Americans for Prosperity, GOP Implicated in Wisconsin Vote-Caging Plot

TUESDAY UPDATE: From the Wisconsin State Journal–denials getting sniffed out, found wanting:

The recordings indicate that group was working with the state Republican Party and another organization, Americans for Prosperity, and planned to send mail to addresses on voter rolls and use any mail that is returned to challenge voters’ registrations. The practice is known as “voter caging.”

…Dake confirmed that tea party members had been at a coalition leadership meeting in Marshfield on June 12. And he said AFP had been planning on sending out mailings to confirm people are “legitimate voters.”

But he said they were interested in preventing voter fraud, not keeping legitimate voters from the polls.

“No, it wasn’t targeting anyone,” Dake said. “I don’t know how you could tell these were minorities or students.”

…Mark Block of Americans for Prosperity denied involvement to the Wisconsin State Journal, and said he didn’t think he was in town on June 12.

“I’ve never had a conversation of that sort with anybody,” Block said.

But he told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he had discussions with Dake and others about targeting voter fraud. He reportedly told that newspaper his group had sent 500 letters to voters asking them to join the organization, with the purpose of seeing whether or not the letters could be delivered. [Pols emphasis]

The story just now coming out from Madison, Wisconsin, involving that state’s Republican Party, conservative activist group Americans for Prosperity, and local Tea Party groups, isn’t alleged to involve their counterparts in Colorado. That we know of, anyway–from the release we got:

A coordinated plot by the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin and organizations in the so-called Tea Party movement targeting minority voters and college students in a possibly illegal “voter caging” effort for voter suppression has been uncovered in evidence obtained by One Wisconsin Now, a statewide advocacy organization in Madison, Wisconsin.

“Based on what we have heard, the Republican Party of Wisconsin, the Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin and leading Tea Party organizations are in collusion in an effort to suppress the ability of minorities and university students in Wisconsin to exercise their right to vote this November,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “We will be providing all of the evidence we have received on this wrongdoing to federal and state authorities so that they can investigate to ensure justice and democracy prevail.”


According to the statements made on the recordings, Dake lays out the plans, detailing contact between himself and Reince Preibus, the Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair and Mark Block, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin:

The Republican Party of Wisconsin will use its “Voter Vault” state-wide voter file to compile a list of minority and student voters in targeted Wisconsin communities.

Americans for Prosperity will use this list to send mail to these voters indicating the voter must call and confirm their registration information, and telling them if they do not call the number provided they could be removed from the voter lists.  

The Tea Party organizations will recruit and place individuals as official poll workers in selected municipalities in order to be able to make the challenges as official poll workers.

On Election Day, these organizations will then “make use” of any postcards that are returned as undeliverable to challenge voters at the polls, utilizing law enforcement, as well as attorneys trained and provided by the RPW, to support their challenges…

“Work with the media on this and district attorneys. Try to get them involved early and fired up about this and say look, ‘We know you’re shorthanded, we’re hands, we’re boots on the ground. We will help you, just bring the weight of the law behind us.'” [Pols emphasis]

“[Y]ou run into the racial thing. You have people screaming, ‘Oh, you’re denying the minorities the right to vote.’ No., we’re denying their right to vote multiple times.” [Tim Dake, GrandSons of Liberty]

For more on the controversial–and depending on circumstance, illegal–practice of “vote-caging,” read this primer from NYU’s law school. And obviously, this will be a story to watch closely.

UPDATE: a supporting set of documents linked to in the release.

73 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Froward69 says:

    With Tancredo elbowing himself into a state wide race without a single vote cast for him.

    The whole brew-Ha-ha trying to get maes to quit so Dick Wad-hams could instill someone else.

    Buck’s admission he would like to see Voters taken out of selecting Senators…

    Diabold’s Guaranteeing victories for republicans and the republicans absolute fear of recounts.

    Now this

    Makes one seriously wonder if Republicans would allow Voting at all, if they had their way.

    • Libertad says:

      and there’s no mystery as why Ken Buck holds a multi point lead. Further Tipton is up 8-10 points and Gardner holds a double digit lead over Bailout Betsy.

      Why incumbants Bennet, Markey, Hickenloooper, and Salazar can’t clear 45% in polling does raise questions.

