Skip to main content

(If Kossacks are so jaded and spoiled that ... they can't see past an honest scolding by someone who really cares about this community to look at themselves in the mirror and see if, perhaps, the diarist might have a point, then that is their problem, not mine.  That being said, PLEASE read the whole diary so there will be no more questions as to whether or not Romney broke the law.  I published links to the law, links to the Wisconsin Democratic Party's complaint to the Government Accountability Board, and a video with Romney blatantly breaking the law.  When we were mad at Obama in 2010 and stayed home, see what we got? It doesn't matter if YOU think it's an important law or not.  It is black letter law in the state of Wisconsin and we have this shit stain on the clean, white undies of America BREAKING the law.  ON VIDEO!  Concentrate on THAT and not on the mean old diarist who has had just about fucking enough of left wing "give a shit-itis.")

OK.  Thank you for putting this on the rec list.  This one really is a no-brainer.  We have the piece of shit on tape breaking the law.  It is not a complicated law.  It says you can not hand out things that are more than $1 in value and then tell people to go to the polls.  Simple.  It's a Class I felony.  Simple.  And no one will do anything about it unless we raise a stink!  Simple!  I leave it to you, Kossacks.  I will continue to raise the issue.  And I thank you for your kind attention.

Published earlier today.

Earlier today, the Baltimore Liberal Examiner wrote a story about Mitt Romney throwing sandwiches at potential voters in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  We had some fun with the story and some silly wordplay, but we basically pooh-poohed the idea of the Wisconsin Democratic Party filing charges against Romney for violating state Election Bribery laws, much in the same way those who ate the sandwiches pooh-poohed them (uncomfortably) an hour or so later.

We've since read the actual law that the Wisconsin Democrats are alleging Mitt broke.

Here's a chunk of the Wisconsin Democratic Party complaint to the state Government Accountability Bureau.

   6. On or about April 3, 2012, Romney, RFP and Ryan jointly co-hosted a campaign event billed as an “Election Day Lunch” at Cousin’s Subs, 1700 Pearl Street, Waukesha, WI.

    7. Following his remarks to attendees at the event, Romney stated, “thank you for voting, if you haven't yet, go out there and vote. Take some friends, it's the only way to vote multiple times legally and if you want another sandwich there are more back there.” Video of this exchange obtained by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit “A.”

    8. A reasonable person would understand that Romney’s statement was an offer of a sandwich for individuals who were going to vote in the Republican primary, or who had already voted in the Republican primary, and that the sandwiches had been provided not by Cousins Subs, but by Respondents.

    9. Each type of sandwich available for purchase at Cousins Subs exceeds a purchase price of $1.00, and is therefore is defined by Wis. Stats. Section 12.11(1) as a thing "of value," which definition includes any amount of money, or any object which has utility independent of any political message it contains and the value of which exceeds $1. See Exhibit “B”, Cousins Subs Menu.

Well, the BLE had a basic misunderstanding of the law.  We thought that if Mitt was telling people, vote for me or no sandwich, the Wisconsin Democrats would have a case.

Then we read the actual law presented here in its entirety:

   12.11  Election bribery.
    (1)  In this section, "anything of value" includes any amount of money, or any object which has utility independent of any political message it contains and the value of which exceeds $1. The prohibitions of this section apply to the distribution of material printed at public expense and available for free distribution if such materials are accompanied by a political message.
    (1m) Any person who does any of the following violates this chapter:
    (a) Offers, gives, lends or promises to give or lend, or endeavors to procure, anything of value, or any office or employment or any privilege or immunity to, or for, any elector, or to or for any other person, in order to induce any elector to:
    1. Go to or refrain from going to the polls.
    2. Vote or refrain from voting.
    3. Vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular person.
    4. Vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular referendum; or on account of any elector having done any of the above.
    (b) Receives, agrees or contracts to receive or accept any money, gift, loan, valuable consideration, office or employment personally or for any other person, in consideration that the person or any elector will, so act or has so acted.
    (c) Advances, pays or causes to be paid any money to or for the use of any person with the intent that such money or any part thereof will be used to bribe electors at any election.
    (2) This section applies to any convention or meeting held for the purpose of nominating any candidate for any election, and to the signing of any nomination paper.
    (3) 
    (a) This section does not prohibit a candidate from publicly stating his or her preference for or support of any other candidate for any office to be voted for at the same election. A candidate for an office in which the person elected is charged with the duty of participating in the election or nomination of any person as a candidate for office is not prohibited from publicly stating or pledging his or her preference for or support of any person for such office or nomination.
    (b) This section does not apply to money paid or agreed to be paid for or on account of authorized legal expenses which were legitimately incurred at or concerning any election.
    (c) This section does not apply where an employer agrees that all or part of election day be given to its employees as a paid holiday, provided that such policy is made uniformly applicable to all similarly situated employees.
    (d) This section does not prohibit any person from using his or her own vehicle to transport electors to or from the polls without charge.
    (e) This section does not apply to any promise by a candidate to reduce public expenditures or taxes.
    History: 1973 c. 334; 1975 c. 93; 1983 a. 484; 1991 a. 316; 1993 a. 213.
    There are constitutional limits on the state's power to prohibit candidates from making promises in the course of an election campaign. Some promises are universally acknowledged as legitimate, indeed indispensable to decisionmaking in a democracy. Brown v. Hartlage, 456 U.S. 45 (1982).

Nowhere in the law does one see that there need be an overt "quid pro quo" -- i.e., vote for me and you get a sandwich.  Nor does one see anything that permits giving sandwiches away no matter who one votes for.

