“Shots for signatures” certainly doesn’t seem very grassrootsy

I’ve been hearing about this for a while now, but Amanda Terkel of the Huffington Post has an audio clip of a bartender at John’s Main Event, a Burlington-area bar, offering patrons free shots of booze if they’ll sign a recall petition against Democratic State Senator Bob Wirch. While offering alcohol to individuals in order to obtain their signatures on a recall petition isn’t technically illegal here in Wisconsin, it is strongly discouraged, and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin has indicated an intent to file a complaint to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) about the booze for signatures revelation.

Dave Weigel of Slate got ahold of Graeme Zielinski of the DPW, who appropriately summed up the Republican-backed efforts to organize recalls against eligible Democratic State Senators as a “racket.”

Let’s call it what it is: The Republican effort to recall Democratic senators who stood up to Scott Walker is RACKET, run from afar, fraudulently pursued, deliberately hidden and dangerously unethical. We therefore doubt the integrity of the signatures filed and the methods used to collect the signatures. The practices underlying the Republican recall racket are rotten at their core and taint the entire process. We have been collecting actionable evidence to support our claims, some of which we will release, and which all will be released by our legal team to the Government Accountability Board.

At the end of the day, the sloppy, disorganized, dispirited and fraudulent efforts of the Republican recall racket and its corporate sponsors means a very high likelihood that the challenges will fail. Ultimately, however, the senators they seek to challenge stood up to Scott Walker instead of endorsing his anti-Wisconsin agenda and will prevail in any recall election.

This is the difference between the efforts to recall Republican State Senators and the efforts to recall Democratic State Senators: the efforts by conservatives to recall Democratic State Senators have been led by an out of state group and have had to resort to paying convicted felons to collect signatures and offering inducements to individuals in order to secure their signatures, while the efforts by progressives to recall the eligible Republican State Senators have been true grassroots efforts led and powered by Wisconsinites who didn’t need to offer inducements to get signatures.


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33 thoughts on ““Shots for signatures” certainly doesn’t seem very grassrootsy

  1. Where does this rank compared to smokes for votes or Jim Doyle’s bingo parties?

  2. To the smoke for votes topic: That was then, this is now. I personally didn’t like it either, but let’s stick to the program. If you can actually bring up something terrible that the other side are doing right now at this very minute that is comparable to what the conservatives are doing. Such as pretending a break in, saying the petitions are to recall Scott Walker in Wirch’s District, overall lying to get people to sign?

    If the Republicans had a good strategy, they wouldn’t conceal the truth of what they’re signing to these people or getting people who are intoxicated to do so when they actually don’t know what they’re signing. Because They’re not reliable, a ton of them are rather apolitical or only vote during presidential elections. Despite what people think, many people of Wisconsin are not political junkies – they think the most important race is voting for President and that is it. Many people are even unaware who their representatives are.

    On an off topic note: I’ve been skimming the signatures for Dave Hansen — and just as I expected? There are a lot of signatures that are from outside of the district. There are literally hundreds if not not thousands of signatures that are not within the district or in different towns surrounding the 30th District, but not actually being in it. While I think the Wirch signatures and Holperin Signatures are legit (Due to not being oddly shaped.) I don’t know about Hansen’s because he is in the metropolitan area where many people from the country side go to shop.

    Just as I predicted, the problem has come up with Hansen because of how the district is shaped. This is just skimming through it, but I see a lot from De Pere or Seymour.

    1. Why are events that happened just a few years ago out of bounds for comparison?

      “To the smoke for votes topic: That was then, this is now.”
      Read: don’t bring up history we don’t want to hear as we’re trying to make our point against the evil other side.

      1. I just think it’s funny that you’d bring up an incident from years ago to defend what conservatives are doing now, as if two wrongs make a right.

        1. Never said I was defending anything, just wondering where you thought this ranked compared to bribing for actual votes.

          Using the logic of the left, if there isn’t enough voter fraud to change the outcome of elections or warrant voter ID, then I doubt the number of signatures collected at this bar would change the outcome of recalling Wirch.

        2. I am not defending it. It is wrong now just as the smokes for votes was wrong. Both need to clean up their acts.

      2. It can be used for comparison, but it was under a completely different administration and Doyle is long gone to do … something else. I’m not sure where he is now honestly. The point is there is nothing we can do about it now by bringing it up, but if there is something you can bring up now present day, present time that we can stop – that is something to look into. You can bring it up, but it’s not what is happening right now. If something like that happens again on the democrats side? Be my guest and bring it up so we can be aware of it, but this is old news and as much as people can bring it up? It’s not going to change a thing unless you have some news of what is going on right now that we can stop. Many of us democrats found that unclassy of Doyle too and we don’t justify it.

