After Plot to Rig Recall Exposed, Wisconsin Republicans Sue

Jun 04 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Irony Escapes Wisconsin Republicans As They Sue Over Secret Unedited Tape

Talk about poetic justice, albeit on a smaller scale and not exactly the same level of gotcha, the Wisconsin Republicans are suing over a secret tape made May 25 during their party’s monthly general membership meeting that revealed their plan to get around the recall elections by planting a spoiler Democrat in the recall for state Senator Kapanke. Yes, they are outraged.

Just imagine if someone had edited their secret tape to sound even worse than it did, spread it around to all of the networks, and they had lost their jobs because of it. Imagine, if you will, if they had been Breitbarted or O’Keefed. Because remember, when they do it, it’s “journalism”, even if they tell the people involved that they are not taping them, that the conversation is private. Even if they do it during a private lunch or lure a CNN anchor to their boat to entrap her.

The Lacrosse Tribune reports:

The La Crosse County Republican Party plans to sue the person who made a secret recording of the group’s monthly meeting last week, when party officials discussed running a spoiler candidate against Democrat Jennifer Shilling…

In a segment of the tape first obtained by the Tribune, party vice chairman Julian Bradley says he had spoken with Mark Jefferson, executive director of the state GOP, about finding a candidate who could force a primary in the upcoming recall election of Sen. Dan Kapanke of La Crosse. Shilling is the only Democrat who has declared her intention to challenge Kapanke.

But in another segment of the tape that surfaced Friday, county GOP spokesman Chris Rochester is recorded as saying he had spoken with Harrington about the plan, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel…

Wisconsin law says it is legal for a person to record a conversation if one party gives consent. It also says consent is not required if the person being recorded does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. Civil penalties for breaking the law could include fines and punitive damages.

We note that Wisconsin Republicans really hate and despise the law when it works against them, but when they feel wronged, there is no limit to the fine detail of particulars to which they will stoop. “Feehan, the party chairman, said that since Bradley made comments early in the meeting that it should not be recorded, the person who made the tape had broken the law. ‘We’re not going to take this laying down,’ Feehan said.”

Ah, well, good to know. Certainly when one attends a monthly general membership party meeting, one assumes a reasonable expectation of privacy. One does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, according to conservatives, at private lunches, private medical meetings or on private boats. And if you are on tape, what’s wrong with leaving out the statements that come before and after what you said, or running your dialogue over video that didn’t happen concurrently while making it appear as if it did? Got it? It’s the tape in general that Republicans object to, now, when it happens to them. Clearly they are unfamiliar with the sting of a O’Keefe-Breitbarted video and hence are unaware just how low this can go.

Certainly if the law was broken by the secret recording due to the time during which the recording was taken (please note that time matters for the Wisconsin Republicans when it’s against them, but when it comes to Open Meetings Laws, time shouldn’t matter), the person responsible should face the repercussions…but why are the conservative Republicans, who run on their supposed Christian morality, so unwilling to stand by the principles of law and order when it does not benefit them?

Not one of them have denounced obvious efforts of O’Keefe and Breitbart to take statements out of context via deliberate and distorting editing. In fact, O’Keefe was given center stage today at the Ralph Reed “faith and freedom coalition” fest. So, the conservatives are all for entrapment and deliberate abuse of privacy when it benefits their cause, but against the transparency of having their party meeting recorded and revealed.

And they call themselves Christians.

Wisconsin Republicans miss the irony of their suddenly being pro-law and order. Now they care about time, whereas in another court they are arguing that time is no biggie. They are against being secretly taped at a public meeting, but for secret tapes being edited and played on national news which then cost the victim their job.

Hard to know exactly what people stand for when their values change depending upon which side they’re standing.

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