Michigan Dem Gets Probation For Fake Tea Party Scheme

December 7, 2011 12:03 p.m.

A former official in the Oakland County Democratic Party in Michigan was sentenced to one year probation for his part in a scheme last fall to split the Republican vote by putting fake Tea Party candidates on the ballot.

In October, former chairman of the Oakland County Democrats Michael McGuinness pleaded no contest to the charges, which involved perjury and forgery. He was sentenced Wednesday to “one-year probation, 180 hours of community service and $1,965 in fines,” according to the Detroit News.

“My sentence will pale in comparison to what you have done to yourself,” Oakland Circuit Judge James M. Alexander told McGuinness, adding: “You were on the fast track for political office. … It was all there for you, and you threw it all away.”

The ex-operations director for the Oakland Dems, Jason Bauer, also pleaded no contest to the charges, and will be sentenced January 12.

The charges relate to a scheme to put several candidates on the ballot in November 2010, without the candidates’ knowledge. The sham candidates, who were listed as members of the Michigan Tea Party, were designed to split the Republican vote. The two Democrats were charged with forging the supposed candidates’ signatures and falsely swearing under oath to qualify them to enter the race.

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