The Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia: thugs to threaten and intimidate voters

A number of years ago I was working an election in Wisconsin, and one of the local voter suppression groups had distributed fliers in African-American neighborhoods advising voters that if they had any outstanding warrants, or unpaid child support, or unpaid traffic tickets, etc. they could be subject to arrest. On election day, police vehicles were parked close by to polling locations just to emphasize the point. (FYI: All of this is illegal voter intimidation).

Now there is the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia, a bunch of thugs who plan to  threaten and intimidate Democratic voters who signed recall petitions against Tea-Publican Governor Scott Walker, “the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin,” as Charles Pierce of Esquire calls him.

The Capitol Times in Madison reports a developing story in Wisconsin, ‘Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia<‘ plans to confront Scott Walker recall petition signers at polls:

TotalRecallA self-described militia group claims to be checking names on the 2012 Scott Walker recall petition and plans to confront those found to have outstanding warrants or tax defaults at the polls on Nov. 4.

We prefer our people be armed,” reads a Facebook post by Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia, screen captured on a blog at Politicususa.com. “Some will be heading to some of Milwaukee, Racine, and Beloit’s worst areas. We will be armed with a list of people to look for at each location.”

The exchange posted on Politicususa continues:

Patrick Murray: “Just so you are aware, I will not report Republicans. Only Democrats.” [A number of Republicans signed those recall petitions by the way.]

Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia: “We will be targeting heavy democrat districts, so it is doubtful this will even be an issue.”

Another entry from the group’s Facebook page, which has 31 likes as of Friday afternoon, reads: “Please private message us names of people you know are active voters and wanted on warrants. We can get our agents to watch their polling location, identify the individual, and then follow them to their residence. A call the police and they will be picked up for processing.”

Another: “Attention all members: Militia training will be at HQ on September 20, 2014 at 0930. We will hand out updated watch lists, duty assignments, and discuss rules and regulations. Expect it to take around 2-3 hours. After our discussion we will be headed to the range for anyone who wants to participate.”

To compile the list of names, the group is using the website Put Wisconsin First, which has divided petition signers into categories. For instance, the “Tax Delinquents for Recall” category lists 571 petition signers who are in tax arrears. One category lists 444 sex offenders and another lists Democratic political donors.

Another page on the site allows users to search petition signers by offense, everything from homicide to speeding.

The website got a recent shout-out from none other than radio talker Rush Limbaugh, who tied the tax dodgers to every liberal who protested Gov. Scott Walker’s crackdown on public workers.

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Politicususa called the group’s efforts a violation of the federal Voting Rights Act and invites readers to contact the Justice Department to ask that the Nov. 4 election be monitored.

“The fact that they are targeting a specific group of individuals based on race and perceived political affiliation means that their operation is a violation of the Voting Rights Act,” writes Jason Easley on the website.

A Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia response on Facebook reads: “We can assure you that we will be targeting all democrats, not just black ones. If you think we meant blacks only it is because you are a racist who thinks the only people with warrants are black. We know better because we have a nice list of people who are wanted democrat activist types. Most are actually white. We will target everyone.”

Charles Pierce at Esquire follows up, Watching Scotty Blow, Cont’d:

Dear Department Of Justice:

How is this not worthy of investigation?

Another entry from the group’s Facebook page, which has 31 likes as of Friday afternoon, reads: “Please private message us names of people you know are active voters and wanted on warrants. We can get our agents to watch their polling location, identify the individual, and then follow them to their residence. A call the police and they will be picked up for processing.”

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I would wager that, in every state where there is a close election, and where open-carry laws of one kind or another are in force, you will see armed men at precincts “protecting” the vote. It’s the logical confluence of voter-suppression and unlimited gun rights.

It looks as if the “Kochtopus” in Wisconsin now has a rag-tag militia of thugs to threaten and intimidate voters to suppress the vote. How long will it be before this shows up in other “Kochtopus” states like Arizona?

3 responses to “The Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia: thugs to threaten and intimidate voters

  1. I went to check this chump out myself. He/she is neither Militia or Tea Party related, but a thug, ( could be right-wing could be left, I suspect the latter since the left papers are running wild with this story ), who is just stirring up trouble. They have changed the name of the page from “Wisconsin Poll Watchers Militia”, to “Wisconsin Association of Polling Place Monitors”, to “You’ve been Trolled by Journalists with Zero Credibility”. They have no contact information, no website and as soon as I called them out, they changed the name. No one in this state ( Wisconsin) is going to tolerate any BS by either side. The troll does have a good point though. None of the journalist who forwarded this story did any background checks to validate the story. That is pretty poor.

  2. It sounds like these people are blowing a lot of hot air around threatening to do things they couldn’t possibly do. “Standing and waiting to ID voters with warrants or tax liens and the following them home and then calling the Police”. Of course they shouldn’t even be doing that and every effort should be made to stop them, up to and including jail time for the intimidation. But what will actually work to stop them? If they do hang around the polling placces, their presence is intimidation. If the Police come to chase them off, the presence of the Police is intimidation to this class of voters. If the Justice Department stations U.S. Marshalls at polling places, that will intimidate these particular voters.

    And the Justice Department is not noted for taking protective action against intimidation at polling places. Perhaps you have forgotten the Black Panthers with ax handles in Philadelphia that stopped all Republicans from voting back during the last Presidential election. The Justice Department found no reason for prosecution despites dozens of videos and hundreds of affidavits.

    Anyway, this should not be happening. Of course I must point out that if these voters of yours didn’t violate the law and just paid their taxes, they couldn’t be intimidated. But that would be asking a lot, wouldn’t it?

  3. captain*arizona

    will obama or holder send in federal marshall to protect voters ??? Will unions or democrat party send in poll watchers to protect voters ??? Whining is not doing anything.