    • Libertad says:

      Reports from the eastern front indicate that the Obama Whitehouse countering reports that it is preparing to wage an all out offensive on the Tea Party.

      In fact the Obama Whitehouse congratulates and encourages the Tea Party movement as a good thing.

      The White House is pushing back on a report that President Obama’s advisers are contemplating an all-out ad war to discredit Republicans by way of the Tea Party. But with the primaries now behind them, top Democratic officials have already made the Tea Party fear factor an integral part of their messaging.

      Amid mounting predictions that Democrats could lose at least one chamber of Congress, a rhetorical campaign  has been underway for weeks to cast the Republican Party as driven by the “extremist” faction of its conservative wing.

      Warnings about the direction of the GOP got louder after dark-horse candidate Christine O’Donnell beat moderate Rep. Mike Castle for the Delaware Senate nomination last week and conservative Joe Miller beat incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Alaska primary — prompting Murkowski to launch a write-in campaign.

      The New York Times reported Monday that Obama’s advisers are considering whether to launch an ad campaign nationwide to portray the Tea Partiers as the new leaders of the Republican Party.

      A senior White House official told Fox News the claim simply is not true, and Obama, attending an economic forum, said Monday that the “healthy skepticism” in government exhibited by Tea Partiers is a good thing.

      • EmeraldKnight76 says:

        in which President Obama referred to “healthy skepticism” as a good thing?

        He wasn’t referring to the Tea Party specifically. He mentioned George Washington and “those guys across the ocean”. He spoke about how skepticism towards our government has been an integral part of Americanism since it’s inception. It’s why he doesn’t fear the Tea Party.

        It’s amazing what comes out once you put actual news through the conservative echo-chamber filter.

  2. 20th Maine says:

    It starts out saying that something by someone may be “possibly illegal.”

    Also, is the truth likely to be that bad when the supposed evidence included comments advising to work closely with attorneys & the press to do this?

    Must be a slow news day.  Now you’re having to literally make up ‘news.’

  3. Laughing Boy says:

    Drunken Union thug secretly taped divulging “secret plan” and possible illegal coordination.

    The union staffer bragged about his ability to garner news coverage of his anti-Walker events from local TV stations, which he called “willing partners” in his endeavors. He also disclosed that he secretly runs an anti-Walker blog at, which prominently features Weishan and SEIU’s criticisms of the county exec.

    Morgan suggested that, based on a conversation with a Barrett campaign staffer, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee is expected to bring up the accident in the upcoming debates and push for legislation on the matter. In addition, Morgan talked in his unguarded chat with the Walker worker about trying to get state engineers from the Doyle administration to lend a hand with the O’Donnell Park probe.

    The Barrett staffer, Phil Walzak, dismissed any suggestion that he was coordinating efforts with the labor union.

    Walzak, the campaign spokesman, said he did have a brief discussion with Morgan at Laborfest, as Morgan discussed in the taped conversation. Walzak said he can’t remember what they talked about, but he is sure it had nothing to do with the debates.

    “Why would I do that?” Walzak said. “That’s ridiculous.”

      • Laughing Boy says:

        Criminal charges have been filed  against a member of Service Employees International Union, Local 775 NW for submitting allegedly forged signatures in support of Initiative 1098, the high-earners income tax measure.

        According to papers filed with the King County Superior Court, Claudia McKinney has been charged with signing an initiative petition with other than her true name, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

        McKinney was paid by her union for time she spent away from her job gathering signatures as well as for meals and mileage, according to an affidavit by a Washington State Patrol detective that accompanied the charging papers.

        Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, said that McKinney is being charged with one all-encompassing criminal count rather than for each allegedly bogus signature. According to the WSP affidavit, detectives interviewed 19 individuals who purportedly signed one of McKinney’s signature sheets but who said they in fact did not, which could support 19 separate charges.

  4. H-man says:

    The story just now coming out from Los Angeles, California, involving that state’s Democratic Party, progressive activist group Progress Now, and local La Raza groups, isn’t alleged to involve their counterparts in Colorado. That we know of, anyway–from the release we got:

    . . . Someone tried to register citizens that were not citizens . . .

    This all seems like a rather sleazy attempt to tar Colorado Republicans and Tea Party types.

