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Sabotage? Caledonia Man Claims He, and Others, Plan to Shred Signed Walker Recall Petitions

Facebook and Twitter are abuzz about plans to undermine efforts to collect 540,000 signatures to recall Gov. Scott Walker. One Caledonia resident says those efforts are real.

Want to read more about this topic? Click the Facebook "like" button located above this article. If we get 10 or more likes, we'll know to write a follow-up story.

UPDATE 5:01 p.m.: Click to read the reaction from the Government Accountability Board and the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

UPDATE 3:29 p.m.:  The man who collected 150 signatures said he plans to turn them into the Government Accountability Board. One other person is also going to turn his in and they are going to convince a third person to do the same.

Here's his statement: "It’s not the right thing to do, we should have known better. The whole thing wasn’t our idea. It’s something we just stumbled on and we did it, 24 hours later we realized that it’s not a good thing to do. I’ve been thinking about it and it’s just not right. But when I think about what’s been going on all year with the protests, and what this has been doing to people, families, and friends…is making normal people do really stupid things and feel stupid things. And it’s crazy. It's absolutely crazy."

Update 11:52 a.m.: Bill Folk, chairman of the Racine County Republican Party, denounced the group's effort to sabotage the recall election and said the group is not part of the Racine County Republican Party or the Tea Party. "It's not a move the Racine County Republican Party or the Tea Party supports or endorses," he said. "I firmly believe that if you sign a recall petition that it should be turned in, and that the process should happen as it is supposed to." Lora Halberstadt, of the Racine TEA Party, also denounced the actions of the group.

Original story: Residents who signed legitimate recall petitions may never have them counted by the Government Accountability Board.

A Caledonia resident, who asked not to have his name used, told Caledonia Patch that he and at least two other people in Racine are collecting signatures to recall Scott Walker, but have no intention of turning them into the GAB. Instead, they want people to think they've signed the petition, but not actually have their signatures count. 

They are doing this to sabotage the recall effort, the resident said. 

“The Democrats put this out there and they made some mistakes,” the man said. “If you go to their Facebook page, you can download the petition from right there. I’m sure they are counting how many are being downloaded, but just because they are printed, don’t mean they’ll be used … It’s not illegal to collect them and not turn them in.”

But this may be a gray area. Reid Magney, a spokesman from Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, told a reporter with Mother Jones that “destroying or defacing an official recall petition would violate state law. (Here's the relevant statute.) Such a violation, he adds, would be a class I felony in Wisconsin, which carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to three-and-a-half years in jail.”

The man claimed he had already collected 150 signatures at Walmart and Pick’n Save on 27th Street in Franklin yesterday. However, when asked to produce the documents, he said, he would need to think about showing them to Patch. He said he won’t be turning them into the GAB, but hasn’t destroyed them.

The man also told Caledonia Patch that there are over 1,000 people collecting signatures across the state to recall Scott Walker and that none of those people had any intention of turning them in to the GAB. When pressed, he said he couldn’t confirm the actual number.

A number of Facebook pages where people are talking about collecting the petitions, the man said.

A story published by the blog Politiscoop reported that the Tea Party might be involved with sabotage efforts. A website called the Brad Blog is also featuring actual screen shots of these conversations.

“People are done and they are going to start fighting back. We’re done with the unions and their foolish ways … this is Wisconsin, leave us alone,” he said.

Calls made to the Wisconsin Democratic Party, the Racine County Democratic Party and the GAB have not been returned.

