Archive for petitions – Page 2

Romney-tied voter registration firm accused of fraud in swing states. CA Dems were re-registered as Republicans without their consent.

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As I wrote in a previous post, Republicans are masters of that old Rovian tactic called projection. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s taking your candidate’s (or anyone’s) weaknesses and attributing them to the opposition.

By accusing voters of attempting fraud, making them jump through hoops in order to abide by new restrictive Voter I.D. laws, accusing others of tampering with elections in any way, the GOP is projecting like crazy, as is now even more evident in stories that have been breaking in the past few days.

But first, a clarification: Election fraud and voter fraud are two different things. Voter fraud involves individual voters who show up at the precincts on election day who might use fake names, register to vote more than once, that kind of thing. Voter fraud is virtually non-existent, rarer than getting struck by lightning.

Election fraud, which is rampant, is when candidates or groups try to influence election outcomes by hacking into voting machines, engage in voter suppression (scroll), ballot box tampering, intimidation at the polls, deliberate miscounting, or as happened in this case, padding or otherwise altering petitions.

The Los Angeles Times, the Brad Blog, and CaliforniaWatch.org are all posting about GOP fraud and hypocrisy. Here are some excerpts from these three sources. Brad actually ends his piece with this, but I'm including it at the top because it needs to be emphasized:

There is no known "voter fraud" related to this [Sproul] scandal. This is a form of election fraud known as "voter registration fraud". There are no actual voters involved in this scandal. The voters have been, and are, doing just fine. Please leave them alone. Inappropriate attacks on voters are best left to members of the Republican Party. Thanks.

You're welcome. Now back to the news:

The North Carolina Republican Party has fired the shady voter registration firm owned by Mitt Romney's paid political consultant and longtime GOP operative, Nathan Sproul. The firing came as Democrats in the state were on the brink of denouncing the Republicans' tie to the operative's firm.

The state GOP joins the Republican Party of Florida, which also fired Sproul's company (who accounted for the party's largest 2012 expenditure, some $1.3 million over the last two months) after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration forms were turned over to the FL State Attorney in Palm Beach County on Monday for investigation. The BRAD BLOG first reported the emerging story in detail on Tuesday.

The L.A. Times has a detailed report about Sproul, too. Here's a sample:

Strategic Allied Consulting was hired to do voter registration drives in Florida, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Nevada, and had been planning get-out-the-vote drives in Ohio and Wisconsin, according to Sproul. Lincoln Strategy Group, another Sproul company, was paid about $70,000 by Mitt Romney's campaign during the primaries to gather signatures. [...]

Sproul is a fixture in Arizona Republican politics. He is former head of the Arizona Christian Coalition and a veteran of a number of GOP campaigns. For three years, he was executive director of the state party.

In 2004, a company he started was paid millions by Republicans to register voters. Employees in Oregon, Nevada, West Virginia and Pennsylvania alleged they were told to register only Republicans. One worker in Las Vegas said he watched a supervisor tear up Democratic registrations. The Justice Department started an investigation, which did not lead to any charges, Sproul said.

California Watch has a story of their own:

In a complaint filed last week with the county registrar of voters, the Democrats presented affidavits from 133 Democratic voters who said they had been re-registered as Republicans without their consent after they encountered petition circulators outside welfare offices and stores.

One voter complained that his registration was changed to Republican after he signed what he thought was a petition to legalize marijuana. Another said he was told he was signing a petition to lower the price of gasoline, according to the affidavits.

Many of those who complained were-- wait for it-- Latino or African American. Gee, they're never targeted, are they?

And by re-registering Democrats as Republicans, the group prevented them from being contacted by Dems for the crucial get-out-the-vote push. After all, why would Democrats want to encourage Republicans when they're trying like crazy to make sure their own party members cast ballots?

Please click on all three links to read more.

Apparently Republicans think this is what they must do to "win" elections: Steal, cheat, and lie. It's all they have. After all, they're wrong on the issues and have an inferior, inept candidate.

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Projection 101: "Willful delusion has become the hallmark of Republican policies and rhetoric."

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The following is a tweet from the wonderful John Dean, who also provided the link to the article below via Lawsonry that ends with a bang. John Dean:

"GOP appears to fear election fraud because they do it."

I wrote about the back story here: Staffers for former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) will face criminal charges for filing fraudulent ballot petitions.

As we all know by now, Republicans are masters of that old Rovian tactic called projection. If you're not familiar with the term, it's taking your candidate’s (or anyone's) weaknesses and attributing them to the opposition.

By accusing voters of attempting fraud, making them jump through hoops in order to abide by new restrictive Voter I.D. laws, the GOP is projecting like crazy, considering former McCotter staffers have been charged with 36 counts of both misdemeanor and felony election fraud.

