CRG, Grandsons of Liberty attack Chris Larson for trying to be a good dad

On Tuesday, conservative groups Citizens For Republican Responsible Government (CRG) and the GrandSons of Liberty (GoL) issued a joint press release attacking Democratic State Sen. Chris Larson for Larson’s unwillingness to attend Gov. Walker’s “bipartisan” brat and beer summit (or, more fittingly, brats, beer, and bullshit: a festive farce).

In their press release attacking Sen. Larson, the usual cast of characters from CRG and GoL cited a recent Facebook status update by Larson as the words of an “arrogant, egotistical person” (their words, not mine). Here’s what Sen. Larson posted on the Facebook status update in question, in its entirety:

I won’t be attending Walker’s beer and brat event tomorrow. I’m watching Atticus all day while Jess is working.

I’m not opposed to bridging the divide in our state. But, we have to do it in a real way that actually means something. If Walker truly wants to find compromise and work together on jobs, education, and health care, he will convene a special legislative session now that there is actually a check on his power in the state senate. Let’s have a real conversation about where Wisconsin is headed.

If he doesn’t convene a special session, then tomorrow is just a distraction. He did these same meetings when he was Milwaukee County Exec and nothing came of it other than the media giving him a pass. Let’s hope they have learned from history.

Conveniently, the “nonpartisan” folks from CRG and GoL left out the first two parts of Larson’s status update regarding him watching his one-month old son and indicating he’s not opposed to bridging the divide in our state, instead choosing to selectively edit Larson’s status update to make it appear he wouldn’t be attending for nothing more than partisan reasons.

Reached by phone regarding the press release co-issued by the GrandSons of Liberty, Larry Gamble admitted to intentionally selectively editing Larson’s Facebook status update to leave out Larson’s statement that he would be watching his son, and Gamble also indicated that if Larson didn’t “make his wife go back to work” so soon after having their child he’d be able to attend Gov. Walker’s event along with his wife and child. When I asked Gamble if he knew the circumstances surrounding Sen. Larson’s wife returning to work – more specifically to back up his assertion Larson made his wife go back to work – Gamble indicated his statement was an attempt to be humorous (though it certainly didn’t seem like a joke to me). Gamble also admitted he had not attempted to contact Sen. Larson regarding Larson’s inability/unwillingness to attend Gov. Walker’s bipartisan brat and beer bonanza.

When asked why his organization had not issued a similar press release condemning Republican State Rep. Steven Nass for not attending Gov. Walker’s beer summit after Nass stated he would not attend because his feelings were hurt, Gamble stated three of the four individuals involved in the release were constituents of Sen. Larson, hence their desire to call him out. When I asked Gamble if his organization and its members were confined to Sen. Larson’s state senate district, Gamble admitted his organization had members statewide, but he reiterated his focus was on Sen. Larson’s partisanship.

Both CRG and GoL have members statewide, and the fact that they’d choose to attack a Democratic State Senator because he chose to stay home to take care of his one-month old son instead of attending Gov. Walker’s beer summit is simply galling. What’s more galling is the fact that those groups – and the individuals associated with them – chose to attack Chris Larson while ignoring a Republican lawmaker who boycotted the same event essentially because his feelings were hurt by Mike Tate. Despite their claims to be “nonpartisan,” it sure appears CRG and the GrandSons of Liberty aren’t really interested in bringing the same scrutiny (and attacks) to bear on members of both parties.

Shame on them…

Chris over at Cognitive Dissidence has his own take on this story that’s worth a read.

Verify the Recall – Has Been Verified

The results are in – they should be advocating for stronger public schools!

I recently asked "who is going to verify the "Verify the Recall" group? Luckily for us, our friends at PR watch did just that:

Findings released this week from the Tea Party-led “Verify the Recall” effort allege that recall proponents fell short of the 540,000 signatures necessary to recall Governor Scott Walker. However, a cursory review of the pages they allege are erroneous actually include the information they claim is missing. Signatures the groups deem “ineligible” are very clearly legitimate. Some of the problems appear to arise from data entry errors on the part of True the Vote volunteers.

VTR said that they supposedly had approximately 4700 “volunteers” from across the country(who all shall remain anonymous) who entered 820,000 names and 138,203 petitions. The problem though was 1,000,000 names and 152,508 petitions were submitted. Oops. That means they flat out did not “verify” almost 60,000 signatures. According to their logic, if they did not enter the names they have to be ineligible. VTR also “flagged” another 228,940 for”further investigation”. Again, VTR logic states if they flag it, it must be ineligible.

