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Speaking of Rep. Matt (Mad Dog) Maddock (R-Milford), he just can’t avoid the headlines. His latest is filing a federal lawsuit against Democratic State House Speaker Joe Tate of Detroit, his press secretary, Amber McCann, and the state House Business Office employees, all because they put the kibosh on allowing him to use state money to pay for printing and mailing a constituent newsletter criticizing Tate and Governor Gretchen Whitmer. He calls it a violation of his First Amendment right to free speech; a little research reveals a general prohibition in the House Ethics manual against using official resources for campaign or political purposes. Letters, news releases, other printed materials and emails are all on the list. According to Maddock’s lawsuit, the House Business Office acted as a “state censor,” which the lawsuit alleges is unconstitutional. Maddock’s newsletter describes Whitmer as a “horrible governor” who’s done an “awful job,” criticized her COVID policies, unemployment aid, allegations of restrictions to gun ownership rights and failing to fix the roads, and said the legislature “is similarly doing horrible things to your freedoms and to the state of Michigan.” Maddock was informed in mid-February his newsletter violated guidelines and ethics rules, but was undeterred. According to the Committee on Ethics, misuse may result not only in disciplinary action but “also criminal prosecution.” Maddock argued in his filing his constituents have been denied “the ability to receive information from their duly-elected representative.” Stay tuned.

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