Almost without exception, when we approach a major election in Wisconsin, Republicans trot out phony accusations of fraud. They make over-the-top unsubstantiated claims and feed the lies to each other via elected officials, their radio propagandists, blogs and special interest front groups. So the proper question is never, "will they make these kinds of false accusations?" Instead the important questions are "when will they" and "how badly will the traditional media fall for it this time"?
In the face of a statewide grassroots effort to recall extremist Scott Walker, all of the usual suspects are out making unsubstantiated accusations of fraud. Recall petitions, I might add, that are being signed at a blindingly fast pace (over 105,000 in four days). So naturally we have to endure the right wing's phony "fraud" claims.
Again, this kind of thing is totally expected because they run the exact same libelous drill every single time. What is always much more disappointing is how many in the traditional media give a measure of credibility to such unproven (and usually false) accusations. For example,I've already seen at least two Milwaukee-area TV news departments reporting on allegedly under age people signing recall petitions. They have raised these right wing questions without providing a proper level of evidence (no, a simple video obviously does not suffice).
Apparently some tabloid prone members of the media just can't help themselves. At some point you would think that they'd learn. We certainly know that there is a long history of these kinds of baseless accusations. The media rushes to report them and then later it is discovered that the accusations were dubious at best.
Who can forget the wild right wing accusations of voter fraud that were actually squashed by the Bush appointee and former U.S. Attorney Biskupic? He investigated hundreds of the Republican claims at that time and found "no widespread voter fraud" (much of the same result that was found nationally). The hyperbolic voter fraud rhetoric was simply not backed up by facts or by reality. Wisconsin Republicans only relied on innuendo, right wing urban legands and wacky conspiracy theories. Yet their false accusations were reliably reported in the media at the time.
There was also the epic example of false accusations that actually took place in the form of a press conference in front of the residence of the falsely accused. The libelous press conference included Wisconsin Republican officials, operatives, elected officials and others. As it turned out, the falsely accused was a young man that was studying for the priesthood and he had not committed voter fraud. None of that stopped the over-the-top and libelous accusations from the right wing who didn't even bother offering as much as an apology.
Wisconsin's recent history is filled with such false and over-the-top accusations of voter fraud. Yet it seems that many in the mainstream media just keep falling for the right wing shtick every single time. It seems that if there is any significant level of "fraud" happening it is the reoccurring right wing "fraud" that is occurring on unquestioning members of the media.
UPDATES (from Journal Communications Inc):
Charlie Sykes, ex post facto equivocator
Jeff Wagner Makes Outrageous Claim on TMJ Radio Today
And then there is @TodaysTMJ4 still promoting the original lie