The problem with the radioactive partisanship in Wisconsin is that otherwise intelligent folks who typically choose their words with care occasionally feel the need to launch rhetorical firebombs to stir up their respective political bases. This makes it virtually impossible for government leaders to come together to craft effective solutions to legitimate issues that require their attention. The latest example comes from Gov. Scott Walker, who as politicians go, is a straight talker, no doubt something he’s become more careful about these days since every syllable is scrutinized, inspected and combed for meaning. In an interview with The Weekly Standard, Walker said he was concerned about voter fraud in the coming June 5 recall election in the wake of the state’s controversial voter ID law being suspended by the courts. “I’ve always thought in this state, close elections, presidential elections, it means you probably have to win with at least 53 percent of the vote to account for fraud. One or two points, potentially,” he told the publication.
No doubt Walker was making that point to appeal to his party’s base. Cases of voter fraud, thankfully, remain rare in Wisconsin in no small part to the dedicated county clerks and election officials upholding the tradition of clean elections. The remarks are uncharacteristically over the top for Walker, especially if the governor had stopped to give thought to what he was saying. Groups like the League of Women Voters, who sued to block the state’s Voter ID law, pointed out that one-to-two points of fraud would mean that 30,000 to 60,000 voters were cast illegally in 2008.