Wisconsin GOP Costing Taxpayers 420K By Running Fake Democrats

Jun 20 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

The party of fiscal conservatism and shared sacrifices has hit Wisconsin in the pocketbook again. This time, after gutting workers’ rights and sucking the last penny from the elderly and children, they’re coming for any leftover, stray pennies you might have seeded away for the rainy days sure to come under their reign. Now they are charging the taxpayers upwards of $420,000 for their supposed-to-be-secret plan to run fake Democrats in the recall campaign.

The Wisconsin Republicans facing recall are running away from the bad PR over their previously secret plan to run fake Democrats, and have taken cover by blaming Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and the state Republican Party. If you recall Scott from Fitzwalkerstan days, you might agree that karma may be setting her keen sight on the Fitzgerald brothers for their shenanigans.

The Journal Sentinel reported:

A plan by Republicans to run fake Democratic candidates in this summer’s recall elections would cost taxpayers upward of $428,000, according to election clerks. n one Senate district alone, the cost would top $100,000, interviews with county and municipal clerks show…

Election clerks estimate the cost of a Democratic primary in the districts of the recalled GOP lawmakers as follows: Sen. Rob Cowles of Allouez, $86,000; Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills, $69,700; Sen. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls, $27,000; Sen. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac, $84,200; Sen. Dan Kapanke of LaCrosse, $101,000; and Sen. Luther Olsen of Ripon, $60,200.

Those are only partial figures. Two counties in Harsdorf’s district, two counties in Olsen’s district and one county in Kapanke’s district did not provide estimates. The figures also do not include the costs for some of the municipalities within those counties.

Democrats had originally considered running placeholder candidates in other districts so as to avoid having different election days throughout the state, but have since opted not to do so. They now run the risk of the Republicans jumping in at the last moment with surprise candidates.

The Republicans responded by blaming Democrats because Andrew Wisniewski ran as a Republican against Ziegelbauer, a Democrat turned Independent, in an election last year, but the Democrats say they did not put him up to that run and furthermore, the taxpayer didn’t get dinged with extra costs. Or should I say didn’t have extra costs “shoved down their throats” by the agenda of “big government”.

Zieglebauer said, “….The Republican plan adds another element because it forces taxpayers to bankroll an entire new set of elections. The cost adds insult to the injury,” he said. “It makes it worse.”

Not to worry if you are one of those poor people who think the rich have a right to walk all over you in the name of Ayn Rand’s Jesus hating boots, because the Republicans have another trick up their sleeves before we get to election time….Redistricting, baby.

Craig Gilbert of the JSOnline:

Hundreds of thousands of voters would see their representation in Congress change under the plan, from Milwaukee’s North Shore suburbs to Ozaukee County, the Fox Valley, the North Woods and central and western Wisconsin.

That’s a lot of change. Redistricting scholar Michael McDonald says some of the biggest changes “appear to be largely unnecessary” to equalize the populations of the state’s congressional districts.

“You have a plan that looks to be politically motivated,” said McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University in northern Virginia….

Judging from a draft outline obtained by the Journal Sentinel, the plan has one key objective: protecting Republican freshman Sean Duffy, who represents Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District in northern Wisconsin, the seat that Dave Obey, a Democrat, held for decades.

Republicans are looking to push these through the state Legislature before the recall elections. So, let’s see, how many ways can Republicans impact elections in their favor? We have voter disenfranchisement laws, running stooge candidates, redistricting, and then there’s always the abhorrent election procedural failures of the Kathy Nicklaus district that still stand and it’s hard to know how pervasive those tactics are since the GAB never reviewed the logs of the complaints sent to them regarding the open ballot bags, etc.

Politics is a dirty game, and no party is immune to shoving and pushing to give their side an advantage. But at some point, I have to wonder when or if the Republicans in Wisconsin will ever stop long enough to ask themselves why they fear they can not get re-elected without gaming the system.

They claim they represent the people, so why don’t they trust that the people will re-elect them if the people support what they are doing, as they claim the people do? It’s clear from the Republicans’ actions that they realize that they are not doing what the people want. By the way, before we hear the chorus of both sides do it, it’s been 61 years since a party in control of both the bicameral houses and the governor’s office initiated redistricting in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Republicans claimed at the beginning of this fiasco that they were making tough choices because of a budget deficit. It turns out that the deficit does not exist, they are actually facing a surplus to the tune of $600 million over the course of several years. But they have not changed course in light of this new information.

Instead they rammed the union busting bill through the Supreme Court after it was killed by a county judge due to improper passage. If the Republicans are doing the right thing in Wisconsin, why do they have to violate open meeting laws to do it? Why do they have to violate the democratic process to do it and game the system to stay in office? If the Republicans really believe in competition and the free market, why are they so afraid to play in it without creating what could be called a form of affirmative action or handicaps for an unpopular party?

They said it was about a budget deficit but they have no problem charging the taxpayers upward of $420,000 to run fake Democrats in order to better their chances of winning the recall campaigns. Maybe it’s time for the Wisconsin Republicans to “pay their own bills” instead of charging taxpayers for their political games.

Update: The reported revised cost for the fake Democrats is $465,000 to the taxpayer and upwards. Ride that fiscal conservatism, boys.

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