DETROIT (AP) — The finance chair for the Republican National Committee told a Michigan tea party gathering this summer that Detroit’s plummeting population and lack of a mayoral machine to get voters “to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall” has decreased its influence in elections.
Ron Weiser‘s comments were secretly videotaped Aug. 9 by a Democrat shadowing a Republican congressional candidate. The Detroit Free Press obtained the video from the Michigan Democratic Party and reported on it Sunday.
In the video, Weiser, the state’s former GOP chairman, can be seen telling attendees what his thoughts were heading into the Nov. 6 presidential election, which President Barack Obama won.
Detroit — which is more than 80 percent black and votes almost overwhelmingly Democratic — isn’t to be feared as much because the city’s population has dropped below 700,000 people and there no longer are strong, mayor-led machines to get voters to the polls, Weiser said.
There is “no Coleman Young machine. No Kwame Kilpatrick machine. There is no Dave Bing machine,” he said. “There’s no machine to go to the pool halls and the barbershops and put those people on buses, and then bus them from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times.
“And there’s no machine to get ’em to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall. And it does make a difference.”
Young was Detroit’s first black mayor and served nearly 20 years in the office. Kilpatrick resigned in 2008 during his second term while facing perjury and other charges related to text-messaging sex scandal. Bing, a professional basketball Hall of Famer and former businessman, was elected mayor in 2009.
“Obama has hired a lot of people to go help him get that vote out,” Weiser continued in the video. “But if you’re not from Detroit, the places where those pool halls and barbershops are, you’re not going to be going at 6:30 in November. Not without a side arm.”
The Rev. David Bullock, chairman of the Michigan Rainbow Push Coalition, characterized the remarks as racist.
“Detroit is much more than pool halls and barbershops,” Bullock told the Free Press. “There are churches, there are parks, there are universities. It’s disheartening that the political culture in Michigan and much of the country is so subversively and racially charged.”
The comments also drew a sharp response by Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer.
“We have a major Republican figure in Michigan and nationally who is making racist stereotype remarks about voters in Detroit,” Brewer said.
Weiser, an Ann Arbor businessman and Michigan Republican Party chairman from 2009-10, later told the newspaper his comments were “never intended to be racist” and that he didn’t intend to offend anyone by his statements at the tea party meeting in Milford, northwest of Detroit.
He said he believes voter fraud occurred in Detroit during Young’s and Kilpatrick’s time in office and defended his statements.
“I don’t think there’s anything negative about pool halls and barbershops,” Weiser told the newspaper Friday “There are many other places I could have talked about that would have had negative connotations.
“Since when is it a stereotype to talk about the fact people drink beer in pool halls? What do you think they drink? Soda pop?”
He also defended his view of crime in Detroit, a city with one of the highest violent crime rates in the country.
“I challenge you to find anyone who says you can walk around the neighborhoods of Detroit at 6:30 in the morning and not find it dangerous,” Weiser said.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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