Republicans are funny. Given that Scott Walker has higher unfavorables than Jim Doyle at the end of his term and it is abundantly clear Scott Walker will face a recall election, you might think that they'd reflect on whether they overreached.
But that's not how Republicans roll! As always, they blame the other guy. They, and their propagandists (Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner, Rick Esenberg, etc.) whip up hysteria about fraudulent signatures and then, citing "public concerns," demand the Recall Walker forces release the signatures so they can be reviewed. If not, they must have something to hide ... right? "Show them," intones Rick Esenberg.
Please. John Foust, over at Shark and Shepherd, lays out their motives:
The WisGOP will leap on any flaw and flog it. If they can't find enough flaws, they'll invent some. It doesn't need to be true. It just needs to stick through a two-day news cycle. If some yahoo thinks it'll hurt the recall effort, they'll run it.
Indeed, given that Jeff Wagner spent at least 30 minutes on Wednesday telling listeners he suspects at least a third of the signatures -- sight unseen -- are duplicates or from Adolf Hitler and Mickey Mouse there's no reason to trust the Republicans.
And there's also precedent. Back in 2004, the GOP raised the specter of 5,619 fake voter addresses in Milwaukee, based on a (highly faulty) caging scheme. Then they held a press conference in front of one of these alleged dens of double voting.
At the news conference outside a house in the 1600 block of N. Astor St., state GOP chairman Rick Graber was joined by state Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) and Sen. Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan), sponsors of the photo ID bill.
They said one of the double voting cases involved the house, a two-unit condo.
"It is a system that invites fraud," Graber said. "It's a system that needs to be fixed."
While the party did not release names or addresses, the city lists three voters at the house where the news conference took place: Stuart and Gayle Schenk and their son Joseph, who moved to Chicago last August.
Both Stuart and Gayle Schenk said Joseph did not vote in Milwaukee or request an absentee ballot here. Gayle Schenk said her son is in Chicago studying to join the Franciscan order of the Roman Catholic Church.
Whoops! The Republicans were dishonest and sloppy then. Does anyone really suspect they would behave any differently this time around?
Also, the Milwaukee Police Department "voter fraud" report that the right likes to trumpet found that fully 5,550 -- 99 percent -- of the addresses, in fact, existed. As it turns out, the database used by the RPW contained an error in the address field, causing valid addresses to be unrecognized (this is in addition to the standard typos and other errors, etc.). Of the total 5,619 addresses, the MPD claims potentially 66 people voted under questionable circumstances (including an apparent case of a dead person voting), which, even in the worst case is a minute fraction of the numbers the Republicans threw around and an even tinier fraction of total turnout.