Inside and outside of Oakland

Players in 'Hanging Thads' drama go back a long way

  Turn back the clock 10 years and you'll see that many of the players in today's 'hanging Thads' political drama were part of a small chummy group in Lansing.

  The 'hanging Thads' situation is the investigation into the duplicate signatures filed for U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's re-election campaign that were deemed insufficient and which kept him off the Aug. 7 Republican primary ballot.
  McCotter abandoned thoughts of a write-in campaign and Republicans have since been mulling whether to back the lone Republican name on the primary ballot, Kerry Bentivolio of Milford, or unite behind another candidate in a write-in campaign.
  The group in Lansing 10 years ago was Michigan's 38-member state Senate.
  Ten years ago, their members included:
  • McCotter, who went on to run and be elected to Congress in 2002, beginning a five-term career in Washington that has ended abruptly following a short foray into the Republican presidential nominating contests earlier this year.
  • Bill Schuette, who is now Michigan's attorney general and investigating whether their are criminal violations pertaining to the nominating petitions filed for McCotter's re-election campaign. Schuette says he'll pursue the investigation "without fear or favor" and prosecute if the results of the investigation warrant.
  • Loren Bennett, the Canton Republican who has said he'll seek the Republican nomination as a write-in for McCotter's congressional seat in the Aug. 7 primary.
  That 38-member state Senate a decade ago also included some other names familiar in today's political landscape — Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township and Republican Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard, although neither are participants in the drama unfolding over McCotter's congressional seat in the upcoming election.
  What Republicans will ultimately decide to do about McCotter's seat is at this point unknown, as is the outcome of Schuette's investigation.
  No matter what, McCotter's congressional seat representing much of Oakland County and part of Wayne County has gone from an overlooked snoozer of a district to a district getting a lot of attention and notice.

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