Democrats Call for House Inquiry into Actions by Schmidt, Bolger

Jul 18, 2012

Democrats at the state Capitol are calling for an investigation into whether House Speaker Jase Bolger and state Representative Roy Schmidt broke ethics rules.

The two lawmakers plotted Schmidt’s switch to the Republican Party, and worked to put a fake Democrat on the November ballot.      

A prosecutor’s report says no laws were broken. But it was otherwise harsh in its judgment. It found Bolger and Schmidt tried to fool voters, and undermine the election by recruiting and paying a bogus Democrat to be on the ballot following Schmidt’s last-minute defection to the Republican side.

House Democratic Leader Rick Hammell says the scandal deserves a legislative inquiry. 

“It’s very clear what happened here," he says. "It couldn’t be clearer that there were violations – maybe not legal violations, but significant ethical violations in how it was handled.

Schmidt says no inquiry is necessary.

“From my perspective, it’s just politics,” he says.

After the plot was exposed, Democrats recruited a candidate they hope will appear on the November ballot. She has to win enough write-in votes in the primary for that to happen..

Some Democrats have called on Schmidt and Speaker Jase Bolger to resign. Both say they don’t intend to quit.