Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is facing new controversy after her husband allegedly demanded special treatment prior to the Memorial Day weekend.
Whitmer has infamously implemented one of the strictest coronavirus state lockdowns in the United States. She has urged residents to stay away from the state's northern areas, which are known for being pristine vacation spots.
"If you don't live in these regions … think long and hard before you take a trip into them," Whitmer said on May18.
But that warning apparently did not stop Whitmer's husband, Marc Mallory, from using his clout as the governor's spouse to try to get his boat into Lake Michigan ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
Tad Dowker, owner of NorthShore Dock LLC just north of Traverse City, alleged that Mallory called his business last week.
"This morning, I was out working when the office called me, there was a gentleman on hold who wanted his boat in the water before the weekend," Dowker wrote in a Facebook post that is no longer public, the Detroit News reported.
"Being Memorial weekend and the fact that we started working three weeks late means there is no chance this is going to happen," he continued. "Well our office personnel had explained this to the man and he replied, 'I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?'"
According to the Detroit News, Dowker told Mallory his request could not be accomplished, a response the state's first husband reportedly respected.
The situation has ignited fierce criticism from Republicans, who believe the governor's family was trying to usurp state residents.
"In the Army, we have a tradition that the leaders get in line for chow last behind everyone else in the unit," state Sen. Tom Barrett (R) said. "Here is the leader of our state. … Her family is trying to cut people in line."
In response to criticism, Whitmer's spokeswoman, Tiffany Brown, said the governor's office would not respond to "every rumor that is spread online."
"Our practice is not to discuss the governor's or her family's personal calendar/schedules. And we're not going to make it a practice of addressing every rumor that is spread online," Brown said, the Detroit News reported. "There's been a lot of wild misinformation spreading online attacking the governor and her family, and the threats of violence against her personally are downright dangerous."