Mich. House Rep. Agema maintains he was invited to speak at Terry Jones rally
State Rep. Dave Agema (R-Grandville) says reports that he called Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones’ church to ask to participate in a rally last week at the Capitol are wrong.
“He (James Terpening) called me and asked if I wanted to talk about the bill,” Agema said.
Agema was slated to discuss his bill to prohibit Michigan courts from recognizing any foreign law that conflicts with the constitution. While Agema claims the law is not targeting Shariah law, he uses Shariah as an example when he speaks of the legislation.
Agema said that he was unaware of his scheduling conflict until Tuesday afternoon while he was at a Habitat for Humanities event. Staff from his office called him when inquiries about his appearance with Jones started coming in. Agema called Terpening and left the voice mail Terpening posted on his website.
Agema said had he not had the scheduling conflict he would have appeared on the steps with the controversial pastor.
“I’d have only talked about my bill,” the Republican lawmaker said. “I would not be there to talk about his agenda.”
Terpening and Jones contended last week that Agema had called Jones’ Florida church and asked if he could speak at Jones’ rally.
Terpening arranged the rally with Jones last week as part of the launch of a new project to get voters to reject all incumbents. The 34-year-old has a checkered history, including criminal convictions dating back to 1997, the Michigan Department of Corrections Offender Database reports. Among his convictions are charges for uttering and publishing, embezzlement and fleeing a police officer.