Payne: McCotter McBomb

“I put this in McCotter’s lap,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in an interview today with The Detroit News after indicting four of Thaddeus McCotter’s staff ” but not the boss himself ” for ballot fraud.

Schuette might as well have been talking about the bomb the McCotter McScandal set off in the 11th District, a once guaranteed GOP seat that is now a circus of write-in campaigns, Krazy Kerry, fratricidal GOP politics, and expensive special elections.

This was a bomb that had been ticking for some time.

“This probably happened in the past,” continued Schuette. “We see a pattern of this activity from 2006 to 2009,” he said referring to evidence his office uncovered of the same McCotter staffers altering ballot signatures for years. McCotter’s luck simply ran out. He finally got caught by an alert Secretary of State staffer who saw something amiss.


Only Kerry Bentivolio was left standing – an accidental candidate who is a deer in the headlights one minute and hiding from the press the next. Having tried to destroy him as Krazy Kerry in the priamry, Republicans now must put in the Extreme Makeover chair, teach him to talk like Jimmy Stewart, and cast him as “Mr. B goes to Washington.” Thanks, Thad.

Schuette’s news on Bentivolio was the only good news. Rumors had swirled in GOP circles Wednesday that his campaign had paid off McCotter’s Deputy District Director Don Yowchuang (who was deep in debt, the story goes) to sabotage the ballot signatures, thus vaulting Kerry to the Promised Land. But Schuette’s team found no evidence. Remember, The Three Stooges (McCotter, Yowchuang, and District Director Paul Seewald.) had been allegedly doing this for years.

McCotter displayed an “attitude of indifference,” says a clearly annoyed Schuette, a Republican himself. “I’m appalled at his approach. This was an office culture of ‘I don’t care.’ He stiffed everyone in his district.”

“They thought they were above the law.”

Kind of like Barack Obama and gutting welfare workfare. Like John Conyers abusing his office for day care and government cars. Like the Fast and Furious stonewalling of the Terry family. Like Kwame Kilpatrick. McCotter is another cautionary tale of government incompetence.

So how come we keep giving Washington more power?

Henry Payne
Henry Payne is the auto critic for The Detroit News. A 25-year newspaper veteran, Payne is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated cartoonist with United Feature Syndicate, a former columnist and editorial writer for The News, and a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and other publications. His auto reviews appear every Thursday in the Drive section.