Monday, December 16, 2019

Latest WI voting suppression tactic scores legal win in GOP stronghold

[12/16 update from 12/14: This outrage is a major national story.]

You see, they're always at it. 

'Easier to vote, harder to cheat?' Stop! And sing me "Your cheatin' heart" if you believe in transparency.

Surely you have seen the news that an Ozaukee County District Court Judge first appointed to the bench in 2002 by a Republican Governor has ordered the fast removal of 234,000 Wisconsinites from the voting rolls because they may have moved.
The letters went to about 7% of Wisconsin's registered voters, but were concentrated more heavily in some parts of the state than others.
Milwaukee and Madison – the state's Democratic strongholds – account for 14% of Wisconsin's registered voters but received 23% of the letters.
Across the state, 55% of the letters went to municipalities where Democrat Hillary Clinton out-polled Trump in 2016.
A few points explain why political observers are hardly surprised at the ruling.

* Walker lost in large measure a year ago due to heavy Democratic absentee balloting in Milwaukee, heavy voting in Dane County and a surge in ballots cast by college-educated voters, this report found.

* Also - - that this decision came in a Ozaukee County case is also not a surprise, since Trump beat Hillary Clinton there in 2016 by 16 points, and Ron Johnson doubled that margin over Russ Feingoldtotals showed: 
Republicans won up and down the ballot in Ozaukee County, like they always do. Trump carried almost 56 percent of the vote versus Hillary Clinton's 37 percent.
It was a strong night for other Republican candidates in the county, as Sen. Ron Johnson retained his office against former Sen. Russ Feingold with a 31-percent differential in Ozaukee County. Congressman Glenn Grothman also earned a second term in office, defeating Democrat Sarah Lloyd by a 33-percent differential. 
And it's where Walker got his largest 2018 primary margin among all 72 counties.
Walker won every county in the GOP primary. He was best in Ozaukee County, getting 96.5 percent of the vote.
Furthermore, GOP partisans and allied right-wing activists during the Walker era and after his 2018 defeat repeatedly have deployed various voting suppression schemes. 

So Now let's return to the persistent Walkerite voting suppression agenda, boiled down in his bumpersticker-worthy slogan that voter ID law would make it "easy to vote but hard too cheat." 

Though data show that actual voting fraud is nearly statistically non-existent, making the bumpersticker justification literally paper-thin.

And the bad-joke truth about who brings a cheating heart to the process was that it was then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, and his workers, allies and administration, who subverted the electoral process when he ran for Governor in 2010.

* They got partisan benefit from a political operative and fundraiser who was installed on the County payroll as Walker's Deputy Chief of Staff. 

* Another taxpayer-paid staffer got caught engaging in separate campaign activities. 

* A clandestine campaign email system server was placed and used in the County Executive office suite by another long-time Walker confident who had also been put on the County payroll - - which meant that campaign and partisan coordination could take place electronically on public time without being vulnerable to Open Records disclosure requests.  

* Those individuals and three others associated with Walker's campaign or his county administration were convicted of a variety of crimes.
Walker Scandal: Who Got Convicted, and Why. 
And while we're at it, let's catalogue earlier examples of Walker/GOP election machinations which helped set the stage for the potentially-disproportional removal of voters in Democratic strongholds with an election cycle looming.

Do you remember that Walker, his administration and/or his allies:

* After ramming through the voter ID law sought to prevent the use of student ID's as valid voting ID's.

* And also said people could get voting ID's at state DMV stations - - though some offices were then closed, or were only kept open perhaps two days a week or three days a year?

And where state workers were initially instructed to trick applicants into paying for what supposed to be a free ID.

* Do you remember the vile, suppressionist tactics deployed in minority communities - - including funding and displaying 'You're being watched' central city billboards and the mailing of fake absentee ballot applications?

* Do you remember that the Legislative District maps which have embedded a GOP-gerrymandered Legislature were drawn secretly and with some districts ordered redrawn? 

* Do you remember that a GOP staffer witnessed Republicans behind closed doors being positively "giddy" that they could pull off their gerrymander? 

* Do you remember that Walker, fearing his party's possible ballot box losses, refused last year to call legally-required special elections?

Do you remember that Republicans remade state elections and ethics oversight boards into partisan bodies, so they could better control decisions and outcomes?

* Do you remember that Republicans tried to overturn same-day registration-and-voting, and also wanted to scrap weekend early voting?

Do you remember the justifications? Former WI State GOP Senator and current Congressman Glenn Grothman, long a champion of restricting urban voting hours, recently griped that young voters were casting Democratic ballots because "it's fashionable.'
“I think culturally, there are both young people and — I don’t know what you call them — young professionals, who feel it’s the in thing to do,” he said. “I think there’s an element of it’s fashionable.”
* And do you remember that voting restrictions were included in the Walker-Legislative, post-election-lame-duck-power-grab bills late last year - -  only to have them overturned by a Federal court

So it's not surprising that Republicans would 'win' a purge-the-voting ruling in a heavily GOP county which backed Walker, Trump, and keeps returning this man to Congress. 

How long will this GOP-led voting suppression and democracy devaluation continue here?
Glenn Grothman official congressional photo.jpg
Glenn Grothman, irked at 'fashionable' (Democratic) voting in a democratic society.

1 comment:

Peter Felknor said...

The GOP sees the hard left turn in the country that is inevitably coming, due to untenable income inequality (for which they can largely blame themselves) and changing demographics. So their gambit is to forestall the inevitable as long as possible, by hook or by crook (mostly the latter), and continue to feather their nests.

I fully expect them to blow up the whole shebang in the end. WE SAVED YOU FROM SOCIALISM!