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Please begin with an informative title:

Oh, the Thad McCotter Petition Signature Fraud Festival keeps getting more fun by the hour. Here's the latest developments:

The Detroit Free Press has some more choice tidbits this morning:


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Photocopies of petitions, dates that were cut and pasted onto the petition forms and different-colored ink on identical petitions were just a few of the tactics used to try to fool state election officials into believing that U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter had enough signatures to get on the Aug. 7 primary ballot.
"This wasn't anything that was an innocent mistake," Lansing political consultant Tom Shields said Tuesday. "It was purely an attempt to make up for a lack of signatures, which is politically criminal."

Or maybe just plain criminal. The state Attorney General's Office is investigating to determine whether any laws were broken.

The ploy was so clumsy that it was easily spotted.
Plus, some delicious irony thrown in for bonus points: His district was redrawn specifically to help make his seat safer, but...
McCotter has another disadvantage. Half of the newly drawn 11th Congressional District, which stretches from western Wayne County into Oakland County and includes the GOP strongholds of Birmingham and the Bloomfields, is new to him.
Ah, sweet, sweet schadenfreude...

Meanwhile, the Oakland County Republican Party is openly expressing how pissed off they are at Thad managing to turn what should've been a slam-dunk Congressional race (5-term incumbent in a district redrawn specifically to solidify his re-election) into a complete clusterfuck that could lead to the Dems gaining a seat:

U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter has problems beyond having his name missing from the August primary ballot. Oakland County Republicans are openly dismissing the Livonia congressman, blaming him for the petition snafu that put a safe GOP seat at risk.

A weekend mutiny by Oakland Republicans fizzled Monday when mortgage attorney David Trott abandoned a short-lived plan to mount his own write-in campaign to challenge the one launched by McCotter.

Trott had lined up most of the county party's leadership, including Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who was angry at McCotter's failure to collect the 1,000 valid signatures necessary to secure a place on the ballot.

"That's an unforgivable screw-up," said Patterson. "I don't even know how it happens. It really puts us in a difficult position."

The money quote:
A top state Republican official put his chances of prevailing as a write-in candidate at "not good," and said if he doesn't prevail, a seat drawn with a 55 percent Republican advantage could fall to the Democrats.
Which leads to Dr. Syed Taj, former chief of medicine at Oakwood Hospital, Canton Township Trustee and all around good egg.

Here's his bio and rationale for running, straight from his campaign site:

Born and raised in India, I left my home in the 1970’s to obtain my post graduate training in medicine in Great Britain.  In 1982 my wife, Sofia and I moved to Michigan to join her relatives and begin a new life.  I began my career as a medical resident and worked my way up to become the Chief of Medicine at Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center in Dearborn.

My wife, Sofia, my son, Asad and I live in the home we built in Canton.  My wife is an accomplished artist, Urdu author and poet and my son is studying hard at the University of Michigan in preparation for medical school next year.  I am extremely proud of my family.  

Spending my entire adult life as a physician, I have become increasingly frustrated with a lack of a clear understanding of today’s issues facing our families and our country. So I decided to run for Canton Township Trustee in 2008, where I became the first elected Democrat in recent times to the board.  My trustee position has given me the great opportunity to listen and work with the community and serve on the board of directors of the Canton Community Foundation and the Wayne County Senior Alliance with a personal goal to enhance the quality of life for Canton residents.  While serving as a trustee, I worked with my colleagues in a bi-partisan manner to aggressively attract businesses, lowered the personal property tax and offset the rising cost of water for our township.

Let me tell you why I decided to run for Congress. I have been very fortunate to be able to provide for my family and put my son through college.  However, many of my patients and constituents are not as fortunate and although they are hard working, skilled individuals they are unable to find work due to Michigan’s high unemployment.  As a small business owner, I understand how jobs are created and I will work with the private sector to bring good paying jobs to Michigan.

As a physician, I understand how the financial and the medical side of our health system actually work.  This experience has taught me how to treat the symptoms of a problem and when to treat the actual problem.  Americans are tired of all or nothing politics and failed divide and conquer strategies, they want an independent voice who can work across the aisle.  Recognizing that to prosper as a community, we must embrace our differences and work together for our future generations. In the end, we all can benefit from the opportunities that are afforded to each of us, without raising the burden on our seniors and the less fortunate.

International relations and foreign affairs take a delicate touch and require someone who closely follows what’s happening in our World. I am fully aware that policies enacted by our congress can be both beneficial and potentially destructive to our economy.  That’s why I believe my unique skill set and experiences personally and professionally make me an ideal representative for the outstanding citizens of the 11th Congressional District.

 In the months ahead, I look forward to sharing my plan with each of you.

Check him out and show him some love, willya?
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