ONTD Political

Wisconsin Voters Report Receiving Robocalls Telling Them Not To Vote

6:13 am - 06/09/2012
Wisconsin Voters Report Receiving Robocalls Telling Them Not To Vote

From Eau Claire to Beloit, voters across Wisconsin are relaying stories via Twitter, Facebook and online message boards about anonymous “robocalls” from allies of Scott Walker, telling them–incorrectly–that if they signed petitions to recall Governor Walker, their vote in today’s crucial election has been recorded.

An NBC reporter tweeted that a family friend was one recipient of the call:

Dad just emailed, a WI friend of his got the 'If you signed the petition you don't have to vote tomorrow' robocall #wirecall
4 Jun 12

Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee and the Democratic nominee to unseat Governor Scott Walker, told MSNBC host Ed Schultz last night that his campaign began receiving complaints yesterday that voters had been contacted with the misinformation. This morning, Salon reported on the robocalls too, and included comments from Carol Gibbons, a Wisconsin resident who got the call herself. And a local CBS affiliate is even reporting that the caller sounds eerily similar to Tom Barrett, suggesting the group behind the call may have hired a Barrett impersonator.

So far no recording of the call has surfaced, but the reports from voters was enough to prompt the Barrett campaign to make calls of its own, warning voters not to listen to the first call. For its part, the Walker campaign denied any involvement in or knowledge of the robocall or who was behind it.

Election day antics were a near certainty in Wisconsin. In the last week, reports of other campaign antics surfaced, including an attempt by Walker supporters to disable the Barrett campaign’s phone lines by flooding their call centers with spam phone calls.


OP: I apologize if this has been posted already. I searched but couldn't find it. I'm not sure if I'm surprised but hell, to pull this kind of shit on a RECALL? That's some balls.
tabaqui 9th-Jun-2012 02:40 pm (UTC)
And, once again, we see that the GOP likes to cheat to win. How is this *remotely* legal or acceptable?
sweetnessarose 9th-Jun-2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a revote is needed
astridmyrna 9th-Jun-2012 03:02 pm (UTC)
riath 9th-Jun-2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
On first reading, I thought your comment said "a revolt is needed"...

But I'd be willing to bet that the GOP would resort to other underhanded tactics even if they did agree to a revote.
alierakieron 9th-Jun-2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
On a seven point spread? That was consistent with weeks of polling ahead of time?

It sucks that we lost. There may have been some shenanigans. But we lost, and dragging this out is going to hurt us more in the long run.
alierakieron 9th-Jun-2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
We need to be triaging. And we need to do some serious thinking and honest talking about why we lost. Because this "What's wrong with everyone else?" crap is fucking us.
alierakieron 9th-Jun-2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
I think the worst part about the last week has actually been watching a significant number of Sconnies deciding to embody the Obnoxious Madison Liberal stereotype.
alierakieron 9th-Jun-2012 07:57 pm (UTC)
Madison liberals: "Which is more obnoxious? The classism or the subtle, underhanded racism? Discuss."

ETA: And lest anyone be confused, I *AM* a Madison liberal, who had more skin in this race than most for reasons I can't discuss online publicly.

