Michigan State Representative Todd Courser tried to throw The Detroit News off the scent of a brewing story that involved his extramarital affair with another State Representative Cindy Gamrat. How? By dressing in drag … no, despite the picture above. By circulating a false rumor about him hooking up with a gay prostitute behind the Capitol building, that’s how. Well, maybe not behind exactly behind the Capitol building, more like a notorious Lansing hotspot..
Courser represents District 82 – Lapeer and Gamrat represents District 80 – Plainwell. According to The Detroit News, both Gamrat and Courser used their taxpayer-funded offices to carry out and hide the affair. Courser and Gamrat were products of the Tea Party and defeated establishment Republicans to get their Michigan House seats. They also formed their own legislative coalition.
The Detroit News reports that former Michigan House aide Ben Graham was instructed by Courser to distribute a mass e-mail to Republicans across Michigan deliberately spreading a rumor about spotting Courser gettin’ on with a rentboy. When Graham refused, and played hooky the next day, calling in sick. Courser ended up eventually firing Graham. Around the same time, Gamrat terminated her aide Keith Allard. Both Graham and Allard were given performance bonuses, and neither was given an explanation for their termination.
Graham had the last laugh, though. Asked to meet Courser at his law office in Lapeer, MI, Graham was instructed to fabricate an e-mail to be distributed to House Republicans. Graham thought that Courser sounded unstable. So, for his safety, Graham recorded the 90-minute conversation and then provided it to The Detroit News. Later, Graham recorded two meetings with both Courser and Gamrat. During these meetings, neither Courser nor Gamrat disputed Graham’s characterization of their relationship as romantic. The tapes neither explicitly confirm nor explicitly deny an affair between the two legislators.
However, this isn’t the only trouble for Gamrat. She was kicked out of the Republican caucus meetings in April for leaking confidential caucus discussions among rank-and-file GOP members. Also, Courser and Gamrat combined their office operations which complicated lives for their staffers. Joshua Cline, former legislative director, is quoted as saying “Everything in the office was done and intertwined around their relationship – from time management to who’s going to get what bills.”
And if you thought this story is over, it isn’t. Right now on The Detroit News’ Soundcloud channel, you can hear all the recorded conversations for free! You can hear for yourself the highs and the lows of two state legislators battling to keep their affair a secret.
You can also check out The Detroit News copy of text correspondence between Courser and Graham, and a mock-up of what appears to be the final draft of the e-mail that kicked off … Cray-Cray #Rentboygate!