Thaddeus McCotter

Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Michigan politics: The week in review

Brian Charles Watson Wikimedia Commons

In this Saturday's Week in Review, Michigan Radio's Rina Miller speaks with Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry about auto earnings, the new state model for measuring K-12 academic achievement, and the primary election coming up on Tuesday.

RM: U.S. car companies announce their profit statements this week. How are things looking, Jack?

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Politics & Government
1:01 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Another call for state to pay for special congressional primary

A new group is asking the state of Michigan to pick up the cost of a special election to fill the unexpired term of former Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter.

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Politics & Government
1:03 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Patterson calls on parties to skip special primary with lottery

L. Brooks Patterson
L. Brooks Patterson Facebook.com

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson wants political parties use a lottery to winnow the number of candidates running to serve the last two months of former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's term.

If only one Democrat and one Republican run, an expensive Sept. 5 special primary election could be avoided.

Democrats have only one candidate, Dave Curson of Belleville. But five Republicans have filed to run: Kerry Bentivolio of Milford, Nancy Cassis of Novi and Livonia residents Steve King, Kenneth Crider and Carolyn Kavanagh.

Holding the 11th District special primary election could cost local governments in Oakland and Wayne counties $650,000.

Oakland County's Daily Tribune reported on the County Executive's statement earlier today:

“This is about fiscal responsibility... If there is only one candidate from each party running, there is no need to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a special primary election.

“It’s ridiculous to spend that amount of taxpayer dollars on a special primary election for just a couple weeks in office.”

McCotter unexpectedly resigned on July 6.

Politics & Government
5:26 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

McCotter replacement election will go ahead

Republican Kerry Bentivolio, a veteran and former teacher from Milford, will run to replace Rep. McCotter.
Kerry Bentivolio bentivolioforcongress.com

An expensive primary to replace Congressman Thad McCotter will go forward with five Republicans and one Democrat on the ballot. This afternoon, a state elections board certified that the candidates had submitted enough signatures to run for the remainder of McCotter’s term.  And no candidates withdrew by the 4 p.m. deadline.
    
Michigan Elections Director Chris Thomas says local election clerks have to act quickly to get out absentee ballots – especially to people in the military serving overseas. He says clerks can use e-mail to get ballots overseas more quickly.

“We have a system set up in the qualified voter file that enables clerks using our Michigan Voter Information Center to actually create an e-mail ballot in a PDF format that can be sent over. So that cuts down half the transit time," he said.
    
The estimated cost of the special primary is $650,000.
 
The chair of the 11th District Republican Committee says he tried to without success over the weekend to get four of the five GOP candidates to drop out and avoid that cost to taxpayers.

The elections board also cleared the way for people to file their objections to half a dozen questions set to go on the November ballot.

They will decide no later than September 22 whether the questions will definitely appear on the ballot. Thomas says challenges to petition drives typically include checking whether everyone who signed is a register voter.

“Challengers can check the registration status and file any other challenge that they wish and then the board will use that information in their next meeting when they convene to decide whether to certify or not to certify the petition," he said.

The proposed amendments to the state constitution deal with taxes, union rights, a new international bridge in Detroit, casinos, and alternative energy.

Politics & Government
4:59 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Snyder: Locals should not expect money from state to help with election cost

Gov. Rick Snyder says local governments in the 11th Congressional District should not expect the state to help cover the costs of a special primary to replace Congressman Thad McCotter.  
    

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Politics & Government
4:55 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Six candidates filed to finish out McCotter's term today

Republican Kerry Bentivolio, a veteran and former teacher from Milford, will run to replace Rep. McCotter.
Kerry Bentivolio http://bentivolioforcongress.com

Democrat Dave Curson, and Republicans Kerry Bentivolio, Kenneth Crider, Steve King, Carolyn Kavanagh and Nancy Cassis all say they have filed enough valid signatures to run in the special election to fill the remainder of U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's congressional seat, according to the the Detroit News.

The deadline for filing signatures was 4 p.m. today.

After McCotter abruptly resigned from his seat in Detroit’s 11th Congressional district, he left a gap between his absence and the end of his term in early January. 

In order to fill the gap, Gov. Rick Snyder's office called for a special question to appear on the November ballot, in which 11th District voters will decide on a candidate to finish out the remaining six weeks of McCotter's term.

On the same ballot, these constituents will vote again for whom they want to serve the following term beginning January 3, 2013.  The deadline for candidates to file for that election has already passed.

A primary for the special election could be held on September 5, if more than one candidate from either party file enough signatures.

