Wisconsin Recall Roundup May 22, 2012

Members of Congress Raise Questions about Walker's 2011 Testimony

Three Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee wrote to Chairman Darrell Issa requesting that he obtain clarification from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker of his testimony before the Committee on April 14, 2011, in light of a new videotape that surfaced recently that appears to contradict his statements.

From the press release: In his testimony before the Committee, Governor Walker claimed that his unprecedented campaign to strip public sector union workers of collective bargaining rights was purely a budgetary decision. In contrast, a videotape taken three months earlier reveals a conversation the Governor had with his biggest campaign donor that suggests his motivation was to "divide and conquer" public sector unions in order to turn Wisconsin into a "completely red state."

From the letter: "This new video raises serious questions about the veracity of Governor Walker's testimony before our Committee, in which he repeatedly described his decision to strip public sector union workers of collective bargaining rights in purely economic terms."

Barrett Challenges Walker to Release Emails Related to John Doe Investigation

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has started to focus on the ongoing John Doe investigation that has led to felony charges against a number of Governor Scott Walker's former top aides from the time when he was Milwaukee County Executive. Yesterday, Barrett held a press conference where he challenged Walker to disclose to the public all the documents and emails that he has turned over to the Milwaukee County District Attorney in the probe. One email of Walker's has already surfaced as part of the criminal indictment of his former Deputy Chief of Staff Kelly Rindfleisch, who has been charged with four felony counts of conducting illegal fundraising activity while on the county payroll. The email indicates that Walker may have known about the laptops being used by staff to conduct fundraising and circumvent the county email and computer system, which is monitored by professional county staff.

Walker email

Walker Raises the Specter of Voter Fraud in the Upcoming Election

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gave an interview recently to Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard, where among other things, he was asked why liberals were so adamant about reversing the state's newly-passed voter ID law, which was recently struck down as unconstitutional by a circuit court judge in Dane County:

"I've always thought in this state, close elections, presidential elections, it means you probably have to win with at least 53 percent of the vote to account for fraud. One or two points, potentially." That's enough to change the outcome of the election. "Absolutely. I mean there's no question why they went to court and fought [to undo] voter ID."

Wisconsin's Election Fraud Task Force was formed to uncover "voter fraud" in the 2008 election, but after an in-depth investigation into twelve Wisconsin counties, just 17 people were charged -- the vast majority were former felons who were not aware they were not allowed to vote in the state. Only two instances of double voting were recorded. As David Weigel of Slate points out, for Walker to be correct about fraud equaling "one or two points" in that election -- where 3 million people cast ballots -- there would need to have been between 30,000 and 60,000 fraudulent ballots. While "voter fraud" has been shown to have no impact on election outcomes, requiring identification at the polls can have a statistically significant impact. Over 220,000 people in Wisconsin currently lack the identification required under the state's ALEC-inspired voter ID law, according to a recent court decision blocking the law.

Greater Wisconsin Committee Hits Back on Walker's Jobs Numbers

The Greater Wisconsin Committee, an independent expenditure group that does not disclose its donors, started to air a new television ad against Governor Scott Walker this week. The ad is called "Walker Doesn't Like Official Jobs Numbers, So Produced His Own. FACT - We Are Still Last." The ad criticizes Walker for going data shopping in an attempt to put Wisconsin's dismal jobs performance in a better light. The ad emphasizes official jobs numbers from the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics report (PDF) that once again put Wisconsin dead last in the nation in job creation, with a loss of 21,400 jobs between April of 2011 and April of 2012. According to news reports, the ads are paid for by organized labor in the state.

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