Here's an update on the possible illegal recall petitions coming from Republican operatives:
TPM: Wisconsin Democrats ... are now firing back at the Republican counter-campaigns to recall the Dems. On a conference call with reporters on Thursday morning, state Dem chair Mike Tate and attorney Jeremy Levinson predicted that they would able to successfully challenge the validity of much of the signature-gathering effort by Republicans -- which Tate repeatedly called a "racket."
"At the heart of the Republican effort from the start was a mercenary spirit that naturally used deception and fraud to gain signatures," charged Tate. "In the coming days, you will see affidavits from citizens in these targeted districts who were deceived into signing petitions by the Republican roadies who often refused to identify themselves by their real names."
In particular, Tate said that the Republicans brought in paid signature gatherers from out of state, who were paid on a per-signature basis … In addition, Tate said that the Dems had stories on hand of people being misled into signing: "We've had people lying saying this is in support of [Democratic state Sen.] Dave Hansen, not to recall Dave Hansen. There are going to be examples of these mercenaries who are paid to collect as many signatures as possible, not valid signatures."
Also, Levinson said that Democrats would not even necessarily have to scrutinize all the individual signatures, looking for ones to disqualify. "We know as fact that they have had people circulating signatures who are legally prohibited from doing so. Those signatures should all be tossed," said Levinson, also adding: "To circulate a petition, you either need to be a qualified elector [voter] in Wisconsin or eligible to be a qualified elector in Wisconsin."
Tate pointed out that they have not yet had the opportunity to review the petitions themselves, but also noted that such practices actually led to Wisconsin outlawing per-voter registration payments in the last few years.
"The fact is nobody saw this kind of recall activity coming," said Tate … “But I guarantee to the reporters on this call, there will be fraudulent signatures turned in."
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