'The Tea Party' Barred From November Ballot
It was the shot heard around the state for the grassroots tea party movement.
Its arch-nemesis The Tea Party would not be allowed on the November ballot, after a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court. That set off a series of victorious comments by those who consider themselves part of the "real" tea party.
The Michigan Supreme Court voted 5-2 not to hear The Tea Party's appeal of a Court of Appeals decision to bar them from the November ballot. Newly appointed Alton Thomas Davis voted to not hear the case. Supreme Court Justices Marilyn Kelly and Diane M. Hathaway would have allowed a hearing on it.
The court's decision was based on something as technical as the word "the" being left off a petition ballot that just said "Tea Party" when other official papers called it "The Tea Party."
But grassroots tea party members knew this was not technical matter.
A Detroit Free Press article chronicled many of the discoveries other media had made, as well as its owns findings that tied The Tea Party to the Democrats.
Jason Gillman, a tea party activist from Traverse City, broke the story of former political director of the Oakland County Democratic Party Jason Bauer's ties with The Tea Party. Gillman discovered Bauer had notarized some of The Tea Party candidates' paperwork. When some of those signatures were alleged to be forged, Bauer resigned.
"Justice is served. Finality," Gillman said Friday after hearing about the court ruling. "I'm feeling vindicated."
Joan Fabiano, founder of Grassroots in Michigan, said it was evident The Tea Party wasn't legitimate.
"I think it is a victory for election integrity," Fabiano said. "The investigation that was done, and the facts that were presented clearly showed there was fraud involved and this was not a genuine political party. When the facts came out, it was evident not only was it fraud, it was not a legitimate political party. It was just an attempt to siphon votes away from the GOP ticket."
Ron Acton of the Jackson Tea Party said he thinks the Court sent a message to The Tea Party organizers.
"They wouldn't even consider it," Acton said. "That's a, 'You guys have to be out of your gourd to even try that.' I'm real happy."
Ed Tomaszewski of Metro Detroit Freedom Coalition called the Court's ruling "a wonderful thing."
"We all know it was phony," he said of The Tea Party. "Justice works."
More on "The Tea Party" and its candidates:
Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.