“We Are Wisconsin Recall” Statement Takes Us To The Edge – Take a Step Back

Kelly Steele, Communications Director for “We Are Wisconsin” PAC released the following statement today regarding confirmation that Republicans will attempt to run “false” Democratic candidates in some Senate Districts, forcing a primary election – giving GOP incumbents time to prepare, communicate, and raise money:

“The unprecedented conspiracy being propagated by some combination of the Wisconsin GOP, operatives at the RNC, and individual Republicans in recall districts to hijack the election process has fundamentally changed the dynamic of the upcoming elections. Despite how innocuous their unseemly tactics might appear, placing Republican operatives purporting to be Democrats to force Democratic primaries could allow the Republicans to manipulate the process in a way that could severely disadvantage efforts to flip the Wisconsin State Senate.

This includes a number of factors, including being able to make last-minute decisions as to elections for which they’d like to move the general election to August 9th and those they’d like to keep on July 12th. (Remember, the Republicans have merely announced their intent to file fake Democrats in these elections and are collecting signatures, but they have no obligation to follow through. They could easily, for example, stand in the GAB office on June 14th and decide at 4:59pm to leave 3 races of their choosing on July 12th and move 3 races to August 9th.) Allowing them this control and ability to manipulate the calendar would severely damage the chances of taking back control of the Wisconsin State Senate.

Another potential scenario created by the Republican chicanery in the primary that could severely disadvantage Democratic candidates is that Republican incumbents who do not face primary challengers advance automatically to the general election ballot. This creates a scenario where “legitimate” Democratic challengers are exposed to unlimited spending by outside groups and pro-Republican forces, which could cause the “legitimate” Democrats in the race to lose the sham primary. There would be no check on millions of dollars in shady outside money coming in to relentlessly attack “legitimate” Democrats, and full-scale mobilization of Republican resources to turn out their voters in the Democratic primary and to advocate a message such as “if you support Randy Hopper, vote for fake candidate X.”

Given the situation Republicans have so despicably concocted to manipulate these recall elections, it is the opinion of We Are Wisconsin that it would be in the interest of Democrats to run candidates in the Republican primaries to ensure the dates of the general election are predictably on August 9th, and that Republicans are forced to win a primary election instead of diverting their unlimited resources to back their “fake” candidates against “legitimate” Democrats. To that end, it would be in the interest of flipping the Wisconsin Senate that interested Democrats contact the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

This opinion is not rendered lightly. This is the most cynical manipulation of the Wisconsin electoral process in our state’s history, and is being done by a Republican party that has demonstrated no respect for the rule of law and our state’s tradition of clean elections and good governance. Unfortunately, however, after evaluating the strategic implications of their despicable tactics, to simply stand idly by would amount to unilateral disarmament and would almost certainly thwart the will of the hundreds of thousands of voters who support recalling Republican Senators in the upcoming elections.

Ideally, GAB could step in and prevent the Republicans from deploying this despicable tactic. However, GAB spokesman Reid Magney said the staff doesn’t believe the Republican scheme “raises any significant legal issues.” Therefore, it our official position that Democrats have no other strategic option – that because the Republicans are hell-bent on spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on sham elections to manipulate the process, that adding an additional name to the ballot in the form of a Republican challenger constitutes the only way to level the playing field and prevent being steamrolled by their nefarious tactics. This is truly a sad day for Wisconsin’s political process.”

The anger and frustration expressed in this statement is understandable. However, when one considers the reprehensible conduct of the GOP throughout this process, this tactic they are plotting should surprise no one. It should not lead to panic; and it should not lead to advocating unethical activity(at the least), and most likely illegal activity. Wisconsin Statute 12.05 makes it illegal to falsify or mislead an electorate, and as of today there are already complaints filed and being investigated by Dane County DA Ozanne. There are also existing statutes whereby citizens can file complaints with the GAB against falsified election petitions. There are legal remedies for this conspiracy.

Moreover, let me be clear. Our message and movement depends on our ethical, moral, and just behavior. How do we invoke the trust of a cheated and betrayed electorate, to turn over governance to a progressive resurgence, if we behave no better than the GOP who stole their state for the new “Robber Barons.” Even considering this type of tactic puts our credibility at risk. It is true that desperate times call for desperate measures. But desparate does not need to cross the line to illegality and fraud. desperate is thousands of Wisconsinites standing arm in arm for their just rights – in a right and just protest, and winning elections ethically and legally.

