Wednesday, August 23, 2006

'Democrats must support voter fraud'

Paddy Mac is back.

Today's Patrick McIlheran column gets a couple of things right. Unfortunately, they are both at the beginning of the piece, and it rapidly goes downhill from there.

He begins with:
Making Donovan Riley show a photo ID wouldn't have stopped him from having a second helping of democracy in 2000. A belief, engraved on his heart, that cheating's wrong would have done that.

I'm theorizing about its absence: So far, the lefty Democrat seeking to unseat his own party's state Sen. Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee) is merely accused of voting in both Illinois and Wisconsin. He's guilty of nothing but the weakest defense since President Clinton argued about "is." Riley says he forgot he'd already voted.
I don't know if Riley voted twice, and neither does McIlheran. He is accused of it by a political enemy. He has not been charged, let alone convicted of anything. You can bet if there is even the flimsiest excuse that Waukesha DA Paul Bucher will charge him.

So McIlheran is right. Riley is merely accused.

He's also right that requiring a photo ID would not have stopped Riley from voting twice. If that's really what he did, he used his own name.

It's also true that Riley has mounted less than a strong defense, for whatever reason. Because he's guilty? Maybe. But maybe not. I think McIlheran mischaracterizes it.

All that aside, once he's carefully protected the paper from a libel suit by using the word "accused," McIlheran proceeds -- based on the premise that Riley must be guilty -- to basically accuse Democrats of supporting voter fraud. Why else hasn't the party purged Riley from its website, he wonders.

Maybe it's because he's innocent until proven guilty. Like most Dems, I'm withholding judgment. If he's guilty, I'll be the first to condemn the double voting. But I don't know whether he's guilty or the victim of a political dirty trick. I hope we have an answer before the primary.

Because all of the Democrats haven't roundly condemned Riley, they condone vote fraud, McIlheran suggests:
Riley shows that fraud takes place. His supporters' silence shows that a swath of the political spectrum doesn't take it seriously. We can't ignore it until there's organized electoral theft. In saying he didn't find evidence of such theft in 2004, U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic pointed out that vote fraud is hard to pin down. We should pay heed to what we do see.
OK, I'll say it again: There is no evidence, despite all of the noise from McIlheran's Republican friends, that there is any widespread voter fraud in Wisconsin. After a thorough investigation, Biskupic found a couple of isolated cases, and couldn't even win those in court.

Voter fraud is hard to find in Wisconsin because it simply isn't there.

Adopting all kinds of new restrictions, as Republicans propose (Mark Green said yesterday that the first bill he'll sign as governor is a photo ID bill for voters), will do little or nothing to improve our election process. But it will make it harder for many people to vote, which is their real intention.

I'd support the purple finger system, which Paddy Mac mentions in passing, because seeing people with purple fingers might remind and encourage others to vote. They'd probably be a lot more effective than an "I voted" sticker on your lapel. Democrats want more voter participation, not less.

By the way, another Democrat, Jim Sullivan, also has been accused of double-voting. In his case the charge comes from the lunatic fanatic Reynolds-Dohnal-Blonien team. They are old, phony, discredited charges. But McIlheran doesn't suggest the Democrats condemn or shun Sullivan. Maybe it's because in this instance it's Republican Reynolds whose trying to defraud voters?

UPDATE: Riley out; massive voter fraud confirmed.


At 12:00 PM, Blogger Other Side said...

I also don’t see Republicans shunning Reynolds, Dohnal and Blonien for making scurrilous charges and placing Republicans in a bad light. Using McIlheran’s logic, Republicans must condone lying.

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Mke Tidbits said...

Chicago Sun Times

Man accused of voting twice in Bush-Gore election

August 16, 2006

BY ABDON M. PALLASCH Legal Affairs Reporter

If there's one thing Donovan Riley apparently learned during his time in Chicago, it was "Vote early and often."

Riley, 69, the former CEO of the University of Illinois Medical Center and a former law professor at Loyola University, is running for a state senate seat in Milwaukee.

On Nov. 7, 2000, the day of the big election between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush, Riley appeared at the polling place in Oconomowac, Wis., where he had registered to vote just the day before, voting records show. His ex-wife owned a home there.

"Then he drove down to Chicago where he was already registered and he voted again," said Michael Crooks, a Wisconsin attorney who filed a complaint against Riley with Wisconsin election officials. "This is about as blatant as it gets."

Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher said it's usually difficult to prove such allegations. "But in this case, these documents seem to be pretty good," he said.

'I made a mistake'

Chicago Board of Elections officials are said to be compiling documents to forward to the Cook County state's attorney for possible prosecution.

"My best recollection is that I was splitting my time between Wisconsin and Illinois and it's possible I made a mistake," Riley said in a statement released last week.

Riley faces incumbent Jeff Pale in next month's Democratic primary election for a state senate seat in Milwaukee, 35 miles from Oconomowac.

Riley also was a partner at the Chicago law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich.

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Harry Walker said...

Riley should get out of the race. Sure, he is innocent until proven guilty, but he has no chance of winning and he will only make things more difficult for other democrat candidates.

At 1:39 AM, Blogger jody said...

Now that's just wrong. I don't know the guy, or his part of the state or anything, but i don't think that matters. It's a scenario that, with a few details altered, could happen anywhere.

I'm crazy enough to think that a bunch of inner party manuevering and calculating is ioncredibly damaging to the democratic process. Any Nutjob that feels like running should run - not just the Nutjobs who have "paid their dues" or seem "viable" to party insiders.

The people (remember them? WE the people?) should be allowed to choose from a field of willing candidates. Any party that backs off of or undermines a candidate, a party or faction that preselects "the winner" in a primary, etc. sacrifices a lot for the sake of expediency. And tehn we wonder where the vibrancy, focus and vision have gone. Too often they are stunted by the process itself. There should be an enormous difference between the functioning of a democracy and the selection of the Junior Prom Queen.

Bseides, this will only enable more and more sh*t behavior by the opposition - a guy drops out of a race without being proven guilty? Heck if I'd been the author of that dirty trick I'd just say "wow that worked" and do it again and again. You ask the guy to drop out, you just give them exactly what they wanted. Crazy.


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