Meijer Donated to Nonprofit that Paid for Whitmer’s Private Flight to Florida

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Scandal-plagued Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) remains in hot water after it was discovered that Michigan Transition 2019, her inaugural nonprofit, paid for her secretive trip on a private plane to visit her father in mid-March.

According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, supermarket giant Meijer contributed $50,000 to Michigan Transition 2019. The company was one of 182 groups or individuals that donated to the nonprofit, which raked in millions, shortly after Whitmer was elected in late 2018.

Star News Education Foundation Journalism ProjectTwo years later, Peter Meijer, an heir to the Meijer supermarket fortune, was elected to Congress as a Republican to represent Michigan’s Third District, a seat formerly held by Republican-turned-Independent Justin Amash.

Meijer has failed to earn the support of many in the Michigan GOP. One county GOP group voted to censure him after he voted to impeach former President Donald J. Trump, just days after he was sworn into Congress.

“I was in the House chamber when it was being attacked a week ago today. That was a moment that called for leadership. I was hoping to see the President rapidly try to de-escalate, try to denounce, try to stop the violence from occurring, and he abandoned his post,” Meijer told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at the time, explaining his vote in favor of impeachment. “To me that was disqualifying. My heart broke in that time, seeing folks ransacking the Capitol. And since then, the President has not accepted responsibility.”

Meijer’s office did not immediately return a comment request about whether his family company’s contribution to the pro-Whitmer nonprofit presents a conflict of interest.

Meanwhile, Whitmer, who says she paid $855 of her own money for the private flight to Florida, continues to tread water during the scandal.

According to a report in the Detroit Free PressAir Eagle LLC, which operated the private jet, might not be authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate private charter flights, and that the FAA is “looking into the matter.”

Whitmer’s Chief of Staff maintained in a memo to staff that Whitmer continued to do her job as governor while she was on the secretive trip, which first made national news because Whitmer traveled to another state against her own COVID-19 protocols.

“She continued to carry out her duties as governor while she assisted her father [in Florida] with household duties like cooking and cleaning,” JoAnne Huls wrote in the memo. “The governor’s flight was not a gift, not paid for at taxpayer expense, and was done in compliance with the law.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Michigan Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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