MACKINAC ISLAND (Talk Radio 1270) – Republican activist John Truscott and Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer sat down to discuss all things political, from the presidential race to recent local scandals, at a political round-table with Talk Radio 1270 host Charlie Langton Thursday on Mackinac Island.
One of the main topics up for discussion was Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s failure to gather enough valid signatures to get on the ballot for re-election. Truscott, a former press secretary for John Engler, says that there is absolutely no excuse for McCotter.
“It was incompetence. Rule number one of running for office – get on the ballot. It’s pretty simple stuff …” said Truscott during the round-table discussion with Charlie Langton. “You go back to the people who have signed your petition before … they have his finance reports. You go to those people. They gave him money; I’d assume they’d sign a petition for him.”
According to Langton, the McCotter story is perhaps the biggest story of the conference and his decision to run as a write-in candidate could be disastrous.
“… It’s ridiculous. There is not a republican out there that will defend them. The thing with this is, okay, you want to do a write in campaign. That mountain is so tough to climb. Not only do they have to know his name, (voters have to) write his name and then connect the line across. It’s pretty much game over,” said Truscott.
Brewer said that the democrats are waiting to see how the McCotter issue plays out.
“… The fraud here – and my office has been looking at these positions as have a lot of others – goes very deep,” said Brewer. “There are a lot of very prominent republican activists from southeast Michigan who circulated these petitions, so it seems to me they have to be questioned as to what they knew.”
Brewer says that a lot of Tea Party activists and others from the new district that McCotter was running in may have been involved. He suspects that 4 or 5 of McCotter’s staff could have been involved in circulation of the petitions. Brewer also believes that charges could result from an investigation.
“…It is indefensible what happened here and we need to get to the bottom of it. There needs to be thorough investigation … it looks like things were cut and pasted from previous year’s petitions. This takes fraud to a whole new level. … I can safely say I’ve never seen anything like this …” said Brewer.
Truscott believes that any inconsistencies on the petitions were not done intentionally.
“I think it’s just stupidity. It’s not fraud. It’s people that did some really stupid stuff,” said Truscott.
Another hot topic issue at the round-table was Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra stirring up the “birther” issue. Truscott said that the Hoekstra brought up the issue in response to a question about campaign strategy.
“…He was basically saying the McCain campaign blew it by not bringing up the birth certificate issue and running on it because McCain didn’t have a whole lot else to run on …” said Truscott. “I think it is appropriate to address a previous campaign and things that worked (or) things that didn’t work. So I think that’s fine …”
Truscott does not believe that Hoestra will base his campaign on the “birther” movement.
“… In voters’ minds it’s pretty much over,” said Truscott.
The presidential election was also brought up. Issues about Romney and Obama were debated as well as Democrats trying to reclaim majority in the State House. Brewer does not believe that Romney will do well in Michigan.
“… There (will) be a facade of a Romney campaign in Michigan, but I don’t truly believe in the end that he will invest here or win here,” said Brewer. “I mean, this is a guy that said let Detroit go bankrupt. He’s never going to be able to get away from that.”