An effort to put “The Tea Party” on the November ballot in Michigan has failed. Not because it’s a fake group trying to help Democrats at the polls by splitting far-right wing votes (which it is.) No, it’s because the font size of the word “the” was wrong. Totally not kidding.
The Michigan Court of Appeals said Monday that a group calling itself “The Tea Party” doesn’t qualify for the Nov. 2 ballot because it didn’t correctly show its name on petitions.
Republicans and tea party activists say “The Tea Party,” which has nominated nearly two dozen candidates, is a fake party controlled by Democrats aimed at drawing away votes from Republican candidates. “The Tea Party” is being investigated following allegations that some of its potential candidates may have been nominated through fraud.
In its decision released Monday, the three-member court said the word “the” was not in 24-point bold face type on the petitions as required by law. Michael Hodge, the lawyer representing “The Tea Party,” could not immediately be reached Monday evening to say whether he would appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.
He has argued that the petitions submitted substantially met the requirements of state law.
I’ll admit to being ambivalent about this. On the one hand, I gleefully signed one of the petitions to put “The Tea Party” on the ballot. Standing on a street corner in Ann Arbor I stepped up onto my soapbox and declared to all listeners that tea party types need to own their politics, form their own wingnut party, and stop trying to take over the Republican party, driving away all the moderate and, dare I say it, ‘reasonable’ Republicans. Not many people listened including the dude getting paid to collect the signatures. But it felt good anyway ; )
On the other hand, this is clearly a ruse intended to disrupt the Republicans’ chances to win in some very contested races. It’s the same type of dirty trick that Republicans have been doing for ages in this country and, though it cracks me up to see their hypocritical condemnation of this particular effort, I hate it when they do it so it’s hard to defend our side doing it.
It was appropriate for Oakland County staffer Jason Bauer, who was responsible for the promotion of ineligible candidates, to be fired (actually he resigned.) It was a clumsy move on his part, a very likely illegal, to notarize candidacy forms of people who were not even aware he was doing it and he did his party no favors at a time when they could least afford to be seen in a negative light.
At any rate, it’s not going to happen in 2010 barring a successful appeal.
And all because of the font.
I’m just sayin’
UPDATE 1: Over at Daily Kos, ZedMont suggests a new approach for Democrats:
Here’s a flyer that you could hand out (beyond the prescribed distance for “electioneering”, if it exists) that retains the nefarious intent of the failed attempt to put the teabag party on the ballot.
NOTICE TO ALL TRUE PATRIOTS WHO SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
THE TEA PARTY HAS BEEN DENIED A PLACE ON THIS BALLOT.
THE SOCIALISTS ARE GAMING THE SYSTEM!!
SHOW YOUR OUTRAGE AT THIS TRAVESTY!!!
DO NOT VOTE FOR EITHER MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATE.
WRITE IN A TRUE PATRIOT INSTEAD.
Pure brilliance, I tellzya, pure brilliance.