The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board steadfastly refused to disqualify duplicate signatures and clearly fictitious signatures on petitions to recall Scott Walker, and to this day has rejected the efforts of private citizens to bring recall petition fraud to its attention.

But with all the bad publicity regarding fraud in the recall Walker effort, the GAB all of the sudden has taken a keen interest in supposed signature fraud and alleged misleading statements made by petition circulators … regarding petitions submitted last spring as part of the Republican effort to recall “fleebagger” Wisconsin State Senator Robert Wirch.

I covered the Recall Wirch drive in great detail.  It was a grassroots, thinly funded effort which succeeded in obtaining a recall election, although Wirch ultimately won the election.  While the effort ultimately failed, it was well worth the effort as a push back against union and Democratic Party efforts against Republican Senators.

As part of the Recall Wirch drive, numerous dirty tricks were played on behalf of Wirch, including calls from Democratic Party telemarketers trying to get petition signers to say they were misled, and attempts to get valid signatures on recall petitions thrown out.

But now, without warning, two investigators from the GAB have contacted Dan Hunt, who led the Recall Wirch effort and other supporters regarding allegations of a single phony petition signature and alleged misleading statements made to petitions signers.

Media Trackers has details and background:

On Thursday, Media Trackers learned that the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board dispatched two investigators to Kenosha to interview circulators involved in the effort to recall Senator Bob Wirch. According to sources, the investigators were asking about recall training, whether individuals were misled, and about the appearance of the late Bill Pocan’s signature on a recall petition.

Spokesman for the Government Accountability Board Reid Magney had no comment indicating that he cannot comment about ongoing investigations.

One year ago this month, the Taxpayer’s to Recall Robert Wirch launched their drive to recall Democratic State Senator Robert Wirch after he and thirteen other Democratic State Senator’s fled Wisconsin to avoid a vote on the Budget Repair Bill. The recall effort collected 17,138 valid signatures to force a recall of Senator Wirch over the 60-day period from February 24, 2011 to April 25, 2011.

During the signature gathering process, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin recklessly alleged “overwhelming evidence” of fraud in the effort to recall Senator Wirch.

The heart of the Democratic Party’s “overwhelming evidence?” A total of twenty affidavits, or 1/10 of 1% of the signatures gathered.

As a Media Trackers article from May 13, 2011 documents, the affidavits were extremely weak and lacked merit….

Despite the weakness of the actual allegations and affidavits, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board has dispatched at least two special investigators to Kenosha to interview those involved in the effort to recall Senator Wirch.

I spoke with Hunt tonight.  Needless to say, he is outraged, and also forwarded me this statement:

As you can imagine, I think this investigation is highly suspicious.  Why now, 10 months after we submitted our petitions and 8 months after the recall was certified? In addition, as you know, I have been an outspoken critic of the GAB. Does this have anything to do with this investigation?  Why are they investigating us now when they are overwhelmed with the current recalls?

I will follow up on this and let you know what happens.