MLive: Rep. Gary Glenn calls out Bay City commissioner for Facebook comment

BAY CITY, MI -- A member of the Bay City Commission is being called out by a state representative for comments he made about the Republican Speaker of the House.

State Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, is asking Bay City Commissioner Ed Clements, 8th Ward, to apologize for a comment he made on the page of state Rep. Brian Elder, D-Bay City, about state Rep. Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt.

"Why is Tom Leonard allowed to live?" Clements wrote in the comments section on Wednesday, June 21, under a link to a Detroit News article about tax incentives that Elder shared on his page.

Benton Gibson, a former Bay City Public Schools board member, responded to Clements' comment in agreement.

"It may sound bitter, and perhaps it is, but I do think the planet might be better off with some people's departure!"

On Wednesday, July 5, Glenn said Clements and Gibson should "immediately delete their comments from Rep. Elder's Facebook page, apologize to the public as I have on occasion, and assure residents of our community that they won't make public comments in the future suggesting that anyone in elected office shouldn't be allowed to live." He added that Clements' comment posted a week after a man open fired on politicians during a Congressional baseball practice.

In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Clements, who is a registered Democrat, said he "sincerely apologizes" for the comment, calling it a mistake.

"In no way, shape or form do I wish violence upon anybody," Clements said.

"It was after a lot of frustration after six years of Republicans in government not looking out for the people who matter most," he continued. "And after continued attacks on teachers, public education, senior citizens and municipalities, my frustrations go the best of me.

"I sincerely apologize to Rep. Leonard and his family and wish him well."

Clements said he has since deleted the comment. He said he thought he had deleted the comment about 15 minutes after typing it.

"It's deleted now," he said.

Rep. Elder said: "It is my understanding that Mr. Clements' comments have been deleted and he has apologized for them. I agree that these types of comments do not belong in today's civil discourse."

The Bay City Times-MLive was unable to reach Gibson for comment.

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