More Election Fraud From Republicans – And They Try To Justify It

By YeOldeScribe ~ June 7th, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

At Political Progressives, we’ve talked before about how stunned we are at the current crop of Wisconsin Republicans who not only feel the need to break the law to get what they want, they attempt to justify breaking the law. It happened with the Budget Repair Bill, and it’s happening again now with the recall elections. For the Budget Repair Bill, the Wisconsin Republican Senators had the chance to do the right thing and give enough notice for the committee meeting. They had the chance to allow spectators into the meeting. They had the chance to actually read the bill and discuss the changes that they were making to it. The best part is that they still have that chance. All the Republicans have to do is pass the bill legally and the State Supreme Court Decision essentially goes away, turning the Budget Repair Bill into law. They just need to give 24 hour notice of a meeting, allow people to enter the meeting, then vote after discussion happens. But Republicans are refusing to play by their own rules.

Earlier, we reported that the Republican party was trying to get ‘fake Democrats’ to run against actual Democratic candidates in the recall elections. We also reported that the Republican response was simple: sue the bastards who recorded their super-secret meeting. However, the Republicans have updated their strategy: justify running fake candidates. According to the Journal-Sentinel, none other than the Executive Director of the GOP, Stephan Thompson, has spoken on record saying that not only is the GOP trying to run ‘fake Democrats’ in the recall election, they’re arguing that it’s just a good political tactic and that because the ends justify the means, there’s no reason why the procedure should be frowned upon.

There’s a couple interesting things about this statement. First of all, it means that the GOP’s lawsuit against whoever recorded that super-secret meeting where the plan to run ‘fake Democrats’ was discussed should be immediately thrown out. The argument the GOP made was that the conversation never happened (even though two high-ranking GOP members were recorded on tape discussing the plan) and that the GOP would never do such a thing. Well guys, you’re 0 for 2, meaning that frivolous lawsuit can go away.

But more importantly, that’s the GOP’s argument? That the ends justify the means? We won’t go into detail about how many horrible atrocities were committed using that utilitarian concept, but think about it: that means if you truly believe in your cause and you “know” what you’re doing is right, then you can do anything to achieve that goal. That’s the mindset the Crusades were built on, and it’s the mindset the 9/11 terrorists used too. When God is on your side, you can pretty much get away with anything.

Here, the GOP is trying to pull the pity card. After all, those Republicans in the Senate have been working ever so hard coming up with new legislation and having earnest debate on the important issues facing Wisconsin that they simply don’t have time to campaign and deal with their constituents, so they need more time to get the word out about how wonderful and awesome they are, right? All we have to say to that are lies, lies, lies.

First, the Senate GOP members haven’t come up with new and original legislation. The Budget Repair Bill? Handed down to them by Gov. Scott Walker. The Voter ID bill? Another one of Walker’s ideas. Stripping collective bargaining rights? All Walker. The Republicans in the Senate are nothing but lap dogs for our governor, and they couldn’t come up with any original legislation if their careers depended on it (which they might, come to think of it). Second, there hasn’t been any earnest debate in the Wisconsin legislature since Republicans took over. You know why the Democrats walked out on their job? Because they were getting more attention outside the state then they were inside the capitol. Want to see what earnest debate looks like to a Republican? Go watch this video again of the Special Conference Committee. Remember that it took all of one minute for the Senate Republicans to pass their version of the Budget Repair Bill. So to say that they haven’t had time to campaign because they’ve been working so hard is a load of crap.

And if anyone has the right to complain, it’s the Democrats. Republicans currently in the Senate should have a huge advantage – they were elected by these same people years ago, and they should have a record of upholding their constituents’ wishes with their votes. They have the experience in the Senate whereas the Democrats running against them do not. They have a political machine and wealthy businessmen supporting them every step of the way. They have franking privileges, which means they can send out political propaganda on the public’s dime. The Republicans are essentially saying “But we’ve wasted every chance we’ve been given to impress our constituents and now we need more time to do it!” Sorry, boys and girls – you had your chance: now it’s our turn.

On top of that, let’s not forget that the recalls against the three Democrats might not even happen. Some people were asking us for more proof of wrongdoing from the Republicans, so we found some (pdf). Granted, this information comes from one of the Democratic Senators up for recall, be the information was presented to the Government Accountability Board, which just recently decided that they couldn’t validate the recall petitions against the Dems because of “numerous factual and legal issues” – so there’s some truth to these claims. First, let’s take a look at how these signatures were gathered. The GOP paid a firm from outside the state to come into Wisconsin and gather signatures to recall the Democrats. Further, the petitioners from this company were paid on a per-signature basis. We don’t have to tell you why that 2nd piece of information is so damning – if the people were paid by the signature, do you think they really cared if they were all gathered legitimately? Also, that procedure actually invalidates the petitions themselves. Amongst other things in the paperwork to gather signatures, the petitioner has to claim that “I support this recall petition”. If this is a company that was hired to gather these signatures and has been hired in the past to do so, then they don’t really agree with what the petition is saying, do they? They’re getting paid to do the job and could really care less about the outcome as long as they get paid for each signature they get.

Also, many of the petition gatherers didn’t even provide their correct addresses. The lawsuit filed points out seven different people who supplied an incorrect address on their paperwork, invalidating the signatures they gathered. But the bigger examples of fraud come later.

One petition gatherer in particular – Sherri Ferrell – is singled out in the lawsuit for gross misconduct in gathering her signatures. After the signatures were gathered, Democrats sponsored phone surveys to contact a sampling of the signees to ask them if they understood what they were signing. Amazingly, over 35% of the signatures gathered by Ms. Ferrell were found to be fraudulent in this way alone. Ferrell went to the Menominee Native Americans and told them that the petition they were signing was to “support Indians”. She told others that the petition was to “support schools” and even flat-out lied to some, saying that the petition was to “support Democrats”.

Other petitioners essentially sub-contracted their petitions, and certified signatures they didn’t acquire – again illegal. In the end, based on ten different main and 32 – thirty-two! – sub-categories of election fraud, almost 7,000 signatures should be thrown out against Holperin. And let’s not forget that he’s just one Senator. Who knows the depths of deceit that the GOP went through just to get their signatures.

We can’t wait for the GOP to try and justify this one. Will they try to say the ends (keeping themselves in office) justifies the means (rampant election fraud) again? We really can’t wait until the end of the summer when Democrats take back the Senate, and into the winter when they take back the governorship. Wisconsin needs to stand up to corrupt politics, and that’s exactly what the GOP has been doing for the last year plus.

Just ask them – but they’ll try to justify it for you.

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