In “Wisconsin” as PFAW imagines it, all you need to do to win elections is “get out the vote”

PFAW wants your money, to help them “unseat enough Republican state senators in Wisconsin
to flip control of the Senate away from the extremists in the Wisconsin GOP.” PFAW claims to
have “a robust and cost-effective plan” to do this.

That plan is to get out the vote.

Now, here’s what I suggest: Instead of sending PFAW any money, use it to (A) print up a batch of articles on what those “extremists in the Wisconsin GOP” have done to the voting system there, and also any pertinent articles on electronic voting and vote-counting, and (B) send those articles to PFAW in a big envelope. You can find such articles at BradBlog, Election Defense Alliance and, of course, here.

Don’t just email all that stuff, because they’ll think it’s spam, and toss it out unread. Mail it, or FedEx it, as such a package might just possibly induce them to begin to think about the likelihood that “getting out the vote” may not quite do it, and that other measures might be necessary, too, if they’re really serious about unseating those extremists. (Unless they think extremists wouldn’t ever steal elections, in which case they’re just too damn dumb to bother with.)

PFAW could, for instance, subsidize a proper exit-polling operation in Wisconsin—not one whose managers “adjust” the numbers so they’ll match the official outcome, but one that will provide hard evidence of fraud (i.e., the kind of evidence they use in other countries, where elections seem to matter).

PFAW could also tell the people what they might expect by way of interference when they try to vote, and what to do about it; and they could also put up the money for a comprehensive video-the-vote program, so there will be a record of vote suppression and machine “glitches.”

And, most important—to look beyond this particular election—they could also start to talk about the need for radical reform of our preposterous voting system, which is largely owned and managed by Republicans, and which no real democracy would ever tolerate (no matter which party may happen to control it).

In order to do that, though, PFAW must first perceive what’s happening; and the only way to get them to do that, no doubt, will be to tell them they won’t get another dime unless/until they wake up to the current situation, in which simply “getting out the vote” is a colossal waste of time and money.



From: “Michael Keegan, People For the American Way”
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 14:38:22 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Today Wisconsin, tomorrow the country

Let’s make Wisconsin’s GOP senators pay the price for supporting an extremist, anti-middle class agenda.

don't retreat recall


I’m delighted to let you know that People For the American Way has a robust and cost-effective plan to unseat enough Republican state senators in Wisconsin to flip control of the Senate away from the extremists in the Wisconsin GOP … AND to put the fear of an energized electorate into governors and legislators across the country who may be thinking about joining the Far Right’s attacks on the middle class.

But I need your help to get all the pieces in motion — so please make an urgent contribution today to our Wisconsin Recall the Right campaign.

In addition to our continued efforts to mobilize and turn out the progressive vote in the recall Senate districts, we’re launching a rigorous independent expenditure campaign on July 26, two weeks out from the general election, to contact all of the voters we most need to persuade. It will include hundreds of thousands of “touches” via:

  • Television ads making the case against Republican incumbents;
  • Several rounds of direct mail;
  • Two phone calls book-ending the receipt of each piece of mail; and
  • Targeted internet advertising.

Your generosity and activism have already put us in a great position to lead this fight and make a difference the whole country will feel. Now, I’m calling on you to help us execute our campaign and complete the path to victory with a much-needed special donation for our Wisconsin Recall the Right campaign.

$175,000 rolls out our plan in three key districts (the number of seats we need to flip control of the Senate). $290,000 allows us to expand to five.

We are looking to raise well beyond the minimum … every dollar we raise over $175K allows us to make a real difference in more districts and better defend the Democrats under recall attack from the Right.

Already, the GOP and corporate front groups are using every sneaky tactic they can to corrupt the recall election process — and with opposition so well funded and so willing to play dirty, we have to be willing to work extra hard.

