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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Republican Voter Fraud Coverup

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Complaints about political bias in the media, except for the well-earned ones against Fox News, usually come from partisans who are simply upset when the media report something true that makes their side look bad.

A bigger problem today is news organizations distorting the truth by trying to appear nonpartisan by presenting both sides—opposing arguments by Democrats and Republicans—as if those arguments were equal, even when they know one party is telling the truth and the other party is lying.

Exhibit No. 1: Republican laws passed in Wisconsin and other states to make it much harder for Democratic constituencies to vote that Republicans claim—without any evidence whatsoever—are needed to prevent rampant Democratic voter fraud.

What’s embarrassing for professional journalists, however, is that the issue of illegal voting also provides a rare, concrete example of a Milwaukee news organization intentionally covering up facts in its reporting to distort the issue.

The stories in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel involve what is quite likely the most egregious case of illegal multiple voting in Wisconsin history.

Robert Monroe, a health insurance executive living in Shorewood, is charged with 13 felonies, accusing him of fraudulently voting 12 times in five different elections in 2011 and 2012.

The felonies include illegally voting five times in the 2012 Scott Walker recall election, twice in the 2011 recall election of state Sen. Alberta Darling, twice in the 2011 David Prosser-JoAnne Kloppenburg state Supreme Court election and twice in the November 2012 presidential election.

Since that was all the Journal Sentinel reported, it would seem to prove everything Republicans say, right? Shorewood is Democratic and now we know why. People there vote over and over. It must be like a track meet with crazed Democrats running back around to the end of the line.

What the Journal Sentinel intentionally failed to report, of course, is that Monroe is a rabid Republican voter who’s contributed to Darling. All those fraudulent votes were cast for Walker, Darling, Prosser and Mitt Romney.

Apparently, all those Republican laws to create obstacles to voting are like a serial killer’s dramatic cry for help: “Stop us before we illegally vote again!”

 

‘Journal Sentinel’ Omits GOP Link

The Journal Sentinel knows about Monroe’s Republican affiliation. It was first reported on the WisPolitics website by former Journal Sentinel reporter Marie Rohde.

Yet every Journal Sentinel story on the Monroe case intentionally omits the most significant facts about Wisconsin’s biggest known case of voter fraud, namely, the political motivation behind the crime and which candidates benefited.

To understand why any newspaper would do that, you have to know the Journal Sentinel’s historic role in exaggerating voter fraud in Wisconsin.

It goes back to 2004 when President George W. Bush was running for re-election. Karl Rove, Bush’s devious political advisor, started pushing the idea of Democratic voter fraud as an excuse to pass laws making it more difficult for Democrats to vote.

At one point, Milwaukee’s Republican U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic was on the administration’s hit list of U.S. attorneys around the country to be fired for failing to file enough cases accusing Democrats of voter fraud in their districts.

To his credit, Biskupic instead joined with Democratic Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann to conduct a detailed bipartisan investigation into Republican accusations of voter fraud in Milwaukee after the 2004 election. Get this: They found no evidence of organized voter fraud, mostly insignificant voting errors and clerical mistakes.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel didn’t conduct itself nearly so admirably.

The 2004 election was extremely poorly managed by the City Election Commission, with people standing in line for hours, widespread machine breakdowns, numerous clerical errors and wide discrepancies in voter lists.

The Journal Sentinel sensationalized those problems in a series of front-page stories suggesting massive voter fraud. At one point, it estimated a gap between votes reported and people recorded as voting as an astounding 7,000 votes. The newspaper became a bullhorn for every reckless Republican charge of rampant voter fraud.

Despite the conclusions of Biskupic and McCann, Republicans ever since have treated the newspaper’s wildest accusations and their own as fact.

Wisconsin attorney Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, repeatedly claims without any evidence that 2% of all votes in the state, more than 61,000 votes, are fraudulent.

Gov. Scott Walker echoes the claim, suggesting it’s all by Democrats. “You probably have to win with at least 53% of the vote to account for fraud,” he told the conservative Weekly Standard.

But when the facts about real voter fraud in Wisconsin get reported, two things become clear:

Though rare, outrageous multiple-voting criminals get caught here.

And if Walker and Priebus really wanted to stop the worst cases, they didn’t have to pass unconstitutional laws to suppress voting and reduce registration of urban voters.

They could just have told Republicans illegally voting multiple times to knock it off.