The Wisconsin Sportsman grant subject of criminal intent
To begin at the beginning, where the Journal Sentinel and other major news outlets neglect to tread, the very first manifestation of the Wisconsin Sportsmen of America group did not erupt last month or last week as news outlets are reporting. By most accounts the story begins quite recently, with the ever suspicious circumstances surrounding the creation, application, award, and cancellation of the $500,000 grant to the group. In fact, the story begins in June of 2011.
The original mysterious workings of the Sportsmen was connected with Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and vote fraud in the days before the Senate recall elections in June of 2011. AFP mailed false information to voters across the state to misinform the public and suppress the vote in that election. The Sportsman did a mailing at the same time, and even though the date was correct, the physical mailing is suspiciously similar. Did the Sportsman mailing with the correct address go to republicans and the mailing with the false address go to democrats? A similar vote caging scheme by AFP was recorded:
Last October, One Wisconsin Now, a progressive group, obtained undercover audio recording of the meeting of a local Tea Party group, the Grandsons of Liberty, in which a vote-caging scheme was laid out that involved mailers that AFP agreed to send out to voters in left-leaning districts in Milwaukee. The addresses were provided via the Republican Party of Wisconsin, through the state’s Voter Vault…In the vote-cage scheme, mailers were sent in August to districts in which much of the housing was in college dormitories. They had “do not forward” instructions printed on the outside, so that the votes of those whose flyers bounced back to AFP could be challenged at the polls.
Yet, you will find no mention of the mailings in the current stories, even though the instances were documented in regional and county press coverage at the time:
North Hudson Man Files Voter Suppression Complaint Against Americans For Prosperity
Posted by Micheal Foley , August 02, 2011
When Charles Shultz received an absentee ballot application form in the mail on Thursday, July 28, it didn’t take long before he found something fishy with it.
Shultz wrote the following on the complaint form:
I received an absentee ballot request form from Americans For Prosperity. It intentionally listed to return up to Aug. 11. The date of the election is Aug. 9. If I followed their instructions, my ballot would not be legal. I think they purposely intended to discount my vote. I understand such activity to be against the law. I believe I was targeted by this group because I am a Democrat and a senior citizen.Hudson Patch
From the Crawford County Independent – Thursday, August 4, 2011
by Erin Martin
Robocall, repeat surveys,and confusing absentee ballot applications are all part of the new politics as Wisconsin heads toward an unprecedented eight recall elections in the next two weeks. What to do? You might try to ignore them all and follow your commons sense.
Rolling Ground Resident Displays Fraudulent Mailing
Lamar Janes holds the suspicious absentee ballot application received by his wife on Saturday. Neither Janes nor his wife Lynda Shaller are members of American For Prosperity as the accompanying letter states. The application he’s holding states clearly absentee ballots must be submitted to “city clerks” by August 11. However, absentee ballots cannot be submitted after the election, which is scheduled for this Tuesday, August 9.
AFP Mailer Sent to More Than Just Two Districts
As reported in the Brad Blog The Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin director Matt Seaholm tried to explain the mailings false information away by claiming the incorrect date was little more than a simple a “typo” and that the mailing “just went out to our members.” He added that he was “sure the liberals will try to make a mountain out of a molehill in an attempt to distract voters’ attention from the issues.”
Americans for Prosperity sent misleading absentee ballot far more widely than previously known
8/05/2011By Greg Sargent
Now AFP has sent out a new email to supporters — forwarded by a labor source — that seeks to clarify the situation. And it appears to acknowledge that the misleading ballot was actually sent to all six districts where Republicans are facing August 9th recalls. Here’s the key part:
“Recently, Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin sent a mailer to provide our members, like you, with the opportunity to vote by way of absentee ballot. The absentee ballot mailing was mailed only to AFP-Wisconsin members in the eight Senate Districts that have recall elections. The return date included on the absentee ballot application (August 11th) was intended solely for the two senate districts with elections on August 16th. However, the printer sent that version out to all districts, including those that have elections on August 9th.”
Note that AFP’s new email blames the printer for sending out the ballot to all districts. Even more interestingly, AFP is using the controversy over its own misleading of voters as a rallying point to get out the vote for Republicans.
The “reported” story
As mentioned earlier, the reported history of the Sportsmen group is just a few weeks old, and smacks of the same cagey, crony, creepy maneuvering as the mailing scheme. The $500,000 grant
1) United Sportsmen was the only applicant for the award.
3) United Sportsmen falsified its 501(3)(c) status on the grant application.
4) United Sportsmen has a scant record of any involvement in promoting hunting of fishing.
5) Sept 5 – Late Thursday Gov. Scott Walker canceled a controversial $500,000 grant to a sportsmen’s group with little training experience but close ties to GOP politicians.JS Online By Jason Stein and Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel
The latest nail in the coffin of deceit
Republican legislators gamble with losing $28 million in annual federal money because the DNR would not have adequate control of how the grant funds were used – AND they kept this information hidden when the bill was slammed through and put in the budget in seven minutes. DNR officials alerted then-Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) and Assistant Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) to the federal government’s concerns before the Assembly adopted the budget, according to the DNR.
They did not tell any member of the opposition party about how the grant to the Sportsmen of $500,000 would trigger a loss of $28 million dollars to the taxpayers of Wisconsin? And these are supposed to be the leaders of the Assembly? Does the recent resignation of Scott Suder as Assembly Leader have anything to do this giant leap into cutting off the face to save the nose? And we are supposed believe that Scott Walker did not know about the overwhelming loss of federal money that was at stake? He regards the Feds as his loyal subject and has a history of snubbing their authority as shown in his disregard of the warnings of the Federal Housing and Urban Development who repeatedly threatened to withhold funds from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation because of what? – not having adequate control!
The press headlines Walker as a hero? “Veto saved state 28 million”
The same major media that has ignored the full story and history of the Sportsmen is now applauding Walker for his insight for canceling the grant. Scandal clean-up on aisle 11! And 15! – How the United Sportsmen scandal is getting scrubbed by the press.
Walker’s motive is to stay thirty feet away from the Sportsmen group
The Journal Sentinel will find the truth thirty feet down the hall from the ticket received by Andy Pantzlaff (pictured right) for illegal hunting – the ticket noted by the press as the primary reason why Walker vetoed the grant. Mr. Unintimidated would not cancel the grant for misdemeanor but he may very well want to remain down the hall and thirty feet away from an investigation of a felony for vote fraud.