        Now, I imagine the argument will be used of “Well what about the Tea Party is racist, that’s old new–”

        The answer to that is the Tea Party Racism is still brought up is because people justify and excuse it, to keep doing it. They don’t say “Oh okay I’m out of hand, I realize what I said was wrong, and I’ll avoid doing it again.” They go and say “I have a point and I think blacks are all thugs who want to take over this country in gangs!” — if they just manned the hell up, admitted their mistakes and moved forward without attacking something somebody can’t control? They’d not get so much scrutiny. If they focused on Obama’s economic view points and not on the whole “he’s a white racist n***r” routine they might actually not be scolded at.

        (That being said, I don’t think the Democratic Party or the Republican Party want any of us minorities on our side. They just want us for the photo opportunities a lot of the time, although a few of them do understand the issues which is why a majority side with the Democrats. But that’s off topic.)

        1. T., not sure how the topic changed to racism and minorities, but I will say this. Generally, the Republican party ignores black voters (because they vote in large numbers for Democrats), and Democrats take them for granted/ignore them (because they vote in large numbers for Democrats).

          1. It was an example in case someone brought up us continuing to bring up the Tea Party when that was ‘past’. Because what Jim Doyle did, is done and we can’t do anything about it now. The Tea Party still tries to justify it’s bullshit it spews.

            And you know, maybe if the Republicans weren’t socially ass backwards trying to put back in Jim Crow laws and attacking them constantly, they might actually get some economic conservatives from the minorities. This is why before the Tea Party became Obama is a ***ger party, they had a fair amount of minority votes who were libertarians, constitutionalists, and economic conservatives.

                1. Well, got any examples of the Republican party supporting Jim Crow laws?

    1. Jeff, couldn’t you say the reverse is true as well?! I could easily say you guys have FAKE OUTRAGE over this incident because you had no problem with Jim Doyle bribing the mentally-challenged with bingo and candy in exchange for absentee votes.

      If you are going to use the tired point of “fake outrage” then you have to apply it both ways.

      1. You should have had some outrage then when it was happening, not when it’s been a few years. It should have become news like this was. You should have got people together and organized and spoke out against it like we are doing now. Bringing that up now and trying to use the whole “both sides do it too” routine doesn’t work unless it’s both sides at the same time because political dynamics are constantly changing.

        1. “You should have had some outrage then when it was happening”
          — I did. Many people did. Democrats said no big deal.

          “It should have become news like this was.”
          — It was a significant news story.

          “You should have got people together and organized and spoke out against it like we are doing now.”
          — There was plenty of speaking out about it. Maybe you were not paying attention then?

          “Bringing that up now and trying to use the whole “both sides do it too” routine doesn’t work unless it’s both sides at the same time because political dynamics are constantly changing.”
          — Political dnyamics have nothing to do with it. Voter fraud is voter fraud. I love how you are accusing me of being selective about this when it is really the other way around. Are you saying every signature in favor of recalling a Republican senator was on the up and up? I highly doubt that.

        2. If the new standard is being not allowed to bring up anything that happened before the last year or two, I hope you all hold to that from here on out.

          1. I never personally heard of it up here in Green Bay and I keep up with politics. I in fact used to be a part of the Tea Party, since it was supporting social aspects while the Republican Party continued to veer right.

            It should have been on the news all over the state not just from Waukesha County which is in it’s own bubble of reality like Dane County. What may have been a big deal in Waukesha County was not a big enough deal in the other portions of the state. You should break out of that bubble if it bothers you that much and make it a big deal like Dane County did. Northern Wisconsin rarely hears what the hell is going on in the southern portion of the state.

            You can bring it up, it’s just not the party dynamic right now. You’re not being suppressed, you’re just facing a debate. Hard concept to get around, I know.

            Plus, the signatures against the Republicans are a bit more motivated on principle because there is one huge difference – a lot of the people are not getting paid to get signatures. Once you bring money into the picture, that causes a mess and that is comparable to the problem ACORN had that everyone made a big deal of with the false signatures I’ve seen on the Hansen Recall sheet. For example I found a forged signature of people using other’s names, like Nathan Schwantes who is part of the Democratic Party.

