4 McCotter Staffers Charged Over Petition Fraud


Remember the story about Thad McCotter, Michigan’s delightfully loony congressman who didn’t qualify for the ballot for his own reelection because his campaign turned in fraudulent petitions? Four of his staffers have now been criminally charged for forgery and election fraud.

Four staffers in U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s office will face charges in the petition signature scandal that led to the abrupt end of his decade in Congress.

Most of the charges were filed against McCotter’s Deputy District Director Don Yowchaung and District Director Paul Seewald. Yowchaung faces 17 charges — 11 felonies and six misdemeanors — and Seewald 10 — one felony and nine misdemeanors.

The charges were announced Thursday by Attorney General Bill Schuette at state offices at Cadillac Place in Detroit.

The four staffers, including Mary Melissa Turnbull, a district representative (one felony and one misdemeanor), and Lorianne O’Brady, a former scheduler (five misdemeanors), were involved in a “blatant attempt to commit forgery and election fraud,” Schuette said.

McCotter is not charged with anything, and that is as it should be; he is, in fact, the primary victim here. This cost him his seat in Congress.

Comments

  1. says

    “The charges were announced Thursday by Attorney General Bill Schuette at state offices at Cadillac Place in Detroit.”

    Reagan was right–the welfare queens are RUNNING THE FUCKING COUNTRY! one11ty!!

    Well, the upside for the GOP is that they can say, “See, see, we TOLT you that there IS election fraud!”.

  2. Gregory in Seattle says

    @democommie #1 – Well, the upside for the GOP is that they can say, “See, see, we TOLT you that there IS election fraud!”

    The irony being, of course, that voter identification laws would have done nothing to stop this election fraud.

    @Ed – I disagree that McCotter is the victim. It was his staffers, after all, and if it comes out that they were acting under his instructions, he had damned well better be arrested, charged and tried in open court.

  3. Dennis N says

    I find it hard to feel bad for the guy when you look at how much the guy is costing his district by resigning 4 months out from an election. “Fiscally conservative” until it interferes with his fee-fees.

  4. eric says

    This has got to be one of the most suprising political stories of an election year. Even if it’s second-tier in terms of importance, I’ve never heard of anything like this before.

    Gregory – you are right in that if he ordered it, he should be culpable. But AFAIK there’s no evidence for that, nor are any of the staffers claiming that (yet). Getting required signatures is exactly the sort of thing a candidate would hand over to his campaign manager and then not give another thought about. So its perfectly reasonable to think that this is a case of his underlings not donig their job, having an “oh sh*t” moment when they realize how badly they screwed up, and trying to cover their own asses.

  5. says

    Gregory in Seattle wrote:

    I disagree that McCotter is the victim. It was his staffers, after all, and if it comes out that they were acting under his instructions, he had damned well better be arrested, charged and tried in open court.

    Well sure, if he ordered it then he should be prosecuted. But why on earth would he have ordered them to do something that he knows would make him ineligible for reelection to his own seat? It just makes no sense. They destroyed his career in the House; it’s pretty much inconceivable that he would have ordered them to do so.

  6. lpetrich says

    I’m reminded of the Watergate scandal. Richard Nixon’s aides committed a variety of misdeeds, like bugging the Democrats’ offices in the eponymous apartment complex and burglarizing Pentagon leaker Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office. He may not have ordered them, but he knew all about them and he approved of them, and he even tried to interfere with the investigation of them.

  7. ArtK says

    Ed, you can make the same argument for the staffers. They would be insane to do something that could get their candidate tossed out. Ergo, it didn’t happen? “It would have been a bad idea to do it” is a lousy defense. He’s the executive, he’s responsible for the actions of his employees.

  8. dan4 says

    Ed, I know it’s not the main point of your post, but what exactly makes McCotter “delightfully loony?”

  9. John Phillips, FCD says

    dan4, look him and his US flagged guitar up on YouTube. He is even a favourite of Rachel Maddow, though not for his politics, but for his ‘delightful looniness’.

  10. dingojack says

    Ed – you asked (#5):

    “Well sure, if he [Representative McCotter] ordered it then he should be prosecuted. But why on earth would he have ordered them [his aides] to do something that he knows would make him ineligible for reelection to his own seat? It just makes no sense. They destroyed his career in the House; it’s pretty much inconceivable that he would have ordered them to do so”.

    What possible reason would cause him to do this self-destructive behaviour? A firm belief (‘an indomitable faith’?) that he could get away with it.
    A similar set of circumstances were labelled ‘the arrogance of power’*.

    Dingo
    —–
    * (At the risk of Godwinning) the reason his aides were discovered could possibly come down to ‘the banality of evil’.

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