Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.
Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

Karamo Dumps Budget Committee Chair; Strips Co-Chair Of Budget Access

06/29/23 10:00 AM By Team MIRS

(Source: MIRS.news, Published 06/28/23) Michigan Republican Party (MRP) Chair Kristina Karamo has removed the party's Budget Committee chair due to a dereliction of duty. She did so without the support of her co-chair, whom Karamo stripped of access to the party's bank account.


On Tuesday, Karamo informed Matthew Johnson - of the 3rd Congressional District - that he was being removed as chair of the party's Budget Committee for kicking her chief of staff, Joel Studebaker, out of a budget committee meeting and for allegedly not keeping her informed about what he was doing with the party's budget, among other things.


Johnson is a political ally of fellow Muskegon County resident and MRP Co-Chair Malinda Pego, who wrote in her own email, shared with state committee members, that she was not alerted of this decision.


Pego added that her access to the bank account she created and opened has been "removed, denied, and not yet reinstated." 


"For some reason, it has been implied that a Chief of Staff has the authority . . . over Budget Committee, Budget Committee Chair and/or Treasurer that they simply do not have," Pego wrote. "This person/position is NOT the Budget Committee nor the Treasurer."


She then said that outside of the chair's salary, "nothing has been approved by State Committee nor the Budget Committee" and that it's necessary to approve a budget ASAP.


Pego also said the Budget Committee "needs to see all the bank statements," all of the money going in and out from all accounts on a regular basis, including all financial information related to the Mackinac Leadership Conference.


Karamo defended her decision in an email, writing that "some within our party are plotting a scheme to demonize me for exercising my authority as State Chair of the Michigan Republican Party after multiple members of a standing committee asked me to remove their committee chair due to a dereliction of duty, and other grievances."


The Chair then quoted MRP bylaws that lay out her ability to remove a chair. She wrote that Johnson was slow to action, didn't communicate properly with her, leaked sensitive information, and showed failed leadership.


She wrote that she'd been thanked by multiple committee members for removing Johnson.


In related news, MIRS has learned that the credit card the MRP used to reserve tables at the Oakland County Republican Party's Lincoln Day dinner was initially declined.


Also, it was not lost on some attendees that former President Donald Trump, whether by accident or not, mispronounced Karamo's name as "Karano" not once, but twice when he gave her a shout-out on Sunday based on MIRS audio recording of the event. Political opponents of Karamo referred to her as “Karano” during the campaign for state party chair. Trump endorsed Karamo's chief opponent, Matt DePerno.


“So many of my friends are sitting out there,” Trump said. “Thank you very much. Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Kristina Karano. Kristina Karano. She's a hard worker. She's working very hard. She's working to keep this as an honest election. Not easy to do.”