Payne: The McCotter Politics Conference

Posted by hpayne on May 30, 2012

The Mackinac Policy Conference? Call it the McCotter Politics Conference.

GOP Rep. Thad McCotter’s ballot blunder dominates discussion among this year’s Republican-friendly conference of business and political movers and shakers. There is general confusion on how McCotter’s campaign could have screwed up the most basic task in politics – getting 2,000 signatures to qualify for the primary ballot – but consensus that McCotter is a moron.

“(McCotter’s district) was one of the top 10 safest in the country,” said Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson disgustedly on the Frank Beckmann Show this morning. Patterson thinks the ballot SNAFU must have been sabotage.

He is not alone. Many political pros can think of no other explanation. It is that inexplicable. One pro even suggested to me that McCotter sabotaged the ballot himself in order to get out of running for Congress (is that any stranger an explanation than running for president to get out of Congress?).

But sabotage would suggest a mole. Unlikely. More likely, say most, is that McCotter’s staff simply forgot the ballot deadline and rushed to meet it with a cut and paste mess. That’s not only dumb – it’s fraud. And heads are likely to roll before this is over.

Meanwhile. . . who will be the GOP nominee for the 11th district?

Stu Sandler, an experienced Michigan political pro, says McCotter is McToast. “A write-in campaign is an overly complicated task,” he says. A task too large for a candidate who has struggled to raise money in the past. Rusty Hills, a Michigan Republican vet, points to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s write-in win in 2010 as evidence it can be done.

But the consensus is McCotter won’t be the man. Which means Kerry Bentivolio – a candidate most Republicans agree is a Ron Paul wing nut yet is the only name on the ballot – will be the GOP candidate Which Democrats are salivating over.

Thanks a lot, Thad, sigh Mackinac Republicans.

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