Democrats Behaving Badly: Rookie Edition: Charisse Daniels

Twenty-nine year old Charisse Daniels appeared to be ready to challenge incumbent Republican Wisconsin Assembly Representative John Jagler in the 37th district. Except she couldn’t get the simplest things right in establishing her campaign.

First she started accepting campaign contributions before she had set up a campaign account. That is a particularly big miss. And it caused the Republicans to file a complaint…which made it a sure thing that they would challenge the signatures turned in later.

And then she turned in 201 signatures on her nomination papers for an office that requires a minimum of 200. Every novice candidate gets it drilled into their head to submit twice the minimum to account for occasional duplicates, the funny guys who sign Mickey Mouse or people who mistakenly sign when they are out of the district. It is usually easy to find a handful of names to challenge or for an election board to declare a few invalid. So 201 is cutting it too close for anyone’s comfort.

But it didn’t stop there. It is alleged that more than a few signatures on her nomination papers were forged. The signatories when asked said they never signed her papers and some said they didn’t even know who she is. And those alleged forgeries were on nomination papers that Ms. Daniels herself had collected.

[For those of you who haven’t solicited nomination papers, besides a signers signature, name, address and date signed, the person circulating the papers has to also date and sign each page they collect. This provides a trail on who is collecting the signatures.]

And although a rookie candidate, Ms. Daniels did complete training via Emerge Wisconsin, a group that trains prospective Democratic women candidates. So Ms. Daniels had the knowledge and tools at her disposal to run an effective campaign, and I imagine a lot of new friends and associates who would have helped with the details and the ground work as needed.

Well, it looks like Ms. Daniels is not going to dispute the issue.

Daniels, a 29-year-old Watertown resident, missed the deadline for responding in writing to a complaint accusing the first-time candidate of submitting dozens of forged signatures on her nomination papers.

“I have no comment,” said Michael Maistelman, attorney for Daniels.

This is too bad on a number of levels. Ms. Daniels probably won’t have another opportunity to run for office. And this assembly district will not have a challenger to the incumbent, essentially handing the district back to the GOP and Rep. Jagler.