Wisconsin Republicans' fake Democrats exposed

Gov. Scott Walker's allies get caught in a dirty trick.

Gov. Scott Walker's allies get caught in a dirty trick.

A number of Wisconsin Republicans are still trying to figure out how to survive the PR debacle birthed by their public employee union busting legislation earlier this year. One of the upshots is a series of recall drives being launched against vulnerable legislators at the Capitol.

Now it turns out that, rather than running on principles they insist are supported by a majority of Wisconsin voters, Republicans are recruiting fake Democrats to run in the primary races to try to take the heat off GOP candidates.


Their gambit was drawn into broad daylight when the Journal Sentinel's Daniel Bice came into possession of the recruiting letters, and learned about other secretly tape-recorded recruiting meetings.

The spoiler Democrats, who are identified by name in the letters, would run in the Democratic primaries for the seats now held by Republican Sens. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Luther Olsen of Ripon.

With the scandal exposed, some of the GOP candidates said they either didn't know what was being done on their behalf, or disowned the maneuver.

In the midst of this latest gaffe, the law prompting the recall effort is being challenged in court because it was passed allegedly in violation of Wisconsin's open meeting laws. The Wisconsin Supreme Court began hearing arguments in the case yesterday.