WHAT IS 'LEGAL'?  2:00 pm July 18, 2012

In Michigan, It Is Totally Not Illegal To Pay Your Political ‘Opponents’ To Take A Dive

by Jeff Wattrick

eight men outBack in May, Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger (he of your Wonkette’s Do Not Sex list) convinced state Rep. Roy Schmidt to switch parties and join the GOP. Then Bolger and Schmidt hatched a plan to ensure Schmidt wouldn’t have to face an actual opponent in his re-election bid. For democracy!

Schmidt waited until the filing deadline to switch parties and enter the race as a Republican. He also recruited a 22-year-old GNC clerk who didn’t actually live in Schmidt’s district to “run” against him as a Democrat and lose. And because Schmidt and Bolger are political geniuses, they had the same person file both candidates’ paperwork!

They also exchanged oddly flirty text messages about their scheme because why would a Michigan politician think that text messages would leave a “smoking gun” paper trail? It’s not as though there’s ever been a text message-related political scandal around these parts.

Speaker: “Can they get the paperwork to u and u get to me so we can get it in our hands, show the GOP we’re all set…then we’ll file tomorrow.”

Schmidt: “For the Dem candidate. Yes!”

Speaker: “Exactly, for the Dem candidate…we already have paper work for our R candidate!”

Schmidt: “I know. I am so nervous at this point-just want it to go perfect!”

Speaker: “Me too. I don’t like leaving anything to chance, thus my anxiousness to get this last piece wrapped up. All will then b perfect!”

Holy hell, get a room you two.

Well, the Kent County Prosecutor investigated the thing and determined that Bolger and Schmidt were unethical douchebags engaged in what could be casually called “fraud,” but prosecutors also concluded what they did was totally not illegal in Michigan. If you want to run for office, you can hire some unemployed moon landing denier with a domestic violence conviction named Jerry Hussein Sandusky-Hitler to pretend to be your opponent. Michigan is completely cool with it.

Michigan: Where the trees are always the right height and strawman opponents on your payroll are people too. [WOOD-TV]

 
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{ 88 comments }

ChernobylSoup July 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

This is why we need voter ID laws, because of fraud.

BaldarTFlagass July 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

This would have been a better story if the GNC guy had won.

BaldarTFlagass July 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Schmidt: “I know. I am so nervous at this point-just want it to go perfect!”

Speaker: “Me too. I don’t like leaving anything to chance, thus my anxiousness to get this last piece wrapped up. All will then b perfect!”

They left out the last part:
Schmidt: *texts picture of dick to Speaker.*

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

This really does sound like they ran off to Cabo after the erection…I mean, election…doesn't it?

Cuz it's guy love, guy love, love between two guys.

ChernobylSoup July 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

It's starting to look like Obama pulled the same scheme on the Republicans.

Estproph July 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Except for the fact that they did it to themselves, which is even nicer.

Terry July 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Except Romney owns chains of stores, rather than working in one.

IncenseDebate July 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

This is the kind of intrigue you might expect from the Court of Versailles.

MissTaken July 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Can they get the paperwork to u and u get to me so we can get it in our hands,

Paperwork is my favorite YouPorn channel.

JustPixelz July 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Did you see the one where the CEO, President and sole shareholder was filling out the SEC paperwork and … oh … oh ….

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Holy crap. I wish I had known this was happening in real time. I have a friend in Michigan who would have filed and probably won, on the basis of her boobs alone

Blueb4sunrise July 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm

PICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I have, but I charge for them.

Blueb4sunrise July 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

How much for side-boob?

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I'll give you a discount.

Lascauxcaveman July 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

But this is the internet, where porn information wants to be free!

sullivanst July 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Write in campaign?

JustPixelz July 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm

She's not an R I take it. She's a D. Maybe a double D.

chicken_thief July 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Seems to work in Alaska.

Goonemeritus July 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

“Why would a Michigan politician think that text messages would leave a “smoking gun” paper trail?”

Damn you’re right I’m going to delete all those texts from Obama where he admits to being born in Kenya as soon as I get home.

Beowoof July 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Thinking is the operative word in your statement, there is no thinking going on.

docterry6973 July 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Makes me proud to be an American.

Callyson July 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Where at least I know I'm free…to pull off juvenile political stunts…

Terry July 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Where at least you know you're free?

MissTaken July 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

WOOD TV indeed.

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm

WOOD TV, where you get the news hard and fast.

FakaktaSouth July 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Oh lord with the fast. Come on now, what happened to 24 hour um, news cycles?

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Baby, only liberals want that kind of in-depth…analysis.

bikerlaureate July 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Furniture City of days gone by, baby.