But despite both being illegal acts that can potentially affect elections, as I said in my previous post, it's important to remember that election fraud and voter fraud are two different things. Voter fraud involves individual voters who show up at the precincts on election day who might use fake names, register to vote more than once, that kind of thing. Voter fraud is virtually non-existent,  rarer than getting struck by lightning.

The McCotter mess was election fraud, which is rampant, and that’s when candidates or groups try to influence election outcomes by hacking into voting machines, engage in voter suppression (scroll), ballot box tampering, intimidation at the polls, deliberate miscounting, or as happened in this case, padding or otherwise altering petitions.

The point here is that it is all too common for hypocritical Republicans to condemn behavior while engaging in equally condemnable behavior:

In September of 2011, McCotter officially withdrew from the race and endorsed Mitt Romney.  [...]

And this is the truth about so many Republican policies: rules and regulations are put in place to scapegoat people who aren’t causing problems. In Florida, drug testing welfare recipients showed that less than 3% of those receiving welfare were using drugs illegally, while that discriminatory testing cost the state nearly $120,000. Mitt Romney has evoked the “47% of people [who] pay no income tax,” conveniently ignoring that collecting income tax from all of those households would bring in less than than the president’s Buffett Rule which would slightly raise taxes for the country’s wealthiest. Reagan’s racist welfare queen myth still looms large in the conservative narrative, despite the fact that the Bush-era bailout for corrupt and irresponsible banks cost far more than years of welfare programs. 

The cognitive dissonance bordering on willful delusion has become the hallmark of Republican policies and rhetoric. Expecting this heinous fraud to bring the GOP back to reality would be wishful thinking at this point, but at least one corrupt Congressman is now out of a job.

With any luck and a big turnout, many more will be out of a job as well.

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Staffers for former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) will face criminal charges for filing fraudulent ballot petitions

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Remember Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, former GOP presidential candidate? Sure you do, because he's been in the news lately, but for all the wrong reasons. He had to drop his re-election campaign back in June because he couldn't come up with enough signatures, valid signatures that is, to get on the primary ballot.

In fact, the signatures that were collected had all kinds of problems. There were duplicates and errors and, well, it got so bad that the attorney general started an investigation. The result? Four of McCotter's staffers are now facing criminal charges, including 34 felonies and misdemeanors, for filing fraudulent petitions.

Via Roll Call:

This was not simply keystone cops run amok — serious criminal acts were committed, and following a thorough and complete investigation, felony charges have been filed,” [Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette] said in a statement. [...]

[He] did not charge McCotter today but blamed his mismanagement for the catastrophe.

“Here, former Congressman McCotter was asleep at the switch. He failed to mind the store and appears to have provided no supervision whatsoever to his staff members,” Schuette continued. “Election fraud will not be tolerated and this brazen attitude of indifference by public servants is disgraceful.”

Please note: Election fraud and voter fraud are two different things. Voter fraud involves individual voters who show up at the precincts on election day who might use fake names, register to vote more than once, that kind of thing. Voter fraud is virtually non-existent,  rarer than getting struck by lightning.

This was election fraud, which is rampant, and that's when candidates or groups try to influence election outcomes by hacking into voting machines, engage in voter suppression (scroll), ballot box tampering, intimidation at the polls, deliberate miscounting, or as happened in this case, padding or otherwise altering petitions.

Details of the charges are here.

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Poll-itics: Majority would recall Wis. Gov. Scott Walker

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A new Wisconsin Rasmussen poll is "a remarkable shift from February when 54 percent of Wisconsin voters said they would vote against the recall."

Taegan gets right to the bottom line:

A majority of voters want Gov. Scott Walker (R) recalled in the June 5 election, 52% to 47%.

Key finding: 53% disapprove of his job as governor with a whopping 46% saying they "strongly disapprove" of him.

First we find out that “dire predictions of ‘rampant signature fraud’ and ‘floods’ of phony signatures have been proven false” in the recall petitions, which, by the way, 931,000 people signed.

Then, a federal judge struck down parts of Walker's anti-union law.

And now, a reversal in the polls for Scotty. Let's hope the trends continue.

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"Dire predictions of 'rampant signature fraud' and 'floods' of phony signatures have been proven false" in Wisconsin recall

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We here at TPC have written endlessly about the myths of voter fraud and the attempts at voter suppression through enforcement of Voter I.D. laws.

As Think Progress noted, "voter fraud is rarer than getting struck by lightning — they are potentially having their right to vote stripped away... Many citizens don’t have immediate access to their birth certificate or similar documents required for a voter ID."

