MADISON, Wis. — Last night the Wisconsin State Assembly passed a reprehensible piece of voter suppression legislation authored by Rep. Michael Schraa that would require poor people to publicly declare their poverty in order to vote without an onerous photo ID. Incredibly, Schraa has a long and troubling list of financial woes and legal issues related to his being a poor and unscrupulous businessman.
“If Michael Schraa wants poor people to be forced to publicly declare their poverty to vote, he should have to publicly declare ‘I’m a business failure and I don’t pay my taxes and I stiff my employees of their wages,’ if we’re going to be consistent,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director.
A cumbersome review of numerous court records shows a litany of business related legal entanglements for Michael Schraa, including:
- Six tax warrants for nearly $24,000 in unpaid taxes, sales and income taxes;
- Over $14,400 in penalties and interest on past dues taxes;
- A warrant filed for unpaid workers compensation;
- A criminal charges filed for failure to pay employee wages; and
- Six money judgments for debt totaling over $414,000.
Ross concluded, “Unpaid wages and taxes, past due bills, fines and forfeitures and foreclosures are not the hallmarks of a successful business person, they are however, the track record Mr. Schraa brings to the table. And so he’s the last person who should be telling poor people what they have to do in order to exercise the sacred right of the franchise.”