Empower Wisconsin | Sept 25, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — City of Madison poll workers will be registering voters and accepting absentee ballots this Saturday at more than 200 city parks, according to an ad running on local radio stations.
Paid for by Biden for President.
The apparent connection between Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and the city has some worried. Understandably so.
A city official, however, insists that there is nothing to see here — no illegal coordination. The Biden camp, according to Madison Deputy City Clerk Jim Verbick, just glommed on to the city’s “Democracy in the Park Campaign,” producing a public service announcement-sounding campaign ad without the knowledge of the city.
“We are not working with a campaign. This was done entirely on the campaign’s volition. There was no coordination with the campaign,” Verbick tells Empower Wisconsin.
But it sure sounds like it. In a far left city run by Trump-hating liberals, where the vast majority of voters cast ballots for candidates with a “D” behind their names, the concerns are natural.
The ad starts out innocuous enough.
“Hey, Madison. Voting this year is a walk in the park. Literally.”
On Saturday, Sept. 26, and again on Saturday Oct 3, a male voice announces, city of Madison poll workers will be at more than 200 parks registering voters, answering questions about voting “and accepting your completed ballot.”
Heck, absentee voters who still need to find a witness “can just bring a blank ballot with them and have a poll worker serve as their witness,” the announcer helpfully adds.
Would-be voters need only look for the folks wearing “bright yellow vests” standing near the “Vote” yard signs “you’re used to seeing at your polling place.”
“So make your plans now to return your ballot,” announcer guy says.
And then … Joe jumps on.
“I’m Joe Biden, candidate for president, and I approve this message,” Biden lifelessly says, as if he had moments before emerged from a coma.
Wait? What? Joe Biden approves this message?
Announcer guy jumps back on with the disclaimer: “Paid for by Biden for President,” and then quickly adds that the event itself is hosted by the city of Madison and is “nonpartisan.” Trump supporters should note, that “all are welcome.”
So there’s really no coordination here?
“They may be claiming they are (involved in the event), but (the Biden campaign) are in no way associated with the Democracy in the Park event,” Verbick insists. “We have made this very public. There is no coordination with any political party; this is entirely us.”
So, it was just a weasely thing to do by Biden and his backers?
“I don’t know it’s my place to comment on it,” the deputy clerk said, “but I will say it’s our event. We take full ownership.”
What does the Wisconsin Elections Commission think about Biden’s trick and the campaign to collect absentee ballots in the park?
“Please direct your questions to the City of Madison.The WEC has no involvement or direct knowledge of the city’s plans,” commission spokesman Reid Magney curtly wrote in an email.
What about an elections law expert?
“That’s odd,” Rick Esenberg, president and general counsel of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, a Milwaukee-based public interest law firm, said of the campaign ad.
“I can’t off the top of my head say that, ‘Yes, this is blatantly illegal or fraud.’ What I can say is, it raises a number of questions.”
It sure does.
Stay tuned as the complaints roll in.
Listen to the full radio ad here.