They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Probe Sought For Possible Sham Tea Party In Michigan

Newscom / Jim West

According to The Detroit News, Patterson says "possible crimes include perjury, election fraud, misconduct in office, uttering and publishing (a legal term for document forgery) and obstruction of justice."

"There are people who would subvert the political process to their own ends, engage in criminal activity to undermine the system and achieve their nefarious goals," Patterson said in a press conference yesterday. "This is a brutish attempt to confuse voters and take away Republican votes."

As TPM's Evan McMorris-Santoro has reported:

The state Democratic Party has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Tea Party since allegations were first raised, but some Democrats have confessed to being involved in creating the Party and recruiting candidates.

Those Democrats include a Democratic firm called Progressive Campaigns, Inc., which collected signatures to get the Tea Party a spot on the ballot. Bauer, who was forced to resign last weekend, himself notarized 12 of the 23 filings, some of which included such suspect data as a 1990 birth date, or the name of a candidate who claims he never actually filed to run.

The Tea Party is, for now, off the ballot.