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Politics
10:57 am
Tue July 17, 2012

The Doctor Is In

Four years ago, Dr. Syed Taj, then chief of medicine at Dearborn’s Oakwood Hospital, decided to run for Canton Township trustee. His friends tried to talk him out of it. He had only lived there a year, and he was a Democrat. The affluent Wayne County area is pretty Republican. Taj is also a Muslim-American whose musical voice is rich with the accents of his native India.

Most figured he didn’t have a chance. But he won overwhelmingly. Though he was the only Democrat to win a seat on the board, he got more votes than anyone else.

“Most people trust their doctor,” Taj said, chuckling. Now, Taj is running for Congress from the Eleventh District, which tends to lean Republican. He is, once again, an underdog. But he is used to that -- and his chances improved when the incumbent, Thaddeus McCotter, mysteriously failed to qualify for the ballot and suddenly resigned.

Throughout the last decade, there was always speculation that a Democrat could win the 11th district, but the party tended to run lackluster and underfunded candidates. This time, it may be even harder. Redistricting has made the district slightly more Republican.

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Commentary
10:16 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Commentary: When the law is an ass

If you need proof that our system is sometimes irrational, consider this: Westland, a mostly blue-collar Wayne County community of about 80,000 people, is short of cash, like most cities these days. But Westland is apparently going to have to spend $60,000 to hold an unexpected and virtually meaningless primary election on a Wednesday in September.

This is the first step in replacing Thaddeus McCotter, the congressman whose bizarre meltdown ended with his sudden resignation last week. Not to replace him for a full-term, but for just the few weeks remaining in his current one.

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Politics & Government
8:11 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

McCotter resignation, special election create a 'nightmare' scenario for city clerks

Thaddeus McCotter

City clerks in Thaddeus McCotter’s former Congressional district say his resignation has created a “nightmare” scenario for them.

McCotter’s resignation last week means clerks in suburban Detroit’s 11th Congressional district have to do a lot more work in very little time.

Livonia city clerk Terry Marecki says she was surprised when state officials called the special election to fill what will amount to just a few weeks of McCotter’s remaining term.

“I kept thinking, ‘There is no way they can dump this on us,’” Marecki said.

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Commentary
9:51 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Commentary: Drowning in Democracy

I hate to sound alarmist, but if all the proposals whose backers submitted signatures make it on the ballot and are approved by the voters, the result will destroy representative democracy in Michigan. Not only that, our economy will  probably be destroyed as well, and we will enter fully into the era of  government of special interests, by special interests, and for special  interests.

Michigan’s constitution is fatally flawed in one big way.  The framers thought there should be an opportunity for citizens to occasionally place a question before the people.

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Politics & Government
4:34 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Governor's office calls special election to replace McCotter

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
Brian Calley Facebook.com

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has called a special election to fill the vacancy created by the sudden resignation last week of U.S. Rep.Thaddeus McCotter (R-Livonia). It is the latest twist in a bizarre series of events that began when McCotter failed to make the ballot because of faked petition signatures.
       

The special election will be held on the same date as the Nov. 8 general election. The lieutenant governor says McCotter resigned too late to avoid calling the special primary a month after the regular primary, which will cost taxpayers $650,000.

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Commentary
10:10 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Commentary: The problem McCotter left behind

Political circles across the state remain stunned by the very public self-destruction of former Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, from the white-collar Wayne County suburb of Livonia.

Yet it seems to me that while many people know the basic facts of his decline and fall, most don’t understand the true consequences of what he’s done. I’ll get to that in a moment.

But first consider this. A year ago, McCotter was a man with an essentially safe seat in Congress who had launched a long-shot campaign for President.

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Politics & Government
5:45 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

McCotter abruptly resigns Michigan congressional seat

Thaddeus McCotter
McCotter congressional office

Five-term Michigan Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter has resigned his office.

McCotter wasn’t up for re-election because his campaign failed to submit enough valid signatures to get him on the ballot.

McCotter represents a district in suburban Detroit.

Things started to unravel for him in May. That’s when McCotter’s campaign submitted the petition signatures required to get his name on the ballot.

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Politics & Government
11:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Raunchy TV script by Michigan's Rep. McCotter surfaces

Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter jams with his blues band.
Vincent Duffy Michigan Radio

Things don't seem to be going all that well in U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's (R-Livonia) political career. His bid for the Republican presidential nomination sputtered out last year, and more recently, he was forced to give up his Congressional re-election campaign over falsified petition signatures.

But perhaps he has a future in show business.

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Commentary
10:05 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Commentary: What To Learn From the McCotter Mess

If you want a measure of how politically screwed up things can get, consider the choice for Congress voters in Michigan’s eleventh congressional district could face this fall.

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Politics
7:32 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

McCotter drops plans for a write-in campaign to hang on to Michigan congressional seat

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, (R) Michigan

Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter has decided to drop plans for a write-in campaign for the November ballot.

