Thaddeus McCotter

It's Just Politics
1:49 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Duggan and Dugeon poised for alpha-battle

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

This week, it’s another shenanigans edition of It’s Just Politics. Thanks to Jack Lessenberry for his explainer on the latest political mischief coming out of Detroit. It’s important to note this kind of political behavior is nothing new: Very crowded primary ballots with names that are very similar; recruited by opposing campaigns. Efforts to divide the vote can also take into account ethnicity, gender when one side recruits candidates with no hope of winning but, can maybe split the vote to sink another campaign come Election Day. No matter what you think of political games, they’re pretty normal.

Mike Duggan, former hospital CEO, prosecutor and problem-solver for the late Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara launched his Detroit mayoral write-in campaign after he was booted from the ballot after one his opponents challenged him for filing his nomination petitions before he was a city resident for a full-year. But a lot of experts were giving his write-in effort a pretty good shot at getting him into the two-person runoff this coming fall. He’s topping the polls and appeared to have a good shot at winning a spot on the November runoff.

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Politics & Government
7:24 am
Fri April 12, 2013

In this morning's news: International bridge to be approved, McCotter sues, wolf hunt

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International bridge crossing to be announced today

"Governor Rick Snyder is expected to announce this afternoon that the federal government has approved a deal to build a new international bridge between Detroit and Windsor-Ontario," Rick Pluta reports.
 

McCotter sues staffers for forged nomination peitions

"Ex-Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter has sued a former top aide and an ex-intern, saying they deliberately submitted forged nominating petitions in his name to keep him from seeking re-election.  Elections officials discovered bogus signatures on the Livonia Republican's petitions, keeping him off the 2012 primary ballot. McCotter quit Congress in July," the Associated Press reports.

Legislation could approve wolf hunting with no room for a referendum

"The state Senate could vote as soon as next week on legislation that could throw a wrench in an effort to ban wolf-hunting. The legislation would allow hunting of 39 species – including wolves. And it would be immune to a referendum," Rick Pluta reports.

Politics & Government
7:50 am
Wed February 13, 2013

This morning's news: Mascots, dredging and election scandals

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Republicans back money for dredging

"Some Republican state lawmakers say Governor Rick Snyder’s plans for emergency harbor dredging may not be enough. They unveiled a plan Tuesday that would set aside $30 million from the state’s 'rainy day' fund for emergency projects around the state. They say that’s what’s needed to address record-low water levels in the Great Lakes," Jake Neher reports.

Protests against removing American Indian mascots from schools

"Republican lawmakers at the state Capitol are protesting a Michigan Department of Civil Rights action. The complaint filed with the US Department of Education names 35 Michigan high schools that have American Indian mascots and nicknames. It asks the federal government to order schools to change their mascots or lose funding," Rick Pluta reports.

Attorney General dismisses charges against McCotter aids

"Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is appealing the dismissal of conspiracy charges against two former aides to a Detroit-area congressman accused in an election scandal. The men and two others were accused last year in the scandal involving bogus petition signatures. McCotter didn't make the ballot and quit Congress last July after nearly 10 years rather than finish his term," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Government
1:28 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Felony charges against McCotter staffers dropped by judge

Michigan U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-11th District) told Politico he's mulling over a run for the White House.
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter U.S. House of Representatives

Another chapter in the Thaddeus McCotter petition fraud scandal came to a close today as a judge dropped felony conspiracy charges against two of McCotter's former staffers.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Margie Braxton found that the staffers were not involved in a planned conspiracy, merely that they were caught without enough signatures they day they needed them.

Eric Lawrence of the Detroit Free Press reports:

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Politics & Government
7:40 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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Snyder wants to phase out property tax

Governor Rick Snyder and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley want the Legislature to enact a major tax overhaul before the end of the year. It would phase out Michigan’s tax on business and industrial equipment.

