WI Republican Legislators Were “Giddy” About Suppressing Minority and Student Votes

Via Ari Berman comes this Facebook post from Todd Albaugh, the former Chief of Staff to a Wisconsin state senator:

You wanna know why I left the Republican Party as it exists today? Here it is; this was the last straw: I was in the closed Senate Republican Caucus when the final round of multiple Voter ID bills were being discussed. A handful of the GOP Senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters. Think about that for a minute. Elected officials planning and happy to help deny a fellow American’s constitutional right to vote in order to increase their own chances to hang onto power. A vigorous debate on the ideas wasn’t good enough. Inspiring the electorate and relying on their agenda being better to get people to vote for them wasn’t good enough. No, they had to take the coward’s way out and come up with a plan to suppress the vote under the guise of ‘voter fraud.’ The truth? There was almost none. Oh wait, GOP Speaker Voss’ estranged wife voted twice in both Idaho and WI, and a GOP staffer was caught voting twice. But it was good rhetoric. Yesterday, one of my employees, born in California went to get his WI ID. He was told he couldn’t use his CA ID to get a WI ID without his birth certificate which is back in CA. The result? He’s not able to vote today. Here’s a young man in his early 20’s, who is taking part and interested in voting for the first time in his life. He was excited to go to the polls. What kind of a state, a legislature, a political party is it that denies this young man his right? The GOP was born out of greater opportunity and equality. Wisconsin, yes the Wisconsin Republican Party, under the leadership of Republican Governor Robert M. ‘Fighting Bob’ La Follette lead the country in creating greater voting access to its citizens. The WI GOP was seen as a shining example of equality. THAT was the party I joined in the 80’s and fought for. That party no longer exists. I don’t belong to any party now. I don’t think the Dems have all the answers either. But my God, to watch a party I once fought for deny a young man his voting rights…it boils my blood, leaves a pit in my stomach. It’s time for a ‪#‎GOPImplosion‬

 

Update. Via MJS:

His comments came the same day a former legislative aide said he quit the Republican Party in 2011 because of comments GOP senators made in a closed meeting about why they wanted a voter ID law.

“I was in the closed Senate Republican Caucus when the final round of multiple voter ID bills were being discussed. A handful of the GOP Senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters. Think about that for a minute. Elected officials planning and happy to help deny a fellow American’s constitutional right to vote in order to increase their own chances to hang onto power,” Todd Allbaugh wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday.

Allbaugh worked for former Sen. Dale Schultz, a moderate Republican from Richland Center who clashed with his GOP colleagues on some issues. Schultz retired in 2015.

Schultz voted for the photo ID law, but later became skeptical of the measure and criticized a GOP move to limit early voting hours.

He declined Wednesday to say what his former colleagues had said behind closed doors about why they wanted to pass the voter ID law, but praised Allbaugh as someone who is trustworthy.

“His honesty and integrity are beyond reproach,” Schultz said. “And he’s a guy who was always very proud to be a Republican.”

 

 

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