Six fake Democrats running in upcoming recall primaries to push back the election date in Wisconsin are violating the law, according to an election attorney.
“Among the requirements for running as a candidate in a partisan primary, one is required to file with the [Government Accountability Board] a ‘Declaration of Candidacy,’ form GAB-162. That form specifically requires a candidate to state that their candidacy is ‘representing’ the political party for which the primary is to take place. This statement must be made under oath,” attorney Jeremy P. Levinson said in a memo (PDF) to We Are Wisconsin.
“Clearly, a candidate running in a Democratic primary for the purpose of disadvantaging that party and giving electoral advantage to the Republican Party and the Republican incumbent the Democrats seek to recall can do so only by falsifying his or her declaration of candidacy.”
The fake candidates are committing felony election fraud, according to Levinson, a crime punishable by up to three and half years in prison.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) and four Wisconsin Republican state senators all face recall elections on May 8 or June 5. But by running the fake candidates, the Republican Party forces primary elections to be held on May 8, ensuring that all of the incumbents will face an election at a later date, June 5.
“The protest candidates will run as Democrats to guarantee that there is one clear date for the primary election and one clear date for the general election,” Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Stephan Thompson said in a statement from March. “The Republican Party will not actively campaign for the protest candidates, other than collecting nomination signatures to ensure their place on the ballot.”
The Republican Party of Wisconsin also ran fake Democratic candidates during last years recall elections.
“Everyone knew the Republican scheme to run fake Democratic candidates was a sleazy corruption of Wisconsin democracy that needlessly wasted taxpayer dollars,” said We Are Wisconsin executive director Kristen Crowell. “Thankfully, this time around, there’s recourse available against this travesty, as it appears it’s also illegal.”
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