All 6 'Democrats won in primary races on Tuesday against candidates put on the ballot by the Republican Party reported the Journal Sentinel earlier this week.
Remember how Republican officials and voter ID supporters stressed the importance of “election integrity” and protecting against election “fraud”?
Well, we've just experienced Republicans puttting up "fake" Dem candidates, which they called “protest candidates”, to delay the recall elections that were organized against six Republican senators !
This sleazy maneuvering by the GOP forced primary elections to be held, inconvenienced people, caused confusion, and was costly for taxpayers.
Two letters to the editor about this political stunt were published in today’s edition of the Journal Sentinel:
One letter writer contends, “Putting sham candidates up to run against real ones to delay a recall election is an insult to the American people”. He wonders if Republicans think people are stupid enough to fall for such " tawdry tricks". In his opinion, such tactics should be illegal.
The other asks, “With budget shortfalls, why were taxpayers forced to spend precious dollars on “fake” primary elections? She says, “ If there is extra money, spend it on the education of our children who are Wisconsin’s future adult residents.”
Speaking of the costs, the Journal Sentinel tells us:
“ State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate called on Republicans to pay back taxpayers for the cost of running fake Democrats who lost primaries Tuesday.”
The estimated cost for those primaries is more than $475,000.
A July 13 Journal Sentinel news article conveys:
“Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay), who is running against Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) in the Aug. 9 recall election, said Republicans ran the fake Democrats ‘not to give their candidates more time to campaign, but to give themselves more time to gerrymander the state.”
Every 10 years, states have to write new maps to account for population changes recorded by the U.S. census. New maps can provide tremendous partisan advantage to one party or the other based on where they place voters.
Normally, that redistricting would occur months from now—after local governments had drawn their ward lines and created maps for county boards and common councils. But instead, Republicans are putting their redistricting on the fast track--- and even plan to change state law so that the Legislature can put their maps into place before those local governments. Republican leaders plan to vote on the maps as early as Tuesday, just weeks before the recall elections that could shift control of the state Senate to Democrats.
"They are using redistricting to take away people's ability to hold government accountable through fair, competitive elections," said Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona).
Yeah. It appears Republican leaders are not confident that some GOP incumbents would prevail in elections and so are eager to pass their hasty redistricting plan.
The redistricting plan unveiled by the GOP was denounced as a “blatant power grab” by the the Journal Sentinel Editorial Board, which also states,
“ By designing state redistricting maps that seem to be aimed at keeping Republicans in power, GOP legislators led by Jeff Fitzgerald in the state Assembly and his brother Scott Fitzgerald in the Senate, have just made the best argument for reforming the way Wisconsin draws lines for congressional, legislative and other districts. The need to turn over this process to an independent panel couldn't be clearer. Those in power should not be allowed to choose their own districts and, thus, their own voters.”
"Not only does the Republican plan bolster the electoral chances of many GOP incumbents and weaken the chances of Democrats, it also continues the undeclared war that Republicans seem to have launched on urban areas and minority voters, weakening in many cases those communities of interest."