Michigan: Two Dems charged with creating fake Tea Party
March 17, 2011 - 8:51 am
The game was to trick the voters and elect Democrats.
Two former high-ranking members of the Oakland County Democratic Party are facing various election corruption charges in a bogus tea party scheme, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper and County Sheriff Michael Bouchard announced Wednesday.
Former Democratic Party Chairman Michael McGuinness and ex-operations director Jason Bauer, both of Waterford Township, were arraigned Wednesday before Oakland Circuit Judge James Alexander. …
Bouchard said 23 questionable election filings across Michigan — eight of them in Oakland County — involved an effort to create the illusion of an Independent Tea Party and its candidates on November’s ballot.
The goal was to woo away voters in local elections who might otherwise vote for other candidates, presumably Republicans, authorities allege.
While creating such a party in itself is not illegal, Bouchard noted that the alleged forging of documents and putting people up for political office without their involvement — including at least one “candidate” who told investigators he had no knowledge that he was on the ballot until notified — is criminal.
Nine felony charges stem from the fake Tea Party investigation. The Oakland County sheriff also hinted that the investigation may lead to the Michigan Democratic Party itself.