Skivvie scandal 

It seems that Michigan Republicans have their panties in a bunch over … undies. Free, vote-swaying undies, to be specific.

When News Hits reported on the appearance of filmmaker/provocateur/certified Bush nemesis Michael Moore last week at Wayne State University, we noted that the rotund one tossed out a handful of Bowling for Columbine DVDs to a few students who promised to register to vote that day on the spot. (News Hits was also pleased to note that almost all of the crowd was already registered.) And one lad over the age of 25 who had never voted before caught a free Michael Moore book when he promised he’d vote this year.

On other stops of his “slacker” tour of college campuses, Moore has handed out clean undies and ramen noodles (the staple of any student’s existence) to audience members who made such promises. Moore didn’t toss out any lingerie in Detroit (where’s the love, Mike?), but News Hits’ report caught the attention of at least one Michigan attorney, who forwarded our humble column to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office and the Drudge Report. We’re touched.

Getting to the point, it seems the freebies Moore has distributed at tour stops in his native state have the Michigan GOP hopping mad. Michigan’s election law states that no one can offer something of value to a person in exchange for a vote or a promise to vote.

The GOPhers feel Moore is in violation of this law, and have contacted the prosecutors of four Michigan counties where Moore spoke. Three have already said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Maria Miller says her office received a letter from the GOP, but no official complaint. Miller says for action to be taken, the GOP would have to file a formal complaint with the Secretary of State.

The whole issue has been getting national attention. And we’re damn thankful that, finally, as the campaign enters its last few weeks, the Republicans are helping us focus on something more than trivia — things like war, job loss, health care. Boxers or briefs, indeed.

Moore has responded to the allegations in typical style. On his Web site (, Moore claims to have filed a theft complaint with the Lansing City Police, alleging that someone had stolen the Michigan Republican Party’s brains and sense of humor. He adds that the missing sense of humor is not valued a more than $100, making the alleged crime a misdemeanor.

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