It used to be a simple matter of putting a gun to “darkie’s” head and he’d do exactly what you wanted.

Voter IntimidationBut we’re much more sophisticated than that now

I know where you live

Reactionary douchebags never change.  No strategy too vicious, no idea too contemptible, no freedom inviolable as long as they get their way.

Welcome to Wississippi!

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32 Responses to Voter Intimidation Never Changes

  1. Lisa Mux says:

    Signing the recall petition is like voting. Our votes are confidential. Why is this any different? Logically, it isn’t.

    And threatening people should not be tolerated.

    This is all very ridiculous and infuriating.

    • Zach W says:

      It’s not ridiculous; it’s outrageous. However, apparently the individual(s) who set up that Facebook page think it’s all great fun!

    • Locke says:

      Signing the recall petition is like voting. Our votes are confidential. Why is this any different? Logically, it isn’t.

      It most certainly is different. It is the same thing as signing nomination papers – which have always been public records. Think about it for a second – the recall process overturns the results of a certified election – it sure as hell should be open to public scrutiny. If you reverse the parties, would you still feel the same way?

      And of course we know the GAB’s answer to that. In the Senate recalls the last year and a half, they released the signatures. I’ve frequently defended the GAB because at least in terms of structure I believe long-term, it should be the right approach. But this one is indefensible – it’s so transparently blindly partisan. How exactly do they justify treading the Senate recalls of just a few months ago and the Walker recall differently in this regard?

      And just to be clear – by all means, go after those who make threats or god forbid, actually do any harm with to the fullest extent of the law.

      • Jeff Simpson says:

        Locke it is different because they did not scan and post all of those petitions online in a searchable database at taxpayer expense.

        No one is claiming they should not be held to scrutiny, just that they should not be scanned and placed online for every yahoo, criminal, predator psycho to scan from the comfort of their home.

        I agree we presecute to the fullest extent of the law any violence or threats but Scott Walker will own them.

        • Locke says:

          Locke it is different because they did not scan and post all of those petitions online in a searchable database at taxpayer expense.

          My understanding is they wouldn’t create a database for this either – only the scans – which a non-partisan (or “non-partisan) group wants to take & create the database for verification.

          It’s also worth noting that the GAB committed to a full release the info and said they’d do it yesterday. And throughout the day, said it was still coming. Finally into the evening hours, they decided to acknowledge that they changed their minds. While there’s little doubt Walker/RPW has engaged in delay and other tactics, it seems pretty clear the the GAB is going out of their way to be obstructive as well. I expect it from one – demand better from the other.

          • John Foust says:

            I believe the GAB said it purchased software to attempt to recognize signatures and facilitate the process of entering the names into a database, all to better allow them to search for and flag duplicates, as ordered by Mac Davis.

            The GAB’s extraordinary effort of putting the scanned petitions online would appear to allow the “verify the recall” people to do the same work in duplicate – to enter the names into a database to allow for automated detection of possible duplicates. Again, the issue of a third-party searchable database arises. How will it be used? Very smart of the WisGOP and the TEA party and the people behind them. Find an army of volunteers to create a new database of your opponents!

            • Locke says:

              The GAB’s extraordinary effort of putting the scanned petitions online

              Extraordinary? Please.
              1. Connect to FTP server.
              2. Drag & drop files.
              3. Add links.

              Again again, no different than what they’ve done with the previous 13 recalls.

              I get the cynicism about a third party database. No question such info can be used for nefarious purposes. But what makes you think it hasn’t already been done by organizations on either side? The databases are most certainly out there already.

              • John Foust says:

                Sounds like you’re a real web expert, Locke! How many pages need to be scanned and uploaded? (My sarcasm outweighs me; I can’t help but say you have no flippin’ idea of what you’re talking about.)

                Both sides have these voter databases, and they’re always looking ways to enrich and refresh the data.

                • Locke says:

                  Sounds like you’re a real web expert, Locke!

                  Guilty. Web/interactive developer since ’96.

                  How many pages need to be scanned and uploaded? (My sarcasm outweighs me; I can’t help but say you have no flippin’ idea of what you’re talking about.)

                  More than anything, I guess I can read & use deductive reasoning. It’s not difficult & doesn’t require any special knowledge. The GAB said they received 150,000 pages of recall petitions for Walker, and an estimated 1 million signatures. Since anyone can look up the Senate recall petitions since – did I mention, they are posted online on the GAB site – they could see that the GAB typically does 50 pages per PDF. So a fair guess would be somewhere around 3,000 PDFs. (For last years recalls, they put 100 pages in each PDF).

                  By no means have I suggested the scanning process isn’t time consuming. Simple – but certainly labor intensive.

                  To address from your other post:

                  Which other recent recalls didn’t have their petitions scanned and online?