  5. BlueCat says:

    Republicans are always trying to suppress voter turn out.  Everyone knows that.  Rs can always find an isolated incident or two of Dem supporter misbehavior but the fact is it is always in the interest of the GOP to suppress and they have always done more of it directed from the top down then any Dem connected efforts by many magnitudes.  

    My son worked for Kerry on campus in 2004 and they spent most of their time in the final stages of election chasing after notices that had been left by the Young Republicans telling registered Dem students their polling place had been changed, the date of the election had been changed, etc.

    For all the fuss about ACORN, Rs are the  champions at using dirty tricks to steal close elections in the 21st century, hands down. Dems don’t come close in quantity or in position on official food chain of election lawbreakers. Lib, LB and H-man can’t possibly produce hard evidence that this is not the case no matter how many little exceptions to the rule they can come up with.

    If you don’t believe that voter suppression is always a priority for the GOP just ask Karl Rove. If you don’t believe there have been far more successful prosecutions of Rs in connection with election dirty tricks, including jamming phone lines to stop Dem efforts to provide rides to the polls (just one example), just use google or bing or whatever.

    My sons experience was that Young Republicans on the college campus specialize in teaching their members immoral, sleazy, dirty tricks.  All for Jesus I suppose.  

    • parsingreality says:

      ..the Republican Party has always wanted to limited voter participation, and the Democrats – sans the Dixiecrat wing – have wanted to increase participation.  Not saying purity for either party, but that’s the upshot.

      Joseph Worthington Ballister III vs. Joe and Josephina Sixpack, ya know?

      • H-man says:

        eliminates the worst limitation of voter participation in our nation’s history.  Your brethern in the South can not be treated so lightly.

        • parsingreality says:

          My post wasn’t about the Dixiecrats nor letting them off the hook.

          As noted, the spiritual descendants of the Dixiecrats are now Republicans. See: “Southern Strategy, Nixon, Reagan, et al.”

          • H-man says:

            When dems do voter intimidation they are traded to the republicans for a future draft choice and a player to be named later?

            Guys that’s your history.  Ours is Lincoln. I will be happy if you chose to emulate our history too.

            • denverco says:

              Nixon – watergate

              Reagan – iran contra

              gw bush – inherits a surplus – squanders that. Starts 2 wars , lies to get support for these wars, and then never has a plan to pay for them. Finally, is president during the worst economy since the depression ( officially began Dec 2007 ). He and the gop stand by while the economy tanks and gives tax cuts to millionaires and bales out wall street. Remember McCain suspending his campaign to go vote for the bush bailout?

              You can keep your right wing history, none of it has been good for the USA.  

            • parsingreality says:

              You can’t hide under Lincoln’s skirts forever…although you seem to keep trying.

              BTW, ever look at the Republican Party platforms later that century?  Why, positively progressive! Giving women the right to vote and similar claptrap.

              But by the turn of the (prior) century, the two parties sort of swapped generally philosophies and ideologies.  Interesting, no?

              • BlueCat says:

                that the Repubs were unrivaled in quantity of prosecutions for dirty tricks in the 21st century (OK I’m including 2000 even though 2001 is technically the first year of the 21st) but H-man is studiously ignoring that.  Also studiously ignoring the fact that from Lincoln through GW,  not a single GOP president would meet the GOP  litmus tests in place today. And of course the fact you bring up, parsing, that former Dixiecrats are now Repubs.

                The facts are clear on both voter suppression and racism. There’s really nothing to argue about. Today’s Repubs are undisputed champs in both categories. Everything H-man prefers to talk about is in the past, the history of the GOP before the crazies took over the asylum.  

                Latest lunacy?  Newt campaigning against the imposition of sharia law and vowing to fight pols (no doubt Dems) and Supreme Court judges who want to impose it. So silly that calling it a straw man argument would be to lend it a million times more dignity then it deserves.  Loonies in crowd cheer. GOP pols silent in the face of the lunacy. Newt officially no longer to be considered a serious person.  In fact he is making Palin look serious in comparison.

            • AristotleAristotle says:

              as a member of today’s GOP, you’re deluded. The only part of his platform that today’s GOP would welcome is the pro-business, pro-captitalist part. The heroics for which he’s better remembered are the stuff of liberalism and progressivism today.

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.