In the Republican AG debate, election fraud, government corruption, and transgender athletes were discussed

In the Republican AG debate, election fraud, government corruption, and transgender athletes were di ...

At a Thursday night debate, Republican attorney general candidates discussed election fraud, government corruption, and transgender athletes.

Representatives from State Rep. Ryan Berman, R-Commerce Township, Portage Attorney Matt DePerno, and former House Speaker Tom Leonard participated in a debate at the North Oakland Republican Club in Waterford Township. In one month, Republican delegates will gather in Grand Rapids to select the party's attorney general nominee.

At times, the Thursday night debate became choppy. Berman and Leonard discussed DePerno for blatantly false narratives about voting results in Antrim County. DePerno identified Leonard as an unintentional career politician with no intention to investigate the "garbage" 2020 election.

More than 200 Republicans have supported Leonard, including lawmakers, three congressmen, state committee members, prosecutors, interest groups, and other conservative figures.

Former Michigan Republican Party Chair Bill DePerno has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who is going for him. He has also received endorsements from Meshawn Maddock, Vice President of the State, Diane Schindlbeck, Ethnic Vice Chair Bernadette Smith, and Grassroots Vice Chair Marian Sheridan.

GOP leaders describe the race as a clash between Trump's-supporting "grassroots" and "establishment" Republicans. Debate organizers said the majority of questions submitted were about election security, a high concern for conservatives who do not accept Trump's defeat.

Several county clerks and the state auditor general, an investigation by Senate Republicans, and several court judgements have failed to show evidence that fraud cost Trump a victory in Michigan. President Joe Biden dominated the state by 154,000 votes, according to certified results.

DePerno accused Leonard of misleading delegates about his record on the subject. DePerno claimed that while attending last year's Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, Leonard denied that.

"This is Matt DePerno again lying," Leonard said. "Nobody can find one sentence in any news article or video where I said there was no fraud during the previous election. "I've been clear: "Do I believe there was fraud? Yes."

DePerno argues that an unsuccessful lawsuit in Antrim County uncovered unofficial results that showed problems with Dominion Voting Systems equipment across the country, though a hand recount and state audits affirmed the accuracy of the Antrim County results.

"No one else really stood up for what we were doing," DePerno said. "We stood up for "America first" values. We stood up for Donald Trump. We demonstrated that this election was fraud."

Berman said he's also investigated Antrim County and found that the votes were properly scanned by voting machines. DePerno then claimed thewas dubious because of "fraudulent ballots."

When asked if he says it was mail-in ballots and fraud, he says. What happened in Antrim County was a mistake when it came to data because the local clerks didn't update their tabulation machines.

DePerno later said a voter-supported ballot initiative enshrining universal absentee voting in the Michigan Constitution "codified election fraud." All three candidates said they will investigate Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for sending absentee ballot applications to all registered voters in 2020.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, candidates agreed on the need to investigate Whitmer's nursing home policies.

Each of the candidates promised to pursue reforms of Michigan's government transparency laws, although it is up to the Legislature to make changes. Berman said he's backed legislation that would allow the public to obtain documents from the legislature and governor's office.

Ayurved that women who are transgender would be excluded from participating in state-sponsored women's sports.

I believe it is fundamentally unfair, especially for people who like to say follow the science and then ignore it in this case, to have to confront these people with their self-identities to go and disadvantage our children, Berman said.

Lia Thomas, a transgender athlete who won the NCAA first division swimming championship, was triggered by the question.

"I'm not sure how anybody can define themselves a feminist or care or claim they care about women's rights, but I'm not sure how they can advocate and allow it to happen elsewhere," Leonard said.

Other issues in the debate were focused on government transparency and ethics. Leonard called DePerno to disclose how he spent roughly $400,000 in donations raised during his election legal battles. DePerno noted that Leonard was a registered lobbyist.

Leonard is distressed by his connections to former House Speaker Lee Chatfield, who is under investigation for of a minor, and has been criticized for putting Leonard on the campaign for the year 2018 but hasn't supported it in the 2022 cycle.

"Follow the money," DePerno said. "It will direct Lee Chatfield and the person who sparked him, according to DePerno.

Leonard was retaliated by declaring that he was reviewed by the FBI after being appointed for a position in the US Attorney General.

"Dozens of FBI agents were circling through my records, combing through my life," Leonard said. "If there was something there it would have come up. The only person who made these accusations is Matt DePerno.

Leonard is referring to "the Joe Biden of this election," according to DePerno, who spent 2020 in his basement under the COVID-19 lockdown. Leonard said that there is also his residence.

Berman argued that he has demonstrated his ability to achieve tough elections and doesn't carry baggage that might be used against him. He was first elected to the state House in 2018 and was reelected in 2020.

"I've already defeated the Democrats," Berman said. "I'm the only one here that can win here in Southeast Michigan and does not have the skulls in the closet."


You may also like: