As the August 9 Wisconsin Senate recall election nears, Democrats and Republicans have filed complaints with the Government Accountability Board, accusing each other of engaging in illegal campaign coordination in Senate District 8.
Collusion between state resources, political campaigns and independent groups is illegal under Wisconsin law.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin filed complaints (PDF) in multiple jurisdictions on Thursday alleging that Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling committed multiple felonies by trying to hide her collusion with Americans For Prosperity, Wisconsin Family Action, Wisconsin Right to Life, and other conservative groups.
Darling is accused of blocking the release of documents relating to an open records request seeking information about her collaboration with the groups, a potential felony under Wisconsin law.
“It appears that Alberta Darling is engaged in a coverup to hide election collusion,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Thursday. “The last acts of her desperate campaign are not merely pathetic. They are illegal.”
Stephan Thompson, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, described the complaint as a desperate distraction that was “full of frivolous claims with no merit.”
The Wisconsin Republican Party has filed a complaint (PDF) with the Government Accountability Board that accuses Sen. Darling’s challenger, Sandy Pasch, of engaging in illegal election collusion for her involvement with Citizen Action, the liberal special interest group of which Pasch is a board member.
“Sandy Pasch needs to resign from the board of Citizen Action, apologize for breaking the law, and reimburse the taxpayers for the time her staff was working for Citizen Action instead of her constituents,” Thompson said.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin filed another complaint on Tuesday seeking to stop what it called a Koch brothers-funded scheme to suppress Democratic votes the upcoming elections.
Americans for Prosperity sent absentee ballots to Democrats in two Wisconsin state Senate recall districts with instructions that could render the votes ineligible. Ballots must be received by August 9 to be counted, but the instructions say to return the paperwork two days later, by August 11.
The State Director for Americans for Prosperity said the misinformation was “just a typo.”
Democratic Wisconsin Senate candidates overwhelmingly defeated their fake rivals in the Democratic primary election in July. Republicans entered the fake candidates into the race to force Democratic primary elections and delay the general election.
The six Republican state senators were recalled after supporting Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial “budget repair bill,” which stripped nearly all collective bargaining rights from public employees.
The state Government Accountability Board also approved recall elections for three Democratic state senators. One of those senators, Dave Hansen, successfully defended his seat in a July 19 election.
The general election for the remaining senators will take place on August 9. Democrats need to pick up three additional seats to have a majority in the state Senate.