University of Michigan Board of Regents votes to censure fellow Regent Ron Weiser.
The University of Michigan Board of Regents on Friday voted to censure state GOP Chair and fellow Regent Ron Weiser and demanded he resign following his contentious remarks about elected officials.
Board Chairwoman Denise Ilitch also removed Weiser from committee assignments.
But Weiser was defiant and said he had no intention of stepping down.
“I pledge to be part of a respectful dialogue going forward and challenge my colleagues to do the same,” Weiser said at the meeting, but added, “I will not be canceled.”
Regent Jordan Acker responded, “Accountability is not cancelation."
Weiser then left the Zoom-broadcasted meeting before regents voted 6-0 to censure him. Regent Sarah Hubbard abstained.
The meeting came one week after after video surfaced
of him calling the state’s top Democratic officials “witches” and referring to “assassination” as an option for removing two Republican congressmen who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Regents don't have the authority to remove Weiser, who was elected to an eight-year term on the board in 2016. A censure vote is a symbolic gesture of disapproval.
Before the board’s censure vote, Ilitch said Weiser’s “use of violent imagery crossed the line and is inconsistent with our shared values.”
“It has become clear that serving as chair of a statewide political party is simply not compatible with serving on this board,” Ilitch said. “The situation is only likely to intensify as we get closer to the 2022 elections and the state party chair becomes more and more of a public focal point.”
Weiser made the comments during a March 25 speech at the North Oakland Republican Club, where he told GOP members that he wanted to oust Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
“Our job now is to soften up those three witches and make sure we have good candidates to run against them, that they are ready for the burning at the stake,” Weiser said.
In the same meeting, an audience member asked Weiser how to deal with the “witches in our own party,” referring to Michigan Republican U.S. Reps. Peter Meijer and Fred Upton, who voted to impeach Trump.
“Other than assassination, I have no other way than voting them out,” Weiser said.
Ilitch said the comments are even more shocking in light of the FBI-thwarted plot to kidnap Whitmer.
“That should have changed everything,” Ilitch said. “Sadly, it hasn’t.”
Ilitch added, “Violent words and violent threats lead to violent actions.”
Weiser’s refusal to resign could hurt U-M because some alumni are pledging to stop donating to the university as long as he is on the board.
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