Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nine Felony Counts for Recall Petition Fraud. Details Sketchy.

The plot thickens over the forged signatures on the Wanggaard recall petition, and we may find out more March 13 or soon thereafter.

What we know right now; the recall organizer claims they don't know the guy, Mark Demet, who committed the fraud. The recall committee assumes it was done to call into question the petitions legitimacy. On top of that, it was the Racine area tea party that turned Demet in, with the help of the Demet's brother. So what made Mark Demet do what he did?

Reporter Denise Lockwood at the Caledonia Patch has been all over this.
A man accused of falsely writing in signatures on a petition to recall state Sen. Van Wanggaard — including one from a deceased person — faces nine felony charges. Mark Demet, 59, of Racine, has been charged by the Racine County District Attorney's Office with two felony counts of election fraud/nomination certification and seven felony counts of misappropriating identifying information for financial gain. If convicted on all charges, Demet faces up to 42 years in prison and fines up to $90,000. According to the criminal complaint, Demet admitted that he circulated the petition and signed the names of seven people on the petition. Investigators spoke to six of the people whose names appeared on the list to verify that they had not signed the petition.

Randy Brandt, treasurer for the Committee to Recall Van Wanggaard, said Demet might have been planted to discredit the recall effort, but the criminal complaint doesn’t address that issue.

Ironically, a Wisconsin Tea Party member put two and two together in identifying the falsified signatures. Citizens for Responsible Government of Racine is a blog written by Ken Brown, who is an active Racine County Tea Party member. Brown said he has a business relationship with Jeff Demet, Mark's brother. When he saw Jeff Demet's name on the petitions, he believed that Jeff didn't sign the petition (his name was listed four times) because the two had talked about politics. So he called Jeff. "(Jeff) was pretty mad," Brown said. "I asked him if he knew this guy, Mark. He said, 'Yeah, he's my crazy brother.'" Brown turned over the information to the Racine County District Attorney's Office.

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