                  None that I know if. No clue what’s gone on in recalls of municipal offices though. But the current standard that the GAB has established & followed for statewide offices the last year and a half – for the previous 13 recalls – is clear and this is a departure. Again – why should this one be different than they way they’ve done the rest of them? They’ve provided about 50,000 pages of recall petitions online in the past. This is a slightly larger scale – so if they need more time, that’s one thing. But it’s not fundamentally any different.

                  Which statute says the petitions need to be scanned?

                  Nowhere did I say they need to scan or provide PDF versions. They are required to provide them in some manner for the recalled office holder to review. This requirement is very easy to find: Article XIII, Section 12 of the State Constitution, S. 9.10 of the Wisconsin Statutes – in fact, it is printed on the top of every single petition. They’ve chosen PDFs as their method of delivery to meet this requirement.

                  So you have some IT experience in scanning hundreds and thousands of documents online? You’re familiar with the time and costs involved? Please, tell me more.

                  You can be as snotty as you’d like, I’m not wrong. I have no idea what the cost is – it’s really irrelevant – there’s no “scanning online.” They’ve scanned the petitions and bundled them into PDFs already as required to provide for the office holders. Once that is done, making them available online is relatively trivial. They have existing software to do this.

                  • John Foust says:

                    The GAB did provide copies to Walker’s team. You’re the one who suggests the process is simple, not me. I think it’s complex, and I look forward to hearing how much extra bandwidth and server they had to provide in order to do this. Yes, the GAB’s IT people may have similar systems in place. It is not as simple as “dragging and dropping” files to a server. You ship products like that? If I were the GAB, I’d want some assurance you did it right.

                    • Locke says:

                      The GAB did provide copies to Walker’s team.

                      Yup. That part required a ton of time and effort – and is done. The next step – taking those very same files already created and publishing them to their website – much less so.

                      It is not as simple as “dragging and dropping” files to a server. You ship products like that?

                      Ship? No. But I’ve written scripts for customers that do just that – and there’s free ones out there & open source Content Management Systems that do it as well.

                      Scaling & bandwidth are legitimate concerns (though again, not really drastically different than what they’ve already got working just fine. Serving that many files can be tough on bandwidth but not on CPU usage and concurrent user issues are really not a problem.

                      But all of this is really not the issue. The GAB hasn’t said it is a difficult technical problem or that it will take awhile to do.

                      In their own words:

                      “In Wisconsin, election petitions have always been public records, and the Government Accountability Board previously published the 2011 State Senate recall petitions online in the interest of promoting transparency.

                      Rather than requiring individuals to request copies, the G.A.B. is again publishing the 2012 recall petitions online due to the high public demand to inspect the current recall petitions, the compressed time period for reviewing petitions, and the time-consuming task of burning CDs. The petition copies online are images, and are not computer-searchable.

                      Currently, recall petitions for the four State Senators are available. Petitions for the Governor and Lt. Governor will be available when staff has finished scanning the petitions and verifying the scans for accuracy and completeness.”

                      Source: GAB

                      Then on the GAB Blog:

                      Posted: January 30, 2012 – 5:37pm

                      Governor Walker’s recall petitions will not be posted online today. The G.A.B. staff is evaluating the privacy concerns of individuals who have contacted us about posting the petitions online.

                      So tell me again – why are their privacy concerns now when they had none a little over two weeks ago?

  2. Lisa Mux says:

    And if intimidation is all they’ve got, then they’ve lost. Game over.

  3. Betsy Wilcox says:

    The Government Accountability Board announced this evening that they will not be putting the signatures of those who signed to recall Scott Walker on the website until privacy concerns are addressed.

  4. Gregory says:

    I think the threat of violence is the lowest of low. I also think only a partisan look at this issue misses the mark..so please give me a moment.

    I feel that when one lobbies in any fashion for the government to take an action that then can become public knowledge. The consequences of using clout and money to lobby in private runs counter to the larger openness that our government should strive to maintain. The same holds true for the individual who signs a petition concerning a heated issue. It should be remembered John Hancock used large bold script when signing the Declaration of Independence, so large in fact that ”…fat George can read it without his spectacles.”

    Let us recall that Washington State had a case where those who signed petitions to over-turn their domestic partner bill also wanted names to be kept private. If one puts that case in the same dialouge with keeping Walker recall names private would mean that we would have to agree that people should be able to sign a petition to get an initiative on the ballot to take away other peoples’ civil rights, and it should be secret too.

    I hope this all adds some background to the larger issues that we need to think about. This is not an issue that allows for a partisan answer.

    • Phil Scarr says:

      I think the threat of violence is the lowest of low.

      And this is based upon what evidence? The levels of intimidation and violence during the recall signature collection effort was unprecedented. I disagree that it’s the
      “lowest of the low.”

