Michigan House Republicans
Bezotte: Whitmer appointee spent $4,500 of taxpayer money to buy a coffeemaker
RELEASE|April 21, 2024
Contact: Bob Bezotte

Democrats are now back to a 56-54 seat majority in the Michigan House of Representatives after a special election to fill the two vacant seats that I’ve written about in past updates. That means Democrats again control the House, Senate, and governor’s office.

Technically the seats won’t be filled until the elections are certified, but once that process is completed the 54-54 tie that we’ve had for all of this year thus far will be broken and Democrats will again have the ability to push through legislation without having to compromise.

Not that there has been much compromise these past few months anyway. As of this writing, there have only been about two dozen bills passed so far this year because Democrat lawmakers chose to run out the clock rather than work on meaningful issues. (The two open seats were in heavily Democrat districts, meaning they could safely wait for the special election in April knowing that they would eventually reclaim majority.)

The first major thing we’ll be working on once the House is back to full strength is the budget. I’m hopeful the process will include more opportunities to work together in a bipartisan way because the margin is still thin, so there is a practical incentive to compromise. But in a larger sense, it should be bipartisan because the budget affects the whole state.  

One of the things I’ll be watching closely is an attempt by Democrat lawmakers to bypass Michigan’s truth in sentencing laws by bringing back credit for good behavior, which could substantially shorten actual time served with little or no concern for the victims of violent offenders.


It was recently revealed that a Whitmer appointee spent $4,500 of taxpayer money on a Jura coffeemaker. (Technically, the coffee machine itself was only $3,900 and then she also bought another $600 of accessories including a cup warmer and milk cooler.)

In case you’re wondering, this is not some industrial coffeemaker. It’s available for the home consumer at Williams Sonoma.

April 15 was Tax Day. How much did you pay this year in state income taxes? Did you help pay for her coffeemaker? How does it taste knowing that’s where your tax money is going?

The money came from a $20 million grant that was supposed to be used for a business accelerator. This shows that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the grant, does not have proper oversight or financial controls in place. Also worth mentioning – the appointee was serving on the MEDC board. To my knowledge, the MEDC has never clawed back a grant, but it should seriously consider doing so based on the reporting about how these funds are being spent.

No comment from the governor yet despite several articles covering this story. Perhaps she’ll use her space in this newspaper to offer her thoughts on the situation.


Some positive news to end on. This past week Sen. Lana Theis, Rep. Ann Bollin, and myself offered tributes to our veteran and auxiliary veteran of the year.

Alan Hatfield is the Livingston County Veteran of the Year. Alan is the fourth generation of his family to serve in the United States Army. After his 41 year military career, he helped bring The Wall that Heals, the Korean War Traveling Memorial, and the Vietnam Traveling Memorial to Livingston County. He is also active in food drives at Gleaners Food Banks, and he operated the Injured Solider booth at VETFEST.

Theresa Waters is the 2024 Livingston County Auxiliary Member of the Year. Theresa is an associate member of the Marine Corps League Detachment Devereaux Post 141, where she assists her husband in maintaining the detachment’s M1 Garland rifles and transporting equipment to the Great Lakes National Cemetery every month, as well as anywhere the honor guard is requested. She also serves on the Marine Corps Ball planning committee, among other activities.

We salute Alan and Theresa for their continued service to our community.

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