Voter Suppression Exposed in Marshfield- Interview with Director of One Wisconsin Now Scot Ross
Post by Adam Schabow on 10/11/2010 9:45pm
One Wisconsin Now made public both audio recordings and written documents from tea party meetings which they say prove possible illegal activities. Although One Wisconsin Now is not revealing their source, the documents and audio recordings have been verified as authentic, and Dake, who is in most of the recordings, has confirmed that the recordings are legitimate.
Director of One Wisconsin Now, Scot Ross, spoke with BrewCity101 to discuss exactly what was uncovered.
“According to the documents and audio,” Ross explains “the Wisconsin Republican Party was going to provide a list of addresses and names for the voters that they wanted targeted, which we believe were predominantly minority communities as well as student voters.”
Ross explains that according to the recordings, Americans For Prosperity would then send out letters to those targeted on the list. The letters would be crafted to seem like an official government mailing indicating the recipients would need to call a phone number or their voter registration could be jeopardized.
The letters would be mailed with a “Do Not Forward” clause increasing the chance for undeliverable mail, especially those targeted in dormitories during the summer. Any returned mail would then be used to challenge a voter’s “legitimacy” at their polling places. Since each party is allowed one poll watcher, tea party members would be dispatched to the polling places. This is where the actual voter caging would occur, which Ross explains is “to complain and try and threaten to have people’s registration negated because of returned mail.”
Ross and One Wisconsin Now claim the activities detailed in the recordings and documents warrant further investigation. Ross states that federal law “prohibits racially targeted caging operations”, “elector challenges cannot be based solely on returned mail”, and regarding the deceptive letters, it is “unlawful to use official attire to challenge a voter at the polls on Election Day”.
On September 12, 2010, One Wisconsin Now sent formal requests for an investigation to the office of the United States Attorney- Western District of Wisconsin John W. Vaudreuil, Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen and Kevin Kennedy from the Government Accountability Board.
Last Thursday October 7th, Representative Jeff Smith, Senator Spencer Coggs and Representative Joe Parisi presented JB Van Hollen with their own joint letter requesting an investigation. As of right now, no law enforcement or regulatory agency is investigating the matter.
Ross discusses the aftermath of releasing the documentation.“As our revelations became public, the tea party and Dake and the American’s Prosperity and the Wisconsin Republican Party – (they) jumped all over themselves to try and cover their tracks, releasing contradictory statements and outright falsehoods of what was going on.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on September 21, 2010, Mark Block stated that he is “absolutely unequivocally” not involved in these efforts, while at the same time, Dake stated Block was at more than one of the meetings. Later, Block recanted and acknowledged he met with Dake, but only about voter fraud.
On the Wisconsin Radio Network on September 20 2010, Tim Dake said that the efforts never “got off the ground” and that they never targeted specific segments of the population, but according to documents and audio that are available on One Wisconsin Now’s website, the first three wards that were targeted in the voting list were UW Milwaukee's Sandburg Hall and two wards which cover Marquette University. The original documents also indicated mailings would target the 16th assembly district, which has the third number of African-Americans in the state.
According to Ross, there are signs of hope,“we have made people all across Wisconsin aware of this. And we hope this will encourage people to do what they need to do to protect their right to vote.” Ross suggested to make sure you are registered, know your rights going into your polling place and if you want to avoid problems, vote early.
Although those implicated state no wrong-doings and claim the meetings were regarding voter fraud, they also state these efforts have stopped.
Many believe Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen investigating his own party during a heated election season seems unlikely. But Ross puts his faith in the people of Wisconsin stating, “There is a reason why Wisconsin has the second highest participation in Presidential election years. And it’s because we believe here, in the state of Wisconsin, in people exercising their right to vote whoever they vote for.”
“But still”, Ross says, “sunshine is the best disinfectant.
To view written documents and recorded audio obtained by One Wisconsin Now, click HERE.