      I also think only a partisan look at this issue misses the mark

      I never claimed it was a partisan issue. It’s an intimidation issue. It’s a reactionary issue. It’s a (potentially) criminal issue.

      Voting is confidential, why shouldn’t signing a recall petition be confidential? We can come up with a process to do that. It shouldn’t be a problem.

      It should be remembered John Hancock used large bold script when signing the Declaration of Independence, so large in fact that ”…fat George can read it without his spectacles.”

      Except that he didn’t.

      The story, entirely unfounded, is that on signing the Declaration, Hancock commented, “The British ministry can read that name without spectacles; let them double their reward.” An alternate story, also unfounded has him saying, “There, I guess King George will be able to read that!” He was the first to sign and he did so in an entirely blank space.

      Forgive me, I couldn’t resist. There is so much misinformation about the founding of this country that I feel it necessary to correct these long-held myths whenever I encounter them.

      • Who said private? Are there but two choices: unsupervised public internet access or nothing at all?

        Where does it say scans have to be on the internet, why can’t they be available to campaigns for verification purposes – something along the order of VAN lists or Votebuilder?

        • Jeff Simpson says:

          Why not treat it like an ORR. When you make an ORR, you have to specifically ask for something AND usually have to jump through hoops to get it AND pay. Here they want to just post everything online.

          When we ask for a legislators emails, why not just have them post all of their emails online then for the world to see?

          Also why do we need people from all over the country coming in to help a far right extremist group of people “verify” the signatures. How do they plan on “verifying” the signatures.

          As I said before, http://bloggingblue.com/2012/01/15/tea-party-intruders/ if there is ANY violence or intimidation whatsoever the republican party and Scott Walker own it!

  5. KWolf says:

    Whether or not my name is made public, I did not AGREE upon signing that I would be putting my name out into the public arena. If that had been part of what I was signing, I would have had the choice to sign KNOWING that my name would be made public. However, to just publish my name without my consent–I can think of MANY contexts where that is illegal, so I cannot imagine that it would be legal to publish the petition signatures.

    Would I sign if KNEW in advance that my name was going to be made public? Hell yes. However, think about what democracy turns into if you have people in a small Republican town signing because they think Walker has been divisive and unfair, they think that someone else should be governor even if they agree with many of the things he SAID he was going to do before he got into office. Think about what happens if that person’s neighbors turn on them because they think that petition-signers are all-things-evil-Liberal-Progressive-Hippy-Madison (lol … I say this in good cheer, mocking myself as well as trying to make my point)–in that circumstance, democracy turns into a fear-based fascist state, where people are not able to vote in private and therefore vote their conscience.

  6. Linda says:

    I have been feeling especially guilty about collecting signatures from elderly ladies living alone. I know there are laws that should be protective, but what happens if? I would hate to think that someone could be hurt or even made to live in fear because of this.

  7. Linda says:

    Rootriversiren makes sense, and is along the lines of the process I had assumed would be followed. Silly me.

  8. Really Upset says:

    I used to comment here and I stopped. I am back to say this is a really bad thing to do to people – put their names out on a Sucker List.
    I want my name off that stupid petition. Don’t think for a second people don’t retaliate. This is a Holy War for some people. Quite a few people.
    THERE IS NO WAY you can publish names on the Internet while also “addressing privacy concerns”. Why not just pass out T-shirts with big old bulls-eye targets on them? Bam! now we’ve addressed privacy – there is none.

  9. Ingrid Buxton says:

    It is one thing to go thru the list and look for errors, for somebody signing a whole bunch of names. It is quite a different thing to RECORD those names to use against them. Make no mistake, the Republicans are going to use those names they record against the people who signed.

    Signing a recall is, in essence, voting against somebody. It should be as private as possible and not allowed to be used against people.

  10. John Foust says:

    The GAB has not said these records are not public. That’s what the right-wing spin machine is trying to say today. The GAB was pressured by the WisGOP to take the extraordinary step of scanning, OCRing, and web-ifying these documents – under the argument that the public had a right to inspect them. It was a smart gambit. The presumption is for openness, and the GAB was eager to please, so they have the discretion to take the extra steps to webify everything.

    Normally, as with most public records, you’d need to show up at a government office to inspect them for free, or you’d be charged 25-50 cents per page if you wanted a copy. Walker’s campaign has unfettered access, but Walker’s supporters wanted more, and they didn’t want to pay for it.

    Once the petitions are online, there will be a thousand yahoos making claims of fraud or malfeasance that may or may not be true – but the noise will be out there, and next thing you know, one of the Fitzes will be on TV and repeat as gospel some unattributed claim that came from the Internets.

    It’s going to get worse, folks. Think about the end result – a searchable electronic database of everyone who signed, with names and addresses. It’s probably a public record as well. How will it be used?

