This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
According to Fox6Now.com; February 7, 2012
MADISON — Two tea party groups are considering a lawsuit against the Wisconsin elections board over its decision not to accept any evidence they find of fraud in petitions seeking the recall of Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
“What we’re providing is a way for citizens to be involved,” said Larry Gamble, a member of the Tea Party Group, The GrandSons of Liberty. “13,000 Wisconsinites and people from around the country have joined in this effort.”
The Government Accountability Board on Tuesday agreed that the law only allowed for it to consider rejecting signatures based on evidence brought forward by its staff or the targeted office holders. Board director Kevin Kennedy says there is no process in place for accepting information from outside groups and individuals.
“It’s like a court,” Kennedy said. “You don’t allow people to just walk in and say, I’ve got additional evidence. You want to have certain procedures in place for that. These are procedures that the legislature has approved.”
Two tea party groups have launched the web site “Verify the Recall.” Their goal is to make formal challenges based on their findings. “We’re looking to uphold the integrity of the process,” said Ross Brown, of We the People of the Republic. “If we lose clean and honest elections here in the state of Wisconsin, we lose Wisconsin as we know it.”
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According to WBAY :February 7, 2012
Madison - Outside groups offered to review more than one million recall petition signatures submitted against Governor Scott Walker, but the Government Accountability Board is saying, "No thanks."
"We have approximately 13,000 volunteers that have signed up with Verify the Recall to do this," Ross Brown said.
"This isn't a verification process, this is a review process to determine whether or not it's sufficient," Kennedy said.
"We'll be searching for known felons, we'll be searching for deceased persons that show up on recall petitions. I have not heard anyone else talk about things like that," Ross said.
The board agreed to only accept recall petition reviews from the targeted office holders and those who circulated the petitions.
"These are procedures that the Legislature has approved through the state statutes and administrative code. I think there's recognition that the public has a stake in this, but this is a representative democracy, not a true democracy in the sense that not every voters gets to step up and tell government how to do it; they do it through their state representatives," Kennedy said.
After its offer was rejected, members of Verify the Recall said they will consider taking legal action against the GAB.
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According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; Feb. 7, 2012
About 15% of the signatures in a random sample of the petitions seeking the recall of Republican Gov. Scott Walker could not be verified, according to an analysis by the Journal Sentinel.
An unelected board vs. The will of the people and the Wisconsin Constitution
Wisconsin Constitution. Article 1, Section 4:
The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.
Declaration of Independence:
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Wisconsin Statue 13.61
…The legislature declares that the operation of an open and responsible government requires that the fullest opportunity be afforded to the people to petition their government for the redress of grievances and to express freely to any officials of the executive or legislative branch their opinions on legislation, on pending administrative rules and other policy decisions by administrative agencies, and on current issues. Essential to the continued functioning of an open government is the preservation of the integrity of the governmental decision-making process. ….
We the People:
When fraud occurs, it is not only an infraction against the candidates or officials, it is a transgression against all of us. An independent random sampling by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel revealed that fifteen percent of the recall signatures could not be verified. Notwithstanding the conclusion by the J-S, this is a significant portion for a random sampling and it warrants further investigation by the Government Accountability Board. In addition, by refusing to redress the grievances of citizens outside of the Walker campaign, the GAB apparently violates the intent of Wisconsin statute 13.61.
Mr. Kennedy compares the board’s review to a court. To the contrary, the Government Accountability Board is part of the executive branch - not the judicial branch. Notice his reference to administrative code to avoid validating the signatures. In other words, his agency made up some of the rules. Such rules were not necessarily voted on by the legislature and are not the result of the representative democracy Kennedy cited. That must change.
As acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence, our government is instituted to secure rights of the people. If the GAB will not secure our right to a fair election process, then it is a form of government that is destructive to that end. Our elected officials created this very powerful unaccountable unelected board; and they must correct that. Click here and follow the links to express your will about the GAB: Wisconsin State Representatives