A former ticketing executive is running for the U.S. Representative seat in Michigan’s 9th Congressional District, and his past dealings in the industry are figuring prominently in his opponent’s campaign against him.
Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski, a Republican who is a past president and CEO of Grand Rapids, MI-based Star Tickets, is running against incumbent Gary Peters, a Democrat, and among the advertisements Peters has run is one that highlights a lawsuit against Raczkowski and Star Tickets in an alleged dispute over concerts at the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, SD in 2008.
The lawsuit, filed by promoter Rozone Productions, claims that Star Tickets, which was contracted to sell tickets to the concert, allegedly underreported the number of tickets sold for the shows, which Rozone said cost the company millions of dollars in potential revenue. Among the artists who performed at the concerts were Kenny Chesney and KISS.
Peters’ 30-second ad attacks Raczkowski for the allegedly being untrustworthy because of the lawsuit, and the two have had heated exchanges during debates about it. Raczkowski has vehemently denied all the allegations, which were first brought to light by one of his Republican primary rivals, and he has sued Peters and Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer for defamation.
“The [Rozone] Lawsuit was commenced by a disgraced, bankrupt cocaine addicted concert promoter who, after the concert, failed to make a profit and incurred debts, made false allegations against Rocky’s business, Star Tickets, and Rocky personally,” Raczkowski’s defamation lawsuit states.
Raczkowski’s lawsuit goes on to state, “Defendants Peters and Brewer made the false and defamatory allegations as part of a scheme to mislead and defraud Oakland County voters, particularly those residing in the 9th Congressional District, and to gain an unfair, improper and unethical advantage in a congressional campaign that recent polls show Peters and Brewer’s Democratic Party to be losing.”
According to the New York Times, Raczkowski was trailing Peters in the polls 46 percent to 51 percent late this week, and Peters has raised almost two-times as much as Raczkowski in campaign money. Election Day is Tuesday, November 2.
Peters defended the ad to WWJ-TV. “The ad we have is just an accurate statement of court documents that have been filed against Mr. Raczkowski in federal court for fraud, theft and conspiracy.”