When Thaddeus McCotter decided to resign his congressional seat, he also managed to saddle taxpayers with an unnecessary bill that will certainly exceed $600,000 and could top $1 million once all the accounting is finished.
Certainly, McCotter was leaving Congress in any case following a bizarre series of events that left him without enough signed petitions to qualify for a spot on the August primary ballot. McCotter's failure to garner enough signatures to qualify for a spot on the ballot baffled and puzzled friends and allies in the Republican party. Even his political opponents were left scratching their heads since his new district had been drawn specifically to help protect his congressional seat.
McCotter certainly could have prevailed in a write-in campaign in the primary since many Republicans were eager to help him overcome his original gaffe. Nonetheless, McCotter opted not to press a write-in campaign and quit Congress. Certainly, the petition problems raised questions about McCotter's managerial skills, but lots of politicians have managed to survive worse flaps.
However, McCotter, who at this point last year was running for the GOP presidential nomination eventually won by Mitt Romney and had emerged as familiar figure on cable television, left Congress altogether, throwing the state and local election calendars in disarray and creating the need for a new primary and election to fill the vacant seat.
It would be easy to condemn the election laws, but the lawsuit actually makes sense, since they are specifically designed to ensure the people of Michigan have a representative present in Washington for crucial votes.
McCotter, however, chose not to serve out his term and honor his commitment to local voters, which is unfortunate and, as it turns out, also expensive.
Ironically, the former congressman had portrayed himself as conservative ready to battle wasteful government spending. However, it is clear now his commitment to fiscal probity was little more than an act.
We think we speak for all taxpayers when we say we hope this marks the definitive end of McCotter's rather inglorious political career.
The Oakland Press (Pontiac)