The Result of McCotter’s Resignation

Thad McCotter’s sudden resignation from the House — the political equivalent of stomping his feet, taking his ball and going home — has not only left the people in his district without representation in Congress, it’s also costing money to have an emergency election to fill his seat for a whopping two months. Jeff Wattrick has the details:

The good news is there will be a special election to replace McCotter. The bad news is the special election will take place at the same time as the regular election in November.

Since Congressional districts were redrawn this year, the November special election will take place in the old 11th District and the winner will serve the remainder of McCotter’s term in the 112th Congress—that is to say, until the new Congress takes office on January 3.

At the same time, voters in the new 11th District will elect a representative to serve in the 113th Congress. There’s overlap between the new and old districts, so some lucky voters will vote in both contests.

And since this entire process will require a special September primary, it’s going to cost local communities in the district collectively as much $650,000 they probably don’t have to make this happen.

This confusing and expensive process was completely avoidable. Even if his heart was no longer in Congress, all Thad McCotter had to do was sit quietly on backbench and cast votes for the next few months, but that proved too stressful for his delicate constitution. Instead, he quit with all the grace of a petulant teenager who didn’t get his way.

Yep, that about sums it up.

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  • McCotter’s campaign funds should be garnished to pay for the special election. But it probably can’t be done.

  • jameshanley

    Hell, McCotter didn’t even have to actually show up much, if at all. This would have been a perfect time for a “fact-finding” junket to Paris. It’s an astounding little fit of pique that absolutely trashes whatever reputation he had left.

  • Oh, sure, you lambast the Republican party for fillibustering or voting down any and all jobs programs, but when one of them breaks from the pack and jumps the wall with a jobs programs on his own, all you do is make fun of him, too!

  • Jordan Genso

    I believe the reason this is happening is because:

    When McCotter failed to make it onto the primary ballot, the only GOP candidate left is an extreme Tea Party Republican. The Republican establishment wants a different candidate to win as a write-in during the primary (Nancy Cassis), but it is difficult for her to raise money and promote that write-in campaign.

    With McCotter resigning early, thereby forcing a special election, the write-in candidate can now raise money and run a more visible (non-write-in) campaign for the September election, in hopes of that helping her win write-in votes in August.

    I think it’s pretty clear the Republican higher-ups were the ones that wanted McCotter to resign early, in order to benefit Nancy’s chances of beating the Tea Party candidate in the primary.

    The alternative reason is if the same candidate wins the primary and the September election, then they become the “incumbent” in the November election. It will be interesting to see if the loser of the primary drops out of the September election in order to guarantee that, as it would be very awkward if the one that wins the primary is not the one that wins in September.

    Regardless of the outcome though, the Republican Party is screwing over the public in order to play this little game of theirs. The voters in Michigan’s 11th district need to make it known that they do not approve of such shenanigans by voting for the Democratic candidate in November. Don’t let the GOP benefit in November from such unethical means.

  • raven

    This confusing and expensive process was completely avoidable. Even if his heart was no longer in Congress, all Thad McCotter had to do was sit quietly on backbench and cast votes for the next few months,…

    JH at #2 has it.

    McCotter didn’t have to do anything. He could have gone on vacation for the next few months. Or start looking for a new job.

    And he would still get all his benefits and collect his paychecks. It’s costing his former district a lot but it is costing him personally also.

  • jakc

    I think Jordan Genso has it right. It’s not pique that is driving this but strategy. Remember this Tea Party Republicans – establishment Republicans want your vote, but they don’t want you in Congress or running for office.

  • jameshanley

    I’ll throw in some support for Genso, too. That’s a good analysis. And McCotter could hardly risk being too obvious about it without inflaming the tea partiers and causing them to redouble their efforts, with lots of talk about how nefarious the GOP establishment is, etc. etc.

  • He probably wants the clock that prevents him from legally lobbying Congress to start sticking down ASAP.

  • jakc

    The clock matters less than you think. If someone is interested in paying McCotter, they’ll just give him a different title – “consultant” rather than “lobbyist”.

  • How would you like to be the SKKKrotalMurKKKanPatrioitiKKK Front type who wins the “Special” (as in “short bus”, imo) election only to lose to a “wave of anti-incumbency” in November?

  • democommie “How would you like to be the SKKKrotalMurKKKanPatrioitiKKK Front type who wins the ‘Special’ (as in ‘short bus’, imo) election only to lose to a ‘wave of anti-incumbency’ in November?”

    “Before the special election, I traveled all across this great state, meeting all of you and discovering what you want from your representatives. After the special, I learned that what you really wanted instead was a voice in Washington that reflected yours: that of an ignorant, petty asshole. Now, after this election, your voice has been heard loud and wide and, with my replacement, you will finally have a representative who represents you. God help us all.”

  • Jordan Genso

    From what I’m reading today, it seems as though the plan is that whoever loses the primary will drop out of the special election, so if no one else files for the special election, the governor has stated he will cancel it if only one candidate is still in the race.

    So there is not going to be a special election. All that will result is some people claiming they “saved” the state $650,000 by not having an election they otherwise could’ve. And Nancy Cassis (the write-in candidate in the primary) gets to raise funds as if she’s not a write-in candidate, increasing her chances of winning the primary.

    Win-win for the GOP establishment, and a poor job by the media in failing to make it clear what is happening (and more importantly, why).

  • Jordan Genso

    The last part of my comment was not a dig at Ed, as it was directed towards the journalistic outlets, not blogs.

  • Well, if Sarah Palin can do it, why not Thad?