Despite primary win, Schmidt should resign

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT
Despite primary win, Schmidt should resign story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Disgraced State Representative Roy Schmidt survived a Republican write-in challenge in Tuesday's primary.

But many say if those who actually voted Tuesday had their way about it, Schmidt would have been dumped.

He lives on to fight another day because of absentee ballots.

Those ballots, likely sent in before the news broke that Schmidt and State House Speaker Jase Bolger had tried to rig an election.

Tonight in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says voters did have their say, and Schmidt ought to resign.


It's a pretty weird world we live in when someone can get caught trying to undermine the electoral process, claim the nomination for his party, and then say he's willing to take full responsibility for what happened.

Are you kidding me? Is there someone else even remotely responsible for Roy Schmidt's behavior? His neighbor, maybe? The guy that services his car? Some checkout clerk?

There's only one person responsible: Roy Schmidt.

Think about it. If you get caught trying to fix a ball game, you're in big trouble. You're most likely going to prison.

And when you get out you're most likely going to be banned from the stadium or the arena where the offense took place.

But if you get caught trying to fix an election, you get scathingly admonished by the Kent County Prosecutor, you find out, also, there is no law against what you did, you find out voters would have thrown you out on your ear had it not been for all those absentee ballots already in the box, and you get to say "the people of Grand Rapids want me to do some more explaining, and that's what I'll have to do."

Explain what? Here's what you did. You decided to switch from the Democratic to the Republican party. No problem with that.

But then you and House Speaker Bolger conspired to trick the system and the voters.

And you did it by waiting for the last second to make the switch, and then hiring a phony candidate to fill your slot for the party you just left, thereby almost guaranteeing a desk in Lansing.

But surprise. The word got out that you were trying to stiff the system. And voters who thought it was illegal were stunned to learn it wasn't.

But they still thought it was sleazy.

Sleazy enough that on Tuesday they cast more votes for a late-arriving Republican write-in candidate than they did for you.

Sleazy enough to cast two-and-a-half thousand write-in votes for a democratic candidate, Winnie Brinks, who nobody had ever heard of until two weeks ago. And they had to spell her name correctly.

What the 76th District of Grand Rapids really needs right now is someone they can trust.

And no matter how you twist it, pull it and shape it, no matter how you wish to shrug off his behavior as "boys will be boys," and "aw shucks, he didn't mean anything by it," the fact is, he tried to rig an election. And then he lied about it.

Last year, in his first season as Michigan's head football coach, Brady Hoke suspended a star player for the season for violating team rules.

He said Michigan football players ought to be held to a higher standard.

The same ought to be said of the people who ask for and receive your vote to hold any public office.

Roy Schmidt and Speaker Bolger are two of those.

They ought to resign. Both of 'em.

And if they don't, the people who employ them ought to throw both of them out in November.

That's only 10 weeks away.

In this corner, I'm Tom Van Howe.
Despite primary win, Schmidt should resign
comments powered by Disqus

Business News

Last Update on April 17, 2014 17:08 GMT


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits last week rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000. Jobless claims continue to be near pre-recession levels despite the slight increase.

The Labor Department says that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 312,000. That is the lowest four-week average since October 2007, just two months before the Great Recession started. The average has fallen by 53,500 applications over the past 12 months.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The current level of claims suggests that employers are holding on their workers with the expectation of stronger economic growth ahead.

Employers added 192,000 jobs in March and 197,000 in February, the Labor Department reported. Hiring has picked up after a slowdown caused by severe winter weather.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for the second straight week as the spring home-buying season begins.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.27 percent from 4.34 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.33 percent from 3.38 percent.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.

Many analysts have been expecting an improving economy to lift the housing market, which has been recovering over the past two years. But housing has struggled to maintain momentum. Rising home prices and higher mortgage rates have held back some potential home buyers. Others have had trouble qualifying for mortgages.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Investment bank Goldman Sachs says its first-quarter earnings fell as fixed income trading slumped.

The bank earned $1.9 billion in the quarter, down 11 percent from the same period a year earlier when it made $2.2 billion.

The earnings were equivalent to $4.02 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted earnings of $3.49 a share.

Revenue totaled $9.3 billion, down 8 percent from a year earlier, when the bank generated revenue of $10.1 billion. The latest quarterly revenue beat analysts' expectations of $8.7 billion.

Goldman's stock rose $2.78, or 1.8 percent, to $160 in pre-market trading.


NEW YORK (AP) -- PepsiCo reports a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit as the company slashed costs and sold more snacks around the world.

The company, which makes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Mountain Dew and Tropicana, says global snack volume rose 2 percent while beverages were even from a year ago.

In its closely watched North American beverage unit, PepsiCo Inc. says volume was even. Growth in other drinks offset a 1 percent decline in sodas.

For the quarter, the company earned $1.22 billion, or 79 cents per share. Not including one-time items, it earned 83 cents per share, above the 75 cents per share Wall Street expected.

A year ago, it earned $1.08 billion, or 69 cents per share.

Revenue edged up to $12.62 billion, higher than the $12.39 billion analysts expected.


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Toy maker Mattel says weak sales of Barbie and markdowns to clear out excess inventory left over from a sluggish holiday season led to an unexpected first-quarter loss.

Toy makers are facing a weak environment globally due to the uncertain economy and popularity of electronic gadgets.

The largest U.S. toy maker says its net loss for the three months ended March 31 totaled $11.2 million, or 3 cents per share. That compares with net income of $38.5 million, or 11 cents per share last year. Analysts expected earnings of 7 cents per share.

The company which makes Disney Princess dolls and Hot Wheels cars says revenue fell 5 percent to $946.2 million. Analysts expected $947.6 million. Barbie revenue dropped 14 percent.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Target is vastly expanding the goods that are available to order by subscription as it fends off its biggest non-traditional retail rival,

The nation's second-largest discounter first dabbled with subscriptions last September, trying to win over haggard parents with 150 baby care products.

That program has been expanded more than tenfold this week to nearly 1,600 items across a much wider array of consumer goods. Everything from beauty products and pet supplies, to home office supplies like printer ink, are now available through subscription.

Target, based in Minneapolis, is playing catch up in the subscription arena, which has exploded as companies test consumer appetites for almost every niche, from socks to razors, to clothing and entertainment.

Washington Times