BaldarTFlagass July 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I don't "get" the alt-text. You guys going all "New Yorker cartoon" on us?

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm

It's a Wattrick special…

Blueb4sunrise July 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Secaucus

Tundra Grifter July 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm

BTF: Somebody downloaded the picture, labeled it so they could find it again, and then posted it without remembering to change the alt-text to something funny.

"The 1919 World Serious," wrote Ring Lardner. "Which the Cincinnati Redlegs won – much to their surprise."

SpeedoFart July 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Easy test: Does "Christ, what an asshole" work instead?

*mumbles something about stupid phone not displaying the alt-text*

SorosBot July 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Well that's much better than letting those pesky voters choose their leaders.

freakishlywrong July 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Gotta love those "vallues"!

weejee July 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

'Scusies, yer fly is open. Ah, and yer pants are on yer instep. And er, ah, your bloomers are around yer ankles. And that's the cutest little…

Our political history is the richer because these guys are such slooooooooow learners.

Callyson July 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Schmidt said…"I think I made a poor political decision…I'm serving my constituents, and I'm going to work my butt off to make it up to them, to go door-to-door, to explain to them. And, you know, I really have had, I believe, a good record of serving people in Grand Rapids and I hope they can understand I made a poor political decision. I'm more than willing to admit it. I couldn't wait to admit it. And I want to move on."

Baby, I'm sorry we quarreled…

va_real July 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I swear it's the last time…

BaldarTFlagass July 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm

"thus my anxiousness"

Like most people, I like to make some abbreviations when I text, i.e. "ur" for "your" and "b4" for "before." In this case, I think I would have gone with "anxiety" rather than "anxiousness."

sullivanst July 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Sometimes, brevity is also more correct (than, for example, briefness).

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Briefness could refer to the coverage of his BVDs

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

You assume they speak the English you and I learned.

FakaktaSouth July 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Somewhere in South Carolina Jim DeMint guffaws at these amateurish tactics.

Traitors. These people are traitors to the most fundamental tenants of our government, fIrst, don't be a cheating dick.

prommie July 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Well if someone was gonna make the connection before me it would be you, you beat me by minutes, this time. What was that poor dimwitted man's name that they had run for Senate? He was funny, but a little sad too.

FakaktaSouth July 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Poor old Alvin Greene, just a terrible footnote in a bullshit corrupt no count loser election – I do hope he at least got some cash on the side.

prommie July 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I stand in awe of your ability to multi-task!

Monsieur_Grumpe July 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

There are a lot Schmidt-heads in Michigan.

Mittens Howell, III July 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Karl Rove will pin a gold medal on those guys for services to political cuntery.

PubOption July 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Even die-hard Stalinists would think that this scheme was a bad idea.

gullywompr July 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I bet Bolger bragged to all his buddies in the locker room about his "mutually beneficial arrangement" with Schmidt, and never called.

Callyson July 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Speaker of the House Jase Bolger (R-Marshall), who was complicit in the effort to recruit a challenger, said in a statement, "…Political fights can be ugly but we should all seek to focus on people, not politics."

Yes, let's not dwell on that unpleasantness…let's instead focus on people…the very people who engaged in the ugly political fight…

…I guess that makes sense in wingnut land…

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Political fights can be ugly but we should all seek to focus on people, not politics.

Translation: You weren't supposed to find out.

sullivanst July 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Yes let's dwell on people. Let's dwell on whether the candidate is the kind of person who would engage in rank fraud to deprive his constituency of the very core principal of this nation: democracy. Oh look, he is, because he did!

PS, dude, when you're a fucking politician running for reelection, spending stacks of cash to fill the airwaves with politics, don't tell us to ignore politics, you total asshole.

RedneckMuslin July 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

"Why would a Michigan politician think that text messages would leave a “smoking gun” paper trail?"

Because, duh, it's magic not science that makes them things work!

sullivanst July 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

So: paying someone not to vote for your opponent, totes illegal. Paying your opponent to make sure nobody votes for him? Completely fine.

Michigan, please for the love of all that is good, stop being awful.

JustPixelz July 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm

The wingers imagine vast perfectly left-wing conspiracies unfolding over decades. Forged birf certs, with planted newspaper announcements; gun walking stings that will repeal the Second Amendment; Vince Foster murder cover-up, etc.

But their own conspiracy between two people fell apart under the weight of its own idiocy. Either the left are diabolical geniuses at conspiring. Or conspiracies are hard to do. OK, third possibility: Among Repubicans, Dubya is the smart one.

RadioSlut July 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

They DEMAND an apology from Wonkette in 5,4,3,2….

