Madison, WI. Citing rampant and mostly-nonexistant voter fraud, The Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Senate passed one of the most restrictive Voter ID measures in the entire country yesterday. Republican Senator Frank Lassee implied that democrats benefit from voter fraud. “Who benefits from the abuse? I think those are good questions to ask,” he said. “One fraudulent vote cancels out a single legal vote. The other side doesn’t seem to care about that at all”. Meanwhile, in a rather ironic development, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that a legislative GOP staffer is under investigation for alleged voter fraud.
On April 28th, Dispatches from Fitzwalkerstan initially reported on this story. Because the original article involved an acquaintance of mine I struggled with the moral dilemma of reporting on it. In November when the subject of the investigation, a Madison resident, first boasted about voting in a community over 100 miles from home, she was called on it. She asserted she was living in Onalaska while running the assembly campaign of republican Dennis Clinard. Based on a facebook post that clearly advertised her intent to return to the city of Madison the very next day, which she did, she appears to have violated State election law. When this author subsequently discussed the matter with Ms. Malszycki in person several days later her response included the following statement “Why would I want to vote for Mark Pocan?” (reference to the assembly democrat that represents her home district).
Because you live here. Because legislation that effects your community occurs here. Because you care about the community you live in. Because regardless of political ideology, you are invested in your city and want it to remain/become a great place to live. And if you are a republican, you at least care about your property taxes.
It is important to remember that Ms. Malszyki works for a republican assembly representative that co-sponsored a bill seeking to prevent the very activity she engaged in on election day. When reviewing the drafts of the bill, as she must have at some point given her position, did she recognize her own behavior cited in examples? This Voter ID bill has long been planned by Wisconsin republicans with the assistance of the good folks at ALEC. No matter how you spin the story, it is inconceivable that a long-time GOP legislative staffer would be unaware that her nomadic voting activity would be in conflict with state law.
When this was brought to her attention, a few options were at her disposal:
- Contact the Onalaska City Clerk and admit that she voted illegally based upon her intent to return to her home district where she lives 20 out of 24 months. If it was a mistake, admit it, and move on.
- Use her legislative position to correct the problem and educate poll workers if in fact it was their misinformation that contributed to her voting illegally.
- Say “I didn’t do anything wrong! I just didn’t want to vote for liberals!” and start blaming the author of the original story for her predicament.
She chose number 3.
On May 11th, while sitting in my yard with friends, Ms. Malcyszki came to my home and immediately engaged in a stream of foul language directed at me, in front of my pregnant wife, three-year-old child, and friend. I asked her to stop. My wife asked her to stop. She refused. I reminded her that my child was present. She responded with”I don’t care! The police went to my mothers house because of you, so I don’t care about your family”.
Ultimately, and I’m not proud, I responded in kind. After all, I’m just one of those “Union Thugs that trashed the capitol”. Ms. Malszycki inexplicably started yelling about my first marriage that ended in divorce; information she clearly gleaned from the state court system website. She inarticulately attempted to assert that “It was bad to get divorced, how about I blog about that, huh! Huh!”
Clearly, she had been drinking as evidenced by the half empty 12 pack of miller lite she was toting around with her. Finally, in a moment straight out of COPS-including barking dogs, a screaming drunk person and precariously perched alcoholic beverages, she was led away by others. She continued to poke her head around the corner and yell things like “Hey big man, why don’t you come over here and have it out with me right now!” This went on until I retrieved my video camera. When she realized I was taping, the direct assault finally ceased.
There isn’t any. Perhaps I’m naive because I truly hoped that writing about her nomadic voting history wouldn’t be perceived as personal and that common sense, and at least a veneer of social courtesy, would be maintained. I was wrong.
Why does any of this matter? Because it is indicative of the outraged indignation exhibited by the GOP whenever they themeselves are caught engaging in behavior that they so adamantly attribute to the other side. While they willfully and aggressively dismantle Wisconsin’s progressive traditions through actions such as removing collective bargaining rights, disregarding open meeting laws, ignoring court orders, restricting public access to the state capitol and publicly ridiculing a sitting circuit court judge, they themselves expect to remain above the law. After all, Governor Walker himself refuses to respond to inquiries from Madison’s own police chief.
I’ve been sitting on this post for a couple of hours now, debating on whether to publish it or not. Especially because it was my intention that this incident involving alleged voter fraud not become personal.
Well, today I’m not a “liberal political blogger”. Today I’m just a dad who is sad because a 30 year old GOP staffer who should know better made my kid cry. On purpose. Even the Mafia tries to separate “business” from the “personal.”