As Nick Arama reported Saturday, Democrat Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest dictatorial edict banned residents from visiting their vacation homes, purchasing seeds to grow their own food, and, apparently, buying car seats (Whitmer said Sunday that she didn’t intend to ban the sale of car seats).
Per order from @GovWhitmer, people in Michigan are now banned from purchasing a new baby car seat in stores.
— Tori Sachs (@Tori_Sachs) April 11, 2020
Tori Sachs tweeted the photo after it was sent to her on Facebook by a friend on the Upper Peninsula. Shortly afterward, Wal-Mart’s Michigan-based lobbyist, Erik Hingst, called. Sachs is a Republican political consultant in the state and worked with former Gov. Rick Snyder and ran U.S. Senate candidate John James’ 2018 campaign, so the two know each other professionally. Hingst asked her to take the tweet and “accused her of spreading fake news.” From the Detroit News:
The call didn’t go well. Afterward, according to Sachs, she texted him saying: “This picture was taken in Michigan today. If you’ll send me a written statement attributed to Walmart that this was a single store mistake as a result of confusion with the executive order, I’ll take the tweet down and share that statement in its place.”
Yet Sachs says Hingst didn’t do that and instead threatened to call everyone Sachs has worked with in Lansing until she took down the photo. She started getting other calls from lobbyists that night — all men — informing her she should remove the photo.
When contacted and asked for a comment, Hingst told the Detroit News columnist that he was so busy “unloading a shipment of thousands of donated masks and other personal protective equipment from Wal-Mart’s corporate office” he couldn’t provide a comment. He also didn’t have the time to explain how he had the time to purportedly call other lobbyists to mount an intimidation campaign against Sachs.
Besides, as Sachs says, Hingst is spending his time attacking the wrong person.
“The big problem here is Whitmer’s order and its lack of clarity. There’s no reason for people to attack me or anyone else just documenting what is going on as a result of the confusion Whitmer has made.”
As the Detroit News columnist points out, there were “plenty of other Michigan residents – including state lawmakers” who posted photos of unavailable products at big box stores throughout the state after Whitmer’s upgraded order, and Sachs didn’t call out Wal-Mart in her tweet (though by reading the sign shown in the order one can tell that it’s from Wal-Mart). Sachs fairly asked Hingst to provide a statement that it was a mistake due to the confusing nature of the order, and pointing out what could very well be a dangerous unintended consequence was the responsible thing to do.