As the Detroit Free Press reports,

"The state's plan is to get rid of the tax on business equipment, furniture and supplies that brought in more than $1.2 billion in 2010, the most recent figures available, over the next 10 years. . . The phase out of the tax would begin in 2014 for small businesses and in 2016 for larger manufacturers. There would be no reimbursement to communities where personal property tax revenues are less than 2.5% of their total taxable value."

Southeast Michigan transit authority passes in Senate

Legislation to create a regional transit authority for southeast Michigan won approval from the state Senate Tuesday. As the Detroit Free Press reports,

"The goal, backed strongly by Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, is a network of speedy, modern buses operated independently of Detroit Department of Transportation and the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transit. The plan is to give the transit authority the power to coordinate routes between the rapid-transit system and the existing city and suburban bus lines to eliminate duplication of routes. DDOT and SMART would instead feed into the faster bus lines, freeing up both to provide better, more efficient local service."

Ex-aids to former Detroit Congressman enter pleas in petition fraud

"A former top aide to a Detroit-area congressman has pleaded no contest to forgery in an election scandal involving bogus petition signatures. Don Yowchuang was deputy district director to then-U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, a Republican from Livonia. Yowchuang admits making copies of petition signatures to try to qualify McCotter for the August primary election. Separately, McCotter former district director Paul Seewald pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, falsely signing a nominating petition as a circulator. McCotter didn't make the ballot and quit Congress in July," the AP reports.


Politics & Government
3:10 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

McCotter aides enter pleas in petition fraud case

Former Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter resigned in May after failing to submit enough signatures to get him on the ballot.
Vincent Duffy Michigan Radio

Two campaign staffers of former U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter have entered pleas on charges connected to the petition fraud scandal that forced the congressman’s resignation.

From the Detroit News:

McCotter's former deputy district director, Don Yowchuang, and a high school classmate of McCotter's, Paul Seewald, entered the pleas Tuesday before Wayne Circuit Court Judge Margie R. Braxton.

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Election 2012
1:08 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Before Bentivolio starts, Curson plans to tackle "fiscal cliff" for Michigan's 11th

Former Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter jammed with his blues band after announcing his run for the presidency over the July 4th weekend in 2011.
Credit Vincent Duffy / Michigan Radio

In Michigan's freaky 11th Congressional District, the Republican candidate both won AND lost on Election Day.

It all started here... when this guy's campaign imploded:

Then this reindeer rancher stepped into the race for the Republicans...

And two elections were needed to sort the mess out.

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Politics & Government
1:20 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Commentary: Election scandals

Brian Banks has eight felony convictions on his record, for things like bad checks and credit card fraud.

His landlord had him evicted from a rental property in Harper Woods last week, saying he had written bad checks and not paid his rent. Additionally, he was evicted from a second home in that city and a court ordered him to pay a nearly $4,000 judgment.

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Politics & Government
8:00 am
Wed October 24, 2012

The week in Michigan politics

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This week Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry talked about Proposal 6, how a new report indicates that the Michigan Merit Curriculum that was implemented in high schools in 2006 has not shown good results, and how two campaign staffers of former US Representative Thadeus McCotter will stand trial. They're charged with conspiring to get then-Congressman McCotter on the 2012 ballot with bogus petitions.

Politics & Government
7:01 am
Tue October 23, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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Michigan curriculum has disappointing results

"An effort to improve Michigan’s high school academic standards appears to be having a disappointing result. The Michigan Merit Curriculum was implemented in Michigan high schools in 2006. Researchers from Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and the state of Michigan found that test scores improved only slightly for students  entering high school with strong academic skills.   But for those with weak skills, test scores fell and graduation rates declined," Steve Carmody reports.

Snyder says Prop 6 would cause court battle if passed

"Governor Rick Snyder is worried Proposal 6 on the November ballot would spark a lengthy court battle if it’s passed. The initiative would require a state-wide vote before any new international crossing could be built in the state. Governor Rick Snyder says his plan for a new international bridge in Detroit is not meant to put the existing Ambassador Bridge out of business. Current bridge owners say a new bridge is not necessary, and would be expensive for Michigan taxpayers. Canada has agreed to front the costs of the new bridge, and a number of studies have concluded there will be no new costs to state taxpayers," Jake Neher reports.

