But several Republican sources said the petition problems stemmed from a hasty, last-minute attempt to get McCotter on the ballot. Names from McCotter’s 2010 petitions were cut and copied to his 2012 forms, several sources said.
The probe has yet to result in any charges being filed. A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, Joy Yearout, declined to comment on any details of the investigation, including whether it might involve Seewald and Yowchuang.
Former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said most election violations are generally misdemeanors but that it’s conceivable someone could be charged with a felony for conspiracy.
Either way, Republicans must pick their new candidate for the seat — and fast. Election officials begin sending out absentee ballots for the Aug. 7 primary in a month. Any write-in candidate must run an expedited and expensive campaign for the nomination.
Meanwhile, Democrats have their own primary problems to worry about in the district. Michigan Democrats support internist Syed Taj for the nomination, but first he must defeat Bill Roberts, a Lyndon LaRouche activist, in the primary.
Democrats kept quiet about Taj’s prospects in the early wake of McCotter’s ballot flap. Privately, they remained unsure the GOP-leaning seat was winnable. But since McCotter announced he will not seek re-election, Democrats are taking a second look at the district.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a staffer to Taj’s campaign today — a sign it might take the race seriously.
“Congressman McCotter and House Republicans’ incompetence made a district no one should be talking about a possibility for Democrats to win,” a House Democratic aide said. “Win or lose, the NRCC will now have to spend significantly on a district that should be safe for them.”