Gary Eisen, a Republican member of the Michigan House of Representatives, was removed from committees after a radio interview about the Electoral College vote. During the interview he said he couldn’t guarantee violence wouldn’t happen because plans for the vote were “uncharted.”
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Eisen Said He Couldn’t Guarantee Lansing Would Be Safe Because ‘What We’re Doing Is Uncharted’
In a radio interview with WPHM on December 14, Eisen made some comments that have come under scrutiny. You can listen to the interview here.
During the interview, Eisen said that Republicans might try a “Hail Mary” this afternoon during Michgan’s electoral college vote when Democratic electors convened to vote for President-elect Joe Biden, The Detroit News reported. He didn’t elaborate on what would happen during the Hail Mary.
“I’m on a football team. We have one more play. Am I just going to give up or am I going to do that Hail Mary?” Eisen said. He also commented that it likely wouldn’t change the outcome of the election.
Eisen said the Hail Mary would be historic and would be “all over the news later on.”
Paul Miller, the radio host interviewing Eisen, asked him if he could ensure that Lansing would be safe, and Eisen said no.
“I’m concerned about violence today,” Miller said. “…Can you assure me this is going to be a safe day in Lansing? No one’s going to get hurt?”
“Nope. I don’t know. Because what we’re doing today is uncharted. It hasn’t been done.”
2. He Said He Was Just Witnessing What Was Happening & ‘Showing that I Support What They’re Doing’
And it’s not me doing it. It’s the … Michigan Party. … I’m just your witness. … Well help as far as witness, supporting, being there, and that kind of sense. Showing that I support what they’re doing. … There’s more to it than what I can say right now. But after it’s all said and done and you want to go back and talk about the details of it, I’m more than happy to.”
During the interview, Eisen also commented that the Supreme Court didn’t pick up the Texas case because of standing, but they didn’t rule on substance. He added around the nine-minute mark that if he believed the election was proven to be legitimate, he would support Biden as the President.
If there’s no fraud and nothing comes up in all these oversight committees, nothing is proved, then I’ll say that’s fine. We did what we can, I’ll accept it. And as long as nothing [unintelligible] comes into play, like there was bad software and machines, then fine, I’ll accept it. But at least we tried. At least I fought to the end.
3. Eisen Was Removed from Committees by the Michigan House
Eisen was removed from his committees by the Michigan House of Representatives based on the contents of his interview. Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield and Speaker-elect Jason Wentworth released a joint statement:
“We have been consistent in our position on issues of violence and intimidation in politics — it is never appropriate and never acceptable. That is true of threats or suggestions of violence against Gov. Whitmer, Secretary Benson, Rep. Johnson and others on the Oversight committee, Republicans, Democrats, and members of the Electoral College. That applies to threats made toward public officials, and it must also apply when the public officials open the door to violent behavior and refuse to condemn it. We must do better.
We as elected officials must be clear that violence has no place in our democratic process. We must be held to a higher standard. Because of that, Rep. Eisen has been removed from his committee assignments for the rest of the term.”
The Republican leaders in Michigan have said that even if they don’t like the outcome, they’re committed to letting the electors vote as planned.
According to his bio, he was on the following committees:
- Vice chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
- Member of the Agriculture committee
- Member of the Local Government & Municipal Finance committee
- Member of the Natural Resource & Outdoor Recreation committee
4. He Signed a Brief Supporting the Texas Election Lawsuit & Previously Opposed Defunding the Police
Eisen was among a number of Michigan state lawmakers who had signed a legal brief last Thursday in support of the Texas lawsuit that the Supreme Court rejected on Friday, The Detroit News reported. You can read the statement about joining the suit here.
In June, Eisen voted for a resolution opposing defunding local police. He said: “Police officers play a vital role in our communities. They look out for the wellbeing of our families, answer the call to serve whenever we have an emergency, and deter criminals. Failing to provide proper funding for law enforcement would be a dangerous mistake.”
He added: “We can’t forget that the overwhelming majority of our local officers are trustworthy and reputable people who put on their uniforms each and every day because they’re committed to protecting our communities and helping our families, friends and neighbors. Many police departments are barely scraping by with the funding they have now. Reducing their funding would likely end up hurting many of the people who need protection most.”
In April, he approved a measure to extend Michigan’s state of emergency as related to the pandemic.
5. He’s Married, Teaches an American Warrior Martial Arts Class & Is the Chair of a Target Shooting Organization
Eisen had originally run for the Michigan House of Representatives in 2010 as an independent, but he lost that election. He also lost in 2012 when he ran in the Republican primary. He won in 2018 and again in the 2020 election.
According to his bio, he’s married to Annie Eisen and living in St. Clair Township. He owns Eisen Inc., a small business that provides repair services and welding, and he’s national sports chair for AAU USA Target Shooting. According to his bio, he has a degree in Welding Technology from Minnesota State College.
He also teaches American Warrior Martial Arts classes and is a member of St. Peter’s Church, where he serves on the Church Council.
His bio notes that he also owns Michigan Personal Protection Training and is an instructor for the National Rifle Association.