Michigan "Big Lie" lawmaker proposes eerie bill that would punish fact checkers: "You better be right"

Michigan state representative and Big Lie supporter Matt Maddock has compared coronavirus to the flu, backed efforts to impeach Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) for following Covid-19 science, and wrote Mike Pence "urging him not to count Michigan's electoral votes for  Democratic President-elect Joe  Biden," according to the Detroit Free Press. He keeps fact checkers busy around the clock. So it's no wonder he is now proposing legislation that would register fact checkers, and punish those who get it wrong with a fine of $1,000 per day.

"My legislation will put Fact Checkers on notice: don't be wrong, don't be sloppy, and you better be right," Maddock said in a Facebook post last week.

And earlier, on April 17, he wrote on Facebook: "Had enough of these fact checkers only body-checking conservatives? Don't we deserve to know who they are? Next week, I'll be introducing a bill to register them to find out who they are. Want to hunt the ones down watching you right now?" 

From The Washington Post:

"Maddock's bill, the Fact Checker Registration Act, was introduced Tuesday and would require fact-checkers to register with the state and insure themselves with $1 million fidelity bonds. Any fact-checker who did not register with the state could face a $1,000 per day fine. The proposed legislation would also allow anyone to sue a fact-checker over "any wrongful conduct that is a violation of the laws of this state. …

Maddock and his wife have had a contentious relationship with fact-checkers and other journalists who have questioned their public claims.

The Maddocks have been at the forefront of conservative efforts in Michigan to combat coronavirus restrictions, and they backed attempts to undermine the 2020 election results.

Last week, he announced his bill to challenge fact-checkers "who relish their role punishing those whom they deem 'false'." He also claimed, without providing evidence, that fact-checkers have unfairly targeted conservative politicians.

"Many believe this enormous economic and social power is being abused," he wrote on Facebook. "Who are these Fact Checkers? We're going to find out."

Image by Kevin Smith / Flickr