-By Warner Todd Huston
Early in 2010 two former leaders of the Michigan Democrat Party came up with a brilliant idea, one that has just gotten them charged with election fraud.
Back in May of 2010, it was discovered that a new party was circulating petitions to get itself official recognized by the state as an official political party. It was supposed to be called "The Tea Party." Local activist and blogger, the late Chet Zarko, tracked down who was behind the petition drive and found that this "Tea Party" was being pushed by a group well known to be a fixture in Michigan democrat Party activism. This called into question the legitimacy of this "Tea Party" party.
Eventually it was discovered that the new "Tea Party" party was the brainchild of then Oakland County Democratic Chair Mike McGuinness and Democratic Operations Director Jason Bauer. They intended to use it to cause chaos on the ballot and split the Republican vote by fooling voters into thinking that a "Tea Party" candidate was, well, a Tea Party guy.
A few months later the Michigan Supreme Court said that the two Democrat's so-called Tea Party was illegitimate and was thrown out. Now the state has charged McGuinness and Bauer with vote fraud.
McGuinness and Bauer face nine felony counts for trying to get fake Tea Party candidates on last November's ballot. They could face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.
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.
The presumed new party attempted to place phony candidates on the ballot, many of whom didn't even know their names were to be placed on the ballot.
The State Democrat Party has always denied any knowledge of the actions of McGuinness and Bauer.
Coverage of the Fake Tea Party in Michigan
- Democrat Election Fraud: Fake Tea Partiers Charged
- March 18, 2011
- Michigan Democrats Told Their Fake Tea Party Is Illegal
- September 5, 2010
- Democrat Trickery: Fake Mich. Tea Party Mastermind Resigns
- August 26, 2010
- Fake Michigan Tea Party Acting Spoiler for Republicans?
- July 29, 2010
- Fake Mich. 'Tea Party': Another Example of How Democrats Fight Dirty
- May 16, 2010