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RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE


Oakland Confidential gets its share of blowback because of the amount of negative gossip about the Republican Party in Michigan. But many of our sources are longstanding members of the GOP who can’t believe that their party just keeps on giving when it comes to bizarre news. Take for instance the April tussle at a Clare, Michigan hotel bar the night before a state committee meeting, involving Kalamazoo Republican party chair Kelly Sackett and Macomb Republican Party secretary Melissa Pehlis. The skirmish reportedly centered on Sackett’s attempt to purge state party chairwoman Kristina Karamo allies from the Kalamazoo GOP, which is now the subject of a state lawsuit. The pair can be seen taunting each other – and then Sackett knocked a cell phone and cigarette from the hands of Pehlis. Over 100,000 viewers watched the online video and nearly 900 viewer comments followed. Now comes round two, also in Clare but at a different hotel, in early July, at what some insiders called an “emergency” meeting of the state party committee, supposedly to sort through complaints that the state party lacked transparency about budget matters following the June removal by Karamo of Matt Johnson, a former GOP budget chair, from the party budget committee after he voiced concerns. In advance of the Saturday session, we were told there would be an attempt to remove Karamo. The latest state committee meeting was closed to all but members of the panel. A group of Republicans, which included James Chapman, Wayne County party member, was forced to listen from outside the locked meeting room. Chapman at one point jiggled the locked door handle. Clare County party chair Mark DeYoung responded by opening the door, at which time Chapman kicked him in the testicles and then rushed DeYoung, tackling him into some meeting chairs. Police were called. DeYoung, who claims he received a broken rib, was taken to the hospital. As to the budget, one source told us that the current bank account balance for the state party is about $95,000 but as much as $35,000 of that is from advance payment for an upcoming event so the actual useable balance is considerably less. As for the push at the event to replace Karamo, who hails from Oak Park, crickets. 

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