Weekly Roundup: Petition Challenges Continue to Loom Over the Fraudulent Three and Craig is Probably Also Skipping Traverse City

With only 74 days (!!!) to go until the gubernatorial primary, here’s where things stand for the 10 Republicans (maybe less?) left in the running.

It’s Accountability Week for James Craig, Tudor Dixon, and Perry Johnson

This upcoming Thursday is a much-anticipated accountability day for James Craig, Tudor Dixon, and Perry Johnson, all of whom face credible challenges to their nominating petitions and have to answer for problematic petitions and fraudulent signatures. 

Several took a shot at the three campaigns for the bleak reality they found themselves in. Writing for Lansing City Pulse, Kyle Melinn quipped that “The irony of a cop and a quality expert turning in cruddy signatures is rich, to be sure.”

Meanwhile, Garrett Soldano – who also was the subject of a crappy (sadly, this is literal) Bridge Michigan long profile – kept up the heat. During an appearance on MIRS Monday, he fairly pointed out that “the number one rule…is to get your candidate on the ballot” then wondered aloud “If you can’t inspire people to sign your petition to get you on the ballot, how are you going to run the state?” For just an extra dash of drama, Soldano also speculated that two won’t make the ballot but wouldn’t say who.

Someone, Anyone, Please Teach Craig What Signatures Mean and How They Work

Chief “neophyte” James Craig once again showed this week that his record should be labeled ‘Glaring Accountability Issues.’ 

During a radio interview this week, Craig told on himself that he apparently ***still hasn’t personally verified*** his nominating petitions, responding to inquiries about his challenges with more questions. “All these wild, um, allegations that massive amounts of fraud- well, how? How? How do they know? Are dead people being put on?” That’s probably a question you should have answered before you affirmed under penalty of perjury, with your signature, that you submitted nominating petitions that were valid, to the best of your ability.

But hey, that could’ve been a forgery too, as Charlie LeDuff pointed out this week for Detroit News: 

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.”

Guess we better check the ink on that affidavit. 

More Debates!

All 10 candidates have been invited to attend the second debate of the cycle in Traverse City on the 28th. As of a week ago, Perry Johnson, Donna Brandenburg (ok) and, you guessed it, James Craig remain the only holdouts. 

If he really intends to skip another, Garrett Soldano will certainly make Craig’s absence known like he did last time. There’s plenty of smoke in the tank left, Soldano brought it back up during a radio interview this week: 

“I guess he feels like he can run from the basement…and just get on Fox News every week. And that’s going to be good enough. I tell you what, that garbage probably might have worked in the past, but there’s too many people awakened, too many people engaged, and they want to hear what these candidates have to say. And you know what? They deserve to know the truth and they deserve transparency and they deserve to know the answers to your questions.”

Broken clocks abound. Speaking of, Ryan Kelley is talking about skipping the 3rd debate on Mackinac Island. How will insurrectionists feel represented now?

Kevin Rinke’s Big Small Business Problem

For the past few weeks, Kevin Rinke has been on a tour of Michigan that at least one small business owner and several patrons would like to see end immediately. 

John Stapleton, owner of Chef John’s in Ludington, penned a whole op-ed to express his anger. Stapleton accused Rinke of showing up unannounced to “​​t[ake] over my dining room at the busiest time of the day to campaign for governor,” attracting a bunch of folks into his restaurant that bought nothing, bothering regular patrons “to the point of not tipping,” and generally treating the place as if it “was at his disposal.”

In Rinke’s defense, at least he’s pounding more pavement than James Craig.

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