Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Really Important" Conference Call Regarding "Outright Fraud" In Wisconsin Recall Efforts At 9:30am

As I first mentioned here, Wednesday evening on MSNBC's The Ed Show, Ed Schultz interviewed Adam Green from the Progressive Change Committee. Green said there will be a "really important conference call" Thursday morning at 9:30am from Mike Tate, head of the Wisconsin Democrats, regarding the Republicans' efforts to collect recall signatures for Democrats. He said that Tate will be alleging "outright fraud."

Green said they will be talking about some "very serious charges," and "in some cases illegal practices that the Republicans are using as they try to whip across the finish line with a lack of grassroot support that they're making up for by cutting corners."

Green hinted that the allegations span from convicted felons trying to collect signatures to outright fraud. In one case, Green said collectors tried to trick voters into signing by first saying things such as "Do you support Senator Dave Hansen?" and then saying "Sign here to see him on the ballot." Green added, "Lots of reports across the state have been coming in."

I haven't been able to find an announcement anywhere else yet, but based on Green's statements, I would expect to hear something soon.

Also, if you missed this, the Government Accountability Board is planning to request permission for counties to violate Wisconsin law by deleting the information contained on voting machines during a recount. That information would be very useful in determining what happened, and if serious discrepancies are found we must have the information. If the companies supplying our election systems cannot provide us with sufficient memory, we must seriously reconsider who we do business with.

Update: (10:08am) This was actually posted last night on Democurmudgeon. The only additional information I've seen is this earlier article at the Huffington Post and a single tweet by the State Journal saying, "Wis Dems accuse those gathering recall signatures against Dem senators of sloppy, shady practices & say they will submit complaints to GAB." There may not be "illegal practices" as Adam Green hinted at, but we shall see.

Update: (1:48pm) Finally, someone with knowledge of the conference call has written something about it! Here's a TPM article. I'm reading it over now and will post more shortly. Tate said, "I guarantee to the reporters on this call, there will be fraudulent signatures turned in."

Update: (1:55pm) There's a lot of issues that Mike Tate mentioned in the conference call, and a lot more information will be coming. From the TPM article,
"On a conference call with reporters on Thursday morning, state Dem chair Mike Tate and attorney Jeremy Levinson predicted that they would able to successfully challenge the validity of much of the signature-gathering effort by Republicans -- which Tate repeatedly called a "racket."

In particular, Tate said that the Republicans brought in paid signature gatherers from out of state, who were paid on a per-signature basis, and that some of these gatherers had criminal records."

Also, Levinson said that Democrats would not even necessarily have to scrutinize all the individual signatures, looking for ones to disqualify. "We know as fact that they have had people circulating signatures who are legally prohibited from doing so. Those signatures should all be tossed," said Levinson, also adding: "To circulate a petition, you either need to be a qualified elector [voter] in wisconsin or eligible to be a qualified elector in Wisconsin."
 Update: (April 22, 2:10am) I haven't been able to find much more information at this point. Here's a Slate article by David Weigel with a little bit more detail.


  1. What about that guy from Colorado who got caught stealing from Lambeau while being paid by the GOP to collect signatures against Hansen?

    I bet they can throw out his signatures.

  2. Yes, that seems to be a pretty sure case for throwing out those signatures. It sounds like there *may* be others too, but we can't know for sure without more information. At the very least, the Republicans have been taking what sounds like some very unethical steps to recall a few Democrats.

    The thing to keep in mind is, if they tricked a lot of people into signing, but those signatures aren't thrown out and the recall stands, the Democrat probably won't lose the recall election. If they don't have the momentum to get enough signatures for a recall, they won't win a recall election.