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Creep of the Week: Rep. Jack Brandenburg

By |2018-01-15T17:45:54-05:00May 10th, 2007|Opinions|

Rep. Jack Brandenburg (R-Harrison Township) to Saginaw Valley State University: “I’m the boss of the world, and you’re not!”
Always thinking of his constituents – or, rather, the good people of Saginaw, who aren’t actually in his district – and their purity, Brandenburg tried in vain to save them from the “filth” that is “Angels In America” when it was performed at SVSU in late April. Much to Brandenburg’s dismay, nearly 900 people got an eyeful of wiener and an earful of F-bombs courtesy SVSU and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner.
He threw a tantrum on the Frank Beckmann show WJR, 760 AM, demanding that the play be shut down. (He also said “I do like my Jack Daniels,” so perhaps he was drunk.) “Put their feet to the fire. Tell President Gilbertson if he doesn’t shut down this play, and I mean now! Shut it down! That his funding is going to be held by the state. And if he really doesn’t want to go along, demand his resignation.”
Oh, the horror.
But since SVSU refused to bow to his right-wing wishes and the show went on as planned, I guess Brandenburg will have to tuck his tail and chalk it up to experience. You lose some and win some, right? Besides, there’s a huge budget crisis in Michigan right now and unless we want to become the state with the highest unemployment rate in the nation… Oh, wait. We already are.
That doesn’t seem to concern Brandenburg. He’s fixated on filthy, flagrant, foul, full-frontal nudity and words that start with F. Granted, that could describe the budget crisis. It not only has F-bombs of its own (“fiscal” and “finance” and “needs to be f–king fixed”), but also there are plenty of dicks in the House.
But no. Now that the final curtain has closed on SVSU’s production of “Angels” Brandenburg is continuing his tirade and making good on his previous threats calling for the school’s president to resign.
“I feel President [Eric] Gilbertson has been very remiss in his duties,” Brandenburg said. “If he wants to promote this type of promiscuity at a taxpayer funded institution, I want him to resign.”
Not only that, but Brandenburg is still threatening to withhold funding from the school in retaliation.
“This will not be forgotten for next year’s budget when Saginaw Valley requests money,” he said.
Thankfully, Gilbertson isn’t budging. He’s insisted from the beginning that he didn’t intend to let bullies like Brandenburg have their way.
In an open letter posted on the school’s Web site before the play opened, Gilbertson defended the school’s theatre department. He wrote that “any comprehensive range of performance art “must” include pieces that may be more controversial, unnerving, occasionally even raw. Their experiences would be sheltered and incomplete without exposure to contemporary plays that raise troublesome questions.”
Gosh, no wonder Brandenburg’s so upset. Compared to Gilbertson he seems like a raving right-wing lunatic.

About the Author:

D'Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.
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