James R Hoffa November 18, 2011 at 06:58 AM
BTW - I hope you have a great Thanksgiving as well! And don’t forget to say hi to James P for me ;-)
James R Hoffa November 18, 2011 at 07:17 AM
@Phil Scarr - 1. As I stated, screen captures from the website of the posted event are readily available – search for them online if you’re really interested in substantiating this claim. 2. You must have forgotten about this part from the Voter ID law – “and must provide an acceptable proof of residence document from the list below.” People who merely shack up in another’s house for 28 days just to meet residency in order to vote and then return to their original place of origin would have a hard time coming up with such proof of residence. And would have to put in much more effort in order to be able to produce such documenation. Did I really have to explain that one to you? 3. Fine by me. 4. You concluded - “They are above the law in their own minds. It is important that we demonstrate to them through the legal system that they are not above the law. This is disappointing but not surprising.” So, it’s obvious that you accepted the carrying out of their plan without any real proof of action haven been taken. So how exactly does that change my original assertion about your position on this one? 5. As explained above – it will prevent the kind of bussed in transplant voter fraud that the DPW wants to be able to continue using to swing elections. I really can’t explain it any more than I already have.
James R Hoffa November 18, 2011 at 07:23 AM
@john – One last thing – nice Cleavon Little impersonation from Fletch Lives (1989). You really have that one down :-)
Lyle Ruble November 18, 2011 at 01:03 PM
I just love conspiracy theories. We are amateurish in the art. The middle east could teach us how to really do it right. I always ask what is the probability that something is a true conspiracy. Anymore than just a few individuals involved, makes the probability of a conspiracy less likely. Now on to my favorite targets for conspiracy; the Koch Brothers. Their intentions and means of operation is way too open and well documented to be counted as a conspiracy. The same can be said of George Soros. What these two and others represent is a convenient face to ideologies that people oppose. With today's internet access, conspiracies are too easily debunked. On the other hand it also fuels conspiracies. Understanding the conspiracy mechanisms sheds light on the psychological need for people to shift responsibility away from themselves and on to some kind of "boogeyman". Do conspiracies exist, sure. But, true conspiracy is rare and not easily known. As winter closes in on all of us, we can all have some fun playing the conspiracy game, as long as we don't take it too seriously.
Phil Scarr November 18, 2011 at 01:16 PM
Sorry Jimmy, those are seasonally adjusted numbers. "The manufacturing sector lost 3,400 jobs, the health care sector lost 1,700 jobs and the retail trade sector lost 1,900 jobs. The construction sector lost 2,200 jobs." Nice guess on your part but very very very wrong.
patchreader 123 November 18, 2011 at 05:51 PM
FYI: Charlie Sykes mentioned this article on AM 620 this morning. He contrasted the coverage of this "anonymous source" story with the non-coverage by the media (to include Patch) of the doctor's reprimanded in Madison for writing fake sick notes for protestors.
James R Hoffa November 18, 2011 at 06:24 PM
@Phil - The "construction sector" wouldn't be considered seasonal in Wisconsin? That's funny, as I seem to recall having used the term 'road construction season' quite frequently in Wisconsin. And how many of the "retail trade sector" jobs were seasonal, such as outdoor Wisconsin Dells’ waterparks, mini-golf courses, etc.? And of the jobs listed, how many were lost via retirement and attrition and just haven't been re-filled yet? There's actually so much more to consider here Phil, isn't there? Not to mention that the numbers you provide don't add up to john's 10,000! And, are these numbers net or gross? Come on Phil - proper context. It's essential!
patchreader 123 November 18, 2011 at 06:58 PM
JRH: I thought the impersonation was spot-on for "Cletus, The Slack-Jawed Yokel." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgDw7_L82kU
patchreader 123 November 18, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Or better yet, for "Junior Samples." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG1Aafqsb-E&feature=related
James R Hoffa November 18, 2011 at 07:26 PM
@patchreader 123 - Gotta love Hee Haw! But who can forget Alabama Man! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA7atPCN5_E Of course, Archie Bunker has the definitive last word on Obama - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtRbIz-GHo8
Milwaukee Ironworkers November 18, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Chris - it absolutely should have been prosecuted as a felony. I don't care who does it - it's illegal. "‎12.13(3)(A) Falsify any information in respect to or fraudulently deface or destroy a certificate of nomination, nomination paper, declaration of candidacy or petition for an election, including a recall petition or petition for a referendum or file or receive for filing a certificate of nomination, nomination paper, declaration of candidacy or any such petition, knowing any part is falsely made. A violation of 12.13(3)(A) is a Class I felony: a fine not to exceed $10,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 3 years and 6 months, or both."
