Friday, May 6, 2011

Widespread fraud in WI GOP recall signatures?

That's what the Wisconsin Democrats are claiming.

You'll recall there are six Republican state senators facing recall because they voted to strip government workers of their collective bargaining rights.

There are three Democratic state senators facing recall (including our Teamster brother Dave Hansen from Green Bay) because they left the state to prevent a vote to strip government workers of their collective bargaining rights.

There was a difference, though, in the way the Democrats and Republicans collected signatures on the recall petitions. The Democrats used volunteers and say they were above board. The Republicans paid an out-of-state firm called Kennedy Enterprises $100,000 to circulate the petitions, and the Democrats said they lied and cheated.

Democrats have asked the Government Accountability Board to disqualify thousands of signatures that were fraudulently collected. They've also asked the GAB to reject recall elections because "widespread and systemic election fraud has tainted the entire GOP operation."

Democratic state Sen. Mark Miller, who escaped recall, said,
Thousands of Wisconsin citizens fell victim to lies and misinformation spread by the circulators, and the papers submitted by this operation contain a river of omissions and wrong information.
David Dayen at firedoglake reports:
...between 6.6% and 9.2% of the signers were “misled into signing the petition or asserted they had never signed.” And there are more charges:
Affidavit of a World War II veteran from Green Bay who was misled into signing a recall petition. Upon learning he had been duped, veteran called the sheriff to get his name removed. When confronted, the circulator claims he will remove the name, but a later review of the petitions reveals the veteran’s name was never crossed off.
Many affidavits attesting that Circulator Sherri Ferrell – who gathered nearly 3,000 signatures in two districts — gathered signatures on Indian reservations claiming petitions were to support “schools,” “Democrats,” and “tribal rights.”
The signature gatherers repeatedly lied about the petition, saying it was for work on a local park, or to recall a Republican Senator instead of a Democrat, or even to recall Governor Scott Walker. There are forged signatures of dead people in the petitions, names with fake addresses, and out-of-state signature gatherers with high incidences of fraud.