'Caging' stories full of contradictions | WisCommunity

'Caging' stories full of contradictions

Some great contradictions in the Journal Sentinel's underwritten on plans by the Republican Party, Tea Party, and Americans for Prosperity to coordinate voter suppression activities:

In the recording, Dake said the state Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus and Americans for Prosperity and its state head, Mark Block, were involved in talks about how to go after voter fraud.

Block, whose conservative group has helped organize tea party rallies, said initially Monday that he was "absolutely unequivocally" not involved in the planning of what Ross and One Wisconsin alleged. But Dake said he knew that Block had attended more than one meeting to talk about targeting voter fraud.

After that, Block acknowledged that he had had discussions with Dake and others about targeting voter fraud. He said Americans for Prosperity had obtained voter names and sent 500 letters to voters asking them to join the organization. Block said he believed the voter names were purchased from the City of Milwaukee and said the purpose of the letters was to see whether they could be delivered or not.

"About 10 letters were returned, which indicated to me there wasn't a problem," Block said.

Block said that Americans for Prosperity had not taken any further action on the issue and said that he had never had any intention of challenging voters at the polls based on the letters. He said instead any problems would have likely been taken to a district attorney.

Next up, the state Republican Party: 

State Republican Party executive director Mark Jefferson said Priebus had had only general discussions with Dake about the issue of voter fraud and that the GOP had never actually went ahead with any of the plans Dake had outlined in the recording.

"We had discussion with everyone about this, but as far as sending out letters like this, I haven't had any discussions like that," Jefferson said.

But Dake said Republican Party officials had been involved in meetings about voter fraud and pointed to a confidentiality agreement that the GOP had put together for using along with the release of information about voters. One Wisconsin Now first made that agreement public Monday and Dake confirmed it was authentic.

So, we are we gonna believe?  Dake seems to be the honest one in the bunch on these questions.  But I suspect we will find that on the big issue of what this is all about and whether there is actually a plan underway, he will be covering up just like the rest.  Prediction: What will follow, as this story unfolds, will be finger-pointing.

Despite the Journal Sentinel's repeated use of "voter fraud," that is not what these meetings were about.  They were about voter caging, an operation aimed at holding down voter turnout and denying some people the right to vote by challenging huge numbers of legitimate voters  at the polls, causing chaos, intimidation and delays.

Much more information on what this is all about is available  


September 20, 2010 - 8:05pm