Fight over "Tea Party" headed to MI court


The state Court of Appeals is the next stop for a shadowy group that is trying to win a spot on the Michigan ballot as the Tea Party. As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, an elections panel deadlocked Monday on the question.

The two Democrats on the Board of State Canvassers voted to put the Tea Party on the ballot. They said the group gathered more than enough petition signatures to qualify. The board's two Republicans voted "no." This is Board Chairman Norm Shinkle.

"Two to two. It does not pass."

Shinkle said there were technical violations on the petitions, and he agrees with Tea Party activists who say this Tea Party is trying to hijack their movement to siphon conservative voters from Republicans in November.

The result pleased Tea Party activist Gene Clem, who asked the board to say "no" to this Tea Party.

"We spoke on the side of honesty and the legality of the system, and I think it help up," he says.

Both sides say they expect the question will ultimately be decided by the state Supreme Court. The deadline for finalizing the statewide ballot is less than two weeks away.

Election 2010 - WKAR
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