Thad McCotter staffers charged in petition fraud scandal

Thaddeus McCotter

Republican Rep. Thad McCotter’s longshot 2012 presidential campaign never really got off the ground or attracted much attention, dropping out following a last place finish in the Ames Straw Poll and no invites to television debates. However, some recent developments with Rep. McCotter and his former staff have raised eyebrows.

McCotter, who was dubbed by some as the “hipster’s Republican,” unexpectedly resigned from Congress early last month after 1,563 of the 1,830 petition signatures he turned in to get his name on the primary ballot for reelection to the congressional seat he’s held since 2003, were found to be fraudulent. Now, The Detroit Free Press reports that four former staffers have been charged with criminal acts in connection with the false nominating petitions.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette described the four staffers to the Free Press as “not simply Keystone Kops running amok … criminal acts were committed.”

He said the petition forgeries and cut-and-paste jobs on the petitions “would make an elementary art teacher cringe.”

Schuette said the McCotter staffers also likely did the same thing in the 2008 elections, using 2006 petition signatures.

McCotter has denied being involved with the petition fraud committed by his staff, and there is no evidence now connecting the congressman to the crime.

“Former Congressman McCotter was asleep at the switch,” said Schuette Thursday. “He failed to mind the store and appears to have provided no supervision whatsoever to his staff members.”

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