Whitmer Faces Backlash After Husband Reportedly Asked For Special Treatment in Boating Request Despite Her Travel Warning

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Posted: May 26, 2020 8:05 AM
Whitmer Faces Backlash After Husband Reportedly Asked For Special Treatment in Boating Request Despite Her Travel Warning

Source: Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s husband reportedly sought special treatment in trying to get their boat on the water in time for Memorial Day weekend, even as his wife cautioned residents about traveling for the holiday.

"This morning, I was out working when the office called me, there was a gentleman on hold who wanted his boat in the water before the weekend," read a post from NorthShore Dock on Facebook. "Being Memorial weekend and the fact that we started working three weeks late means there is no chance this is going to happen."

"Well our office personnel had explained this to the man and he replied, 'I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?'"

The post was removed after it went viral, the company said, noting that they are too busy to handle media requests. 

"After a long day of keeping crews running, adhering to the additional safety regulations that need to be in place to operate our small business and fielding calls from customers frustrated with our lagging installation schedule I was told the governor's husband called asking for install availability," the company said. "Up until this point we, as a company, had no idea we installed their dock or boat."

According to the NorthShore Dock, Mallory was very understanding when they said they couldn’t fulfill his request. 

Whitmer said last week that some restrictions in parts of Northern Michigan would be lifted but still warned those who didn’t live in the areas to “think long and hard before you take a trip into them.”

"A small spike could put the hospital system in dire straits pretty quickly,” she added. “That's precisely why we're asking everyone to continue doing their part. Don't descend on [waterfront] Traverse City from all regions of the state."

Republican lawmakers called her out for the double standard.

State Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, wrote his own Facebook post on Friday, criticizing Mallory's apparent request for the boat installation. The post was shared 500 times, Barrett said.

But the lawmaker said he eventually deleted it after the governor's office reached out to the staff of Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, asking for the post to be removed and contending the comments were false.

Barrett, who looked into the situation further, said he now believes the governor's office had made him an "unwilling" accessory in an attempted cover-up of the situation. The senator also mentioned that Whitmer had told other Michigan residents not to "descend" on Traverse City.

“Yet, what did her family try and do?" Barrett said.

"In the Army, we have a tradition that the leaders get in line for chow last behind everyone else in the unit," he continued. "Here is the leader of our state. … Her family is trying to cut people in line." (The Detroit News)

Whitmer and her husband have a vacation home 25 minutes from Traverse City, but their primary residence is in Lansing, which is more than 150 miles away.