Some voters say they’ve received calls telling them they don’t need to vote if they signed the recall petition
With both sides counting on dramatic turnout, Tom Barrett’s campaign is charging Scott Walker supporters with dirty tricks. In an email sent to supporters last night, Barrett for Wisconsin finance director Mary Urbina-McCarthy wrote, “Reports coming into our call center have confirmed that Walker’s allies just launched a massive wave of voter suppression calls to recall petition signers.” According to Urbina-McCarthy, the message of the calls was: “If you signed the recall petition, your job is done and you don’t need to vote on Tuesday.”
[salon/Josh Eidelson/05 Jun 2012]
Walker outspent Barrett eight-to-one, but Democrats may have regained control of the state Senate.
…With 99 percent of the state’s 3,424 precincts reporting, Walker led Barrett 53 to 46 percent, a lead of nearly 173,000 votes out of 2.5 million votes cast.
…A fifth race may offer some consolation to progressives. It appears that Democrat state senate candidate John Lehman beat the incumbent Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard by 779 votes out of more than 71,000 cast, according to late-breaking unofficial returns. Should Lehman’s victory hold up when the final count is certified, the Democrats would become the majority party in the state Senate, breaking the GOP’s lock on legislative power.
…Walker’s win prompted top Republican Party officials who are from Wisconsin, notably RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, to taunt Democrats—taking aim at Obama’s supporters.
…Ironically, Walker’s tenure as governor is still tenuous. He faces likely public corruption charges for activities in his office while he was the Milwaukee County executive—charges that could pressure him to resign. However that investigation, while implicating his closest former aides and apparently closing in on Walker, was not the main issue before the state’s voters.
[alternet/Steven Rosenfeld/06 Jun 2012]
…Wisconsinites meanwhile pulled out their phones and saw texts reading, “Tom Barrett is a Union Puppet who will give Union Thugs everything they want. Call & ask why 414-271-8050.” That’s Barrett campaign headquarters – whose switchboard was promptly shut down by the deluge of calls.
…Excitable Tom Morello, the words rushing out: “I think they’ve been very surprised. I mean, the hubris: that there’s nothing that can stand in the way of their money.”
[Jackson] Browne, practically on top of him: “They’ve got a culture of impunity. They believe in impunity! The Bush administration was the same thing: ‘Oh, that’s illegal? Well, let’s see you stop us then.’”
[rollingstone/Rick Perlstein/05 Jun 2012]
Wisconsin Republicans are saying they are not behind a voter fraud allegation tied to a phone number registered to the party.
…[Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee)] said that she does not know if the GOP was behind the call but thinks it was supporters of Gov. Scott Walker (R) who know Walker could lose to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) in Tuesday’s recall vote.
She sent a letter to the state Government Accountability Board this morning asking for an immediate investigation into the two allegations. She said that voters have received calls directing them to vote Wednesday and telling them petition signatures counted as votes. Taylor told HuffPost she was not sure how widespread the cases are throughout the state, but that she and her staff were continuing to gather more information about the allegations. She noted they have been spreading through social media since Monday.
…In her letter to the GAB, Taylor said that the calls regarding the petition signatures came from a Madison-area phone number. A call placed to that number came back with a voicemail saying the caller had reached the Wisconsin Republican Party.
…The phone number is not the main listed number of the state GOP. The phone is used by the GOP for phone-bank purposes, including recent phone banks for the Tuesday recall.
[huffingtonpost/06 Jun 2012]
Mitt Romney’s two-day fundraising waltz across Texas begins today in Dallas with a pair of high-dollar events — one for $2,500-givers at the Belo Mansion and for the really big donors – those who cut a check for $50,000 for the GOP or bundle $200,000 from others — dinner with Romney at the Highland Park home of developer Harlan Crow. What better place for Romney to get a Texas-size sense of the American spirit than Crow’s spacious estate.
Crow is quite a collector. His personal library would rival a small college, complete with first editions on American history, several original Gilbert Stewart paintings decorating the walls and, under long glass displays, letters of famous people from Thomas Jefferson to the Wright brothers. Then there’s the room mementos of the principals of World War II – on one wall, a painting by Winston Churchill, on another wall a landscape by Dwight Eisenhower and, on a third wall, two original paintings of a European city scene by Adolph Hitler. On an antique table is a signed copy of Churchill’s book on fly fishing. Outside, should Romney get an opportunity to wander the grounds, is a garden of tyrants. Crow has collected busts and statues of famous dictators of the past, which he displays with a certain elan on the lawn. There’s a head of Stalin, a rare statue of Fidel Castro, a towering Lenin and various other bad guys expropriated from their countries of origin.
