last month released a committee report concluding that there is no widespread evidence of voter fraud in Michigan’s 2020 election.
Colbeck was term-limited in 2018 and did not serve with the three senators.
In his petition, Colbeck blames the senators for fomenting division within the Republican Party and for promoting “the corruption of Republican ideals.” Trump has also gone after McBroom — and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) — for attempting to “hide the truth about November 3rd” with the report.
As of Thursday afternoon, the petition has just over 1,800 signatures with an end goal of 2,500. It seeks to ask the Michigan GOP to censure the senators at its next state committee meeting in August.
Colbeck was elected as a tea party candidate in 2010 and unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018. Since his loss to then-Attorney General Bill Schuette in the Republican primary, Colbeck has made elections his focus. In 2020, he protested absentee vote counting at Detroit’s TCF Center and testified before the state Legislature and Board of State Canvassers while promoting conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud and framing himself as an election expert.
Biden won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, and there is no evidence that widespread irregularities or voter fraud occurred.
But McBroom, Theis and Bizon “have in fact weaponized the state against citizens who disagree with them” by accepting the election results, Colbeck writes in his petition.
The offices of McBroom, Theis and Bizon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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