NEW: Detroit News’ Charlie LeDuff Examines the Throughline Between Chief Neophyte James Craig’s Fraudulent Petitions and His Shoddy DPD Management

James Craig, Tudor Dixon, and Perry Johnson remain the subject of serious challenges against their nominating petitions with the Bureau of Elections and the Board of Canvassers. Detroit News’ columnist Charlie LeDuff is only the latest to detail this fraudulent behavior already extensively reported on by multiple outlets.

In the case of the chief “neophyte,” LeDuff notes that Craig’s handling of his nominating petitions – from including “a few dozen” deceased voters, to having “nearly 7,000” forgeries, to an out-of-state attorney filing a response to his challenges “after the legal deadline” that bizarrely referred to him as “Chief Clark” – is simply another example of the shoddy management skills he displayed during his time heading Detroit Police Department.

Before his retirement from DPD, Craig apparently approved one of his fired subordinates who “stood by and watched a female officer take a beating” to get his job back. They then went on to “ignor[e] calls of an officer down” a few years later. When pressed on why he signed paperwork putting the officer back on duty, the Detroit Dodgerinsisted someone had forged his signature.”

See excerpts below on the trend of mismanagement that led to Craig’s “lazy and listless campaign” and read the full column here.

Detroit News: Dead Folks Don’t Vote; How Did They Sign Petitions?
By Charlie LeDuff

Dead men don’t bite. Dead men don’t cast shadows. And dead men certainly don’t sign ballot petitions for governor.

That’s just science.

So how did around 100 dead people allegedly appear on the combined petitions of James E. Craig and Perry Johnson, the presumptive Republican front-runners?

Certainly, a few dozen deceased are not enough to disqualify the men from the August primary. But signatures from the great beyond are a pretty good indication that campaign employees cheated. And to that effect, thousands of signatures they “gathered” are now being challenged as forgeries.

Craig turned in 21,000. Nearly 7,000 are being disputed as fakes by both Democratic and Republican operatives. If true, that would place the former Detroit police chief below the required threshold of 15,000 valid signatures.

Craig’s Kansas City lawyer, Edward D. Greim, acknowledged his client was probably scammed in a seven-page response to the state Bureau of Elections — a response it should be noted, that was filed after the legal deadline.

“Given the comfortable margin of support Chief Clark amassed, it seems unlikely that even a coordinated effort to defraud the campaign will succeed,” wrote Greim, adding that “the majority of challenges should be rejected and Chief Clark should appear before the voters in the primary.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Craig’s own lawyer calls him Clark. Let’s hope Craig — or Clark — or whomever isn’t paying this guy top dollar since he’d get similar representation from a public defender.

It’s not even the first time that Craig has had problems with signatures. Back in 2019, a Detroit cop sat in his cruiser ignoring calls of an officer down. That same cop was fired back in 2014 after he stood by and watched a female officer take a beating.

So how did the coward cop get his job back? Craig signed off on the deal. When that tidbit came to light, then Chief Craig insisted someone had forged his signature. “My name was signed in purple ink,” he told me then. “I only use a green pen for official business.”

The state Board of Canvassers will meet on May 26 to verify if candidates have enough legitimate signatures to make the ballot.

By then, it may be too late for Craig. He has run a lazy and listless campaign. He skipped the first GOP debate. He conducts media interviews in the parking lot of his favorite watering hole. And now there’s the signature snafu. Politicians have pulled their early endorsements. Big donors have puckered.

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