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Man Says His Name Forged on Recall Petition

The man believes his neighbor forged his name and others on petitions to recall Van Wanggaard. Sheriff's Department is investigating.

Updated 4:10 p.m. Feb. 6

Recall organizers turned in 1.9 million signatures to recall four state senators, the governor and lt. governor. That number is far greater than the minimum needed to bring about the recall elections. 

Since before the signatures were turned in, conservative groups worried that not enough would be done to ensure the signatures on the petitions were valid — that they were from people eligible to vote, and that those who signed actually signed it themselves.

Supporters of the six legislators facing recall are checking the signatures, running them through courts databases to weed out felons still serving their sentences, determining if addresses really exist and questioning names like "Ronald McDonald."

The Journal Times reported some of the people working at the Racine County Victory Center are flagging signatures that may be for people who really live out of state, or who did not fill the petitions out correctly. One woman said she was flagging signatures where the handwriting of the person who wrote the date and address do not appear to be the same. 

Caledonia resident Marge Orth told the JT that while she isn't sure what the result of her work will be, "You have to question it. We'll let the lawyers figure it out."

The Root River Siren, a liberal Racine County blogger, attacked the JT article, saying it didn't do enough explain why the questionable signatures were still in the mix

Yet, the Siren wrote, committees in possession of petitions had to turn them in, and the committee could not disregard the legal intent of a signer just because he or she did not fill it out entirely or correctly. The Siren also noted that these arguments aren't new: They're the same ones Democrats tried last year, when it was their legislators facing recall. And it didn't work. 

But that's not to say there aren't problems. 

Jason Adams of Racine contacted Caledonia Patch last week and said he found his name on a petition to recall Sen. Van Wanggaard, though he never signed one. He believes his neighbor Mark DeMet forged his signature — and suspects that neighbor may have forged signatures of other neighbors and family members. TMJ4 found members of DeMet's family claim the same thing. DeMet wasn't home when TMJ4 went to his house.

Adams told Patch he doesn't understand why his neighbor would have done this.

"I had a nice conversation with (Mark DeMet) this summer about Walker," Adams said. "I told him what I thought, which was the opposite of what he thought. There was no anger there."

Adams plans to look for his name on Walker petitions as well, he told Patch.

"A number of companies said by the beginning of (this) week they will have a searchable database," he said.

Adams sent an email to the Government Accountability Board about his suspicions, and they said he should report it to police.

Racine County Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt. Tom Lamke confirmed Monday that the department is looking into allegations of irregularities on petitions circulated by DeMet. He said Adams has not contacted the Sheriff's Department yet.

Lamke said that investigators are talking with a number of people whose names are on the petitions that Demet circulated, that the investigation is "already branching out" and that there are other names that are being looked at. However, Lamke wouldn't confirm the number of signatures they are trying to confirm.

He said the department is contacting other people whose names appear to be potentially fraudulent, and trying to confirm whether or not they signed the petition.

If criminal charges are issued, Lamke said, it could be a felony with up to three years imprisonment (which could be time in prison or on probation) and a fine of up to $10,000. 

Caledonia Patch Local Editor Denise Lockwood contributed to this report.