WITH YOUR HELP, we’ll WIN in Wisconsin in August, and then move our operations to Ohio, where we’ll work with allies on the ground to overturn by ballot referendum the far-right attack on workers in that state, SB 5. From Ohio, we hope to go back to Wisconsin in early 2012 to help the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker. And from there, it’s on to November 2012! By which time we hope to have racked up many successes and taken the steam out of the Republicans’ war on working Americans and the middle class.

There it is… it looks simple in writing, but it’s going to take a tremendous amount of work, and resources. Will you help fund the campaign?

  • $28.75 pays for 500 phone calls to important Wisconsin voters
  • $62.11 covers the airing of one TV spot
  • $718.75 pays for two phone calls per flight of mail
  • $1,000 covers the cost of 1,535 pieces of mail
  • And a gift of $2,875 pays for 50,000 phone calls

We need your participation at any level, so please give today as generously as you can.

We need to get our materials and TV ads in production ASAP, so please don’t wait to make a generous gift today to help us meet our budget goals and Recall the Right.

Thank you for all of your support for People For the American Way and for this critical campaign in Wisconsin. Please help spread the word and get others on board. And be sure to stay tuned for regular updates and more information.

Michael B. Keegan signature
Michael Keegan, President

If you’ve already given to this campaign, THANK YOU for your investment. You won’t be disappointed in our plan or, hopefully, our results. Please consider a follow-up gift today.

8 replies on “In “Wisconsin” as PFAW imagines it, all you need to do to win elections is “get out the vote””

They are holding a members telebriefing on Tuesday, June 21 at 7pm et.
If you sign up, you can “Feel free to submit questions or pressing concerns you would like us to try to address:”
This may be another opportunity to actually get information to them instead of their spam box, but maybe not.
Mark, of course you are correct about mailing the information. I am trying to sort through favorites to decide what to send.
Thanks & Peace

An effort also needs to be made to review Wisconsin’s election laws and to propose changes that will enable canvassers to count actual votes in a recount, not just ballots. Current election laws permit canvassers to count paper ballots in a recount to make sure that the number of voters recorded on the optical scan machines matches the number that came to the polls. But then those very same paper ballots must be hand fed back through the optical scan machine to determine the final tally of votes for each candidate.

The same goes for those paper tapes that accompany the touch screen machines. The total count of voters printed out on those tapes is compared to the number of voters who came to the polls and opted to vote via touch screen machine. If those numbers match, the vote tally that is recorded on the paper tape is accepted as the final tally of votes for each candidate. No one actually counts the individually recorded votes that have been printed on those tapes.

Thus, the law currently prohibits a simple cross check (visual count vs machine count) to ensure the the accuracy of machine recorded vote tallies where ever votes have been cast on or counted by machines whether or not auditable paper trails (e.g., ballots or tapes) exist.

Governor Walker’s interest in eliminating the state’s Secretary of State position is also a matter of concern for election integrity advocates. Administration of elections is one of the key responsibilities undertaken by the Secretary of State.

Yes, those laws should be changed—and so should all the other state laws that, in one way or another, make real recounts just about impossible.

But I’d go further still, and simply dump the opscans in favor of hand-counted paper ballots, as they’ve now done in Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. The fact is that those gadgets can be hacked quite easily to reject as many ballots as the hacker may desire, and/or to “count” them as the hacker wants them “counted.”

The problem is compounded by the fact that those opscans are manufactured and maintained by the same (partisan) private companies that make and run the DREs.

In short, we need to face, and solve, these fundamental problems, which we will never do as long as PFAW, MoveOn and the rest—including the unions, and the Democrats in general—are only interested in “getting out the vote.”

Individual citizens can help protect the vote by conducting a “citizens audit” at the polling place on election day. They’re easy to do, inexpensive and can be particularly helpful in the event that a recount becomes necessary. For instructions and and a “tool kit”, go to


In the last paragraph of my June 15 (12:54 p.m.) posting, I stated that election administration is a responsibility of the Secretary of State’s office. I was wrong about that. In Wisconsin, the Government Accountability Board handles matters related to elections. I apologize for the mistake.

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