jt November 18, 2011 at 07:55 PM
jimmy, stick to what you know about, construction is only somewhat seasonal, the same guys shift over to plow mode or continue working on projects during the winter! they now have techniques for doing more and more during the winter months! and as far as farmers, i grew up on a farm , and just because the harvest might be done, doesn't mean the work is done. some have cattle, lots of machinery repair ect. i have never seen a farmer collect an unemployment check. and most of the hired help either works year round or they are strictly seasonal and don't have enough weeks in to collect compensation. use complete facts james! now your winging it!
CowDung November 18, 2011 at 08:05 PM
To be fair, the report in the Journal-Sentinal did state that Wisconsin lost 9,300 "non-agricultural", private sector jobs last month, as well as 400 public sector jobs.
James Bothamley November 19, 2011 at 02:54 AM
It's called a Constitutional right. Good for you for being against election fraud.
Morninmist Same November 19, 2011 at 08:41 PM
And a sweet tweet. MadPolitics Madison.com Politics United Wisconsin reports they have compiled more than 105,000 signatures to recall Gov. Walker in 4 days. #wirecall #wiunion 38 minutes ago
Bucky November 21, 2011 at 12:42 AM
and the band ... played ... on
Bucky November 21, 2011 at 12:45 AM
and the band ... played ... on
Bucky November 21, 2011 at 01:38 AM
and the band ... played ... on
Bucky November 21, 2011 at 01:41 AM
DUANE MICHALSKI ... Goodbye Duane ... See ya in 3 years !
Bucky November 21, 2011 at 01:52 AM
Its what you call fraud ... John
Bucky November 21, 2011 at 01:54 AM
Where did ya bury him JRH ?
Bucky November 21, 2011 at 01:55 AM
Are you looking in the mirror ?
Bucky November 21, 2011 at 02:15 AM
Talked to a guy thats a carpenter. He's out of work and so are another 500 plus of his fellow carpenters. Denise I hope that one day JRH can help you to become a good story teller. Great numbers Phil, JRH is totally out of touch. I don't feel Walker has done a thing in regards to jobs. Really liked your comments Phil, finally someone on here that has facts not like JRH's B.S.
Bucky November 21, 2011 at 02:19 AM
Charlie Sykes reminds me of dog chit ... I don't know why ?
Joey Tranchina November 22, 2011 at 05:38 PM
If anyone seeks to deny that this is normal GOP behavior, I ask that they study the rise of Karl Rove in the Republican Party. This is PRECISELY the sort of anti-democratic political crime upon which Rove built his very successful career. Why do you think President Shrub Bush endearingly called Rove "Turd-blossom?"
Robert W Farkas November 22, 2011 at 06:26 PM
Joey, my goodness you really have a hate problem. President Bush has been out of office for three years and Karl Rove is just a Teddy Bear who is sharp as a tack and drive left wing hate mongers nuts. Read his book. It is very revealing. Hey, how many people are registered to vote out of State Senator Lena Taylors home? More than 20, one a convicted felon. Does that make all dems scumbags with no ethics and really huge butts, no it does not. How about the guy on video giving people smokes for signatures on the recall TP?No here also. Now how is this guy tied so tight to the GOP. Maybe he's an independent or a commie (thats a right leaning democrat) or a libertarian? Now chill out and my God bless you and yours with a good Thanksgiving. I understand that most of the Packers are rich members of the GOP, go Pack, Beat the Lions
Sheilah Kring November 25, 2011 at 02:03 PM
I am always impressed how supporters of Scott Walker who are so against recalls conveniently forget that the first recall petition efforts last spring were actually filed by a conservative / tea party group from out of state against the democratic senators.... I think they conveniently forget because... they were all unsuccessful. When their side is losing then they say "NO FAIR I DON'T LIKE THIS GAME! RECALLS ARE BAD!!!" But they were the best thing ever and a great idea early in the year when they thought Wisconsinites might support their side. Amazing what flip-floppers people like that can be. Y'know.. people who might, for instance, claim to be former democrats who amazingly turned into tea party members... I was for the recalls, now I'm against the recalls, etc....
Ty Kam November 25, 2011 at 06:26 PM
Democrats will never win because they don't fight or fight back like the Republicans do. They just lie down and take it.
Lieutenant Dad November 30, 2011 at 01:36 AM
I would hope that the accused people receive the same punishment that Bob Wirch and our other esteemed state Senators received for their little "vacation" they took earlier this year!
Sue December 01, 2011 at 02:02 AM
What is the matter with these people?!? Are they so afraid of a recall they want to commit fraud to stop it? Disgraceful.

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