Trial starts for Michigan lawmaker accused in vote scheme

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FILE – in this Sept. 3, 2019 file photo State Rep. Larry Inman, R-Williamsburg, speaks with reporters in the House chamber in Lansing, Mich. The trial of state Rep. Inman, from the Traverse City area who is facing federal charges in an alleged scheme to trade votes for campaign cash, will begin Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/David Eggert File)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A lobbyist says she was shocked and angry to receive a text message from a Michigan lawmaker who is charged with trying to get campaign cash for certain votes.

The trial of state Rep. Larry Inman began Tuesday in Grand Rapids federal court.

The Republican from northern Michigan is accused of urging union officials in 2018 to round up $30,000 in campaign contributions per legislator to protect a law that set higher wages on state-financed construction projects.

But defense attorney Chris Cooke told jurors there was no “quid pro quo.”

Lisa Canada of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights says she went to authorities after Inman told her to increase campaign donations to 12 lawmakers. The text ended with Inman saying, “we never had this discussion.”

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