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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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