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 (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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