Former McCotter staffers charged with faking nominating signatures
August 9th, 2012
01:49 PM ET
10 years ago

Former McCotter staffers charged with faking nominating signatures

(CNN) – Four staffers for former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter were charged by the Michigan attorney general's office Thursday with submitting fake ballot petitions to get the Michigan lawmaker on the ballot for re-election.

The unsuccessful GOP 2012 presidential candidate resigned from his congressional post in July after failing to gain a spot on the primary ballot for re-election to the 11th District.

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After submitting signatures for placement on the MI-11 primary ballot, the state attorney general found that McCotter did not have the required number needed and that the names submitted "included duplicate signatures and the appearance of altered petitions." The office stated it would open a criminal investigation to "investigate allegations of possible fraud."

That investigation led to Thursday's charges.

"This was not simply keystone cops run amok – serious criminal acts were committed, and following a thorough and complete investigation, felony charges have been filed," Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette wrote in a statement.

A total of 34 felony and misdemeanor charges were filed Thursday against McCotter staffers Don Yowchuang, Paul Seewald, and Mary Melissa Turnbull, and former staffer Lorianne O'Brady. Schuette said that his investigation included 75 interviews with witnesses and a review of thousands of documents.

The attorney general, however, was certain not to implicate McCotter himself in any criminal activity.

"In a position of public trust, the elected official has a duty to be engaged and involved, and must 'mind the store,'" Schuette wrote. "Here, former Congressman McCotter was asleep at the switch. He failed to mind the store and appears to have provided no supervision whatsoever to his staff members."

McCotter responded to the charges Thursday, writing in a statement: "I thank the Attorney General and his office for their earnest, thorough work on this investigation, which I requested, and their subsequent report. For my family and I, this closure commences our embrace of the enduring blessings of private life."

CNN's Rebecca Stewart, Jackie Castillo and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Michigan • Thad McCotter
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Good info ghostriter. Also, Obama has sued Ohio to expand those early voting rights to be more all-inclusive of EVERYONE and Mittens has purposefully mischaracterized it as Obama trying to take away early voting from military personnel. Mittens knows, just as the rest of the GOP/Teatrolls know, that voter suppression is the key and perhaps their ONLY way of winning this election. CNN and the rest of the MSM treat it as a he-said-she-said gossip issue and it is because of them...the wayward, errant, advertising-revenue-focused media and their choice to forsake the true obligations of journalism...that the entire voter suppression scheme by the GOP/Teatrolls will be treated unseriously by the public and do massive damage to our democracy.

    August 9, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Mark in Seattle

    Bet there's plenty more this guy is trying to keep hidden. Looks like a little weasel to me.

    August 9, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. lies from the right but mostly hate

    These MFers, the repubes have balls so big they have to carry them around in a wheel barrow, their just a bunch of big JO's

    August 9, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. ghostriter

    I was wondering where all the republicans were on this article, then I remembered that republicans don't like commenting on other republicans screwing up.

    Of course, had this been a democrat, this would make every republican's commercial about voting fraud. Since it wasn't, they aren't too concerned.

    August 9, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. Brian

    And yet it's the GOP going after voter rights in certain swing states....

    August 9, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. SafeJourney

    Gop, how many more mcCotter staffers do you have hidden around the U.S.

    August 9, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. ghostriter

    sniffit, in 2004, they reported that due to long lines and republican ran election crews selective placement of voting machines, heavily urban (read: minority or democratic leaning) locations had wait times of a few hours. Many voters left due to the long lines. The extend hours was a solution to that. Now, they are trying to run the same game 8 years later.

    There comes a point when you can't side step the issues, when you can't deflect to another issue, when you can't chalk it up to a gaffe or being taken out of context or claim being a victim of the liberal media. At some point, you have to man up and accept that your side is wrong. Even if it means you'll get severe republican backlash for not following every silly idea that an even sillier republican came up with.

    August 9, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. RealityBites

    "I was wondering where all the republicans were on this article, then I remembered that republicans don't .."

    OR.., CNN's has moderated republican comments while progressive liberals like Sniffit and you are not.

    August 9, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. myviewis

    I still don't see the problem with having to show your ID when voting. First I was told Democrats are against it because minorities can't afford ID's and now I am reading the reason Democrats don't want ID's shown is because it will cause long lines and people will leave. So which one is it? Minorities who must have ID if they are on Welfare, is this still the Democrat argument or has it changed?

    August 9, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Now, they are trying to run the same game 8 years later."

    Personally, I think it's gotten far worse this time around. Not only did the election of a black POTUS by an overwhelming majoriy of minority voters kick GOPers'/Teatrolls' latent racism and fears of shifting demographics into high gear, but it also became what they thought would be an asset in terms of trying to push these resurrections of Civil Rights Era voting schemes. It's pretty disgusting how the theory goes: "Hey, we can push all this Voter ID/racist redistricting/poll tax crap again and then just claim that Obama is trying to protect fraudulent minority and illegal immigrant votes...and our base will eat it up because he's a black dude they'll believe he's obviusly just trying to give advantages to his "peeps" over white folks."

    August 9, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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