The decision effectively ends the southeast Michigan congressman’s tenure in Washington after five terms.

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It's Just Politics
5:30 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Dirty politics: The new normal in Michigan?

Intrigue. Deception. Conspiracy... Yes, it certainly feels like politics in Michigan is becoming a little more wrought with fraud-filled stories. In this week's It's Just Politics, we ask: are dirty politics the new normal in Michigan?

Zoe Clark: Allegations of fraud. That’s the big political story this week.

Rick Pluta: Petition fraud – it’s the new hanging chad.

ZC: Can we call this the “Hanging Thad” scandal?

RP: You are referring, of course, to Thad McCotter.

ZC: The Republican congressman from Livonia, failed presidential candidate and guitar hero is not disputing that he does not have enough petition signatures to qualify for the primary ballot.

RP: He did own up. He released a statement, accepting “full responsibility” – his words -- for the screw-up...  And then he blamed someone else, that he had trusted the wrong people. 

ZC: That’s the way the pros do it! But it’s why he doesn’t have the signatures that’s so….. weird.

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News Roundup
7:33 am
Fri June 1, 2012

In this morning's news...

Brother O'Mara Flickr

Lawmakers miss self-imposed budget deadline of June 1

June 1 was the self-imposed deadline for passing the budget, but because lawmakers couldn't finalize plans on state education spending, the state legislature's budget won't be finalized until next week. MLive's Tim Martin has more on the legislature's plan for education spending.

Lawmakers did pass a bill yesterday that covers all other state government spending. Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports Birmingham state representative Chuck Moss said the budget bill is not perfect:

“No budget is,” Moss said during the debate on the House floor,  “But the perfect is the enemy of the good.”

Democrats opposed the budget saying it helps businesses and corporations in the state at the expense of the poor, middle class, and senior citizens.

Michigan AG launches investigation into McCotter petitions

Michigan's Republican Attorney General issued a statement yesterday saying he was starting an investigation into U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's re-election campaign. Primary ballot petitions needed to get McCotter's name on the August primary ballot appeared to have many irregularities, including duplicate signatures. From the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blog:

Attorney General Bill Schuette, in a statement Thursday, said his office will “follow the facts, without fear or favor….If evidence of criminal violations is uncovered, we will not hesitate to prosecute.”

Mr. McCotter, in a statement said, “I thank the Michigan Secretary of State & Attorney General for commencing the criminal investigation of petitions I requested Tuesday; will assist as they see fit.”

Governor Snyder visits site of wildfire in the U.P.

Governor Rick Snyder toured the site of the Duck Lake Fire in Michigan's Upper Peninsula yesterday. The fire has burned more than 21,000 acres and crews continue to fight the blaze. The Michigan DNR is asking homeowners to contact them, even if they live out of state. More on Snyder's visit from Rick Barnes at MLive:

“It’s devastating. You see the fire, you see the structures, homes burned down,” said Snyder, who was flown over the more than 21,000 acres that burned north for 14 miles, to the Lake Superior shore...

Residents could learn Friday when they will be allowed to return to their property. Firefighters are continuing to douse stubborn hot spots, and remove dangerously standing trees.

It's Just Politics
8:56 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Mackinac Policy Conference: A political free-for-all

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The Grand hosts the annual Mackinac Policy Conference put on by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.
jpwbee Flickr

Day two of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce's annual Mackinac Policy Conference is winding down but that certainly doesn't mean the politics at the event is slowing. In a special Wednesday edition of It's Just Politics, Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, and I take a look at the political gossip floating across the Island.

Politics
5:55 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Michigan AG says investigation into McCotter petitions coming

Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (far right) of Michigan.
Republican Conference Flickr

A formal investigation into possible election fraud by a congressional campaign will wait until after a state board meets next week.

The Board of State Canvassers is expected to formally reject petitions filed by Congressman Thaddeus McCotter’s re-election campaign. The petitions can then be turned over to the state Attorney General's office.

Attorney General Bill Schuette says the delay has not stopped his office from communicating with elections officials on the case.

"So it appears there is a problem, but we’ve not received anything officially yet from the Secretary of State’s office, and when we do, we’ll review it in a thorough fashion," said Schuette.

The Secretary of State’s office says it appears hundreds of signatures on McCotter’s nominating petitions were faked.

Schuette said it's a textbook example of how not to collect signatures.

"It's kind of elementary. When you run for class president, you gotta get the signatures to have the election, and it appears there’s a huge problem here," said Schuette.

McCotter has acknowledged problems with his petitions and says he plans to run as a write-in candidate on the Republican primary ballot in August.

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