[trailblazersblog/digby/05 Jun 2012]
• Fortunate Sons: To sum up, the Romney family have done a stellar job of avoiding both military service in the wars that they support as well as paying any taxes that might pay for said wars.
when the AP ran a 1,200-word piece yesterday on Romney’s Vietnam-era deferments, it’s tempting to think the story just doesn’t matter. As the argument goes, his unwillingness to serve, though perhaps embarrassing, doesn’t seem to tell us anything important now.
But these assumptions aren’t quite right. The story matters in large part because this appears to be yet another area in which Romney hasn’t been honest with the public.
Though an early supporter of the Vietnam War, Romney avoided military service at the height of the fighting after high school by seeking and receiving four draft deferments, according to Selective Service records. They included college deferments and a 31-month stretch as a “minister of religion” in France, a classification for Mormon missionaries that the church at the time feared was being overused. The country was cutting troop levels by the time he became eligible for the draft, and his lottery number was not called. [...]
[B]ecause Romney, now 65, was of draft age during Vietnam, his military background — or, rather, his lack of one — is facing new scrutiny as he courts veterans and makes his case to the nation to be commander in chief.
…In 1965, as an undergraduate at Stanford, Romney not only supported the war in Vietnam, he participated in pro-war protests. That same year, he sought and received his first deferment.
A year later, Romney received a longer-than-usual 4-D deferment, which allowed him to do Mormon missionary work in France, despite the fact that other “young Mormon men elsewhere were denied that same status,” and the Mormon Church, which backed the war, “limited the number of church missionaries allowed to defer their military service using the religious exemption.”
By 1969, Romney had completed his work in France, but sought and received new deferments.
[maddowblog/Steve Benen/06 Jun 2012]
It’s almost as if Mitt Romney adviser John Bolton is rooting for a war with Iran. That’s sure what it seems like when the hawkish former U.N. ambassador cheers the lack of concrete progress in diplomatic talks with Iran over its nuke program, and then goes on to fear-monger about Iranian advances. And that’s exactly what Bolton did in a new Washington Times op-ed.
First, Bolton started off by expressing his relief that the last round of talks in Baghdad between Iran and the West yielded no breakthroughs:
Fortunately, however, the recently concluded Baghdad talks between Iran and the U.N. Security Council’s five permanent members and Germany (P-5+1) produced no substantive agreement.
…Update: The Obama campaign released a statement by former Defense Department official Michèle Flournoy that said in part:
Bolton has made it clear that he’s rooting for American diplomacy to fail and has repeatedly called for a rush to war with Iran. Gov. Romney needs to be clear with the American people: Does he believe there’s still time for diplomacy to work? Or is he ready to take us to war, like his advisor John Bolton is advocating? …If Gov. Romney shares his advisor John Bolton’s views that it is time for the US to go to war with Iran, the American people deserve to know.
[thinkprogress/Ali Gharib/05 Jun 2012]
…Late last year, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign began paying Nathan Sproul, a political consultant with a long history of destroying Democratic voter registration forms and manipulating ballot initiatives. Sproul, who changed his firm’s name from Sproul and Associates to Lincoln Strategies, has received over $70,000 from Romney’s campaign.
…Though Romney and his allies have decried supposed voter fraud by his opponents, they don’t have any evidence that people are illegally voting. Most accusations of Democratic voter fraud center on registration forms filled out by fake people — usually because signature gatherers are paid per-form — but these accusations do not include examples of these fake people actually attempting to vote. On the other hand, when a person goes to vote and learns their voter registration form was never turned in, they are denied their rights. Former Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT), during a hearing on voter fraud, admitted that “the difference between ACORN and Sproul is that ACORN doesn’t throw away or change registration documents after they have been filled out.”
[republicreport/Lee Fang/06 Jun 2012]
Today, in yet another volley in the war on women, Senate Republicans blocked voting on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Proponents of the bill needed 60 votes in order to break a G.O.P. filibuster, but were able to muster only 52. Some 47 Republicans voted against a floor vote.
[alternet/05 Jun 2012]
Not even fifty years ago the Supreme Court recognized the right of married couples to make family-planning decisions free from unnecessary interference by the state in the landmark decision Griswold v. Connecticut. There the Court ruled that the Constitution provides a broad right to privacy that shields the most intimate of decision from the prying eyes of the state and ultimately helped push the movement for reproductive justice forward to Roe v. Wade.
The law at issue in Griswold prohibited the use of “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.” Estelle Griswold, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut and Dr. C. Lee Buxton a physician and professor at the Yale School of Medicine opened a birth control clinic in New Haven to test the law. Shortly after it was opened the two were arrested, tried, found guilty of illegally providing contraception and fined $100 each. Their convictions were upheld at the appellate level until the Supreme Court held the Connecticut law unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment.
Sometimes when legal historians discuss Griswold they note the law was old–passed in 1879–and rarely enforced to imply or reduce the seriousness of the law challenged and the issue of whether or not married couples (and later single persons) had a right to privacy when dealing with matters of health and bodily autonomy. I mean, after all, who would really question such a position?