That is how we win. That is how people know the difference between the Scott Walkers of the world, and the Fighting Bob LaFollettes of the world. The message to We Are Wisconsin – live up to your name. Live up to what We say we stand for. Retract your statement and denounce anything but free, fair, open, and legal elections.

9 thoughts on ““We Are Wisconsin Recall” Statement Takes Us To The Edge – Take a Step Back

  1. Thank you. I have nearly returned to my pre-February attitude that all politicians are alike, and FIE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES. Talk about demoralizing the grass roots!

  2. I respectfully request that citizens of Wisconsin who are registered Republicans of such duration that they recall what a TRUE Republican stands for, sign up as legitimate candidates for this (R) primary as part of their patriotic duty.

    Look at the benefits: your long standing (say, 30 years) in the Republican Party would mean that you can actually remember the shame you felt following Richard Nixon’s resignation for trying to cover up political dirty tricks… and are therefore capable of keeping in mind the highest standards of ethics and the best interests of the PEOPLE of Wisconsin.

    The chances you would join Scott Walker and his Fitzgerald Cronies would, therefore, be minimal — for you would also be able to recognize a blatant power-grab when you saw it — and Wisconsinites (as well as all other Americans) would breathe a HUGE sigh of relief that there is still some sanity and bipartisan patriotism in this world.

  3. It’s difficult for me to understand GAB’s position — considering that the Republican scheme requires falsification of certifications on nomination papers — as anything other than total capitulation to cynicism. I’m also disappointed that both Wisconsin and national news media have given no attention to the illegal nature of running fake candidates in partisan elections.

    Here’s part of the certification the circulators need to sign on each sheet of nomination signatures (EMPHASIS ADDED):

    “I know that each person signed the paper with full knowledge of its content on the date indicated opposite his or her name. I know their respective residences given. I INTEND TO SUPPORT THIS CANDIDATE. I am aware that falsifying this certification is punishable under §12.13(3)(a),Wis. Stat.”

    Obviously, the only reason the emphasized statement was included in the certification language was to prohibit exactly the sort of perversion of the electoral process currently being embraced by the Wisconsin Republican Party.

    Falsifying the certification is a Class I felony. http://legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/Stat0012.pdf

    I can see that prosecution for falsifying the certifications may be difficult because it would depend on proving the circulators’ intent. Under the instant circumstances, however, I believe there is likely to be abundant evidence from correspondence and conversations adequate to prove the fraudulent nature of the certifications. Probably, that evidence would include conversations between the circulators and the electors who signed the nomination forms.

    At a minimum, I believe GAB has a responsibility to make clear that circulating nomination papers for a candidate one does not intend to support is not allowed, and that the fake candidate schemes of the Republican Party indeed violate Wisconsin election law.

  4. Nothing illegal about running “fake” candidates. In fact, in 2010, the Democrats were notorious for running “tea party” candidates to split the GOP vote. Furthermore, the NY 26 was likely tainted by the Dems fake Tea Party candidate.

    Both sides play it. It’s not illegal, and simply having a better informed electorate would resolve the problem. However, from spending and taxing more to fix a spending and taxing problem, to abandoning to their elected posts because their party lost power when the people rose up against progressive ideologies, to pointing out the GOP’s “unprecedented” plan to support sympathetic Democrats in a Democratic primary, the Left is about convincing us to believe what they are telling us, in spite of the reality of the situation.

    Pathetic, but, then again, since your Left is ignorant, it’s a good tactic for them. Fortunately, I don’t think the majority in Wisconsin is as ignorant as the Left’s sheep!

    • [Said as if I were walking by a cage in the zoo.] Here you can observe the Republicanis Apologeticus Amoralus. It can twist any set of facts to seemingly equate the transgressions of the Left to the abominations of the Right. They lie smoothly and easily. They do so with a smile. They have God on their side so their tactics are forgiven. Make notes for future reference.

  5. I understand “turnabout is fair play” as a tactic, but strategically I think it is a mistake. The strength of the Democrats in this election cycle lies in the incredible amount of good will they have received by standing up to Scott Walker et al, and this would be damaged by aping the Republican’s tactics in the recall elections. Also running fake primary challengers won’t change the fundamental asymmetry in these elections that the incumbent won’t need to stand in a primary. I think we’re better served by treating each primary a a dress rehearsal for the general, and get out the vote. It should be obvious who’s trying to “spoil” things.

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