Image 01 Image 03

More misleading push-calls to help Robert Wirch (D-WI)

More misleading push-calls to help Robert Wirch (D-WI)

In late April I documented how the Democratic Party of Wisconsin was running misleading push-calls to people who had signed petitions to recall Democratic State Senator Robert Wirch. 

The WisDems were trying to get people to say that they didn’t understand what they were signing or were misled; the results of those misleading push-calls then were used to challenge Recall Wirch petitions.  The effort ultimately failed and now the recall election against Wirch is moving forward on August 16.

But first there is a Republican primary next week to pick the candidate who will oppose Wirch.

The organizer of the Recall Wirch group is backing Jonathan Seitz.  As reported by Media Trackers (via Charlie Sykes), however, the AFL-CIO is running  robopolls in the District asking people to indicate who they support, including on the list Wirch, another person running in the Republican primary, and “undecided,” but leaving Seitz off the list of possibilities.

The robopoll does not indicate who was running it, but the phone number was traced back to the AFL-CIO.  Writes MediaTrackers:

That’s right, the AFL-CIO is calling residents in Senate District 22 with a fake poll that omits the name of the Republican front-runner in an effort to confuse voters.

MediaTrackers further notes that while allegations of misleading robocalls by a pro-life group received widespread mainstream media coverage, the same was not true for the misleading pro-Wirch calls.

This effort contrasts with the effort by Republicans to run “fake Democratic” candidate in Democratic primaries in order to gain more time for the general election.  There was no secret why the candidates were being run, who they were, and the media regularly referred to them as “fake Democrats.”

The push-calls in late April and recently, however, are deliberately deceptive and try to push voters in a pro-Wirch direction without revealing either the misleading nature of the call or who is sponsoring the call. 

Perhaps Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg could investigate.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.



[…] RUNNING misleading push-calls in Wisconsin Republican primary? “MediaTrackers further notes that while allegations of misleading robocalls by a pro-life […]

The whole sock-puppet media in Wisconsin is anti-Republican, anti-Conservative. The way in which they handled the protest candidates is very telling. “Fake Democrats” is quite perjorative, but typical of the way anything not Democrat/Progressive/Socialist is dealt with by Wisconsin media. Those running in the Democrat primary never claimed to be Democrats, never claimed to be trying to mislead voters or even win the primary. It was all about forcing the Democrats to have primaries and spend some of their war chest.

I live in Alberta Darling’s district. This will be a bigger fight than Prosser/Kloppenburg (or Prosser/Bradley). I just hope our side is as energized and prepared as theirs.

common tater | July 16, 2011 at 10:14 am

The only fairness in media coverage is the make-up spread on anchors’ faces to even and lighten complexions.

Sentient beings hang up on all robocalls and say No thanks to cold-call so-called surveys. The reflexive rest of humanity wants to be manipulated and its time wasted by machines or “spinners” that don’t even dry their salad greens or clothes.

…MediaTrackers further notes that while allegations of misleading robocalls by a pro-life group received widespread mainstream media coverage,,,

And, by the way, the media LIED about those calls. In no way, no how, were they ‘misleading.’

Prof Jacobson, I’m glad you corrected that Robert Wirsch (D-WI), it was ‘misleading’ as (R). Was that intentional?

Weeks ago, Reuters headlines on (4) major media outlets had,
“Congressman Anthony Weiner (R-NY)”, an intentional ‘error’, no doubt.

“Those running in the Democrat primary never claimed to be Democrats”

That statement contradicts itself.

Are you even aware of what a “primary” is?

    I think a TROLL may have arrived….

    The individuals running in the Democrat Primary have said that they are NOT Democrat party individuals. However, they don’t HAVE to be. As long as you meet the signature requirements, you don’t HAVE to be of a specific party to be part of the primary party line. For a primary, there isn’t an ideological purity test like there would be for a selected candidate by a party organization.

    During a CONSOLIDATED election, it’s unlikely you’ll be ELECTED if you’re not on a line that supports your ideology, but we don’t HAVE a consolidated primary election here. The Wisconsin elections board, in their -infinite- “wisdom,” decided to SPLIT the primary elections to try to help the Democrat members survive and to try to hurt the Republican members. That means that the REPUBLICANS can cross party lines and vote in the DEMOCRAT primary. The scheme has backfired horrifically upon the Democrats, and MAY lead to the Democrat Senators being replaced by additional CONSERVATIVES. At the VERY least, it hurts the Democrats by forcing them to spend money in the primary that they really don’t have.

Have you ever seen the “Declaration of Candidacy” form that is filled out when someone in Wisconsin wants to run for office? One of the requirements is “Type or print the political party affiliation or principle supported by you in five words or less on the third line.”

The Elections Board doesn’t just decide to have a primary – rather one is held if there are more than one person wishing to represent a particular party.

In order to appear in the Democratic Primaries the candidates had to not only state that they were Democrats, they also had to swear that the information provided was true.


Waitaminnit, are these primaries partisan? Is there really a Democratic primary to challenge a Republican incumbent, and a Republican primary to challenge a Democrat incumbent?! What if someone wants to challenge an incumbent who happens to be from his own party? Does that challenger have to go into a separate primary?! I was under the impression that there is only one non-partisan primary to find a challenger; if that’s true, then there’s nothing fake about Republicans running in it.

    Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 18, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Answering my own question: yes, the primaries are indeed partisan. However, contrary to Purplepenquin, a candidate does not have to state, whether on oath or otherwise, that he is a member of the named party; he must merely state that he wishes to be a candidate to represent that party. There’s no reason a Republican should not wish to be a Democratic candidate, or vice versa. No membership in or loyalty to the party is necessary.

I never said they have to be an actual dues-paying member of the political party, but they are signing a legal form…while swearing that the info provided is true…declaring that they “support” the political party they wish to affiliate themselves with on the ballot. The link to the form was provided; anyone can see this info for themselves.

These “fakes” were lying when they claimed to be Democrats. While it certainly isn’t on the same level as other issues in some of the elections…(like committing adultery with a paid lobbyist)…it still is dishonest, unethical and immoral.

“Is there really a Democratic primary to challenge a Republican incumbent, and a Republican primary to challenge a Democrat incumbent?”

Also, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what triggers a primary.

If there are more than one Democrat (or Libertarian, or Green Party, or whatever) wishing to challenge the Republican seatholder, then yes…there is a primary to determine who faces the incumbent. If someone of the same party wanted to challenge the incumbent, than that person would also have a primary. All the primaries would be held on the same day, but a voter could only vote for one political party on a ballot. (For instance, if there was a Democrat primary for one office at the same time there was a Republican primary for a different office…a ballot would be declared invalid if someone voted in both)

I know this is confusing for those of you who live elsewhere, but this is how we do it here in Wisconsin. Despite the earlier claim, it isn’t something that is simply determined by the Election Board in order to favor one party or the other.