How about the entirety of the conservative movement today, that’s who.
[care2/Jessica Pieklo/05 Jun 2012]
A Catholic hospital is being sued for denial of HIV medication to a gay man “for going against God’s will.”
Trinitas Regional Medical Center, says Joao Simoes, admitted him last August but then denied him the medicine he needed and also would not let his sister see him.
Denial of access to medicine for people living with HIV/AIDS, even for short periods, can have serious consequences for long term survival because of drug resistance. This can result from missing as few as five doses — which Simoes says he missed.
The complaint says that after admittance he met Dr. Susan V. Borga. She asked him how he had acquired HIV and “closed the plaintiff’s file, put it down and looked at plaintiff with disgust on her face and asked, coldly, ‘Is that from sex with men?’”
Three days later, he was finally permitted to ring his personal physician and learned that he had already told Borga about his medication, but he had not received any or been visited by any doctor.
Borga had allegedly told his physician: “You must be gay, too, if you’re his doctor.”
[care2/Paul Canning/05 Jun 2012]
When Angel Dillard was arrested for sending threatening letters to Dr. Mila Means, her original defense was that it wasn’t a “true threat.” She wasn’t really going to put a bomb under the doctor’s car, her lawyer argued, so it shouldn’t count. But now Dillard is taking a new approach. She is counter-suing and now claims God was speaking to her.
[RH Reality Check/Robin Marty/05 Jun 2012]
A screen capture of Robles’s campaign video from the NY Observer
• California GOP Candidate’s Machine Gun Ad: ‘TAKE LINDA SANCHEZ OUT!’:
GOP Congressional candidate Jorge Robles is very serious about unseating Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) as the representative for California’s 38th district — and he’s using some gun imagery to do it. In a 5-minute web video released yesterday, Robles explains how he would, from Washington, end the state regulations that supposedly make California inhospitable to businesses. Interspersed throughout the video for today’s primary was an animation that shows a machine gun firing toward a wall until the words “Jorge Robles For Congress –- TAKE LINDA SANCHEZ OUT OF OFFICE” are visible.
[thinkprogress/Ali Gharib/05 Jun 2012]
Florida Governor Rick Scott sent the strongest signal yet that he plans to defy the Department of Justice and continue purging registered voters the rolls. Last week, the Justice Department sent Scott a letter demanding an end the voter purge because it was in violation of federal law. His deadline for responding to the letter is today. Although Florida has not formally responded to the Justice Department letter, a Scott administration spokesman strongly indicated to the Miami Herald that Governor Scott had no intention of ending the purge
[thinkprogress/Judd Legum/06 Jun 2012]
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has appointed a new prime minister and tasked him with the formation of a new government in Syria.
Assad appointed former Agriculture Minister Riad Farid Hijab to the position on Wednesday.
The development is regarded as part of Assad’s reform plan, which took effect following the endorsement of the country’s new constitution in February 2011.
The constitution will allow political pluralism and will also enact a presidential limit of two seven-year terms.
[presstv/06 Jun 2012]
The secretary of the Russian Security Council has warned against the consequences of an Israeli military strike on Iran, calling for the resumption of talks over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Nikolai Patrushev told the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Tuesday that the consequences of a military attack on Iran will be “absolutely negative” for Israel and many neighboring countries.
He urged the international community to continue negotiations with Iran, rejecting claims that diplomacy has been exhausted over the Iranian nuclear issue.
“It is wrong to conclude that all opportunities and all the existing potential have been exhausted. Negotiations should continue,” Patrushev said.
The Russian official also said that Moscow acknowledged Tehran’s right to develop peaceful nuclear energy.
[presstv/06 Jun 2012]
Several U.S. tourists report being asked by airport security personnel for access to their personal email accounts; Israel’s Shin Bet security service says it acted within the law. Israel’s Shin Bet security service has been demanding access to personal email accounts of visiting tourists with Arab names, according to the testimony of three U.S. citizens who were interrogated at Ben Gurion Airport and subsequently refused entry into Israel in May.
[haaretz/Amira Hass/06 Jun 2012]
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 5 (UPI) — Packages containing what appeared to be human remains showed up at two Vancouver, British Columbia, schools Tuesday afternoon, city police said.
One package arrived at False Creek Elementary School and the other was delivered to St. George’s School, The Province reported. One contained what appeared to be a human foot and the other a human hand.
It wasn’t known whether the packages, which were opened by staff at the schools, were delivered by the postal service or by courier, the Vancouver newspaper said.
There was no indication whether the packages were a macabre prank or somehow linked to Luka Rocco Magnotta, the 29-year-old Canadian being held in Germany who is wanted in Montreal in a dismemberment case.
[upi/05 Jun 2012]