Guest column by Dave Peavy
Published Thursday, May 31, 2012, 11:30 AM
With less than a week until voting day in the Wisconsin recall election, polls are showing Governor Scott Walker defeating his Democrat recall challenger, former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, by at least 6%.
Taking advantage of the unlimited fundraising provisions of Wisconsin’s recall election laws, as reported through May 2nd, Governor Walker’s campaign, with $25 million plus, was well ahead of Barrett, who only raised shy of $900,000. Though in more recent days with pledges of 1/2- to 3/4-million dollars by DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz one could ask “how much can you spend in Wisconsin in a few weeks?” I’m certain the answer is probably somewhere between 1/2 and $25 million. And one can hope the coffers are being drained as appropriate with victory in mind. As overheard in the elevator at Goldman Sachs (@GSElevator), “Spend that money! No one needs a $100 million dollar funeral.”
As this recall election is clearly a referendum in Wisconsin on the principles of conservatism in their State House, the momentum of victory will certainly be capitalized upon for the next 160 or so days until November 6th. The Wall Street Journal has dubbed Tuesday, June 6th in Wisconsin as, “the second most important election of 2012.” Truly a loss here would be crushing for the DNC.
What all the media buys and yard signs can’t combat is the longstanding practice of voter intimidation at the polls and of “e-Stuffing” the ballot box. E-Stuffing, as described by Catherine Engelbrecht of True The Vote, is: When a voter asks for assistance at the polls and a less-than-scrupulous Marxist-leaning poll worker instructs, “oh it’s okay, it’s three to the left, three to the right, and hit the green button twice.” That voter just cast their ballot straight-party Democrat. With approximately 200,000 individual polling places in this great land, a scant 50 votes e-Stuffed per location equates to a 10 million vote margin at the national level.
With a real prospect of vote theft, a heavy union presence, and Eric Holder’s Justice Department walking away from a solid voter intimidation case in Philadelphia related to the 2008 election, it would behoove Conservative grassroots organizations to keep a close eye on these issue in and around Wisconsin’s polls. Perhaps a saving grace is the Wisconsin law that requires electronic voting machines to provide the voter with a paper record of their ballot.
In the magazine The Nation, John Nichols recently asked, “Where’s the DNC in Wisconsin?” Another potential obstruction to integrity of the vote is that Wisconsin allows voters to register to vote in person on election day. Let us hope for the cause of Conservatism, our Constitution, and the integrity of the vote, these three things being fundamentally and inexorably linked, that the answer to Mr. Nichols’s question does not present itself in the form of menacing thugs outside the polls, crooked election workers on the inside, and thousands bussed in from nearby Minneapolis and Chicago to register and vote that day.
Most assuredly, the behavior at the polls in Wisconsin in a few weeks will be the harbinger of that to come in November.