Daily Kos Morning Digest 8/10/15… Republican covers up actual straight sex scandal with fake gay sex scandal

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer

Michigan state Rep. Todd Courser

Michigan GOP state Rep. Todd Courser is at the center of one of the strangest scandals we’ve ever seen

Leading Off:

MI-10: Just go ahead and read this story. It’s insane. No, it’s super mega crazy insanely insane. You have to read it. The whole thing. Did you really not click? Click now. Go read. Then come back here. We’re not going to summarize it!

Okay, okay. Maybe you’re reading this newsletter on the subway and there’s no signal and you’re just dying to know what’s up. In that case, you should save the link for when you get back above ground. But maybe you’re stuck on the subway because the power went out and you’ll be there for who knows how many hours before you see the light of day again and so we’ll take pity on you: The story in question involves two tea-partying Michigan state representatives, Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, who had an affair (they’re both married—to other people—with kids), then tried to cover it up by asking an aide to anonymously mass-mail Republicans across the state with a fake smear letter claiming that Courser had been “caught behind a Lansing nightclub” paying for sex with another man.

Told you you’d want to click. Anyhow, the aide, Ben Graham, refused but sensibly realized something really messed up was up and recorded more than one conversation with Courser about this psychotic request. (He got fired not long after he declined to participate in this lunacy.) Those recordings made their way to the Detroit News, as did a copy of the email, which was sent out by lord knows who—though certainly at Courser’s instigation, since much of the email matched up verbatim with things he told his Graham.

What the hell was Courser thinking? He called this absurd skullduggery a “controlled burn,” and explained to Graham, “In a controlled burn, you do a little bit of truth mixed in with a lot of lies.” Well, the burn went way, way out of control and has now incinerated Courser’s career, along with Gamrat’s. Graham advised Courser on tape to resign. He should have done so back then. It’s impossible to imagine he won’t have to do so now.

As for why this is appearing in the Digest, Courser had been mentioned as a possible successor to GOP Rep. Candice Miller, who is retiring at the end of this term. Suffice it to say he won’t get mentioned again. But seriously, go read the piece.

Senate:

GA-Sen: Democrats don’t yet have a Senate candidate in Georgia, but it would be nuts not to have one, especially if Hillary Clinton were to make a play for the state’s electoral votes. There’s also a chance that GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson, who reaffirmed that he was running again after he was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, changes course and opts against seeking another term. So it’s welcome news that Rev. Raphael Warnock, the pastor of the famous Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, says he’s considering a bid. The congregation is known as the place where both Martin Luther Kings held the pulpit, and Warnock is a prominent figure in the area.

Unlike the last Democrat who tried to win a Senate seat in Georgia, the centrist Michelle Nunn, Warnock has an unquestionably progressive approach to politics. But can a liberal black man win a statewide race in Georgia? It’s easy to forget given all the unlikely places he did win (Indiana, North Carolina), but Barack Obama performed remarkably well in the Peach State in 2008, losing 52-47 to John McCain. And while he did a somewhat worse in 2012, he ran slightly closer to his nationwide margin than he had four years earlier.

Of course this is an extreme longshot even under the best of circumstances. But throw in some further demographic change plus maybe an open seat and perhaps an upset isn’t completely out of the question.

NV-Sen: It’s time for an Obama Alert! One of the earliest POTUS sightings on the campaign trail will come in Nevada later this month, as the president heads to Las Vegas for a fundraiser with former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who is running to replace Sen. Harry Reid. Masto will almost certainly face GOP Rep. Joe Heck next year in a major showdown that could determine control of the Senate….

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