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SubGate: A Tasty New Scandal Rocks Wisconsin
Mitt Romney won the Wisconsin Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, but not before word of the "SubGate" scandal rocketed around the state. Romney spent much of the week campaigning with Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, but in a "get out the vote" effort on Primary Day, Romney and Ryan were videotaped handing out free sandwiches to voters at a Cousins Subs shop in an apparent violation of Wisconsin law.
At the campaign stop Romney said: "I want to thank you for voting. Get your friends to go vote, get your friends to go with you, that's how you can legally vote multiple times. So bring your friends to the polling place, get out and vote, and if you want another sandwich, there are more back there."
Romney and Ryan's actions on Tuesday appear to be a violation of Wisconsin State Statue 12.11. The statute states that anyone who offers anything of value, which exceeds $1, "in order to induce any elector to... go to or refrain from going to the polls, [or] vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular person," is in violation of the law.
Scott Walker Filed Similar Complaint about Al Gore Activities
The Wisconsin Democratic Party was quick to file a complaint with the state elections board, which was quickly pooh-poohed by the Wisconsin GOP. But the GOP was not so sanguine when the perp was a Democrat. According to Business Insider, during the 2000 presidential election then-State Representative Scott Walker requested that the District Attorney's office investigate the Gore campaign for an alleged "smokes for votes" scheme in which Constance Milstein, a supporter of the Democratic Party, gave packs of cigarettes to people at homeless shelters. Scott Walker was outraged and said, "Anything that gets something of value, be it a $20 bill on the street out here, or a pack of cigarettes, we think is wrong." Walker then said, "The trading off of anything, something of worth, in exchange for someone's vote -- not only is it ethically questionable, we believe it's a violation of the law."
Walker's outrage over election bribery seems be a thing of the past, and he remained silent on SubGate.