The "republican" leaders in Troy have become so extreme, that many are leaving the party, rather than be caught in the same club with these people. How bad are they? Well, if what we read below in the Detroit News is correct, maybe there's an orange jumpsuit in Barbara Harrell's future?
It's been the GOP's best fear-mongering tool for decades: Scare the public that Michigan voters are engaging in election fraud in order to justify enacting voter-suppression laws. But the truth is, Michigan voters aren't the ones who've been engaging in election fraud. That's been the Republicans.
One of the GOP's favorite myths is that "dead voters" are voting in Michigan. Seeking proof, GOP Secretary of State Ruth Johnson started a secret study after she was elected. Tens of thousands of voters were studied. The Bureau of Elections staff found no evidence of "dead voters" voting in Michigan.
Undeterred, Johnson tried to prove another GOP myth by ordering all local election officials to report whether any non-citizens voted or attempted to vote in the Feb. 28, 2012, presidential primary. With about 1.2 million voters in that primary, if GOP rhetoric were true, one would expect that hordes of "noncitizens" voted on Feb. 28.
The truth? Four voters -- less than a handful, and .0003 percent of all voters -- may have been non-citizens. Were they even Democrats? No. All four came from Republican areas of the state!
While Johnson has failed to prove that dead and noncitizens are voting, it is Michigan Republicans who are busy actually committing election fraud. It began last month when former Democratic State Rep. Roy Schmidt switched parties to file as a Republican just minutes before the filing deadline.
The same person who submitted Schmidt's GOP candidate affidavit also submitted the false candidate affidavit of fake Democrat Matt Mojzak, the best friend of Schmidt's nephew. Schmidt and GOP House Speaker Jase Bolger plotted the switch for weeks and Bolger helped with the candidate's filings. The incident is currently being investigated by the Michigan State Police.
With the Schmidt and Bolger scandal unraveling in west Michigan, we learned that more GOP election fraud occurred in southeast Michigan. Rep. Thad McCotter submitted nearly 2,000 petition signatures to be eligible for the August primary ballot, but the Secretary of State determined only 244 of those were valid. Signatures from a previous campaign as well as photocopied signed petitions were used. That's election fraud. The attorney general is now investigating.
McCotter's 14 petition circulators included five McCotter congressional staffers, a candidate for the Livonia School Board, the president of the Troy-Clawson Republican Forum, Milford Township's supervisor, an Oakland County road commissioner, and GOP activists. This scam was widespread.
These hypocritical and illegal actions are all part of the GOP playbook. They don't care about giving everyone access to the ballot. They care about winning at all costs -- even when that cost is breaking the law and deceiving the public.
Mark Brewer is chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party.