Michigan candidate apologizes for tale about Jewish pol demanding lobbyists pay bar tab for daughter’s wedding


(JTA) — A candidate for the Michigan Legislature apologized for saying a Jewish lawmaker asked a lobbying firm to pay for the bar tab at his daughter’s wedding.

Steve Marino, a Republican and former lobbyist running for the state House of Representatives, was recorded by a Democrat as saying that the Jewish chairman of the state Senate’s appropriations committee once called him and asked him to pay the tab, saying he had forgotten his wallet.

“I need you to come up here and pick up the bar bill at my daughter’s wedding,” Marino said, quoting the unnamed senator, according to the Detroit Free Press, which obtained the recording and posted a story on Monday.

It wasn’t just any wedding, but “a Jewish wedding,” Marino explained to the person making the recording, who he thought was a constituent. “They go all out.”

Marino said he checked with his lobbying shop, which agreed to pay the bill, saying the senator would reimburse them.

The Free Press contacted Roger Kahn, who is Jewish and once chaired the appropriations committee – but is no longer in the state Senate. Kahn said there was no such incident — neither of his two daughters were married during the time period in question.

Marino, contacted by the Free Press, retracted the story and apologized, saying he was cobbling together stories he had heard from others and inserting himself into the stories to make a point about lobbying.

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