Wisconsin

WI Elections Board, Racine DA Slap Down GOP Claims of "Voter Fraud"

Law enforcement has found no evidence of "voter fraud" in the election that gave Wisconsin Democrats control of the state senate, despite right-wing media and legislators hyping the allegations to cast doubt on the only Wisconsin recall election won by a Democrat this year. The state elections board has also condemned "unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud" by Wisconsin Republican leaders.

Criminal Tax Penalties for ALEC? CMD's Investigation Provides Facts for Powerful New Complaint by Former IRS Official

This month, a former leader of the Internal Revenue Service filed a complaint that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has violated the terms of its nonprofit status by operating primarily for the private benefit of its corporate members, based on documents and research from the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), which manages PRWatch, ALECexposed, and SourceWatch. The complaint, which also alleges that ALEC misrepresented itself in tax filings, raises additional allegations beyond those in earlier IRS complaints filed by Common Cause.

Americans for Prosperity Rally Calls for "Nullifying" Health Care Law (with Help from ALEC)

By Brendan Fischer and Laura Stiegerwald

The evening after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Wisconsin chapter of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity held a "Hands Off My Health Care" rally to plan next steps in their effort to defeat "Obamacare." The plan apparently involves American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model legislation.

Partisan Motivation Behind Voter ID Laid Bare

Though evidence suggests laws requiring photo ID at the polls will suppress votes from Democratic constituencies like students and people of color, voter ID supporters have long claimed the laws are merely a nonpartisan, common sense effort to promote "election integrity." But recent developments in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin show that Republicans are counting on voter ID laws to deliver the presidency to Mitt Romney in 2012.

Politifact "False" in Minimizing Koch Support for Walker

It may not be uncommon to find fault with Politifact and its "Truth-O-Meter," (see update at bottom), but a recent rating by Politifact-Wisconsin was so far off we had to comment. The following letter was published in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on June 23:

Dear Editor:

PolitiFact recently rated "false" a claim that the Koch brothers gave twice as much to Gov. Scott Walker as Tom Barrett raised. It is PolitiFact that deserves the "false" rating. In rating the claim "false," PolitiFact wrote, "There is no proof of how much Americans for Prosperity, which gets money from the Kochs but also other sources, spent on Walker's behalf."

GOP Fights for Control of WI Senate, Calling for Recount and Hyping Voter Fraud Allegations

Although Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker survived his June 5 recall election, Democrats won control of the senate when John Lehman (D) prevailed over incumbent Sen. Van Wanggaard (R) by a 1.2% margin. But as the Center for Media and Democracy predicted, Wisconsin Republicans are raising the spectre of "voter fraud" to cast doubt on Lehman's victory and justify Wanggaard's request for a recount -- which could return control of the Senate to Republicans.

CMD Asks Elections Board to Investigate Tea Party Group Supporting Walker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14, 2012

CONTACT: Sara Jerving, sara@prwatch.org

"Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama" Spent Tens of Thousands of Dollars on Ads Backing Walker in the Recall Election, But Did Not Comply with State Election Law

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has filed a complaint requesting that Wisconsin's elections board investigate a Tea Party-affiliated group from California that spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads supporting Governor Scott Walker in the June 5 recall election, but did not register as a political committee in the state or report its funding and spending, as required by Wisconsin election law.

Framing the Debate: How Walker Won the Ad War

Since 1993, the Center for Media and Democracy has tracked corporate spin and government propaganda. Because we are based in Madison, Wisconsin, we had an up-close view of the unprecedented television air war surrounding the recall election of Governor Scott Walker.

Final numbers are not yet in, but the recall race is expected to cost some $70-80 million, the most expensive in Wisconsin's history, dwarfing the previous total of $37 million spent in the 2010 gubernatorial election. Most of this money was spent on behalf of Governor Walker and most of it was spent on television.

Can Brats Build Bridges in Wisconsin?

Press and protestors outside the governor's mansion (source: Leslie Peterson)On June 12, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker held the "Beer and Brat Summit," touted as an effort to bring lawmakers from both parties together, although some lawmakers from both sides of the aisle found reasons not to attend this PR event. Brats are a Wisconsin tradition but even they have become politicized over the past year with one of the major brat makers financially backing Walker's political campaign.

Walker's PR Plan to Use Beer and Brats

Ninety-eight state lawmakers -- 60 Republicans, 37 Democrats and one independent -- said they planned to attend the event, which offered a spread of beer, brats, and other specialties from the Dairy State.

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