One sees this.

   (1m) Any person who does any of the following violates this chapter:
    (a) Offers, gives, lends or promises to give or lend, or endeavors to procure, anything of value, or any office or employment or any privilege or immunity to, or for, any elector, or to or for any other person, in order to induce any elector to:
    1. Go to or refrain from going to the polls.
    2. Vote or refrain from voting.
    3. Vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular person.
    4. Vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular referendum; or on account of any elector having done any of the above.
The law says nothing about the "quid pro quo" mentioned earlier.

By telling the eligible voters at the sandwich shop:

   "So bring your friends to the polls, get out and vote and if you want another sandwich, there are more back there," gesturing to where he and Ryan were handing out the bribes of varying meats, dressings and bread choices the voters could choose from.
All of which one can hear Mitt saying on the attached video.

That seems to be a violation of section 1m(a)1 of the Election Bribery Law!

Big deal, right?  What's the worst that could happen?  It was sandwiches, for God's sake!

   12.60  Penalties.
    (1) 
    (a) Whoever violates s. 12.09, 12.11 or 12.13 (1), (2) (b) 1. to 7. or (3) (a), (e), (f), (j), (k), (L), (m), (y) or (z) is guilty of a Class I felony.

And the penalty for a Class I felony in the state of Wisconsin?

    12. A Class I felony carries a penalty of a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to 3-1/2 years, or both; however, for a repeat offender, the term of imprisonment may increase up to 2 years with prior misdemeanor convictions, and up to 6 years with a prior felony conviction.

As a friend on Twitter wrote, "gonna be awful hard for Gov. Romney to serve his first term with a felony conviction and 3-1/2 years in jail."

Hey.  The law is the law.  Right? And aren't Republicans the party of "law and order and justice" and stuff like that?

Officer McCheese?  Do your duty!

Originally posted to The Ex-Examiner Examines the News on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Progressive Hippie.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

N in Seattle, RepackRider, claude, ginabroom, Angie in WA State, PLS, Joe Willy, madmsf, bosdcla14, Eman, just another vet, Wintermute, xynz, gecko, frisco, wenchacha, bookbear, hubcap, Creosote, Doctor Who, mengelhart, tarminian, concernedamerican, Wee Mama, mint julep, whenwego, DaveP, KMc, sngmama, splashy, Cedwyn, antirove, revsue, RLF, psnyder, pat bunny, cosette, wdrath, defluxion10, Calidrissp, Tillie630, riverlover, Matt Esler, JayBat, Kitsap River, TheOrchid, Black Max, Gowrie Gal, vcmvo2, Bluesee, 3goldens, NoMoreLies, Unit Zero, subtropolis, Bcre8ve, caliberal2001, CinDan, Brooke In Seattle, eru, where4art, Ice Blue, Hastur, Sandino, kazoo of the north, rb608, Savvy813, Ginny in CO, Joes Steven, Ekaterin, Alan Arizona, kathny, xaxnar, martini, detroitmechworks, DrSpalding, hungrycoyote, liberalconservative, Patriot4peace, sleipner, pengiep, blueoasis, Roby NJ, Rosaura, plf515, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, myrealname, onionjim, doingbusinessas, suspiciousmind, blueoregon, zedaker, SD Goat, matx, markthshark, Palmetto Progressive, pgm 01, out of left field, xgz, camlbacker, ksp, ColoTim, gloriana, edsbrooklyn, noofsh, terabytes, deepeco, sfbob, dissonantdissident, World Patriot, jhop7, carpunder, Wreck Smurfy, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, madgranny, eyesoars, Neon Mama, Empower Ink, jwinIL14, bkamr, wayoutinthestix, MikePhoenix, Foundmyvoice, dadadata, elwior, Old Lefty, Buckeye Nut Schell, jakebob, Therapy, mikeconwell, Lujane, Cassandra Waites, catly, TexanJane, venger, ewhac, Old Surgeon, dmhlt 66, McGahee220, litoralis, The Dead Man, Carol in San Antonio, Nebraskablue, Norm in Chicago, WakeUpNeo, shalca, Shelley99, astral66, kingfishstew, Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno, Larsstephens, Lefty Ladig, Just Bob, jbjowe, Laurilei, icemilkcoffee, flitedocnm, secret38b, SmartAleq, fidellio, Polly Syllabic, dagnome, ATFILLINOIS, teklanika, loveistheanswer, laserhaas, apip0115, nawlinscate, ericlewis0, science nerd, cany, redlum jak, yellow cosmic seed, MidwestTreeHugger, Hill Jill, muzzleofbees, oldmilitant, vahana, freesia, La Gitane, ardyess, Bluerall, FightingRegistrar, trumpeter, marleycat, MasterfullyInept, political mutt, muddy boots, KVoimakas, floridablue, CorinaR, sound of progress, bakeneko, zenox, Tom Seaview, Mentatmark, No one gets out alive, GrumpyOldGeek, jacey, justme2122, OldDragon, leathersmith, molecularlevel, AnnieR, a2nite, 2thanks, Trotskyrepublican, Horace Boothroyd III, Tyler R, My Name Isnt Earl, Damiana, MartyM, doroma, ricklewsive, marking time, sexgenderbody, oldpotsmuggler, Vote4Obamain2012, rat racer, peptabysmal, YsosadisticGOP, Patrick is Lucky, GeoffT, Chaddiwicker, ForestLake, Illinois IRV, ZenManProject, Setsuna Mudo, life is making tacos, silentlurker, Jollie Ollie Orange, Doing It Wrong, BitterEnvy, DavS, ET3117

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site