Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has garnered a slew of coronavirus-related headlines these past couple months. But this week has brought one that also includes the words "husband" and "boat." The Detroit News reports on the "purported request" from Marc Mallory that NorthShore Dock LLC get his boat in the water prior to the Memorial Day weekend—though Mallory's wife, who would be Whitmer, had urged residents to avoid heading to those parts of Michigan that were opening up for the Memorial Day weekend if they live elsewhere. Whitmer and her husband live in Lansing but have a home in the Elk Rapids area just north of Traverse City. Dock company owner Tad Dowker apparently made the claim in a Thursday Facebook post that's no longer publicly available. The News reports it read:
- "This morning, I was out working when the office called me, there was a gentleman on hold who wanted his boat in the water before the weekend. Being Memorial weekend and the fact that we started working three weeks late means there is no chance this is going to happen. Well our office personnel had explained this to the man and he replied, 'I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?'"
A subsequent post from the company apparently indicated its staff couldn't handle the influx of media requests it was getting; Dowker said the same thing in a Monday phone call with the News, which notes he "stood by the content of the post." The AP has this statement from Whitmer's rep: "Our practice is not to discuss the governor's or her family's personal calendar/schedules. And we're not going to make it a practice of addressing every rumor that is spread online." The Free Press reports a Republican lawmaker is saying that rumor was addressed—falsely. State Sen. Tom Barrett on Friday put up his own Facebook post critical of the alleged request, but says he took it down after Whitmer's office told staffers for GOP Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey the story wasn't true. Barrett says he later received information that convinced him it was. "I was drawn into a cover-up by the governor and her staff," Barrett said Monday. (Read more Gretchen Whitmer stories.)