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  • Democrat-Backed Group Pressures Wisconsinites With Voting Records

    A Wisconsin political advocacy group with ties to the Democratic Party and Big Labor is circulating pamphlets to state residents revealing their neighbors’ names, addresses, and voting histories. The campaign is an apparent attempt to pressure residents in the Madison area, which is overwhelmingly Democratic, to vote in Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall election.

    The group is called the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund, a sister organization of the Greater Wisconsin Committee.

    The GWC does not reveal its donors, but a report from the Center for Public Integrity notes that it received a $900,000 contribution from the Democratic Governors Association in May. It also received $500,000 from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union.

    Disclosure forms for the Political Fund, embedded below, show that the group has received $1 million from the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state division of the National Education Association union, and $3,500 from the Service Employees International Union since last year.

    GWPF also received nearly $2 million from America Votes and two of its offshoots, America Votes Action Fund and America Votes State Battles Fund. America Votes’s national partners include the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, the National Education Association, the United Food and Commercial Workers union, and the Teamsters union.

    University of Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse received this mailing from the labor-aligned Greater Wisconsin Political Fund last week, according to a post on her blog:

    Information on individuals’ voting histories is publicly available, though it costs $12,500 to obtain the state-wide records.

    Althouse said the flyer “may be the most disgusting thing I have ever received in the mail.” She added, “this is an effort to shame and pressure people about voting, and it is truly despicable.”

    Other Wisconsin residents voiced concern as well. “I realize it’s public record…but I found it too much of my personal information being out there,” Elizabeth Mullen told the Janesville Gazette.

    Academic work has examined the use of these sorts of tactics in pressuring voters to turn out on Election Day. “Substantially higher turnout was observed among those who received mailings promising to publicize their turnout to their household or their neighbors,” one 2008 study found.

    “Exposing a person’s voting record to his or her neighbors turns out to be an order of magnitude more effective than conventional pieces of partisan or nonpartisan direct mail,” the study adds. “In fact, the turnout effect associated with this mailing is as strong as the effect of direct contact by door-to-door canvassers and by far the most cost-effective voter mobilization tactic studied to date.”

    Here are the GWPF’s disclosure forms for 2011 and the first quarter of 2012:

    GWPF Disclosure 2011

    GWPF Disclosure 2012

    Posted in Featured, Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Democrat-Backed Group Pressures Wisconsinites With Voting Records

    1. saveamerica says:

      Paid by "the desperate union backed group" who demand forcing people into unions to which unions promote nothing the government union employees represent hasn't already put in place as law. No need for public unions where union control stands to be disingenuous in public services while freely taking advantage of innocent tax payers and their own union finances for unions to dole out money and favors disregarding public service job performance. Hey but everyone is equally paid! Sorry, but people need to work and hold accountability for their pay that unions' rules avoid while the private sector holds true! Not comforting when they take our money while their work is beyond our control and where unions now stand without reason.

    2. More evidence the Left (aka the Democrat Party) is essentially and fundamentally fascist in nature.

    3. Coggy says:

      Goosestep or misstep?

      This is a step (or a few) over the line and we will now see liberal groups disown both this behavior and the blundering "Greater Wisconsin Political Fund".

      • Roger says:

        If anything, they seem to be doubling down.

        • Coggy says:

          Who is "they"? Do you mean specifically the "Greater Wisconsin Political Fund"?

          where do you see that they are doubling down?

          This sounds alarming, and any information you can share with such activities would be helpful in preserving our freedom.

    4. Bill says:

      This shows just how desperate the Democrats/Socialist are. Again they prove their lack of respect for the Individual!!

