State, National Media Expose “Independent” Commissioners’ Extensive Ties to Democratic Party, Dishonest Independence Claims
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Freedom Fund has called on two members of Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to resign after state and national media outlets uncovered evidence each lied to gain a seat as an “independent” member of the Commission.
New evidence shows that “Independent” commissioners Rebecca Szetela and Anthony Eid each have long, detailed, and public records of financial and other support for the Democratic Party, it’s causes, and Democratic candidates for office, betraying the promise of the process.
Voters established the Redistricting Commission with the promise that it would feature 5 independent commissioners, 4 Republicans, and 4 Democrats. Both Szetela and Eid claimed on their applications for the commission that they did not affiliate with the Democratic Party. They now fill 2 of 5 “independent” seats on the redistricting body, giving Democrats a 6-4-3 majority over Republicans and Independents.
According to a new report this week from the Washington Free Beacon, Szetela is a longtime contributor to Michigan and national Democratic candidates, and has made multiple donations to the Southwestern Wayne Democratic Club. The outlet also uncovered archived records showing Szetela has been a featured speaker for the Progressive Democratic Women’s Caucus of Muskegon County, and that her husband is a former failed Democratic Party candidate for a local supervisor role.
The Iosco County News Herald reported last week that “independent” commissioner Anthony Eid has a long history of publicly supporting Democratic candidates as well, and even made an endorsement in the recent contest for Democratic National Committee Chair.
“Voters cannot trust the integrity of an independent commission when almost half of the supposedly independent commissioners get caught lying about their Democratic Party affiliation,” said Tori Sachs, Executive Director of the Michigan Freedom Fund. “There should be no tolerance for the staggering dishonesty on display along with the repulsive, racist, and misogynistic comments that are now tainting the hard, important work of the other commission members. It’s time they resign before voters’ trust is fully shattered in this critical process.”
In addition to the integrity crisis engulfing two members of the Commission, Bridge Magazine reported last night on a series of other serious transparency failures by the redistricting body. According to reports, the Commission routinely fails to post agendas, to provide minutes for their meetings, or to make meeting materials readily available to the press and the public.
According to Gongwer: “… Mr. Eid's posts made offensive references to women. One called women he encountered in a gas station 'hoes' and another referred to 'junior sluts' he supposedly encountered at a 7-Eleven convenience store. Several more included quotations invoking supposed jokes about both male and female genitalia.”