I wonder if this story will get the attention it deserves. The story more or less speaks for itself, though one element left unexplained in the story is the offices involved in the scheme. It involves local leaders of the Democratic Party in Michigan and their creative efforts to split the anti-Democratic vote in the 2010 election:
Two former leaders of the Oakland County Democratic Party are facing a total of nine felonies for allegedly forging election paperwork to get fake Tea Party candidates on November’s ballot.
“It is not a partisan statement, and we need to make that very clear,” said Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper.
Former Oakland County Democratic Chair Mike McGuinness and former Democratic Operations Director Jason Bauer face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.
“Some of the people didn’t even know they were on the ballot till they began receiving delinquency notices of filings that were required as a candidate,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.
The sheriff says 23 statewide races had questionable Tea Party candidates on the ballot and the investigation may go beyond Oakland County.
“It was learned that a scheme was developed by a party leader in Lansing to place on the ballot people pretending to be Tea Party activists and that this was going to be a statewide effort,” Bouchard said.
John Tramontana, a spokesperson for the state Democratic Party, told FOX 2 that this was not a state party issue and it’s not our place to comment.
“What we have here is illegal. It’s forgery. It’s fraud. It’s perjury. It’s those things. Then you cross a different line,” said Bouchard.
It’s not illegal to be a non-serious candidate. That’s not what’s being alleged here. What is being alleged is that the people that were on the ballot were phony candidates and that they got there by fraudulent means. That’s the crime.”
As for John Tramontana, what a guy. According to Tramontana, it’s not the place of the state party to comment. It’s a local issue! My guess is that this is the approach the national media will take to this illuminating story as well.
Via Instapundit/Gateway Pundit.
UPDATE: A reader comments:
As a resident of Oakland County (and a lawyer), I suspect the “This is not a partisan statement” and “not a state party issue” are attempts to cover for the Democratic Party. The prosecutor, Jessica Cooper, is a Democrat — the top-ranking Democrat in a largely Republican County (she was swept in in the Obama election). The guys who were indicted are active Democrats in the county and statewide. It is in Cooper’s interest and the state Democratic Party’s interest to paint this as two rogues acting on their own. Some suspect there was more involvement by state Democratic Party leadership. Perhaps the two charged men may sing.
We will stay tuned.