Brendan @ PR Watch went through these and found a pattern. The “ineligible” signatures were embarrassingly to VTR eligibile. Let’s look at some examples:

The following examples are not isolated — many, many similar mistakes were quickly found in the True the Vote data set:

True the Vote discounts the signature of Mary Babiash (page 980) because she added the state abbreviation “WI” to her zip code. Her address is otherwise correct.

The group calls Clifford Winkleman’s signature (see page 3) ineligible because it has a “bad sign date.” The date section on his petition is completed, but it looks like he pushed hard when he wrote the “10” in “01/10/2012.” Linda Winkleman, who lives at the same address, signed below him, and also on 01/10/2012.

The group would not count Joshua Epps’ signature (see page 250) because he forgot to add the year when he dated his otherwise-valid signature.

The signature from Tyrell Luebkes (see page 983) would not be counted because he entered his city in the “street address” section, and vice versa.

They would not count Cheryl L Koch’s signature (see page 497), saying she had a “bad sign date” of 1/91/12 because of a stray pen stroke behind the “9” on the correct sign date: 1/9/12

I know! I know!

But Wait There's More:

According to VTR, data entry errors makes signatures ineligible:

True the Vote appeared to mark other signatures “ineligible” because of data entry errors on the part of True the Vote volunteers.

True the Vote considers Heath Beacher’s signature (see page 497) ineligible because “1/6/ 2012” (note space) was entered into the database, causing the software to mark it with a “bad sign date.” The date on the original, handwritten petition is legible and valid. This data entry error is enough to invalidate her signature.

Keith Iverson’s signature (see page 259) is given a “bad sign date” of “Dec 2, 2011,” apparently because the volunteer entering the information into the True the Vote database wrote “Dec.” rather than “12.” This flags his signature as “Invalid.”

Kelly Ullrick signed a recall petition with her full name, but the True the Vote volunteer entering her into the database (see page 984) failed to include her last name. The software tagged this as an “incomplete record,” and thus ineligible, due to a missing last name, even though her last name is clearly visible on the original petition.

Similarly, Alexandra Aulisi’s signature (see page 9) is ineligible because of a “bad sign date,” after the volunteer entering data wrote the letters “ll” rather than the numbers “11” for “11/15/ll”.

Meghan Walsh’s signature (see page 168) is deemed invalid for a “bad sign date,” because the True the Vote volunteer entered “!!/!^/!!” instead of 11/11/2011.

True the Vote considers Jocelyn Tilsen’s signature (see page 2) ineligible as a result of a “bad sign date,” because one of their volunteers entered “1/1O/12” (note O) instead of 1/10/12.

Review the data for yourself here!

While the VTR/TTV folks are adamant on remaining anonymous during this process, Blogging Blue was able to get exclusive footage of their initial motivational, informational meeting!

Seriously though the VTR/TTV people are like bad karaoke singers who everyone encourages to keep singing so they can be made fun and do not get that they are the joke and not part of the joke. I am starting to feel sorry for them.

There is a reason that even Scott Walker will not take them seriously.

Verify The Recall – It’s Working

Verify the recall IS working, just as planned. Are they finding massive fraud like they promised before they even saw one signature? Of course not, there was not any!

The question I asked recently is Who is going to Veryify the Verify the Recall? Unfortunately many in the media treated them as if they were a nonpartisan watchdog group, who just wanted a fair election. Sadly that was not their goal. Intimidation was their goal and it is working. No one felt the need to ask why verify the recall people(who are for the most part anonymous), would want an online searchable database. Its one thing to want to “weed out fraud” but by extension, if you signed the recall petitions legitimately, then no need to be on a searchable database. UNLESS of course, you wanted these people to be searched!

The VTR group are modern day tories, who want to work up the right wing with fake stories of fraud, a big government/no privacy searchable database, and then shared anonymously as often as possible. They have no interest in a fair election they want to intimidate people who oppose them. The thing is they do not have the courage to do so themselves, so they put it there like this and hope that their followers take the lead.

Well it’s working.

H/T Root River Siren (this is worth a full read) where the Siren shares a few stories:

* A woman we know of was confronted loudly and inappropriately as church services ended. Her confronter screamed at her in front of parishioners and her minister that she had seen her name on Van’s list. Mortified, this bully went on to tell her she wished she had not prayed for her in the past…all because she signed a recall petition.

* A reader had a letter sent to his home that contained a photocopy of the petition his wife had signed and a copy of a pro-Walker speech. They took the time to include the message in all caps: “IT IS THE STATE VERSUS YOU.”

* The Coffee shop that received intimidating anonymous letters.

Yes the “Operation Verify the Recall” is working exactly as they planned. Scott Walker must be very happy!