jt February 07, 2012 at 03:05 AM
well marge, i guess this lady pretty much just made her own son look pretty guilty. this is a really strange story! could be a lot of people in trouble on this one. i hope we all get to see the updates on this.
James R Hoffa February 07, 2012 at 03:37 AM
@HRG - So you're suggesting that DeMet is willing to go to jail for Walker in some crazy attempt to discredit the recall movement? @john - How does that "explain why the sherrif's (sic) office said that jason hasn't contacted them yet?" @HRG - So, DeMet's relative Jeff is in with Citizen's Responsible Government. You're right, family members with varying political affiliations do sound "a little too weird." Hey, don't you come from a family of varying political affiliations? Man, that's weird. Wait a minute, so do I. It just keeps getting weirder, doesn't it :-) The only thing that we factually know is that a number of signatures were forged on the Wanggaard petition and that DeMet is the prime suspect. Anything beyond that is pure conjecture and speculation.
James R Hoffa February 07, 2012 at 03:43 AM
@john - So a phone call conversation is enough for you to judge one's character in having the capacity to commit overtly criminal acts without the need for additional conclusive evidence, but a circulator's petition that happens to have several forged signatures on it just doesn't cut the mustard for you. You do realize how ridiculous that sounds, don't you?
Heather Rayne Geyer February 07, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Hoffa - I am pretty sure you know that is NOT what I am saying. I was a circulator. If I forged my families signatures...THAT would be weird. I cannot even imagine doing that. If my brother forged my name, yes...I would be livid and would do something about it. I would, however, NOT contact the media before anything else. Too weird. Same with the mother. Whole thing is weird and it has nothing to do with conflicting political stances. Pretty sure you know that too.
jt February 07, 2012 at 03:56 AM
@james, i think it's a bit strange that you or anybody else would support a governor who openly talked over the phone about beating constituants with a baseball bat.
Dan Pavelich February 07, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Believe it or not, the GAB has a process that's followed for every election. Regardless of what this one guy did, does anyone really think enough of the 1.9 million signatures will be voided to stop the recall?
James R Hoffa February 07, 2012 at 05:00 AM
@HRG - Yeah, of course I know - I was being emphatic ;-) The whole story does sound like a tangled web, but given the current political climate, the smartest thing to do in situations such as this would be going to the media first, as it would prevent cover-ups from occurring as well as possible disappearances from happening, if you catch my drift. Sounds like Adams went to the media while the mother was sought out by the media for comment - nothing super strange about any of that per say, is there?
James R Hoffa February 07, 2012 at 05:02 AM
@john - In case you didn't realize it, Gov Walker was being emphatic in regards to the baseball bat issue. Believe me, coming from a multi-generation UAW family, I've had the opportunity to hang out with several auto-workers and Teamsters. You should hear the way several of those guys talk about their wives / girlfriends. Being a Teamster, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about here. Does that mean that I should judge all union men as being anti-feminine womanizers? Of course not, because I know that it's just 'guy talk' and that they were being emphatic. Get it john? You're trying to make something out of nothing. If the phone call was criminal, like Blagojevich's, then don't you think Eric Holder and the feds would have been here slapping the cuffs on Walker already? You know they would be. But that didn't happen, did it. Because the phone-call is nothing more than a red herring. You have to come up with something better than that john.
jt February 07, 2012 at 05:28 AM
@hoffa, any governor should be smart enough to know who he is talking to before he starts in with the "guy talk" get it james? and i don't beleive for one minute that he was just joking. he's not the sharpest tool in the shed, and he truly thought he was kissing up to his boss.
James R Hoffa February 07, 2012 at 05:54 AM
@john - If what you say now is true, then aren't you putting to bed the Koch Bros conspiracy theories? After all, Walker apparently didn't know David Koch's voice well enough to realize that it wasn't really him on the phone that he was talking to, right? So wouldn't that mean that Walker rarely, if ever, actually speaks to David Koch? And if David Koch was really Walker's boss, you'd expect them to talk on a regular enough basis so that they'd at least recognize each other's voices, right? Makes sense, doesn't it john? You really make this too easy, but I give you credit for trying none-the-less :-)
The Anti-Alinsky February 07, 2012 at 07:10 AM
So Bren, we should just take the recall petitioners at their word that all the "irregularities" have been weeded out. Why then did I come across three pages where the petitioner's date was after every signatory on their sheet? Why then did I find several people who signed "Mawaukee" and "Melwakee" as their voting location? Why did the person sitting across from me find her niece, living in Minnesota, sign using her grandparents address? The fact is there is A LOT of fraud in these recall petitions, and we need to find out if there is indeed 540,208 VALID signatures.
