Last Thursday the McClatchy Washington desk reported this:
WASHINGTON - Only weeks before last year's pivotal midterm elections, the White House urged the Justice Department to pursue voter-fraud allegations against Democrats in three battleground states, a high-ranking Justice official has told congressional investigators.
In two instances in October 2006, President Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove, or his deputies passed the allegations on to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' then-chief of staff, Kyle Sampson.
Sampson tapped Gonzales aide Matthew Friedrich, who'd just left his post as chief of staff of the criminal division. In the first case, Friedrich agreed to find out whether Justice officials knew of "rampant" voter fraud or "lax" enforcement in parts of New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and report back.
But Friedrich declined to pursue a related matter from Wisconsin, he told congressional investigators, because an inquiry so close to an election could inappropriately sway voting results. Friedrich decided not to pass the matter on to the criminal division for investigation, even though Sampson gave him a 30-page report prepared by Republican activists that made claims of voting fraud.
Since then the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has shared, so far as the Brawler can find, none of this with its readers.
Did the editors somehow miss this story on the wires? Did they not care that Karl Rove wanted to play dirty pool in the 2006 elections in their state?
I got it: Upon reading this story, George Stanley got in a room with the MJS's Watchdog Kommandos and said, "All right, this story clearly demonstrates that the White House was willing to whip up concerns, legitimate or not, about voter fraud in hopes of gaining an edge in elections. If the White House was willing to do this in 2006, we can only assume the White House was pulling the strings when the RPW claimed widespread fraud back in 2004. Intentionally or not our sometimes sensationalist coverage of voter roll problems and human error at polling stations probably gave the RPW more grist -- hell, Karl Rove certainly saw our stories as cover for voter fraud charges. So we're going to find out the real story behind the Republicans' "voter fraud" hysteria and its sister ailment, the drive for Voter IDs. Hit the phones, work your sources, burn some shoe leather. No more Tommy Thompson stories, kids. We're gonna break a big story."
OK, maybe not.
The Journal Sentinel did, however, see fit to run a column by Cedarburg tough guy Mike Nichols saying we should be glad that St. Steven Biskupic ruined the life of Georgia Thompson, who, as you may remember, was found innocent of any crime by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Or something. Xoff tries to figure it out here.