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6:08 pm
Fri August 20, 2010

Tea Party challenge likely to go to MI Supreme Court

LANSING, MI –

A state elections board will decide Monday whether a group calling itself the "Tea Party" deserves a spot on the November ballot. Elections officials say the group appears to have gathered enough petition signatures to qualify. But, as Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta tells us, there may be other challenges from people who say this is a fake Tea Party.

AUDIO:
Members of this Tea Party appear to have some ties to unions and Democrats. And its slate of candidates appears largely focused on competitive races that could be decided by a small number of votes.

"So, what they're trying to do is to draw, siphon votes from legitimate candidates," he says.

Matt Davis is a Republican attorney who is part of the effort to keep the "Tea Party" name off the ballot. He says this Tea Party broke some rules along the way in how it secretly convened a convention and nominated candidates.

"They're trying to game the system," he explains.

Davis says he and other opponents of this Tea Party's efforts to get on the ballot will see what elections officials decide. And if they lose, he says they are prepared to take their case all the way to the state Supreme Court. The deadline for finalizing the statewide ballot is two weeks away.