The Anti-Alinsky February 07, 2012 at 07:15 AM
Who knows Dan. The recallers are putting out the propoganda of "1.9 million signatures", yet want to stop any verification process. Let the process work itself through. If there are more than 540,208 VALID signatires, then Governor Walker will have the pleasure of beatting the unionistas twice in two 1/2 years.
The Anti-Alinsky February 07, 2012 at 07:34 AM
So jt, your upset because the governor takes a phone call from someone (he thought) could bring THOUSANDS of jobs into the state. Your upset because he tries to establish a report with someone that could bring in THOUSANDS of jobs into the state. I do not kn ow how many time I have threatened to send my daughters to military school or my son's to finishing school. How many people do you think took me serious? Get over it jt, the fake Koch bro interview is a very minor thing.
The Anti-Alinsky February 07, 2012 at 07:37 AM
OR, is this DeMet guy a unionista posing as a Walker supporter posing as a unionista posing as a Walker supporter posing as a unionista posing as a Walker supporter posing as a unionista posing as a Walker supporter posing as a unionista posing as a Walker supporter?
craig dreyer February 07, 2012 at 11:39 AM
I support dans thoughts you can find some questionable signatures but with the amount I dont think it will matter and I further think that if the gov is so confident than lets get to the election and see how many of the 1.9 mill come out to vote and that will show who is playing the system
Sandy February 07, 2012 at 03:32 PM
This shows just how important an overhaul in the recall process is and why voter ID is necessary. It doesn't matter what side of the fence you are on, honesty is still the best policy. I would be all for recall ID - that way whomever wanted the recall could go to the voter polls and sign the petition, get their ID scanned to verify and we could save a lot of time and money that we, the taxpayers, don't have. That would cut down on the verification process time as well. It is despicable how people have made "you have my word" become a laughable phrase. Too sad.
morninmist February 07, 2012 at 04:46 PM
A sweet tweet and GRAND news for the citizens of WI. BTW---The 4 recalled Senators need to have their challenges in by Thursday. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/government-accountability-board-agrees-to-reject-outside-petition-reviews/article_7d860e2a-51a8-11e1-9f45-001871e3ce6c.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter @MadPolitics Madison.com Politics Government Accountability Board agrees to reject outside petition reviews dlvr.it/19hkl6 #wirecall
BremDog February 07, 2012 at 06:40 PM
It is sad that none of this was even necessary. Had Scott Walker taken the high road and simply stated in his campaign that he planned to eliminate collective bargaining and cut a billion dollars from education, instead of saying I'm going to eliminate government waste and create jobs, he wouldn't be the governor, and we wouldn't have a recall. Heck, even if he were willing to negotiate with the senate minority instead of saying "it will be my way or no way, let's vote" things would not come down to neighbor vs. neighbor stories that we have heard for a year.
James R Hoffa February 07, 2012 at 07:00 PM
@BremDog - That's an interesting position to take. As I recall, Doyle didn't state in either of his campaigns that he was going to cut more than $1B from education, but he did. Doyle also expressly promised during his campaign that he wouldn't raise taxes, but he did multiple times. So, I'm curious - why didn't you try to recall Doyle with the same vigor that you're now going after Walker with? I guess the Walker recall really is solely about the union issue after all, isn't it?
James R Hoffa February 07, 2012 at 07:04 PM
@morninmist - So, let me get this straight. You're please over the fact that the GAB won't give the time of day to the ordinary Wisconsin citizen / taxpayer that pays for their budget and their salaries, but will instead only respond to the politicians that you claim are bought and paid for by outside interests. WOW!!! You really are a hypocrite to the extreme, you do realize this, don't you?
Downtown Brown February 07, 2012 at 07:10 PM
JT Mr. Adams and his other neighbors have been in contact with the investigators. Several other fraudulent signatures collected and witnessed by Mr. Demet have been turned over to the Investigators to be researched.
Downtown Brown February 07, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Heather I presume you are referring to this article regarding the family: http://crgofracine.blogspot.com/2012/02/this-is-what-election-fraud-looks-like.html I uncovered the story, I wrote it and I spoke with several of the victims. Channel 4in Milw also did a report on it and it is linked in this story. The same guy forged at least 2 of his neighbors signatures and they are both pressing charges. You can look up the documents your self. Don't believe me..check it yourself.
Downtown Brown February 07, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Heather Mark Demet is an avowed lefty. His ex wife is a Dem supporter, his Son Jacksom (Of LaCrosse), is as well. Jeff and his family are not, and I presume his mother is not either, based upon her interview and my questioning of her son. I realize HRG you might want to blame Mark for fraudulent behavior on behalf of the GOP..but he was down at the Wal-Mart on several different days with the rest of the lefties, gathering signatures. His brother has told me before about his one Lefty Brother. (We compare family stories, since I have a divided family politically as well). Denial Heather is not a river in Egypt! Quit trying to pooh-pooh the story and just accept this is one of many fraudsters.
