Charlie Langton at Fox:
Two former leaders of the Oakland County Democratic Party are facing a total of nine felonies for allegedly forging election paperwork to get fake Tea Party candidates on November’s ballot.
“It is not a partisan statement, and we need to make that very clear,” said Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper.
Former Oakland County Democratic Chair Mike McGuinness and former Democratic Operations Director Jason Bauer face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.
“Some of the people didn’t even know they were on the ballot till they began receiving delinquency notices of filings that were required as a candidate,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.
The sheriff says 23 statewide races had questionable Tea Party candidates on the ballot and the investigation may go beyond Oakland County.
The charges involve forgery, fraud, and perjury. The prosecution alleges that the two signed candidacy materials under false pretenses, forms which require people to acknowledge that they are under oath to provide truthful and accurate information. If they signed the forms themselves under the names of people who didn’t know what the two Democrats were doing, those charges should be easy to prove in court. The two will face years in prison.
The question will be whether this was part of a larger operation to dilute the ballot to help Democrats, a scheme that failed anyway. If McGuiness and Bauer end up facing the long end of a 14-year sentence, they may be highly motivated to tell prosecutors about any wider plans in Michigan to defraud voters. Fox notes that the grand jury continues to probe this even after the indictments against the two Oakland County Democratic Party leaders, which might mean more indictments will be forthcoming. We will definitely keep an eye out for further developments.
Moe Lane at Redstate:
To the best of my knowledge, we’ve never had a blogger indicted for election fraud before. The trailblazer in this case is Oakland County, Michigan Democratic Chair Mike McGuinness (along with Operations Director Jason Bauer); they’re charged with forging election documents to get fake “Tea Party” candidates on Michigan ballots. Up to twenty-three statewide races may have been affected by the fraud: the authorities are definitely looking into just how far the rot goes in the Michigan Democratic party. The two have been charged with nine felonies: if convicted, McGuinness and Bauer face up to 14 years in jail.
I’m not being entirely nasty by calling this a milestone, by the way: this is a pretty significant indication that blogging has become a way for people to enter the political world and take positions of some power and influence there. After all, McGuinness, as Gateway Pundit helpfully reminds us, was until 2008 a blogger for the Michigan Liberal site; the fact that McGuinness was also (allegedly) just another corrupt progressive suckweasel who (allegedly) defecated all over the very principles of free and open elections that he (allegedly) supported shouldn’t deter other people from also getting involved in politics on the local and state level. Just don’t be a corrupt progressive suckweasel, that’s all.
Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:
Look for the state-run media to bury this story before morning.
For the record…McGuinness was a progressive blogger at Michigan Liberal blog.
UPDATE: The Michigan Liberal blog wrote in with this. Apparently, Democrat McGuinness was not being honest about his life as a blogger.
My name is Eric Baerren. I’m the editor of Michigan Liberal. I just caught your blog post about Michael McGuinness, where you asserted that Mr. McGuinness was somehow ever a representative of Michigan Liberal.
I’ve been the site’s editor since 2007, was involved in its operation for a year before that, and know well its history. For the record, Michael McGuinness has never been a blogger at Michigan Liberal. He had an account there, as do people at lots of websites, but the tone of your sentence makes it appear that he had a much larger role than he ever did (it would be like my asserting that someone who comments on your blog who is arrested and charged with child molestation is somehow a representative of Gateway Pundit). In fact, the story you linked to in Michigan Messenger that mentioned that Mr. McGuiness was a liberal blogger never in fact mentioned where he blogged.
Dear Eric Baerren,
Thanks for the information. It’s a shame that Mr. McGuinness did not blog at Michigan Liberal. I’m sure he would have fit right in.
Scott Johnson at Powerline:
I wonder if this story will get the attention it deserves. The story more or less speaks for itself, though one element left unexplained in the story is the offices involved in the scheme. It involves local leaders of the Democratic Party in Michigan and their creative efforts to split the anti-Democratic vote in the 2010 election
Democrats in several states did similar things. “Independent” candidates had an interesting way of popping up in key Massachusetts congressional races, as I recall. But apparently these Michigan Democrats were so careless they actually broke the law.