McCotter aids in court for campaign scandal

"Two men who worked for a Detroit-area congressman are returning to court to learn if they'll stand trial in a campaign scandal. Paul Seewald and Don Yowchuang are charged with conspiring to get then-Congressman Thaddeus McCotter on the 2012 ballot with bogus petitions. The judge says he'll make a decision on the matter today," the AP reports.

Politics & Government
2:07 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Former congressman McCotter testifies in campaign case

Former Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter jammed with his blues band after announcing his run for the presidency over the July 4th weekend in 2011.
Vincent Duffy Michigan Radio

LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) - A former Detroit-area congressman says it was "shocking" to learn that he didn't have enough petition signatures to qualify for the 2012 election.

Thaddeus McCotter, a Republican from Livonia, is speaking publicly for the first time. He testified Thursday for the defense in the case against two high-ranking staffers who are charged with conspiracy and other crimes in submitting phony petitions to qualify McCotter for the August Republican primary.

A Livonia judge must determine if Paul Seewald and Don Yowchuang go to trial. McCotter has not been charged, although Judge Sean Kavanagh told him he had the right to remain silent.

McCotter quit Congress in July, weeks after being barred from the ballot.

He testified that he was repeatedly told by aides that he had enough signatures to run again.

Politics & Government
12:20 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Republican Bentivolio moves on in race to replace McCotter

Kerry Bentivolio
via bentiviolioforcongress.com

Republican Kerry Bentivolio has moved on in the special election to replace Thaddeus McCotter in Michigan’s eleventh district.

Bentivolio was one of four Republicans vying to serve out the remainder of McCotter’s term in Congress.

He topped former State Senator Nancy Cassis and two others in the suburban Detroit district. He faces David Curson, the only Democrat on the ballot, in the special November general election.

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Politics & Government
2:02 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Voters to choose McCotter's temporary replacement tomorrow

Former Michigan U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-11th District) resigned amid a petition signature scandal.
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter U.S. House of Representatives

Some voters in southeast Michigan have more than November's general election to think about.

Tomorrow, is is primary day in Michigan's 11th District.

That's when voters in parts of Wayne and Oakland counties will choose a temporary replacement for Republican U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter.

He quit in July after it was discovered that petition signatures were forged or copied in at least two of his campaigns.

Five Republicans are vying for the seat. They'll face a Democrat, a Libertarian and a U.S. Taxpayers Party Candidate in the November 6th general election.

The taxpayer tab for the special election will be at least $650,000.

Low voter turnout is predicted.

Four of McCotter's former staff  members have been charged in the petition scandal.

McCotter has not been charged.

mornings news roundup
7:09 am
Tue September 4, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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Biden's Labor Day visit

Vice President Joe Biden rallied in Detroit Monday during the Labor Day parade. "He talked about how America is better off today, in part because of the auto industry bailout.  That message will be a central theme for Democrats at this week’s national convention," Kate Wells reports.

Teacher retirement changes

"Governor Rick Snyder will sign legislation today  that will change how teachers and other school employees save for their retirement. Most school employees will have to pay more for their retirement benefits. School employees hired after today will no longer have a retirement health plan, but will pay into a medical savings account to purchase coverage when they are no longer working. Snyder says it will shore up the state’s credit rating, and ensure taxpayers won’t be saddled with the costs of a bailout years down the road. Teachers unions say the plan breaks promises made to school employees, and went to court on Friday with a legal challenge," Rick Pluta reports.

Voters decide on replacement for US Rep McCotter tomorrow

Some voters in Souteast Michigan are heading to the polls Wednesday to vote for a temporary replacement for Republican U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter. "McCotter quit in July after it was discovered that petition signatures were forged or copied in at least two of his campaigns. Five Republicans are vying for the seat. They'll face a Democrat, a Libertarian and a U.S. Taxpayers Party Candidate in the November 6th general election. The taxpayer tab for the special election will be at least $650,000 thousand dollars. Low voter turnout is predicted. Four of McCotter's former staff  members have been charged in the petition scandal. McCotter has not been charged," Rina Miller reports.

