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.
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:
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."
Two things will happen today in steamy Wisconsin, where temperatures are set to break 95. One election will be certified, while another will be recounted. The confluence of events have some wondering if a window of opportunity has been created to allow the Wisconsin GOP to pull a fast one.
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14, 2012
CONTACT: Sara Jerving, firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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.
An unarmed, 13-year-old boy was shot and killed by his 75-year-old neighbor in Wisconsin on May 31, even as the 13 year old put up his hands and tried to run away. If the incident happened just a few feet closer to the killer's house, the state's new Castle Doctrine law may have been invoked to protect the shooter from prosecution; the law more likely would have applied had the National Rifle Association's full version of its "model" bill been enacted.
The Castle Doctrine law -- also known as Stand Your Ground or "shoot first" -- was conceived by the NRA and promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). These laws have come under increasing scrutiny after the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
Just weeks before Wisconsin's June 5 recall election, the banner headline for the Sunday edition of the Wisconsin State Journal declared "Campaign donations: Despite rhetoric, the parties' mountains of money are about even," a puzzling title because all evidence showed Governor Scott Walker with a significant financial advantage over challenger Tom Barrett. Former University of Wisconsin Professor Kathy Barton looked at the numbers used in the analysis and found numerous errors that caused donations to be overstated by an estimated $13 million.
After a 16-month long fight, an astonishing $63.5 million spent, and a people's uprising that attracted international attention and laid the groundwork for a movement that will last for years to come, Governor Scott Walker will keep his seat after Tuesday's recall election, winning 53-46 over challenger Tom Barrett. Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch also survived her recall challenge.
In the early hours of the morning, word came from Southeastern Wisconsin that former state Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, beat incumbent Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard, with 36,255 votes to Wanggaard's 35,476 votes, according to unofficial results with all precincts reporting. Combined with two other successful Senate recalls in August of 2011, this win means Democrats flipped the Senate from Republican control and put a halt to the Walker agenda.