Verify the “Verify the Recall”

There has been much written about the recall verification process, from me pointing out that the fraud people are complaining about is NOT fraud, then Phil points out that statistically there will be very little fraud, then Steve points out that maybe the Fraud they did find is not exactly what it seems.

Today, as Jay has pointed out before, GAB is finally abiding by their statutes. That upset the "tea party " i mean the verify people tremendously.

Ross Brown, president of the tea party group We the People of the Republic, said the elections board wasn’t doing enough to weed out fraud, and that “clean and honest elections” are at stake.

“We are finding abnormalities, we are finding duplicates,” said Larry Gamble, spokesman for the Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty, the other tea party group. The two groups had enlisted more than 13,000 volunteers, including at least one person from all 50 states, to help build a database to review the signatures, he said.

We have already pointed out the dangers and reasons behind the "tea party" placing these addresses online. Let us now focus on one of the key players – Larry Gamble. While they claim that they have 13000 “volunteers’ from all 50 states, they are all anonymous, except for Mr. Gamble.

“What we’re providing is a way for citizens to be involved,” said Larry Gamble, a member of the Tea Party Group, The GrandSons of Liberty.

Mr. Gamble has been involved before so let’s take a look. Larry gamble is a Milwaukee Blogger, who challenged jeff stone in the republican primary. During the protests at the capitol last year, Mr., Gamble placed open records requests to many of the school districts in the state to get a list of names of teachers who took time off to protest. Apparently Mr. Gamble has an obsession with putting lists of people’s names in the public realm.

Unfortunately that is not all that Mr. Gamble has an obsession with. He, and his organization Grandsons of Liberty, have a problem with minorities and students actually voting. Mr. Gamble is also against government spending, unless of course taxpayer money and facilities are used for one of his extremist rallies.

So if that is the record and background of the “non-partisan just wanting fair elections” verify the recall” “fraud” watch team it makes one shudder to think who all the people they are hiding anonymously are.

In the end what do the verify people want anyway? $$$$ Money of course!

That all being said, I believe that the signatures should be verified, but let’s do it right. Let us make sure that we have above board people with ethics and morals, without a hidden agenda, who we can trust to actually verify these signatures. Unfortunately, “verify the recall” is not it!

PS: If you check out the facebook page of the “non-partisan” verify the recall, you will notice that any liberal or progressive who has joined and commented has had their comments censored and subsequently been banned from the group.

Stone vs. Gamble: It’s on!

Did you see the BizTimes write-up about Larry Gamble’s candidacy against State Representative Jeff Stone yet? Wow is all I can say, because Stone didn’t hold back any punches until the Gamble candidacy was official via nomination papers being turned in. Stone responded to Gamble’s concerns by providing the following quote to BizTimes:

(Gamble) must have been misinformed, I have never supported the High-speed train, which I don’t believe will generate adequate ridership. Also, I have never been in favor of Obamacare. In fact, over the last several months, I have questioned the authority of the Doyle administration to proceed with plans to institute an insurance exchange in Wisconsin. I believe that the administration may be overreaching their statutory authority, and if they are, I would encourage a legal challenge to this first step toward imposing Obamacare in our state. I have spent the last session working and voting to create a photo ID for voting, to hold the line on spending and taxes, proposing legislation to end emission testing in our region while creating jobs, and fighting proposals to limit local government control over the placement of sex offenders in our communities.

Great. Now Jeff Stone is ditching his moderate side in a weird attempt to not just defeat, but obliterate Gamble in the September primary. Honestly, if Stone’s going to do that I suppose those who are moderate should sit on the sidelines and let this work itself out. I mean c’mon, don’t ditch what has worked so well for so many years! Simply put, that’s just not cool. Don’t create a situation where the moderates lose trust and vote for the other guy just because there’s a Plan B, or should I say, “Politician B”.

Stone is correct, though, in that he hasn’t been a strong supporter of the Milwaukee-Madison high speed rail line. He has been, however, one of the main politicians quoted in area publications and media when it comes to transportation issues, both road and rail. Remember that Stone was an influential figure in working behind the scenes for the Drexel Interchange, which now has $500,000 in Franklin taxpayer money and $4.37 million in Oak Creek taxpayer money towards it. But hey – that’s where his immense respect among area business and political leaders comes from. He knows the right people and can pull it off.

This is where I believe a Democratic challenger could have easily swept in and let the Republicans duke it out, hurting themselves in the process. As Zach correctly noted, Scott Dettman, who is now challenging State Peggy Krusick (D-Milwaukee), was supposed to be a challenger against Stone. However, it has been told to me personally that Democratic Party insiders convinced Scott not to run against Stone due to the district “never” going Democratic blue. As they always say though – “never say never”.

The good bulk of this is cross posted over at Franklin Today.