JustPixelz July 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm
Beowoof July 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Oh these guys are probably 69 ing each other as we read this.

sullivanst July 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

prommie July 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Or docking.

horsedreamer_1 July 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Space docking? With how crappy Michigan's economy is, there's plenty of material for it.

Estproph July 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Michigan is shaped like a hand. Why the hell doesn't it bitchslap these people?

MissTaken July 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm

They didn't want the GNC clerk originally, but the Whole Foods guy was too expensive.

coolhandnuke July 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Could their tryst be called Grosse Point Blank?

actor212 July 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Gross! Point blank.

va_real July 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Prosecutor William Forsyth: "I know Rep. Schmidt went on TV and denied he knew Mojzak, and that's simply wasn't true."

So perjury is totes okay in Michigan?

LesBontemps July 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

It's only perjury if he had been sworn to tell the truth. Going on the teevee to tell lies is just bsiness as usual.

va_real July 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Yes, I realized that & then quickly deleted the comment. How did it come back from the Intense Debate graveyard???

a_pink_poodle July 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm

FRA-OOO-D?

LesBontemps July 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

In Michigan: Election-rigging, okay; talking about vaginas, not so much.

SayItWithWookies July 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Still, when asked by 24 Hour News 8 political reporter Rick Albin whether he should remain in the House, Schmidt said yes.

If there's one thing you can count on a Republican to do, it's refuse to resign in disgrace. Clearly perpetrating a fraud on the electorate is The LORD's way of saying Schmidt and Bolger were meant to be in office.

Billmatic July 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Well at least it's illegal to say the word vagina in state buildings.

Tundra Grifter July 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm

After Sen. George Norris got a law passed in Nebrasak that political candidates would be on the ballot with party identification, his enemies found a couple of stoogies named George Norris to run against him.

Those were the good old days!

Blunderthing July 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm

If the Republican does it, it's legal. Always. I'm stunned eveyone has forgotten that. Stunned. Oh, and if a Democrat does it, it's a felony. With a death penalty. Might want to make a note of that.

owhatever July 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm

But let's get stronger voter identification laws to prevent the political system from being corrupted. FREEDOMS!

Terry July 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I looked on Wikipedia to see where Kent County is located in Michigan (Grand Rapids, over almost to Lake Michigan). The three photos representing the county are the saddest goddamn things I've ever seen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_County,_Michiga

There are:

- two modest office towers photographed through some leafless trees on a grey day.
- the back of a lonely looking park bench, oriented toward a river and amid leafless trees, on a grey day
- a dark photo of a barn and some farm land on a grey day.

What a depressing place Kent County must be! They can't even come up with a single pretty or interesting photo.

sullivanst July 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm

"A farm in Alpine Township"… where apparently they're growing dirt and electricity pylons.

Negropolis July 19, 2012 at 3:16 am

Grand Rapids is actually a fairly nice, dynamic, urban city. It's surrounded by a lot of bullshit, though, given that it's in Michigan's Bible Belt.

horsedreamer_1 July 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Belt? More like clog.

An_Outhouse July 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm

And it would have been perfect too, if it wasn't for those meddling kids…

Terry July 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I did some googling and there are no pretty photos of Kent County. Ok, one photo of a lake was nice. Mostly, the term "Kent County" brings up mug shots in Google Images. I am not kidding.

guangho July 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm

In Kent County, elections fix you!

bobbert July 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I'm trying to make myself laugh at this clusterfuck, but the problem is: the assholes got away with it, despite being total fuck-ups.

ttommyunger July 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I'm sure they both went home, sat on the pot and yelled out of a half-open bathroom door to their desperately unhappy spouses describing what a coup they accomplished that day.

Negropolis July 19, 2012 at 3:04 am

You know, the only mistake the Oakland County Dems who did this made when tryig to recruit fake tea party candidates was forging signatures. The two former officials must feel stupid, now, knowing that all they had to do was find some homeless dude down on Woodward to sign to "run" for office.

God, what has happened to this place? The only good thing about this is that that district will be represented by a REAL Democrat come January when write-in Dem Winnie Brinks (who is kicking Schmidt's ass in the polls) is sworn in. Good riddance to nasty, bad-smelling Schmidt.

Negropolis July 19, 2012 at 3:12 am

BTW, the house speaker's real name is James, which he pared down to Jason, which he then shortened to "Jase" like some douchebag fratboy. Yes, his name reflects exactly who he is. This is what you get with legislative term limits. The lobbyists buy the youngest, stupidest one of the bunch for their work. In the old legislature, "Jase" wouldn't have even been a back-bencher, but here he is Speaker of the Motherfuckin' Michigan House of Representatives.

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