Over at Michigan Liberal, a diary about the MI-11 Thad McCotter Clusterfuck situation just made a VERY interesting point about the just-announced, last-minute special election to fill the final 6 weeks or so of McCotter's term. If the diarist ("alanfox") has an account here and wants to post this himself, I'll be happy to delete this one, but this is too delicious not to share:
...All of which makes it fairly likely that nobody will file. And a write-in campaign in the special primary would need to pick up over 1,000 votes and would need to begin before the August primary because absentee ballots will probably be mailed around August 1. It is not clear to me that write-ins will be permitted in any event. I seem to recall that if no candidate files to run in a special primary that party is not on the ballot.
Minor parties, however, nominate candidates through conventions. If the Libertarians pick a candidate for the special election that candidate may very well end up running unopposed in the special and become the first Libertarian ever elected to Congress. A footnote in history awaits!
Meanwhile, for those who haven't been following this bizarro story, here's a summary of the latest developments and the current situation:
A special election will be held to fill the remaining weeks of U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter’s term of office.Yep. Take a look at those dates: The Special Election primary will be held on Wednesday, September 5 (yes, on a Wednesday for some weird reason)...smack in the middle of the Democratic National Convention, for whatever that's worth.
A special primary election will be held on Sept. 5 and the general election for the seat will be held Nov. 6.
McCotter abruptly resigned his seat on Friday, following a scandal surrounding the petition signatures he turned in to get on the ballot. He had turned in more than 1,800 signatures, but only 244 were found to be valid.
The special primary election, squeezed in between the Aug. 7 primary and November general election, will cost local units of government thousands of dollars to run an election they hadn’t planned for.
The winner of the special election will hold McCotter’s seat — in the current 11th Congressional District which includes a large portion of Wayne and a smaller chunk of Oakland County — until the end of the year.
For those suspecting even more dirty trickery by the Michigan GOP by wasting the taxpayer's money on a pointless Special Election (the term of office would only be like 6 weeks, during most of which Congress isn't even in session), according to Michigan Radio, both the U.S. and state Constitutions require that one be held given the length of time left in the term. So, McCotter and McCotter alone are to blame for the flushing of over $650,000 down the drain in a state that's already deep in the red (of course, THAT part CAN be blamed on the GOP, but that's a different story).
As anyone who's been following the long, strange tale of "Sad" Thad McCotter knows, it's one of the most epic political meltdowns in recent Congressional history.
First came his jaw-droppingly incompetent (or ham-handedly criminal) Ballot Petition Signature Scandal, in which a whopping 87% of the signatures for a 5-term incumbent in a solidly Republican district were thrown out.
After a brief flirtation with a near-impossible write-in campaign, McCotter then announced that he was retiring at the end of this term.
With McCotter off the ballot (and out of the race), and the only remaining Republican on the ballot being an unknown Tea Party history teacher and reindeer herder (no, really), a window of opportunity opened up for Dr. Syed Taj, a solid Democrat who had already been running a decent campaign (raising over $200,000 last quarter, I believe) to swoop in and take advantage of the strange circumstances.
Then, a few days ago, it was revealed that McCotter has been spending an unhealthy amount of his spare (?) time working on what he had hoped would turn into a surreal, disturbing and flat-out creepy Reality TV Show...starring himself and his congressional staff members:
"Bumper Sticker: Made On Motown" starred McCotter hosting a crude variety show cast with characters bearing the nicknames of his congressional staffers and his brother. They take pot shots about McCotter's ill-fated bid for the White House while spewing banter about drinking, sex, race, flatulence, puking and women's anatomy. It features a cartoon intro and closing snippet with an Oldsmobile careening through Detroit and knocking over the city's landmarks. The double-finned car has a Michigan license plate reading: "Made on MoTown."Whether coincidentally or not, the day after the TV show story broke, McCotter announced that he's not even going to finish up his term, and resigned on the spot, with 6 months to go.
Now, I have no idea whether the TV show story contributed to this move (it certainly couldn't have helped him), but the odds are that he was also heavily pressured to resign in order to allow a GOPper slightly better known than the reindeer-herder (most likely former State Senator Nancy Cassis) to worm her way in for the Special Election in order to keep the Dems at bay.
As an added "bonus", the quickie special primary election for the 6-week term (for which Congress won't even be in session for most of it) is going to cost Michigan taxpayers an extra estimated $650,000. Lovely.
Complicating things further: The special election will be held in the current 11th District, while the full term election will be held in the new 11th district. I'm sure that's not gonna confuse anyone, since both elections will be held simultaneously on the same ballot in November.
Frankly, even if Cassis does win the special, I'm not sure I understand how that helps her with the full 2-year term, since she'd still have to run a write-in campaign as well. If anything, it might hurt her chances in the general, since people might think that since they already voted for her once, they don't have to write her name in as well.
The closest equivalent to this mess I can think of is the TX-22 special election after Tom Delay resigned. And we all remember how THAT turned out, right?
Meanwhile, Dr. Taj has a fighting chance of flipping this normally GOP-leaning district, so show him some love, will you?
In addition to being a solid progressive Democrat, Dr. Taj is also the former Chief of Medicine at Oakwood Hospital and was the first Democrat elected in decades as a Canton Township Trustee. He's been endorsed by the Birmingham-Bloomfield Democratic Club, the Oakland County Democratic Party, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, the Michigan Nurses Association, the American Federation of Teachers and just about every local Democratic elected offical and leader.
His primary opponent, on the other hand, is a Lyndon LaRouche supporter who openly calls for the impeachment of President Obama and whose official campaign website features photos of Pres. Obama with a Hitler moustache.Thanks to Dr. Taj being an excellent candidate and running a solid campaign already, the spectacular, jaw-dropping downfall and abrupt resignation of incumbent Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter from the 11th District has given Dr. Taj a real shot at winning this normally Republican-leaning district. However, in order to do so, he first has to beat the LaRouche candidate in the August primary.