Downtown Brown February 07, 2012 at 07:23 PM
To be clear HRG, I contacted Jeff..He knew nothing about CRG of Racine.and is not a member, but is welcome to become one. He also knew nothing about his name being used. I came across his name and then I asked him questions about his family members on the recall, (I have never met any of the rest of the members of his family whose names were recorded). I came across the names of several other people I expected to find, and names of those I didn't think would've signed.
Downtown Brown February 07, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Walker had never been called before, or spoken to the Koch Brothers, before the fake call. he was kibbitzing with the guy he thought was Koch, in a light-hearted way. The fact that it was a fake afterwards is just a childish bit on the side the Dems, just like the fraud that Mr. Mark Demet did..all in fun no one will see it and we can pretend we have 1.9 MILLION signatures. Maybe not enough to overturn an election but if it's true that Dems are willing to cheat by 2-3% or thereabouts on serious issues like this. Then we can presume that the 2-3% of voter fraud we have suspected for years is just as real. I am so glad we have Voter ID required for 2012! Jim Doyle vetoed it 3 times, because he knew the cheating benefited the Dems.
Heather Rayne Geyer February 07, 2012 at 08:21 PM
"I contacted Jeff..He knew nothing about CRG of Racine." "His brother has told me before about his one Lefty Brother. (We compare family stories, since I have a divided family politically as well)." So, Mr. Brown, you speak to Jeff about family stories and are clearly friends. Yet he has no knowledge of a group in which you are very active? That seems odd too. I don't know what this guy's bag is. I don't know him, his family or his intentions. As I have said before...if this is fraud, he will likely pay the price and it will tarnish what so many have worked hard to achieve legally and with integrity. I am sure you have people on your side of which the same can be said. But until I know all the facts...it all just seems very fishy to me...
Downtown Brown February 07, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Heather...nice try muddy the waters. there. Jeff and I are "friends"..his phone number isn't in my phone. Jeff, like hundreds of people stops by my store to chew the fat on occasion. I know his name because I sold his family some items..and my business involves taking names with a purchase. That doesn't mean Jeff and I went to school, or have ever been out for a beer together. I had to look up his # because I didn't have it. Jeff...not Mark..just so we are clear. MARK is alleged to have committed the fraud..not Jeff. Jeff was 1 of the names he is alleged to have signed. Jeff knows of my political interests..but was unaware of my involvement in CRG of Racine, as far as I know. I have used the CRG reference only rarely, and the blog is seldom used. I have spoken on financial matters before the City Council as a spokesperson for CRG a few times. The 1st time was in re: requesting the City Council not extend any Union contracts until Scott Walker was sworn in and the new policies could be implemented back in early December of 2010. I suggest Heather your Fishy tale is about CREATING a stink rather than looking into the deception perpetrated by your Lefty brethren.., Simply strap on some "apples" and condemn the behavior, rather than trying to muddy the waters, with phony conspiracy theories. Accusing me of conspiracy of voter/ ID fraud! I would never risk my right to vote over a silly prank, let alone ID Theft! I am sure Jeff wouldn't either.
The Anti-Alinsky February 08, 2012 at 01:48 AM
First, it is very difficult to negotiate with the Democrats while they are carousing in an Illinois water park. Second, in the previous biannual budget debate most of the action in the Assembly and Senate occurred by the Democrats behind closed doors, emerging just long enough to make it legal. Not that it mattered, Diamond Jim Doyle would have just used the Frankenstein veto to get what he wanted, including stealing hundreds of MILLIONS from segregated funds. When Scott Walker was running for Governor, he specified he would cut waste. EVERYONE knew that meant a good part of that included education and other public sector jobs.
Robert Shirah February 08, 2012 at 08:14 AM
The mother of my child has taken my son & refuses to let me me see him. If she has the right to be with him then so do I pursuant to the 14th amendment, if she does not have that right then why is my son with her? I have all the documents proving I am his father. This is a DIRECT VIOLATION of the 14th amendment. ALL PERSONS born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the EQUAL PROTECTION of the laws. I have reported this crime to the Greenfield Police Department and they have refused to get a warrent .
morninmist February 21, 2012 at 09:22 PM
No surprise but the ending sentence says there will be a Walker recall election. Kelly Steele @steelekelly UW Oshkosh analysis of #RecallWalker signatures: More than 97% sampled meet GAB petition criteria: bit.ly/yiqV7r #wiunion

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