August 9, 2012

Criminal charges coming in the petition signature scandal that ended Thaddeus McCotter's congressional career.

"McCotter's campaign turned in more than 1,830 petition signatures by the May 15 filing deadline."
However, all but 244 of them were tossed after the Secretary of State's Office found widespread photocopying of petition signature pages, copying and pasting of past signatures with changes to the date, and alterations of petition ID numbers.
Did McCotter insiders do it?

24 comments:

Scott said...

A Democrat politician who got caught doing something illegal. I am gobsmacked.

Matthew Sablan said...

Not that fraud ever happens!

Marshal said...

Scott said...
A Democrat politician who got caught doing something illegal.


Maybe this is irony I'm missing, but McCotter is a Republican.

traditionalguy said...

McCotter failed to think like a lawyer, so he picked the wrong professionals and paid them too low a fee.

Matthew Sablan said...

The fact he's a Republican is what makes this all the more entertaining.

Scott said...

Oh, my bad. I assumed. It's an incredibly easy assumption to make.

Oso Negro said...

I would like to see any and all election cheaters punished cruelly, whether fake petitioners or ballot cheats. If we can't run an honest election we have nothing as a representative democracy. I fear electronic ballots and computer tallies most of all. Too easy to cheat and lie.

ed said...

I seriously doubt McCotter had anything to do with this. You can get 2,000 signatures from random people on the street for almost anything. So why did someone fake the signatures?

Could be laziness on the part of the people designated/hired to do the job. That's come up many times elsewhere in the past with those relegated to getting signatures.

Another would be; it's a great way to get rid of the incumbent. Obama's allies did that when he first ran for public office. They challenged every single signature his opponents collected to be put on the ballot. All of his opponents for the Illinois State Senate were disallowed and Obama ran unopposed. Including the incumbent.

"On January 17, 1996, Palmer announced she was withdrawing her bid for re-election because she was around 200 signatures short of the 757 needed to earn a place on the ballot after almost two-thirds of the 1,580 signatures on her nominating petitions were found to be invalid. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners had previously sustained an objection to the nominating petitions of Lynch because of insufficient valid signatures and subsequently also sustained objections to the nominating petitions of Askia and Ewell because of insufficient valid signatures."

Matthew Sablan said...

No need to speculate; we'll get answers soon enough.

lemondog said...

14 years on Michigan taxpayer payroll.

Time.to.go.!!!!!!!

Bill said...

I would be very sad if this investigation reveals malfeasance or even incompetence on the part of McCotter. But then, I'm delusional enough to hope that he shows up at the side of Romney in a few days.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

The appropriate thing for Thaddeus now is to wander into a local convenience store nekkid and demand some smokes.

Well, he could wear one of his trucker hats; I'm sure there are some left.

FleetUSA said...

I guess he or his helpers wasn't paying attention to details which isn't an excuse. It might be difficult to prosecute an individual for lack of connecting evidence even though McCotter was rightly thrown out.

I always thought these types aimed to get 200% of the necessary signatures to protect against pranksters and idiots.

Marshal said...

Bill said...
I would be very sad if this investigation reveals malfeasance or even incompetence on the part of McCotter.


Isn't the incompetence pretty much a given? At best he hired someone so incompetent / lazy he lost his own job.

The only outcome that could move this story would be if someone infiltrated his campaign and intentionally screwed with the signatures. Failing that outcome the wrap up of who goes to jail for how long doesn't really matter much. McCotter's already out.

Carnifex said...

This is the corollary to the "win by a big enough margin" law of politics. Cheat big enough, and even the dumbest election watchdog will find voter fraud.

It would be fun if this was a false flag operation, but really, it's prolly just plain ol' human lazyness.

Rusty said...

I can only conclude that being an establishment politician must pay extremely well.

karrde said...

Not sure what to make of it, myself.

McCotter seemed to bein-touch with where the regional Party wanted to go at the last election, in 2010.

Then suddenly this happens. (McCotter would have been on my Michigan Primary ballot two days ago, if he were still in Congress and still running. As it is, he has resigned...so we voted in the primary for his replacement for next term, and will have another election before November for his replacement for the remainder of this term.)

I can't tell whether
(a) McCotter somehow lost his local support, and wasn't even able to gather 2000 signatures to run as an incumbent,
(b) a lazy/incompetent campaign manager forgot to go canvassing for signatures,
(c) someone in the State GOP decided to take revenge on McCotter by submitting fake signatures instead of real signatures, or
(d) McCotter had an old habit of making up signatures, and it finally caught up with him.

Of note: the Attorney General and Secretary of State for Michigan (who have moved this forward) are both elected positions. Both positions have been in Republican hands for approximately a decade. (Terri Lynn Land was previous MI SecState, Ruth Johnson is current MI SecState. Mike Cox is the former MI Atty-General, Bill Schuette is the current MI Atty-General.)

Thus, this can't be a case of Democratic Politicians going after Republican Politicians.

tiger said...

And yet all the illegalities in the Racince race are glossed over/ignored.

Because in that case a Dem won.

grackle said...

I fear electronic ballots and computer tallies most of all. Too easy to cheat and lie

I too find it a chilling thought that one good hacker could turn an election. At least paper ballots leave evidence to be investigated if voting fraud is suspected.

karrde said...

@garckle,

the State of Michigan uses paper ballots with computer-counting mechanisms.

If the computer-counting mechanism fails or is suspect, a manual count can be done.

Some States don't use all-electronic voting mechanisms.

John Lynch said...

Epic laziness.

Chuck said...

I am writing this from McCotter's district.

It is really an odd story. There was a vague suspicion at one time, that the fraud was so transparent, so weak, and so adolesdent, that it was thought to be an inside act of subversion.

That story seems to have gotten no traction.

Instead, it is a story of the most banal laziness.

The Congressman's home-office staff (average age - ?) appears to have been caught empty-handed, on the eve of the deadline for filing a mandatory petition of 1000 names. Had they been prepared for the deadline, they could have walked to the nearby mall and could have gotten 1000 signatures by themselves in a day. Instead, they found themselves screwed on the deadline, and faked it.

As a result, the media will flog this story insofar as it links "Republican member of Congress" with "election fraud," and in the most roundabout way will attempt to diminish any Republican argument(s) about voter i.d. rules, etc. Sort of, 'Why aren't you guys worried about REAL vote fraud?'

This seems to be a story of remarkably little value or importance. For what it is worth, the (former) Congressman has not been accused of any crime, has by all accounts cooperated fully with the investigation that he himself requested within a couple of days of the discovery of the screwup.

The Michigan 11th will now be contested between two candidates in the general. One is a slightly moonbat radical-libertarian who got the Republican nomination by, essentially, default; and the Democrat -- a Dr. Taj -- who probably cannot hope to win a district that was drawn up to serve as a safe Republican seat.

Joe said...

I agree with the lazy, incompetent theory; McCotter knew about the lack of signatures and punted.