Michigan Democratic Party Press Release – ICYMI: Hoekstra Caught Paying for Signatures to Get on US Senate Ballot; Lied at News Conference in April

Yesterday, the Detroit News, Huffington Post, and MIRS covered the news that Pete Hoekstra lied about paying petition circulators to collect signatures to get on the ballot. In April, Hoekstra had definitively told reporters that he had not paid for a single signature.

As The Detroit News reported : Hoekstra, the former congressman from Holland, previously told The News he didn’t pay anyone to gather the more than 15,000 signatures of registered voters needed to qualify for the ballot.

“We didn’t pay anybody to collect signatures,” Hoekstra said this spring after turning in 22,000 signatures. “That was a purely volunteer effort.”

Below you will find The Detroit News report, the Huffington Post report, and MIRS reporters in their entirety.

The Detroit News: Glenn questions use of convicted felon in gathering signatures for Hoekstra
By Marisa Schultz

U.S. Senate candidate Gary Glenn, who boasts collecting all his petition signatures by a tea party-backed volunteer army, is calling out GOP rival Pete Hoekstra for paying a convicted felon to help him get on the Aug. 7 primary ballot.

Hoekstra, the former congressman from Holland, previously told The News he didn’t pay anyone to gather the more than 15,000 signatures of registered voters needed to qualify for the ballot.

“We didn’t pay anybody to collect signatures,” Hoekstra said this spring after turning in 22,000 signatures. “That was a purely volunteer effort.”

Hoekstra’s petitions show Keith Moore of Grand Rapids was a circulator in his petition gathering. A June 7 article by the Washington Examiner about a Maryland police union using felons to gather signatures cited Keith Moore as one of the circulators hired by California’s PCI Consultants to collect signatures for a police ballot measure to protect collective bargaining.

Records show Moore, 43, has a criminal record of home invasion, aggravated assault and most recently a conviction of attempted uttering and publishing in 2006 out of Kent County.

PCI Consultants Inc. is a nationwide petition firm based in Los Angeles, and its work has included union and Democratic Party-backed ballot initiatives in Michigan.

Glenn questioned Hoekstra’s honesty.

“If a professional petition circulator reportedly convicted of forgery and fraud was paid to gather signatures for Congressman Hoekstra, did Pete fail to truthfully respond to reporters who asked if his campaign had hired paid petition circulators?” Glenn asked.

Hoekstra’s campaign acknowledged Keith Moore collected signatures for the campaign, but maintained he wasn’t paid directly and they weren’t aware of his background.

The campaign said they didn’t hire PCI for the campaign, but did hire at least one consulting firm that handled some signature gathering work, and Moore would have been paid through that firm, according to a campaign spokesman.

The Hoekstra campaign wasn’t aware of Moore’s background and doesn’t do criminal checks on petition gatherers, most of whom were volunteers and Hoekstra staff, according the campaign.

The criminal convictions of Moore and another paid Michigan circulator came to light in Maryland when Montgomery County asked at least 6,700 signatures collected for the police union ballot initiative be tossed out because felons collected them, according to the Washington Examiner report.

In Michigan, convicted felons who are out of prison are allowed to vote. There’s also no prohibition against people with a felony conviction circulating petitions, according to Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams.

Glenn, Hoekstra, Randy Hekman and Clark Durant are vying for the Republican nomination. The winner of the primary will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November.

Huffington Post: Pete Hoekstra, Michigan Senate Candidate, Reportedly Hired Felon, Professionals To Collect Signatures

A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Michigan reportedly hired a convicted felon to collect signatures to get him on the ballot. Pete Hoekstra, a former congressman now running in a five-way GOP Senate primary, is reported to have used professional petition carriers, including at least one convicted felon as part of his campaign, according to the Detroit News. Hoekstra had previously said it was volunteers that collected the signatures.