Politics & Government
10:37 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Oakland County officials: State should pay for McCotter special election

Some officials from Oakland County are trying to turn up the heat on Lansing to pay for a special election.

That election was called to replace Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, who resigned last month.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley called for the September 5th special election to fill out just the few remaining weeks of McCotter’s term. State officials maintain it’s required by law.

But that leaves local governments in suburban Detroit’s 11th district to pick up the tab.

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Politics & Government
3:41 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Cassis announces she's not actively campaigning for McCotter seat

Nancy Cassis
Cassis for Congress

A special election has to be held to fulfill the rest of Thaddeus McCotter's term in the U.S. House of Representatives. McCotter resigned in the wake of a nominating petition mess.

Now, one of those running for McCotter's seat says she won't actively campaign for the special Sept. 5 election. The election will determine who will represent the 11th District for the six weeks until the Nov. election.

More from the Detroit Free Press:

While former state Sen. Nancy Cassis’ name will be on a special primary ballot on Sept. 5 to fill out the remainder of former U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter’s congressional term, she will not actively campaign for the seat.

“I want to make clear that I will not actively campaign for the primary,” she said Monday.

So Cassis isn't campaigning, but her name will appear on the ballot along with Steve King, Kenneth Crider, Carolyn Kavanah, and Kerry Bentivolio.

Bentivolio won the August primary for the full 2-year term for a new seat in the 11th District. He'll face a Democratic challenger in Nov.

Politics & Government
1:47 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Three former McCotter staffers arraigned on election fraud charges

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette Facebook.com

Not guilty pleas were entered today on behalf of three former staff members accused of forging or falsifying signatures on nominating petitions for former Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter.

McCotter's former deputy district director Don Yowchuang and district director Paul Seewald appeared in court in Livonia for arraignment. Both are free on $50,000 personal bond.

Mary Turnbull was a district representative for McCotter in Howell. She appeared this morning in Troy district court and was released on $5,000 bond.

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Politics & Government
1:42 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Schuette files election fraud charges against former McCotter staffers

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette for Michigan Attorney General

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed criminal charges against former staffers of former Congressman Thaddeus McCotter.

The five-term Congressman resigned from office after fake signatures were found on his re-election petitions.

Schuette charged four McCotter staffers with conspiring to commit election fraud.

The charges range from felony conspiracy, to misdemeanor counts of falsely certifying petitions.

Schuette says the four used a variety of tricks to inflate the number of petition signatures needed to get McCotter on the ballot.

“They copied petitions, submitted petitions falsely signed by circulators, and did cut and paste jobs that would make an elementary art teacher cringe," he said.

Schuette says it’s clear McCotter was “asleep at the switch” while his staffers “acted above the law.”

There’s no evidence McCotter was aware of their schemes.

But Schuette says that if such evidence emerges, he won’t hesitate to “pull the trigger and file new charges.”

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commentary
8:53 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Commentary: Strange but true

 Michigan’s Eleventh Congressional District is, on paper, what used to be thought of as a pretty conventional place. It includes a bunch of white-collar suburbs in Wayne and Oakland Counties, places like Birmingham and Troy; Livonia and Plymouth.

Back in the day, much of this turf was represented for nearly forty years by Bill Broomfield, a moderate Republican who never made waves, rocked a boat or faced a difficult November election.

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morning news roundup
7:34 am
Thu August 9, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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Emergency financial manager law update

The referendum to challenge Michigan’s emergency manager law is officially on the November ballot. Until then, the Snyder administration and Attorney General Bill Schuette say the state's old emergency financial manager law is in place. The old law does not give emergency financial managers as much authority. State officials have already appointed or re-appointed the emergency managers running seven cities and school districts in Michigan.

McCotter investigation

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