May 24, 2010

Publicity hounds get more ink with petition fairy tale

Howell Public School Board Member and noted teabagger Wendy Day and anti-union activist and Republican House staffer Chet Zarko are together again; teaming up on something they hold very dear: getting their names in print and attacking Democrats with false information.

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus accommodated them, again, with a front page story on Sunday on the old, false story that the Michigan Democratic Party and a signature collecting firm called “Progressive Campaigns Inc. (PCI)” has been hired to collect signatures to give ballot access to a "Tea Party" party that would drain votes away from Republican candidates.” To really scare people, he is claiming GOP boogieman George Soros is funding it.

Day is behind the petition drive to deny health care access to thousands of Michigan residents, and she say claims if she doesn’t know about the effort to make the teabaggers a third political party, it can’t be happening.

This alleged petition drive to make the teabaggers a real political party seems like just one more publicity stunt to give a fringe group even more publicity.

The teabaggers will never be a political party for so many reasons. First, political parties represent a view, but teabaggers simply do not stand for anything. Teabaggers are simply the extreme wing of the Republican Party that has already taken a huge veer to the right.It would be like the GOP starting a third party.

But most importantly, this petition drive will never happen, no matter how much money self-made billionaire George Soros spends.

Like I said earlier this month when Zarko spun this fairy tale, the hurdle for a minor political party, like the Green Party or the Libertarian Party, to get on the ballot here in Michigan is very high. They must first file as a new political party around for many years. The party must collect petition signatures equal to 1 percent of the votes cast for the governor. That comes out to 38,013 signatures. If they are paying $1 per signature, as Zarko claims, that’s a lot of cash to be paying for no effect during the start of the campaign season.

Even if by some strange twist this alleged petition drive actually occurred, where are the candidates? Recruiting good Democratic candidates to run for office here in predominantly Republican Livingston County is tough because the odds are against them. How hard would it be to recruit a teabagger candidate with even higher odds?

Even if that miracle occurred and the petition drive were successful, they will never meet the deadline to get on the November ballot. To get on the ballot, the minor party must have ballot status in Michigan. Then, any candidate must receive nomination to the office they want to run for at the party’s nominating convention that must be held no later than August 3, 2010 to be on the November ballot. Does Zarko and the right-wing think that could really happen?

The hurdles to ballot status by August are huge. The party has to obtain a facility to hold a convention, publish a call to the convention, draw up bylaws, transmit the that Information to the Secretary of State and accomplish the hundreds of details that goes along with a convention.

Do people really think an impostor can accomplish all of these things in less than three months? I’m surprised no one from the conservative mainstream media has pointed that out.

Zarko and Day first teamed up back - although Zarko denies it - in 2007 when Zarko went on a fishing expedition and submitted a Freedom of Information (FOIA) to find dirt to embarrass the Howell teacher’s union with. He falsely accused the HEA of abusing taxpayer-funded resources to promote union causes, but the district said the union had a recognized right to use the computers and email. With the help of deep-pocketed anti-union think tank, Zarko has managed too keep his name in print and he sued to get the emails. However, the Michigan Court of Appeals slapped him down in January.

With the backing of the anti--union forces he has filed an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

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