By Collin Roth
On Thursday night, WISN Channel 12 in Milwaukee ran a stunning interview with a man claiming to have signed the petition to recall Governor Walker 80 times. In an interview with Channel 12′s Kent Wainscott, a gentlemen explains how many times he has signed the Recall Walker petition and his reasoning behind it:
Did you sign the petition?
Yeah, I think I signed it about 80 times.
You signed several-80 petitions you think?
Yeah, I signed a lot of them. You know for the past two weeks so I’ve been seeing them at the Grand Avenue Mall and here by Pick-N-Save and stuff. I’ve been seeing them around and just been signing them. So, yeah.
You keep signing them. You know they are only going to count one of your signatures?
Oh well, hey, as long as what it takes to get Scott Walker out of here I’m happy.
That means signing repeatedly?
Yeah. They cheated for Bush, so, hey, I’m going to cheat to get Scott Walker outta here.
This man’s statements and claims were so unjustifiable that even Democratic spokesman Graeme Zielinski said:
Well, these are not credible people. They either have mental illnesses or they are up to no good. They are up to criminal activity. And if they are up to criminal activity, they should be prosecuted.
What is interesting to note is that the liberal group One Wisconsin Now recently published a memo titled “Recall Petitioners’ Rights,” informing signers that it is within their rights to sign a recall petition more than once. Taken from their memo:
You can circulate or sign a recall petition even if you have already signed another recall petition (note, however, that only one signature per person will be counted)
One Wisconsin Now is sending a message that it is not only legal but a right to sign the recall petition more than once. But coming on the heels that the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board will not be reviewing every one of the over 540,000 signatures but only those challenged by the Walker campaign, One Wisconsin Now’s “right” becomes a serious problem.
Earlier this week, the Appleton Post Crescent‘s editorial board criticized One Wisconsin Now. It was a nice effort to try to reason with the unreasonable, letting One Wisconsin Now know that telling people it is their right to sign the recall petition more than once is not even within their own interest. From the Post Crescent:
So, given the atmosphere of dislike, distrust and disgust, why on earth would a liberal advocacy group, One Wisconsin Now, say it’s OK for people to sign more than one Walker recall petition?
In a “recall petitioners’ rights” memo, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, One Wisconsin Now lists this item: “You can circulate or sign a recall petition even if you have already signed another recall petition (note, however, that only one signature per person will be counted.)”
This is true. It’s not against the recall law, which only says about the issue, “If a challenger can establish that a person signed the recall petition more than once, the 2nd and subsequent signatures may not be counted.”
So it would be up to the Walker people, not the state’s Government Accountability Board, to find duplicates and challenge them.
And, as a GAB spokesman told the Journal Sentinel, there may be a legitimate reason to sign a second petition: If the signer believes the first one is fraudulent. Of course, that’s another indication of how poisoned the state environment is.
Nevertheless, One Wisconsin Now saying it’s OK to sign more than one petition plays right into the hands of its opponents, who think the petitioning is shady anyway. In that regard, it goes against OWN’s own interests.
And in this atmosphere, perception goes a long way.
So how does One Wisconsin Now respond? In typical fashion they attempt to clothe their encouragement of fraud in the language of “rights” and “public service.” In a response to the Appleton Post Crescent, Executive Director Scot Ross wrote:
One Wisconsin Now never encouraged, advocated nor suggested those participating in the recall petition signing process to sign more than one petition. To state differently is false.
No, One Wisconsin Now did not “encourage, advocate, or suggest” those participating in the recall should sign the petition more than once. They claimed it was a right!
Our memo is comprehensive and detailed. Our memo is meticulously researched. Our memo provides people with the facts.
And we respectfully disagree with The P-C that informing the public of their rights is anything less than a valuable public service.
A public service? I’m sure Wisconsinites are clamoring to thank One Wisconsin Now for their “public service” that justifies a man signing the recall petition 80 times.