LANSING, MI –
Republicans and Tea Party activists in Michigan say they fear a petition drive is an effort to hijack the movement. A group filed nearly 60,000 signatures this week seeking to a put a Tea Party on the November ballot.
AUDIO: Tea Party activists say no one in the movement has heard of the people who filed the petitions. They say it appears to be an effort to siphon votes from conservative Republicans. If the effort to get on the ballot succeeds, the Tea Party will have until August third to hold a convention to nominate candidates.
Chetly Zarko is a Republican who is also active in the Tea Party movement. Zarko says he'd like to attend the party's convention as a delegate.
"I challenge them to let me into the convention and give me the same status as everybody else that will be attending that convention," he says. "I mean, every other party I know looks to create a majority, and the only way to make a majority that I know is to have as many people as you can get in."
But there is nothing that requires the officers of a political party to announce in advance when and where their convention will be. All they have to do is turn in their slate of candidates.
Election 2010 - WKAR
For more election reporting, interviews and analysis from WKAR, visit WKAR.org/election2010