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(CBS News) As voters head to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, reports out of the state suggest that robocalls are being placed informing voters, falsely, they don't have to vote if they signed the recall petition.
There have also been reports of mailings going out to voters telling them they can't vote unless they did so in 2010, and of people going door-to-door telling voters they don't have to go to the polls if they signed the recall petition, both of which are also untrue.
I'm in our situation room right now and I have an urgent update about the state of the race on the ground. Reports coming into our call center have confirmed that Walker’s allies just launched a massive wave of voter suppression calls to recall petition signers. Here is what people are receiving across Wisconsin:
"If you signed the recall petition, your job is done and you don’t need to vote on Tuesday."
It's to be expected, of course--an election as important as the recall of Scott Walker in Wisconsin today will have some dirty tricks happening.
But this one's especially nasty. Tom Barrett's campaign announced that there's been a wave of robocalls targeting the people who signed the petition to recall Walker, telling them they've already voted by signing the petition and should stay home on Tuesday. (Over a million people signed the recall petitions.)
Josh Eidelson reported:
Last night I talked to a Wisconsin voter who says she received just such a robo-call. Carol Gibbons told me she picked up the phone and heard a male voice saying "thank you for taking this call," and that "if you signed the recall petition, you did not have to vote because that would be your vote." After hearing the vote-suppressing message, said Gibbons, "I wanted to take the phone and throw it in the middle of the road." Gibbons is a retired public employee and a staunch Walker opponent. If he wins the recall, she warned, "He’s going to roll over us like pieces of dirt. He’s going to say, 'They voted for me twice – I can do whatever I want.'"
One Wisconsin Now is claiming that the Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity (a corporate-funded group which helps finance the Tea Party) are purposefully engaging in a voter suppression effort called "voter caging." To support their claims, One Wisconsin Now has produced documents from a Tea Party meeting, along with an audio clip of the meeting. In the audio, "Grandsons of Liberty" leader Tim Dake describes the strategy the Tea Party, Republican Party, and Americans for Prosperity plan to implement,
"One of the things we’re going to do is take these addresses that people give and we want to send out a postcard that says, 'You need to call and confirm this. And if you haven’t called, well then it could get tossed out.' We’re also looking for when you send these cards out is they’ll come back if it is an undeliverable address."
That particular practice of sending out direct mailings is very suspect, as it could cause many voters to think they have been disqualified from voting because they did not respond to the postcard sent out by private parties. Many voters may simply discard or ignore the postcard. Then they will be told by others, possibly the Tea Party, that their non-response disqualifies them from voting. In fact, the postcard has no legal significance, but that is not what is stated in the proposed postcard.
There have also been reports of mailings going out to voters...
The level of apathy in protecting our right to vote while special interest groups do everything they can to steal elections is appalling.
If Scott Walker wins Tuesday’s recall election, he’ll have 14 of America’s richest people to thank.
Wisconsin’s Governor has out-raised opponent Tom Barrett, the Mayor of Milwaukee, by almost 10 to one: $30.5 million to Barrett’s $3.9 million. Of that huge haul, $1.68 million — or, almost half Barrett’s total — came from 14 members of the Forbes billionaires list, all but one of whom live outside Wisconsin.
Madison -- The just-released campaign finance report for Gov. Scott Walker is not only awash in millions of dollars of out-of-state money, but also 187 new violations of campaign finance disclosure rules for failing to include employer information for more than $41,000 in contributions.
“Scott Walker intends to win this election with huge donations from a nationwide cabal of corporate, anti-middle class extremists,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “No state candidate in the history of Wisconsin has gotten so much money from such a small number of wealthy donors.”
Walker’s report shows he amassed $4.87 million in individual contributions, 49 percent of which, or $2.39 million, came from out of state contributions. One Wisconsin Now analysis of his report shows:
- Massive concentration of high dollar donations: While Walker has more than 46,900 individual contributions, he raised $2,247,688 from those giving mega-donations of $1,000 and above. This top 1.3 percent of individual givers donated 46 percent of Walker’s total itemized individual money. In fact, Walker has used the unlimited campaign finance restrictions on individual donations to amass $1,210,000 from a mere 41 contributors. This means 25 percent of Walker’s individual money came from 0.00087 percent of his donors.
- Massive amounts of out of state money: Walker not only took nearly 50 percent of his individual money from out of state, his top four donors totaling $550,000, came from outside of Wisconsin. Of Walker’s largest 655 contributions of $1,000 and above, 53 percent of the money from these contributions, or $1,196,600 is from outside of Wisconsin.
- Violations of reporting requirements: Walker failed to report employment information for $41,644 in 187 contributions above $100 in violation of campaign finance reporting laws. This does not include the unprecedented $154,781 in “unitemized contributions,” which include no information. Walker previously was previously the subject of a Government Accountability Board complaint for failing to disclose the employment information for over $500,000 in 1,100 contributions in violation of the law. hxxp://www.onewisconsinnow.org/press/walker-goes-over-500000-in-improperly-reported-contributions.html
“As hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin men, women and children rose up against Walker’s extremism, the governor and his right wing, pro-corporate lackeys labeled them ‘outside agitators,’” said Ross. “Walker’s unprecedented out-of-Wisconsin cash grab should end that phony claim, once and for all.”
It's not surprising, then, to learn that out-of-state money is pouring into the Walker recall at a record pace—and it's powering the efforts of Democrats, Republicans, interest groups, and unions alike.
In Wisconsin's 2006 gubernatorial election, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, out-of-state campaign donations made up 15 percent of all donations. In 2010 it was 9 percent. But in the Walker recall? It's a staggering 57 percent.
Originally posted by Blackmarketeer
Blatant voter-suppression tactics at work in Wisconsin
I was outraged. It’s my private information and it’s being sent to everybody all over the neighborhood,” Eric Zimmerman, who received the mailing at his New Berlin home said Monday — one day before voters take to the polls in Wisconsin’s recall election. The mailing tells Zimmerman’s neighbors he voted in November 2008 and again in 2010.
People throughout the state are blogging and complaining about the organization that sent the mailing. It’s called the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund. It’s a Madison-based group with Democratic and labor ties. The mailer contains a United Steel Workers logo in the corner.
The group’s website says after the June 5th election, public records will tell everyone who voted and who didn’t. The site urges people to vote.
This latest round of voter fraud has attracted the attention of the Department of Justice which declared it will monitor the elections. Will it actually do any good?
Originally posted by BlackmarketeerThe level of apathy in protecting our right to vote while special interest groups do everything they can to steal elections is appalling.
Americans for Prosperity is sending absentee ballots to Democrats in at least two Wisconsin state Senate recall districts with instructions to return the paperwork after the election date.
The fliers, obtained by POLITICO, ask solidly Democratic voters to return ballots for the Aug. 9 election to the city clerk "before Aug. 11."
A Democrat on the ground in Wisconsin said the fliers were discovered to be hitting doors in District 2 and District 10 over the weekend.
"These are people who are our 1's in the voterfile who we already knew. They ain't AFP members, that's for damn sure," the source said.
Originally posted by Blackmarketeer
Question: why is a "conservative" SuperPAC like "Americans for Prosperity" mailing absentee ballots only to democratic voters? Absentee ballots that just happen to have the incorrect return address and the incorrect election date, two days AFTER the close of the election (Aug. 11 instead of Aug. 9)?