  3. I wish I had been approached by a bartender offering a shot for a signature on a recall petition.

    I’d have downed my bourbon and then quickly penned,

    Notalib Jones
    2435 Dumbass Lane
    Whackjob WI, 87094

      1. AND very, very funny. . .Well, maybe you have to have had some experience with Not[“I’ve got nothing but air between my ears”]alib to truly appreciate it. . .

        “Succinctly distills Notalib down to his very essence, it does. . .”

        – Yoda, “Star Wars: Return Of The Moron”

        “Two thumbs, up, Steve. Pure genius”. . .

        – Roger Ebert, “At The Morons”

        “Can’t wait for the follow-up. . .”

        – Zuma Bound

        “Notalib is to bloggingblue what Joey is to Friends.”

        – Chandler Bing

        “Classy [I’m not disagreeing with your characterization of Notalib, I’m just finding fault with the fact that it wasn’t a “classy” enough characterizations of one of the “classiest” guys on blogging blue, Notalib, a true giant in the field of “class”, a guy who strives every day to bring his winning combination of “class”, gentlemanly civility, intelligence, compassion, thoughtfulness, objectivity, articulateness, and mastery of syntax/grammar/spelling to the discourse here] as always, Steve.”

        – forgot[myscreenname]
        aka forgot[mysenseofhumor]
        aka forgot[thatIhaveastickupmybutt]

    1. Me, too, Steve. . .(*still laughing*). . .


      I’m a little worried about “forgotmyscreenname”, though. Why would he feel the need to jump to Notalib’s defense like that? Even the other wingnuts here seem to pretend like he’s not really there. I mean, seriously, WHO would want to admit that he was on their “team”? Well, I guess now we know, huh?

      Anyway, the minute that I saw, “Notalib Jones”, this Cheech and Chong routine, “Basketball Jones”, immediately popped into my head. Probably the cadence, huh?

      “Baaaaasketball jones, I got a basketball jones, hoo-ooh ooh. . .Basketball Jones, I got a basketball jones. . .”

      “Noooootalib Jones, I got a Notalib Jones, hoo-ooooooh ooh. . .Notalib Jones, I got a Notalib Jones. . .Yeah, he so dumb. . .hoo-ooooooh ooh. . .Notalib Jones, I got a Notalib Jones. . .Dumb as a rock. . .Noooooootalib Jones, I got a Notalib Jones. . .Neeeed some comic relief. . .hoo-ooooooh ooh. . .Noooootalib Jones. . .”

      Speaking of which, where IS the boy at?!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtWuSiI6ZeA (“BASKETBALL JONES” soundtrack for a Dennis Rodman era Chicago Bulls tribute video)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?=qR15f730yDM (“CHEECH AND CHONG VIDEO INTERVIEW” in which they talk about some of their routines/all very cool – “Basketball Jones” comes up at around 2 minutes into it)

      On other fronts, Steve, I saw your ad for PleasantVille, so I looked for you and it on YouTube. I couldn’t find anything pertaining to Pleasantville, but I did find A LOT of stuff for “a” Steve Carlson, which I liked.

      Is that you?


        1. Go to my woefully inadequate and outdated website by clicking on my name above. Click on the “music” link once you’re on the site. You can hear half of each song and read the lyrics. If for some reason you can’t hear the songs on my site, which some folks have said is the case, click on the “Buy This CD” link. It will take you to my CD Baby webpage.

          After you’ve heard them all and read the lyrics, buy dozens of copies and send them to all your friends and family. It’s very important that you do this. Trust me. 🙂

          1. I’m going to check it out. . .

            So, am I limited to “buy[ing] [only] dozens of copies” if I like it? 🙂

          2. Dude, it’s good. My favorite tracks were More Than Just A Prayer, Molly’s Eyes, Whipping Boy, A Hell Of A Time and Hey Ho. Amazing guitar and lyrics.

            Kind of got a very cool Cat Stevens vibe from the album.

            I had some troubling getting to it using the methods you described. I was finally able to listen to it at http://new.music.yahoo.com/steve-carlson/tracks/;_ylt=A0SO2wSBWbNNcwgBrjIOxCUv .

            By the way, I think that Sorry Sons Of Bitches is tailor made for Trace Adkins. Should send it to him.

            Anyway, congratulations. PleasantVille is definitely something to be proud of.

            1. Thanks. I didn’t do the guitar work. It’s not bad for a low budget amateurish project. If you know how to get in touch with Trace Adkins send me an email!

  4. there was a reason that bars used to have to close on election day until the polls closed…hurt my parent’s bar business just a bit…boy did my dad hate it.

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