What It Looks Like When the Far Right Takes Control of Local Government



For the conservative movement, he said, Ottawa Impact’s takeover of the county board “could end up being counterproductive if they don’t find a way to govern well, dot the I’s, cross the T’s, follow the protocols and resolve some of the current critiques.”

He called it all “very resolvable.” But there is a risk, he said, if the board cannot cool things down.

“They risk having so much of a pushback that some of them would get primaried in two years,” Redmond said. “And even worse, if they didn’t get primaried, it will set the stage for the Democrats to come in and take over, and that would be a real disaster.”

Ottawa County is so heavily Republican that’s probably a long way off. But the county is one of the state’s fastest-growing, and change isn’t inconceivable.

Paul Hillegonds, a former Republican speaker of the Michigan state House from Holland, told me that “when you look at the statewide election results, it’s clear there are a lot of disaffected Republicans, and more Republicans voting independently, and I think we’ll see more of that in Ottawa County, I’m guessing, if the party continues to move in the direction it’s going.”

And every indication is that the party is going to. In Lansing over the weekend, the state Republican Party selected Kristina Karamo, an election denier who lost her race for secretary of state last year, as the party’s new chair. And in Ottawa County, Republicans supportive of Ottawa Impact are already privately discussing primarying members the group backed last year but who have since questioned some of their actions, including Bonnema.

This came up during the board meeting last week, after Walter Davis, a retired college professor who had promised to speak at every commission meeting for two years as a form of protest, told the board he had to break that promise on the advice of his doctor. He couldn’t afford to get his blood pressure up.

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( With inputs from : www.politico.com )

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