Thursday, February 23, 2012

Voting for others, Kleefisch acts as a hypocrite

Republican lawmaker chastises voter "fraud" while voting on behalf of colleagues

A Republican legislator is taking flack for casting votes in the state Assembly on behalf of his fellow lawmakers.

Joel Kleefisch, husband of Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, was caught on video making votes for other Republican legislators not physically in the Assembly. When confronted by the issue, Kleefisch defended himself, stating that it wasn't a practice wholly unknown to that body:
The bathroom counts as the chamber. And the parlor counts as a chamber if you are going to eat.
Kleefisch's defense is that his colleagues are technically present when he's casting their votes. But that defense runs counter to what his views on voting supposedly are.

Earlier last year, Kleefisch authored a bill that would have put immense burdens on how citizens in the state could vote in elections, a bill that was "watered down" (yet still controversial) to the voter ID restrictions we have today. For someone who vehemently opposes voter fraud in this state (where virtually none was seen before), Kleefisch's votes on his colleagues' behalf sure seems hypocritical.

Regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans do it -- both parties reportedly take part in voting-by-proxy -- the practice of casting votes for other legislators is still wrong. The issue has long been denounced in the past as well, by none other than Scott Walker himself:
The I-Team has confronted the state on this issue before, back in 1996 -- back when Governor Scott Walker was a state representative, wanting the behavior to stop and the rules to change.

"Change the rule to apply to people we are talking about who aren't in the chamber and aren't aware of what is going on," said Scott Walker.
If he still holds that opinion, Walker should take this opportunity to tell Kleefisch to stop voting in place of his colleagues immediately. It's not as if he's inaccessible to the governor.


  1. Chris
    Where is the Democratic leaders condeming this?'Its because they all do it.

    1. Yep...which is why I wrote that both parties should stop it. Read the blog.

    2. After reading your blog, you only hint to the fact that democrats do it. You give no example where a democrat has done it, and your blog only singles out republican lawmakers.

    3. "Regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans do it -- both parties reportedly take part in voting-by-proxy..."

      That's where I mention it. If you have a problem with my wording, I apologize. But I think it's clear from that sentence that I didn't intend to leave out any question of whether Democrats do it or not. Regardless, this post is about Kleefisch, who was videoed casting three votes, despite his record on voting restrictions in the past.

  2. It may be worth noting that it's perfectly legal in Wisconsin for a second party to cast a vote for a person, provided that person is present—actually present, not just in the general vicinity—and consents to it in the presence of an election official. Indeed, just this last Tuesday I witnessed that very thing happen at my polling place; the voter was blind and preferred his companion fill out the ballot for him instead of using the automark machine.

    Having said that, do we have anything but Kleefisch's word that the members for whom he cast votes were in the chamber, even technically?