Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s top law enforcement official said Thursday that former Michigan U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter was “asleep at the switch” when four ex-campaign staffers forged or falsified signatures on nominating petitions, leading to criminal charges a month after the Republican’s resignation.
No direct evidence points to McCotter’s involvement and he isn’t charged, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said at a morning news conference. But Schuette said McCotter provided “no supervision whatsoever” to the employees.
Schuette said the alleged fraud goes back to 2006, “when people were dummying up, phonying up petitions.”
“They copied petitions, submitted petitions falsely signed by circulators and did cut-and-paste jobs that would make an elementary art teacher cringe,” Schuette said. “The buck stops at the top, but in this case Thad was asleep at the switch.”
McCotter did not immediately respond to phone messages seeking comment after Schuette’s news conference, but he released an emailed statement thanking the attorney general and his office “for their earnest, thorough work on this investigation, which I requested, and their subsequent report.”
He added that for him and his family, “this closure commences our embrace of the enduring blessings of private life.”
McCotter’s former deputy district director Don Yowchuang, district director Paul Seewald, district representative Mary Melissa Turnbull and staffer Lorianne O’Brady face charges ranging from forgery and conspiracy to falsely signing election documents.
The four are expected to be arraigned this week, attorney general’s spokeswoman Joy Yearout said.
No phone listing could be found Thursday for Yowchuang, who faces 17 charges, and Lorianne O’Brady, who is charged with five counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator.
A phone call to the home of Seewald, who faces 10 charges, went answered. A listing for Turnbull, who faces two charges, was disconnected.
McCotter’s resignation last month capped a bizarre political downfall for the guitar-slinging Republican who ran a little-noticed campaign for president in 2011.
The 46-year-old McCotter’s failure to submit the needed signatures paved the way for tea party-backed Kerry Bentivolio to win the GOP nomination in Tuesday’s primary. Bentivolio faces Democratic Dr. Syed Taj in the Nov. 6 election.
McCotter’s staff turned in 2,000 signatures supporting his candidacy, twice as many as needed to be eligible for the Aug. 7 primary ballot. But 80 percent were found to be fake or duplicated. McCotter initially said he would conduct a write-in campaign but eventually dropped the effort.
The attorney was first elected to the House in 2003 after serving as a state senator and county commissioner. A member of the House Financial Services Committee, McCotter also was a loud critic of big government.
He was known among his colleagues and constituents for his flowery rhetoric and humor, and took pride in his talents as a guitarist. He played with a congressional rock band called “The Second Amendments,” and after announcing his long-shot bid for the presidency last year, he jammed to a Chuck Berry tune on a guitar designed to look like an American flag. He finished last in the Iowa straw poll.
Associated Press writer Mike Householder contributed to this report.
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NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.