A lot of people don’t have a driver’s license, or live too far from a provider to get one, or are too ill to travel or stand in line (some states even require one for absentee voters), or simply can’t afford the money it takes to access the required documents.

Attempts to disenfranchise voters are thinly veiled efforts to stop left-leaning voters from casting ballots. Those who would be affected most by these laws are low income voters, the elderly, young voters, minorities, and as stated above, the ill who can’t leave home, and anyone without transportation... and these groups usually tend to vote Democratic.

Which brings us to the Wisconsin recall. Per the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board ( GAB), not only was there a very low error rate for the signatures collected for the Scott Walker recall petitions, there were also low rates on the petitions for state senators Fitzgerald, Wanggaard, Moulton, and Galloway.

P.R. Watch.org has the details, but here's the bottom line:

While only 931,000 signatures were submitted, slightly short of the one million claimed, the GAB disqualified only 30,000 from the Walker recall, and about 34,000 from the Kleefisch recall. The three percent error rate is significantly below the 15 percent rate predicted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. It was also dramatically below the 30 percent rejection rate for the one million signatures collected for the referendum to reverse SB-5, the Ohio collective bargaining measure, in 2011. [...]

The GAB review showed the True the Vote allegations of massive problems to be false... Five "fraudulent" signatures were found... but joke signatures are hardly likely to come from proponents of the recall. [...]

One ... isolated incident did not go unchecked -- the man is facing felony charges. A handful of problems hardly constitute a "flood" of fraud, but these rare instances been repeated endlessly in the past few months by conservative media sources such as American Thinker, the MacIver institute and Red State, and even on the website for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Dire predictions of "rampant signature fraud" and "floods" of phony signatures have been proven false.

This article is well worth a read, so please go here to do just that.

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29 Wisconsin judges signed Gov. Scott Walker recall petitions

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walker recall petition judge signatures

Via thenorthwestern.com

Scotty Walker is hearing from judges from all over Wisconsin who support his recall by way of signing petitions calling for his exit. However, no appeals court or Supreme Court justices signed a petition.

There's a particular judge in Dane County, David Flanagan, who is getting slammed because he was the one who issued a temporary restraining order against a voter ID law that Scotty supported, and then didn't reveal that he was pro-recall.

Judges from fifteen other counties signed petitions, too, which added up to twenty-nine circuit court judges in all, per Gannett Wisconsin Media.

Via TheNorthwestern.com:

Twelve percent of the state's approximately 250 county-level judges signed the petition. By comparison, the 930,000 signatures submitted by recall organizers would represent 21 percent of the state's voting-age population, if all signatures were valid. The Government Accountability Board has so far determined 26,000 were invalid, and the review is ongoing. [...]

Janine Geske, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice and law professor at Marquette University, said she was surprised by the number of judges who signed the recall petitions.

"I believe the judges had the right to sign the petition, but it creates a problem with the appearance of impartiality if and when they may be called upon to decide any issues involving the governor or the Republican party," Geske said in an e-mail. "We are in a highly politically charged time when many citizens have lost confidence in our governmental bodies. It is critical that judges do everything they can to demonstrate that the judiciary remains independent of the other two branches and will remain free of political influence."

The state's Code of Judicial Conduct makes no specific reference to recall petitions. Those judges who signed argued that the petition was "merely supporting the electorate's right to vote, and that the recall petition supports neither a specific candidate nor a political party and is allowable." In other words, they weren't endorsing a candidate or a party, but the recall process itself.

Also, per the article, if signing on isn't specifically prohibited, then it becomes a First Amendment issue.

There's been a "barrage" of complaints (one group filing is the Republican Party of Wisconsin) seeking an investigation of Flanagan, but any decision will have to wait until the end of April, when the judicial commission is scheduled to meet.

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Wisconsin recall target State Senator Pam Galloway is resigning. No more GOP majority, for now.

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The recall election in Wisconsin is scheduled for May 8th, which can't come soon enough. But, if more than one candidate from a party runs, then that election could become a primary election. Then, the general election would be moved to June 5.

Meantime, Gov. Scott Walker has been stuffing his pockets with all kinds of Koch brothers cash.

All our posts on the Wisconsin recalls are here, including those about the soon-to-be kicked-out Gov. Scotty.

Via JSOnline:

Madison - State Sen. Pam Galloway, who faces a recall election this summer, plans to resign from the Senate shortly, leaving an even split between Republicans and Democrats. [...]

Her resignation would cause the Republicans to lose their Senate majority. Republicans would hold 16 seats and Democrats would hold 16 seats.

The recall election against Galloway will still take place, though, and the repugnant, union-busting Scott Fitzgerald, who is also up for recall, said he would recruit another candidate to run.

Good luck with that.

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