Among the petition carriers was Keith Moore, who has been convicted of several felonies including home invasion and aggravated assault. Hoekstra’s campaign told the Detroit News that Moore was hired by a third party.

Gary Glenn, a Tea Party member who served as a county commissioner in Idaho and is running against Hoekstra, sounded off against the hire.

“If a professional petition circulator reportedly convicted of forgery and fraud was paid to gather signatures for Congressman Hoekstra, did Pete fail to truthfully respond to reporters who asked if his campaign had hired paid petition circulators?” Glenn told the Detroit News.

Hoekstra’s campaign was not immediately available to comment on the accusations.

Hoekstra recently came under fire from Michigan Democrats for his proposal to create a federal office to verify the credentials of presidential candidates. In February, he was criticized for a commercial he aired regarding China’s purchase of U.S. debt, where he used a Chinese actress speaking in broken English and calling current Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), Debbie SpentItNow. Hoekstra saw his early 2012 fundraisingdrop from the end of 2011 because of the ad.

A poll released last week showed Stabenow holding a 12-point lead over Hoekstra, the third poll in June to show the two-term incumbent with a lead over her opponent.

Hoekstra, who lost a 2010 gubernatorial primary to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), and Glenn are running against former state Board of Education President Clark Durant, pastor Randy Hekman and businessman Peter Konetchy. The primary election takes place August 7.

MIRS: Glenn Questions Hoekstra Signature-Gathering Tactics

U.S. Senate candidate Gary GLENN is questioning fellow Republican primary contender former U.S. Rep. Pete HOEKSTRA’s use of paid circulators — including a convicted felon — to help him gather signatures to put his name on the ballot.

Glenn put out a statement today with a copy of the petition that shows convicted felon Keith MOORE of Grand Rapids to be a circulator in Hoekstra’s petition gathering.

As The Detroit News originally reported, “Records show Moore, 43, has a criminal record of home invasion, aggravated assault and most recently a conviction of attempted uttering and publishing in 2006 out of Kent County.”

Hoekstra’s campaign told MIRS that while Moore did collect some signatures for the campaign, it was not a significant amount. The Hoekstra campaign also did not do background checks on circulators because most of them were staff or volunteers.

“It’s kind of like being almost pregnant,” Glenn quipped in response to the Hoekstra campaign saying its signature gatherers were mostly volunteer.

Glenn also railed on the fact that the Hoekstra campaign had previously said it was not paying people to gather signatures.

The Hoekstra campaign admitted today to MIRS that some people who circulated petitions may have been paid because they work with contractors and subcontractors. Hoekstra’s campaign said they did not feel it was a contradiction of their earlier statement that they were not paying circulators.

Glenn said the fact that “they may have laundered payment of these professional circulators through various levels of consultants” doesn’t diminish Hoekstra’s earlier comments being “less than truthful.”

Hoekstra and Glenn also are facing former Judge Randy HEKMAN and Cornerstone Schools founder ClarkDURANT in the GOP primary. The winner will face U.S. Sen. Debbie STABENOW (D-Lansing).

Glenn told MIRS his main concern, however, was with the connection to PCI Consultants, a firm in California that Glenn said helped put a fake Tea Party slate on the ballot in Michigan in 2010. Glenn pointed to a Washington Examiner article showing Moore was paid by PCI to gather signatures in another state at one point. He questioned why someone working for what he called a liberal firm would also work for Hoekstra’s campaign.

“I think the broadest question is why are these anti-Tea Party liberals working to help Pete Hoekstra on his campaign?” Glenn said. “Do they want to help him win the nomination because they know he would be the easiest to beat by Stabenow?”
Press Release: Michigan Democratic Party


Submit Press Releases, News, Calendar Items, and Community Events to Great Lakes Radio Stations WFXD, WKQS, WRUP, WQXO, and WPIQ
Click To Submit Press Releases, News, Calendar Items, and Community Events to Great Lakes Radio Stations WFXD, WKQS, WRUP, WQXO, and WPIQ