More details are emerging about what prompted a state lawmaker from Milford to be kicked out of the Michigan House Republican caucus.
The removal of State Rep. Matt Maddock, who was in the running to be House speaker next session, means he is no longer allowed to meet behind closed doors with House Republican members to discuss policy and upcoming votes. In addition, his House GOP website was essentially deleted while his access to central staff for communications and policy analysis was terminated.
House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Farwell) confirmed Wednesday that Maddock’s removal was due to a violation of caucus confidentiality rules, but didn’t provide any other details when asked by reporters.
However, the Detroit News is reporting that several House Republicans have expressed concerns over Maddock’s support for Republican challengers vying against incumbent lawmakers in the August primary. As recently as Sunday, Maddock sent a fundraising email urging support for Trump-endorsed Republican candidates for the House and Senate, including Mick Bricker, who is challenging incumbent Republican state Rep. Greg VanWoerkom of Norton Shores.
The paper is also reporting that while Maddock’s removal from the caucus occurred Tuesday, he was denied access to central staff a little more than a month ago, around the same time he was reported to have criticized the House speaker, saying Wentworth was “not a fighter” and wasn’t holding enough press conferences.
Maddock, a bail bondsman, also reportedly criticized Rep. Andrew Fink (R-Hillsdale) for his stance on bail bond reform while speaking to Hillsdale college students in Fink’s own district.
Maddock’s removal is only the third time a lawmaker has been removed in the past several years from the House Republican Caucus. Former state Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) was removed in 2019after he was indicted on federal bribery charges that he was later acquitted of, while in 2015, then-House Speaker Kevin Cotter expelled former state Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell) from the Republican caucus, also for leaking confidential discussions among GOP lawmakers.