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Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011

Issue of the Week: Election Shenanigans

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Is the widespread voter fraud that Republicans keep talking about finally turning up?

We think so.


But it isn't happening at the polls. It's happening now, before the elections.


The ultraconservative, Koch-brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity is sending out mailers to voters with erroneous instructions on how to obtain an absentee ballot for August's recall elections. Not surprisingly, these mailers ended up in the hands of Democratic voters—and concerned citizen Barbara With, who exposed the errors on her Facebook page.


But the truly fraudulent part of the mailer is the return address. Instead of sending the ballot applications to the voter's local municipal clerk, they go to a post office box in Madison. The real destination is the P.O. box of Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), the homophobic group that instigated the state's anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment referendum and sued to prove that the state's domestic partnership registry was illegal.


Wisconsin Family Action used to be a shoestring, grassroots operation. But now it's flush with cash, having reportedly spent more than $300,000 on ads in the recalls.


The Koch brothers, who funnel their money into third-party groups such as the anti-government Club for Growth, the pro-voucher All Children Matter/American Federation for Children, and the notorious John Birch Society, have unlimited funds for their bought-and-paid-for candidates. And although candidates are not allowed to coordinate their efforts with these groups, candidates rely on the Koch brothers' generosity and willingness to meddle in elections. Even Gov. Scott Walker, during the prank David Koch phone call earlier this year, asked “Koch” for “message help” for legislators who'd be facing tough elections as a result of their support for Walker's radical agenda. Looks like the real Koch brothers came through for Walker and his loyal Republicans.


We hope that the Government Accountability Board thoroughly investigates this matter. Maybe it will finally find the mythical widespread voter fraud that hasn't been identified until now.


Heroes of the Week

Family Sharing of Ozaukee County Volunteers

Comprised of a food pantry and resale shop (both located at 1002 Overland Court, Grafton), Family Sharing of Ozaukee County works to “alleviate hunger and promote self-sufficiency to low-income, elderly and disabled residents.” Community volunteers distribute nearly 30,000 pounds of needed food to more than 600 households a month. Volunteers also staff the nonprofit's resale shop, accepting and collecting donations of furniture, clothing and household items.

Donated items are either given directly to program participants in need or sold at the shop to fund the food pantry.

Readers interested in volunteering or donating items to Family Sharing of Ozaukee County are urged to call 262-377-0634 or visit www.familysharingozaukee.org.

Event of the Week

Act Now: Act 9 Wisconsin AIDS Ride

It's not too late to donate to ACT 9, the four-day, 300-mile bike ride through central Wisconsin, a benefit for the AIDS Network. Online donations can be taken at www.actride.org beginning at midnight on Thursday, Aug. 4, the day the bike ride launches.

The contributions support the AIDS Network, which serves 13 counties in south-central Wisconsin. The organization has provided services to those with HIV/AIDS and educated the public about the virus since 1985, when there was so much fear and stigma about it. Last year, the group began operating a food pantry and dental clinic in Madison. Since the downturn in the economy, the organization has faced a challenge in raising funds for these vital services. If you are able to donate money to a worthy organization, please donate to AIDS Network this week.

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