The recall election for Scott Walker was held on Tuesday and, unsurprisingly, some unknown group was playing dirty tricks by sending out a robocall to voters telling them that if they signed the recall petition they didn’t have to show up to vote because that was their vote.
With both sides counting on dramatic turnout, Tom Barrett’s campaign is charging Scott Walker supporters with dirty tricks. In an e-mail sent to supporters last night, Barrett for Wisconsin Finance Director Mary Urbina-McCarthy wrote, “Reports coming into our call center have confirmed that Walker’s allies just launched a massive wave of voter suppression calls to recall petition signers.” According to Urbina-McCarthy, the message of the calls was: “If you signed the recall petition, your job is done and you don’t need to vote on Tuesday.”
Last night I talked to a Wisconsin voter who says she received just such a robo-call. Carol Gibbons told me she picked up the phone and heard a male voice saying “thank you for taking this call,” and that “if you signed the recall petition, you did not have to vote because that would be your vote.” After hearing the vote-suppressing message, said Gibbons, “I wanted to take the phone and throw it in the middle of the road.”
Reached over e-mail, Walker spokesperson Ciara Matthews didn’t question the existence of the calls, but accused Barrett’s campaign of falsely blaming her candidate: “Any accusation that our campaign is making those calls is categorically false and unfounded. Once again Mayor Barrett and his campaign are trying to falsely attack Governor Walker with absolutely no evidence. This is a desperate move by Mayor Barrett to avoid addressing his lack of a plan to create jobs in Wisconsin.”
Oh, of course not! Who would dare to suggest that dishonest robocalls that clearly benefit Walker would originate with him? Actually, I doubt they do — at least directly. I’ve covered many such situations over the years and if these reports are confirmed, it will inevitably trace back to some shadowy group led by Republican operatives without any direct connection to Walker. That’s how the game is played.