Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Dumb and Lazy Wanggaard Recall Challenge

It's an interesting thing, this recall process. Recall volunteers were abused verbally (and in some cases physically) day in and day out throughout the recall 60 day window. People were threatened, followed and treated really terribly. Nice people too, nurses, teachers and retired folks.

Police squads were called daily by volunteers who were being intimidated and harrassed. MSM media barely noticed. When they did, they tried their best to make it look as if recall volunteers must have been doing something wrong to have been subjected to that kind of treatment.

The story changed when Republicans and their teabag surrogates began spinning tales of Hitlers and felons signing petitions. The press ran with it non-stop all without proof. They couldn't get enough of the fraud angle.

The petitions were turned in with the media standing by ready to report the fraud and abuse the GOP said they would find. Volunteers reported "hundreds" of flagged signatures in the first few hours. Felons were signing, children were signing, repeated names and fake addresses! OMG this is it! The recall will go down in flames because of the callous disregard recall petitioners have for the law and our country!

So Wanggaard turns in his challenges to petition signatures to the GAB after 20 days of sweaty examination... and what happens? Nuthin. Not enough challenges to even get in the ball park.

Yesterday, the Democrats released their response to his challenges. Wanggaard got skooled.

Fake names? Not one. NOT ONE. If you Google "Hitler" and "Walker Recall" the Siren stopped counting hits of articles at 40. None of the four Senators challenged found a fake name...the one Fitzy said he found turned out to be real.

Fake addresses? Wanggaard claimed 1217 signers failed to provide an address or municipality and should be thrown out. When lawyers representing the recall looked at those specific signatures - 1125 of did in fact have the required address and municipality. Those 92 signatures left are mistakes - not fraud. Of the 27 he said he found with his postcard fishing expedition - he didn't even bother to turn in the postcards as proof. 

Wanggaard claims 79 signers were not of legal age - a challenge in which he again offers no proof. Recall lawyers took a cursory look at those signatures through the Voter Registration listing and found many were of legal age. You'd think all those fraud hungry volunteers might have checked first.

Wanggaard claimed there were 137 duplicate signatures and they all should be thrown out. Well, 35 were unique people with the same name and the remaining 102 would not be tossed, only extra signatures would be eliminated with the earliest date counting. It is neither illegal nor reason to disqualify to have signed twice - a small distinction which betrays Wanggaard's misunderstanding of the law.

Wanggaard challenged dates of signatures where the petition copy had cropped the signer's date - when the actual petition was reviewed the date was clearly visible. Wanggaard challenged signatures he said were outside his district - when many were actually in his district. Wanggaard challenged 40 signatures he said had misc. deficiencies - 38 turned out to contain all the required information. Wanggaard challenges 2400 signatures because they were outside the dates of circulation - a laughable challenge in which the recall committee recall filing is easily available online.

Reading the response to Wanggaard's challenge, the Siren wonders how all his volunteers feel after seeing his lame and lazy Wanggaard's challenge. He didn't provide the proof, he didn't read the paperwork and he certainly didn't organize his challenge as if he expected to prevail. All that work and the Democrats knocked out thousands of challenges based on lazy evidence and an nonfactual understanding of the recall process.

The Siren would be pissed.

So the JT came out and said Wanggaard pretty much didn't have a hope in hell of avoided a recall. Almost no one has reported what a mess the Senator's signature challenges were...although there is hope. The hype of fraud and chaos Wanggaard and his colleagues built up before the challenges has fallen embarrassingly flat.

Funny that story is not so breathlessly interesting to local press isn't it?