- People were being told that they could sign a petition more than once, and
- The Government Accountability Board (GAB) wasn't going to do a detailed analysis of the petitions for duplicate or otherwise ineligible signatures.
Charlie Sykes, mouthpiece for the GOP, took this bit of propaganda and conflated it to having people encouraged to sign multiple times and implying that the GAB was complicit with committing voter fraud.
Now, whenever one deals with this lot of miscreants and reprobates, one must consider if they have a point of if it is just another one of their fallacious smear attacks. If you bet on the latter, you're guaranteed to become rich in short order.
With that in mind, let's see if their complaints have any merit.
First, for the allegation that one can and even should sign a petition more than once.
One Wisconsin Now did indeed post a list of rules and rights regarding collecting recall signatures. And sure enough, it does indeed include the statement that one may sign more than one petition. The did, however, include the caveat that only one signature would count.
Hardly what an honest person would call encouraging someone to sign more than once.
To also take the winds out of the sails of these fools, Kevin Kennedy, director of the GAB was interviewed by yet another ersatz journalist, John Mercure, who shills for the GOP in the afternoons on WTMJ 620 AM. Mr. Kennedy told Mercure that it is the state law that allows more than one signature.
Mr. Kennedy went on to make another valid point that I'm ashamed that I didn't think of it on my own.
Mr. Kennedy pointed out that some people just may want to sign more than once to make sure that their signature is counted once.
Indeed, there is a group being investigated for threatening to pose as recall volunteers and collect signatures, only to later burn them. Then there was the student who did rip up a petition and then idiotically tweeted his man love for Walker by boasting how he did it for him. A 53 year old man in River Falls also shredded a petition. Another man in Madison is going to face charges for ripping up a recall page that had three signatures on it.
Perhaps before they complain about the ability of people to legally sign more than one petition, the right would do better by policing themselves from giving the people the incentive to sign more than one recall. But I won't hold my breath for this to happen. It was their attempts to silence and control the people that led them to the untenable position which they find themselves in now.
Now on to their complaint about the GAB.
When I saw them complaining that the GAB not certifying every signature, I'll admit that I was puzzled. I remembered writing last year how Maistelman and Associates got Paris Procopis, who was challenging Senator David Cullen, off the ballot by eliminating invalid signatures. At the same time, the law firm also successfully defended Todd Kolosso from James Sensenbrenner's attempt to have him thrown off that ballot.
I called Attorney Michael Maistelman, one of the state's leading election attorneys, to confirm my suspicion that this was another bogus complaint. Attorney Maistelman confirmed that it has always been the responsibility of the candidate and his or her campaign to challenge the signatures of their opponent, whether it is for a recall or even just for nomination papers to get on the ballot. He also told me that he has bumped a number of Republicans off of ballots by having invalid signatures stricken leaving his client's opponent with not enough to get on the ballot. He said that the Republicans have done that to a number of Democrats as well.
Maistelman also confirmed that it was always the campaign that paid for that legal work to be done. He added that Scott Walker's campaign would have much more funding than what would be needed to review and challenge the signatures of the recall.
In other words, the propagandist at the MacIver Institute (who didn't even have the courage to put their name to this hit piece), Charlie Sykes, Patrick Dorwin, Fred Dooley and Owen Robinson are complaining about is the fact that the GAB won't spend tax payer dollars to do Walker's campaign's political work.
Think what that really means for a minute.
They are so used to Walker using tax dollars to do his campaigning that they are now actually complaining when that corruption doesn't happen. They must have completely forgotten about Walkergate or how its already come full cycle. Now they want it to go for another lap.
Sadly, this does not surprise me. Not any more that it doesn't surprise me that every three and a half seconds another person who values the tradition of what Wisconsin is really all about stands up and adds their name to the hundreds of thousands of others who have said that they want to take Wisconsin back.