Michigan state Rep. Larry Inman allegedly sent text messages asking for campaign donations in return for his vote on a wage bill.
Michigan state Rep. Larry Inman (R) was indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury for bribery charges related to a scheme to sell his vote on a bill about wages.
According to the indictment, Inman sent text messages to a carpenter's union soliciting campaign donations in return for a promise to vote "no" on the repeal of a Michigan prevailing wage law.
"I hear the prevailing wage vote may be on Wednesday," Inman said in a June 2018 text message to the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights. He added that while "carpenters have been good to me, where are the rest of the trades on checks?"
In subsequent texts, Inman tossed aside any attempt at subtly, saying, "it's not worth losing assignments and staff for $5,000," and "you need to get people maxed out."
The prevailing wage law required most public works projects in Michigan to pay union wages.
When confronted by the FBI, Inman lied about the communications, according to the indictment. In addition to soliciting a bribe, Inman was also charged with attempted extortion and making a false statement to the FBI. If convicted, the combined charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 35 years.
Inman's alleged bribery attempts may not have been successful, as he ended up voting "yes" on the repeal of the wage law, giving the repeal effort enough votes to pass.
While Inman allegedly engaged in criminal behavior, his actions attacking the wages of Michigan workers are not different from the rest of his Republican colleagues.
After Democrat Gretchen Whitmer won the race for governor in the 2018 midterm election, Republicans used a lame-duck legislative session to attempt to roll back the state's minimum wage law. At the time, local papers slammed this and other actions by Republicans as "offensive" and "controversial."
The Detroit Free Press hammered the efforts, saying, "this year's outgoing legislative class has already demonstrated its contempt for Michigan voters and the politicians they've elected to represent them in Lansing starting Jan. 1."
Inman allegedly acted in a criminal manner, but the actions of the entire Michigan Republican Party were shameful affronts attacking Michigan workers.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.