1,500 Petitions Call for Van Hollen Investigation of RPW-Americans for Prosperity-Tea Party Vote Caging

Week-long Effort Has Citizens in Every Corner of Wisconsin Calling for Full Investigation; Republican Governors Association Caught Sending Out Deceptive Absentee Mailing

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MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsinites in every corner of the state have helped One Wisconsin Now deliver 1,500 petitions to state Attorney General JB Van Hollen calling for a full investigation of the voter suppression plan by the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Americans for Prosperity-WI and the state’s leading Tea Party organizations.

“JB Van Hollen has a simple choice: investigate these credible allegations of voter suppression, or cowtow to his allies in the Republican Party of Wisconsin.” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now. “Van Hollen cannot blame his inaction on the Office of Lawyer Regulations on this one, like he did when his office bungled the Ken Kratz ‘sexting’ allegations.”

One Wisconsin Now has called for a formal investigation by Van Hollen, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Government Accountability Board, after it obtained an audio recording, documents and strategy memos between the RPW, the Americans for Prosperity and the Tea Party leader detailing plans for a coordinated voter suppression effort to challenge voter eligibility in targeted wards representing student and minority voters on Election Day this November 2.

Just today, it was reported the Republican Governors Association, which has spent millions of dollars supporting Scott Walker with corporate-funded attack ads, sent out a deceptive absentee mailing that appears to be an official government document. The Milwaukee Election Commission has fielded complaints from numerous concerned citizens about the mailing. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/6/10]

The voter caging audio recordings and documents are available at One Wisconsin Now’s voter protection website: www.SaveWisconsinsVote2010.org. The documents included on the site were forwarded from an August 30 email from Jon Waclawski, Republican Party of Wisconsin Chief Counsel and Finance Director. It includes a list of counties “already covered” according to Waclawski, and notes the importance of going after 16,000 eligible voters in Milwaukee County.

Tea Party leader Tim Dake, as well as Mark Jefferson, RPW Executive Director and Mark Block, head of the Americans for Prosperity-WI told various reporters the allegations by One Wisconsin Now were untrue and indicated such activity had been abandoned. An email from September 16 with details about mailings in predominately student and minority wards in Milwaukee contradicts these claims.

The various mistruths and conflicting statements made by Tim Dake of the Tea Party, Mark Block of Americans for Prosperity and representatives from the Republican Party of Wisconsin are available here.

“These are serious allegations and despite denials that this voter suppression effort has ended one need only look at the voter suppression billboards polluting our neighborhoods that were noted in the plot,” said Ross. “Van Hollen owes the people of Wisconsin an explanation why he is sitting on his hands when the right to vote for people in Wisconsin is under assault.”

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.