Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wisconsin Republicans Already Working To Prevent Citizens From Voting


No doubt you heard Paul Ryan trying to deflect blame from his policy agenda for the gigantic GOP losses this month by blaming "urban people" for voting. Yes, lots of Blacks, Latinos and educated people voted, always a negative for Republicans-- although, with the sole exception of the old slaveholding states, Democrats also swept the nation's suburbs, something that doesn't fit in to Ryan's racist narrative. Nonetheless, homestate ally, Governor Scott Walker, is following up on Ryan's grousing by trying-- once again-- to disenfranchise those pesky "urban voters."

Walker would like voters to unfocus on the unfolding scandal in his own office-- his former deputy chief of staff and policy adviser was sentenced to prison this week-- and making them worry about disenfranchisement is as good a way as any.
Gov. Scott Walker and his top campaign and Milwaukee County aides were named Monday as part of a team that routinely commingled political and official county business.

The disclosures came during the sentencing of a former aide to Walker during his last year as Milwaukee County executive. Kelly M. Rindfleisch, 44, was sentenced by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Hansher to six months in jail and three years of probation on a single felony count of misconduct in office. The judge stayed the sentence pending Rindfleisch's appeal to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals or the state Supreme Court.

In a lengthy presentation during Rindfleisch's sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf displayed numerous emails between Rindfleisch and key members of Walker's campaign staff in which they discussed how to manage county government in 2010, while Walker was a candidate for governor.

Repeatedly, Landgraf argued that Rindfleisch knowingly broke the law by doing campaign work at the courthouse. In a new development, the prosecutor made clear-- without saying it was illegal-- that top Walker campaign officials influenced, even directed, county strategy.
Now despite the fact that voters across the country punished Republicans severely in states where the GOP attempted to disenfranchise voters, Walker is up to his old tricks again. As Scott Keyes reported for Think Progress yesterday, "Two weeks after Barack Obama and Sen.-elect Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) carried the state of Wisconsin with the support of minorities and young voters, Gov. Scott Walker (R) announced one of his major policy proposals for the upcoming session: ending the state’s 40-year old law that allows citizens to register to vote on Election Day."
In 2008, Wisconsin enjoyed the second highest turnout of any state in the nation (72.4 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot), due largely to the fact the Badger State law allows residents who aren’t registered or have recently moved to register at the polls. That year, approximately 460,000 people used Election Day Registration, 15 percent of all Wisconsinites who cast a ballot.

Walker pressed his case for ending same-day registration during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library in California on Friday:

“States across the country that have same-day registration have real problems because the vast majority of their states have poll workers who are wonderful volunteers, who work 13 hour days and who in most cases are retirees,” Walker said. “It’s difficult for them to handle the volume of people who come at the last minute. It’d be much better if registration was done in advance of election day. It’d be easier for our clerks to handle that. All that needs to be done."

Wisconsin was the first state to enact Election Day Registration in 1971, followed soon by states like Minnesota and Maine. Today, eleven states have laws allowing citizens to register at the polls. These states enjoy the highest turnout in the nation not by chance, but because Election Day Registration boosts turnout by 7 to 14 percentage points. In addition, studies show that minorities, poorer voters, and students benefit the most from being permitted to register on Election Day.

Republican legislators in Maine attempted a similar move last year, repealing the state’s 40-year-old Election Day Registration law. However, a citizen backlash erupted, sending the matter to a statewide referendum where voters rebuked the legislature and restored the law by a 2-to-1 margin.

The last time Walker and his Republican allies won complete control of the legislature in 2010, they immediately passed a discriminatory voter ID law that would have disenfranchised people like 84-year-old Ruthelle Frank had it not been blocked by a state judge.

Now, with Wisconsin State Republicans riding high, they appear to again be setting their sights on chipping away at voting rights.

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At 12:56 PM, Blogger Bula said...

I don't get it.

Unless she cooperated more than we know it makes no sense.

She plead guilty to a felony and the judge sentenced her to 6 months in COUNTY JAIL...not the STATE PRISON? WHY? WTF? People in County Jail in WI are usually eligible for work release 6 days a week.

They waited forever before sentencing her and the other fat slob bitch Wink still hasn't publicly turned states evidence or been sentenced after pleading guilty.

The only reassuring thing is the prosecutor will not comment on the status of the investigation, as it is ongoing.

From what evidence I have seen so far, it would appear a Grand Jury would hand down an indictment of Walker. He knew, approved and participated.

I would certainly love to see WI get on the board in the convicted, jailed Governor contest with IL.


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