    • Locke says:

      Normally, as with most public records, you’d need to show up at a government office to inspect them for free, or you’d be charged 25-50 cents per page if you wanted a copy. Walker’s campaign has unfettered access, but Walker’s supporters wanted more, and they didn’t want to pay for it.

      Hmm. What’s this I see… PDF’s of the recall petitions for the 4 Senate seats currently in the process have been posted on the GAB’s website. PDFs of the petitions from last year’s recalls of 6 Republicans and 3 Democrats were posted as well.

      The GAB has changed the game in mid-stream. They posted them for the previous recalls, but not for this one. Again, I say, what is the difference? Why does someone who signed a petition for removing Dave Hansen deserve less privacy than one who signed to remove Scott Walker?

      And by the way, the cost/taxpayer expense argument is absolute BS. They’re required by law to scan the petitions and provide them to the individual being recalled. Once they are scanned, 95% of the expense is done – they need only upload them to their server and provide the links.

      • John Foust says:

        Which other recent recalls didn’t have their petitions scanned and online? Which statute says the petitions need to be scanned?

        So you have some IT experience in scanning hundreds and thousands of documents online? You’re familiar with the time and costs involved? Please, tell me more.

  11. Woodeye says:

    Hey Really Upset – you put your name on the sucker list, not me, not Scott Walker, not George Bush, but you.
    Its called personal responsibility,
    In addition, any idiot who retaliates is responsible for his or her actions, not Scott Walker, not me, not George Bush.
    It would be very unfortunate if any violence did occur and I pray for everyone’s sake none does, but you willfully signed, hopefully just once.

  12. John Foust says:

    So tell me again – why are their privacy concerns now when they had none a little over two weeks ago?

    Who is “they”? The people who want their name redacted for concerns about stalkers or domestic abusers? Or the WisGOP?

    The problem is not with Wisconsin’s open records law. The problem is with the WisGOP’s expectation that this process could be somehow expedited. The normal checks-and-balances needed to be considered. They didn’t want to imagine challenges or following the normal OR processes. They wanted to get the scans electronically at no cost. They got them, days ago. Walker is not eager for the recall to proceed. Can you imagine why his minions would cheer any delays? Ask yourself why McGyver would make a stink out of an open records request like this. Do you think it’s because they don’t have anyone within a dozen Walker campaign offices who would give them a copy? They’re eager to make the GAB look bad.

    • Locke says:

      Who is “they”? The people who want their name redacted for concerns about stalkers or domestic abusers? Or the WisGOP?

      They being the entity we’ve been talking about all along – the group making the decisions on this, the GAB. I could care less what the GOP wants.

      Again – for some reason I must not have been clear. The GAB is handling the process for the Walker different than it handled the Fitzgerald, Wanggaard, Moulton and Galloway recalls that were filed just 2 weeks ago. They’ve treated it differently than they did the Cowles, Darling, Harsdorf, Holperin, Olsen, Hopper, Wirch, Hansen and Kapanke recalls last year. Different from how they said (and continue to say) they’ll do it for this very recall. The “normal” process is the one they themselves have established for the past 13 recalls. Expecting them to treat this one the same is not some outlandish or unreasonable expectation. They posted the petitions on their website for the world to see. Tell me why this recall should be different?

      I haven’t the foggiest idea why the Walker campaign hasn’t posted them to the public themselves. I’d hope someone in our state media would put them on the record with an answer to that. Could very well be they’re just trumping up the issue for publicity. Could be they’re afraid they’ll be sued for doing so, I don’t know.

      But the issue is there because the GAB has handed it to them by having not following their own standards.

      The claim of privacy concerns is garbage – an excuse. It could be a valid concern if you’re going to be consistent about it. But they GAB is not. If they were legitimately concerned with this, they would remove the petitions that are currently online.

      I’ll put that question to people here – if you are so concerned about the privacy rights of signers – Why aren’t you protesting to have the ones found here and here? I don’t recall reading any concerns around here for releasing the previous petitions publicly online.

  13. Locke says:

    Well looks like it’s they will be published after all:

    Kennedy said the staff has concluded…that the petitions will be released under Wisconsin law, as well as a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Doe v. Reed, involving the release of referendum petitions in Washington State. That position is also supported by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Unlike an elector’s vote, which is private and confidential, the signing of recall petition is a public process.

    In addition to providing copies to requestors, the G.A.B. will continue its past practice, and put all 153,335 pages of PDF copies of the petitions online later today, Kennedy said. The PDF copies are not computer-searchable…

    During recall elections in 2011, the Board posted the entire petitions in PDF format on its website, and has followed the same practice with the recall petitions currently pending against four State Senators.

    http://gab.wi.gov/node/2184

    Looks like a lot of back & forth here for nothing. 🙂

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