It's interesting. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- not inappropriately -- has been all over the story of how a handful of folks have turned in hundreds of fake voter registrations (though not all over it enough for Charlie Sykes). Turned them in, it should be said, for cash instead of swaying elections. (And did the Brawler mention that Republicans have been guilty of this crime as well?)
Yet when the Republican Party of Wisconsin sought to purge 5.619 alleged fictitious voters when many of them were valid, the Journal Sentinel's coverage was far less rigorous.
Yes, it revealed that many of the fictitious voters were guilty of nothing more than having their info mistyped on the rolls. But it never took the RPW to task for their obscene act of trying to purge voters without doing adequate due diligence.
From the 10/24/05 congressional testimony of Matt O'Neill, deputy state counsel for the Kerry-Edwards Wisconsin campaign:
the Republican Party attempted to potentially disenfranchise thousands of City of Milwaukee voters through an eleventh-hour challenge (filed literally minutes before the deadline for filing any such challenge) to a list of 5,619 addresses that the Republican; Party contended did not exist. As demonstrated during an October 28, 2004 hearing, the Republican Party did not bother to check the validity of 99% of the names and addresses on the list, many of which were the result of clerical errors that occurred when City employees entered information on the computer system. After that effort failed, just days before the election the GOP publicly threatened to challenge an additional 30,000 registered voters based upon unverified assertions that "apartment numbers" did not match up.
Did the Journal Sentinel chase this story -- how could the Republicans have sought to purge voters based on such flimsy pretenses? No! Instead, it chased the will-o-wisp of voter fraud -- only to have Steven Biskupic say that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Milwaukee. (A finding, by the way, that the Wisconsin right has wholly ignored.)
None of the RPW's leadership paid any price for this. Shoot, RPW Chairman Rick Graber was named ambassador to the Czech Republic.
It should be noted that the executive director of Montana's Republican Party has just resigned after trying to pull similar shenanigans. And he recently took a job at an equity consulting firm in Wisconsin, where, apparently the media is more tolerant of brazen efforts to purge voters.