A panel of Michigan Circuit Court judges voted yesterday to authorize a one-man grand jury to investigate election fraud allegations relating to the attempt by the Michigan Tea Party to get on the November ballot.
Tea partiers and Republicans in Michigan believe the Michigan Tea Party is a part of an effort by the Democratic Party to split the conservative vote. Jason Bauer, former political director of the Oakland County Dems, stepped down from his position amid allegations that he may have committed a crime when he notarized and filed papers for 13 Michigan Tea Party candidates.
The Detroit Free Press reports that in a secret ballot, the Circuit Court judges approved Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's request to investigate the filings.
Some of the more suspicious filings contained information like a 1990 birth date, or the name of a candidate who claims he never actually filed to run. An investigation by the Free Press found that "a second official, recently resigned Oakland County Democratic Party Chairman Mike McGuiness, recruited his former stepmother as a Tea Party candidate."
"The court finds there is probable cause to suspect that certain crimes and offenses have been and are being committed," said the judges.
Last week, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the Michigan Tea Party will not be on the November ballot.