    5. Mad Liberal says:

      Dear Heritage Foundation,

      Thank you for this article. I am a registered Democrat living in Wisconsin and I already voted against Walker, again, because I disagree with his policies and his vision for Wisconsin. That said, I received this flyer in Saturday's mail and am appalled. My name is not on the flyer, I think because I am a registered Democrat. But my husband, a registered Independent, appears on the flyer with our address and his voting record. While this information is public, it took me all of 2 seconds to conclude that everyone on the list is most likely a registered Independent. We do not live in the Madison area, but are an hour away, closer to Milwaukee. How many of these things went out state wide? How many of my neighbors got this piece of garbage, which I consider an invasion of my and my husband's privacy rights? PACs and associated funds have gotten completely out of hand – the Citizens United case has unleashed a monster. How sad.

    6. Private I says:

      I don't care if it's public record, and I don't care what political party it is. This is NOT a responsible use of public records. There need to be some limits on how public records can be accessed and used.

      If you're as outraged by this as I am, contact the GWPF and tell them so:
      Michelle McGrorty (GWPF Executive Director) 608-467-0300

      I'd also contact the Government Accountability Board, which provided the data to the GWPF–and posted recall petitions online:
      kevin.kennedy@wi.gov (GAB director)

      And, perhaps most importantly, contact your state legislators, too. Tell them there should be limits on how public records get accessed and distributed. Find yours here: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx

      • Angry girl says:

        I was as outraged as you were. I sent email to one of the email addresses’ you’ve posted above. The result was a BS such as “it’s a public record” and link to public records search. Well here is an eye opening for you – even though it is a public record the search form REQUIRES the date of birth. There is no way my neighbor or anyone else not related to me knows my birthdate and CAN get my public voting record. I honestly don’t want to vote anymore because after those fliers who knows what other “brilliant” idea they can think of? May be next time they will mail social security number or household income… I wish somebody sues them!

    7. Bobbie says:

      For all Scott Walker is doing is his job, while his opponents refuse it. What a public disgrace these union thugs and the democratic party are! This recall was wrongfully commenced without merit…

    8. INTJ says:

      The "orders of magnitude" of how this will blow up in the Democrats' faces is pretty staggering….

    9. Logic says:

      Wanting people to vote is fascist? It says nothing about who people voted for.

      • Bobbie says:

        challenging the already elected by vote is and undermining when the reasons are only pathetic.
        you must be of the ill logic…

      • Anne Wanke says:

        It wasn't that.It was that the names and addresses were publicly displayed, opening the possibility of break ins. There has been quite an uptick in the area.. this was a safety concern as much as anything.

    10. Ken Osbourn says:

      This gives a new opening to voter fraud. You see that a neighbor has not voted in the last elections, so you go vote for them. Disgusting and an invasion of privacy in my book!

    11. Anne Wanke says:

      My Daughter,, is the e;izabeth Mullen mentioned in the articel.While we know this is legal, the implications are frightening. The authors of this did not put husbands' names, or Ms, or Mrs. Beth was worried about security with two small boys. Her husband is not happy. I want to htank her for making that first phone call to the local paper. As of today, this organization still has not returned any phone calls.

    12. Liz Austermiller says:

      What has happened to the Democratic party? What kind of idiot came up with this idea? I live in one of the neighborhoods this happened to. I feel absolutely no shame if I decide not to vote. And when will we finally have someone to vote for. Another thing, I can't believe how they didn't mention husbands names and all the woman they attacked. I felt like I was being chastised by the Catholic priest. Not only did it make me angry, it made me go out and vote for Scott Walker whom I was not going to vote for. I've had it with the democrats. They make absolutely no sense and I thought the Republicans were scary, Please. One more thing. If we are going to start circulating our voting record you might be interested in knowing I don't attend church and I am having sex with the man I live with and we are not married. OMG! Go ahead and circulate that too. I don't give a crap. My God people, what are you, 9 years old. You folks have stooped to a whole new low.

    13. marcia Landry says:

      Socialism is what happened to the Democratic party as is explained in the "Shadow Party" by David Horowitz.. The Progressive, a.K.a Socialism, movement has pretty much infiltrated the Democratic party and is well on to it's way to do the same to the GOP. Read the book. It's well worth it as you will come away with a better understanding of what our country can become if we allow it to happen.

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