DETROIT, Mich. (WOOD) — Six days before the primary election, the Republican race for governor got a little testy Wednesday over emails from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
The Democratic-leaning organization Progress Michigan said the emails it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show Schuette used office staff for personal and political purposes over an extended period of time.
It wasn’t just Democrats making the claim Wednesday.
“I don’t think there’s any question whatsoever that the attorney general has broken the law,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who is running against Schuette in the governor’s race.
Schuette’s campaign says state workers have free time during the day they can use for politics and there is no violation. As for Schuette, he momentarily bristled at the idea he broke the law.
“I’m the chief law enforcement officer of the state of Michigan and I will let nobody attack my integrity,” he said.
While controversy at the end of a campaign between two rivals isn’t surprising, the level of the charges is. Coupled with the obvious input of a group that supports Democrats and Democratic efforts, it makes this situation even more unusual.
However, Calley noted earlier complaints about Schuette using staff for personal business.
“It is clearly undeniably illegal. Their only defense is it didn’t take very long. Well saying it didn’t take very long to commit a crime doesn’t make it any less of a crime,” said Calley.
Schuette says this is all about politics.
“This is again just desperation politics at its worst because I’ve got Democrats attacking me because they don’t want to face me in November, because they know I’m the strongest candidate and can win. The Republicans are desperately behind,” Schuette said.
Voters will narrow down the Republican race for governor during the primary election Aug. 7.