NYT Bemoans Republican's Fake Candidates, Ignored Nearly Identical Democratic Ploy

At the New York Times, Republican ploys to get ringer candidates on the ballot are front page news. Attempts by Democrats to do the same thing - on a larger scale - are not worth covering at all.

"Republican Runs Street People on Green Ticket" blares the headline on the front page of today's Times. Arizona GOP operative Steve May has recruited three "street people," as the Gray Lady calls them, to run as Green Party candidates, which will likely siphon votes from Democrats running for the same seats.

"The political establishment here views him as nothing more than a political dirty trick," Times reporter Marc Lacey wrote of one of the street people.

The paper's new-found concern for political dirty tricks was nowhere to be seen, however, when a Democratic Party official ran 23 candidates on the specious "Tea Party" ticket in Michigan. The state Supreme Court recently ruled that The Tea Party cannot appear on the ballot in November.

The Times helpfully offers the Democratic position on the controversy in Arizona:

The Democratic Party is fuming over Mr. May's tactics and those of at least two other Republicans who helped recruit candidates to the Green Party, which does not have the resources to put candidates on ballots around the state and thus creates the opportunity for write-in contenders like the Mill Rats to easily win primaries and get their names on the ballot for November. Complaints about spurious candidates have cropped up often before, though never involving an entire roster of candidates drawn from a group of street people.

"It's unbelievable. It's not right. It's deceitful," said Jackie Thrasher, a former Democratic legislator in northwest Phoenix who lost re-election in 2008 after a Green Party candidate with possible links to the Republicans joined the race. "If these candidates were interested in the democratic process, they should connect with the party they are interested in. What's happening here just doesn't wash. It doesn't pass the smell test."...

Besides the Mill Rat candidates, the Democrats smell a rat in other races, including one in which a roommate of a Republican legislator's daughter ran as a Green Party candidate in a competitive contest for the State Senate. They cite a variety of state and federal election laws that the Republicans may have violated in putting forward "sham" candidates for the Green Party.

Meanwhile, about 2000 miles away, Jason Bauer, a Democratic Party official in Oakland County, Michigan, resigned after being caught red-handed in his role stacking the ballot for his party in 23 races. His plan: to create a "Tea Party" - with no ties to any group associating with the tea party movement or any other conservative cause - to draw voters away from Republican candidates in those races.

Jonathan Oosting reported at Mlive.com:

The Oakland County Democratic Party says it has requested and accepted the resignation of operations director Jason Bauer in the wake of accusations he notarized campaign filings for a fake Tea Party candidate.

"We are saddened by this situation, but cannot condone his alleged actions," the OCDP said Sunday in a released statement. "For the sake of the organization, we must part ways effective immediately."

Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson, a Republican candidate for secretary of state, announced the allegations against Bauer on Friday, noting she had turned over documents to the county prosecutor and Michigan Attorney General's office for further investigation.

Was a crime committed? Well, the Detroit Free Press reminds us that "Misusing notary public designation is punishable by suspension or revocation of the notary status and a civil fine of up to $1,000." Aaron Tyler, one of the 23 "Tea Party" candidates, said his name was filed without his knowledge. "I believe a fraud was committed," he told the Free Press.

Despite these facts, the New York Times has yet to run a single story on the Michigan controversy - a controversy that has already claimed the job of one Democratic Party official, and could, like the case in Arizona, lead to some form of legal action.

Is the Times only concerned about "political dirty tricks" when Democrats stand to take the hit?

Campaigns & Elections 2010 Congressional New York Times