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.

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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