Edited at 2012-06-09 07:58 pm (UTC)
awfulbliss 9th-Jun-2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
Seems to be the theme around here every time an election doesn't go the right way...
alierakieron 10th-Jun-2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
Which part?
awfulbliss 11th-Jun-2012 03:30 am (UTC)
I was just agreeing with the "What's wrong with everyone else?" stuff. I've been around tons of races, and it's just my observation here, but I've always found that Republicans simply accept losses and then figure out why they lost, whereas a lot of Democrats/liberals' first reaction that is the only way you could vote for a certain candidate is if you're ignorant and a moron. It seems like every election post is about how people got tricked, that they're "voting against their interests," that they're dumb, etc.
alierakieron 11th-Jun-2012 03:34 am (UTC)
Just checking!
And yup. It's painful, honestly, and frequently has some really obnoxiously classist overtones. There may have been shenanigans, but we didn't lose this one because they cheated. We lost for a handful of reasons, some fair and some unfair. But a few prank calls wasn't it. At least not this time.
spiffynamehere 10th-Jun-2012 05:26 am (UTC)
I'm pretty okay with dragging this out to call bullshit on the shenanigans we've been hearing about.
alierakieron 10th-Jun-2012 05:27 am (UTC)
Maybe you are, but a significant number of voters aren't. Do we want to be right, or do we want a chance at winning the long game?
spiffynamehere 10th-Jun-2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
Like calling out fraud?
alierakieron 10th-Jun-2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
Fraud of which there is no evidence (yet) and very few accounts, only one of which is first hand. That's nowhere near enough for a revote.
moonshaz 10th-Jun-2012 06:03 am (UTC)
oceandezignz 9th-Jun-2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
I am quite sure somewhere out there unless they were a complete ninny, someone has that robocall on their answering machine. I hope they come forward ASAP over it.
ook 9th-Jun-2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
Surely someone's answering system might have caught the phone number of the place/person making the phone call?

I love how the Republicans are always so concerned about "voter fraud" and then they pull dirty tricks like this. Seems like it's always the GOP pulling the dirty tricks, too.
lurkch 9th-Jun-2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
Borrowing a page from the Canadian Conservative Party's handbook I see.
romp 9th-Jun-2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
I think it started in the US but, yes, will this be a big scandal? The Wikipedia entry for "robocall scandal" is all about the Canadian case--will this one join it? Or is there a difference legally that allows this in the US? Or is it just complacency? Not that most Canadians are as upset as they should be...
lurkch 9th-Jun-2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
I can't imagine a democracy in which this sort of thing is legal--although considering some of the wacky legislation being passed lately in the US I actually wouldn't be surprised if some politician somewhere had managed to find a way to make it legal.
circumambulate 10th-Jun-2012 06:56 am (UTC)
you should only be able to imagine a democracy where this sort of thing is legal - free-speech is a bitch.

Counter-education is the antidote.
lurkch 10th-Jun-2012 07:10 am (UTC)
Interfering with the democratic process and every citizen's right to vote should not fall under protected speech. There are always limits, this should be one of them.
circumambulate 10th-Jun-2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
Nope.. The boundary of protected speech, time and again, is imminent danger /physical harm.

Getting tricked out of voting is neither.

Collosal dick-move, yes, illegal, no.

I don't know why we Democrats expect anything else from the GOP, at this point.
lurkch 10th-Jun-2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
Well, it's illegal in MY democracy, we just haven't found the culprit(s) yet to charge them. I'd wager it's illegal in most democracies.

I guess I'm not surprised that a democracy so weighted toward individual rights over societal good that it protects hate speech would find this legal as well.
alierakieron 10th-Jun-2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
Actually, if they can find evidence of it being done I'm pretty sure it really is election fraud.
koshkabegemot 9th-Jun-2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
I know this is like NEWS AT 11, but goddamn, some politicians are really shitty people.

Wow. That is just like beyond fucking low.
erunamiryene 9th-Jun-2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Between this, declaring the race OVER at 20% counted, and when Milwaukee Cty hadn't reported any yet BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE STILL IN FUCKING LINE TO VOTE, while journalists and Walker supporters were telling people the race had been called and to go home ... yeah.

Can't wait for November.
romp 9th-Jun-2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
This keeps happening and I haven't heard of repercussions. Doing this needs to result in something serious like prison and/or being thrown out of the running, not just scapegoating someone who works in the boiler room.
elialshadowpine 10th-Jun-2012 03:03 am (UTC)
Yeah, I remember shenanigans like this at the 2004 general election. Nothing was done then, either, and it seriously NEEDS to have a goddamn punishment.
cecilia_weasley 10th-Jun-2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
*chants* RE-CALL RE-CALL. Other than that, I got nothing. They are probably going to get away with it, too.
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