by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News March 1, 2023
Thousands of Wisconsin residents have received texts from a group which promises to pay them to get out the vote for the progressive candidate to the state Supreme Court, a report said.
The text reads: “Hi! It’s Wisconsin Takes Action. We are helping to elect a progressive majority to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. We are offering an opportunity for you to earn $250-plus by talking to your friends and family about voting.”
In a Feb. 28 report, conservative commentator Dan O’Donnell noted: “Those who respond to the text expressing interest in the offer are given instructions to log in to a live training session on Zoom in which organizers explain how the program works. A video recording of one such training session the day after the Supreme Court primary reveals that people aren’t just talking to their friends and family about voting, but rather adding their names and contact information to Wisconsin Takes Action’s database and then repeatedly contacting them to ensure that they vote for liberal candidate Janet Protasiewicz.”
Wisconsin Statute § 12.11 provides that “any person who offers, gives, lends or promises to give or lend…anything of value…to, or for, any elector, or to or for any other person in order to induce any elector to go or refrain from going to the polls, vote or refrain from voting [or] vote or refrain from voting for or against a particular person” commits felony election bribery.
Protasiewicz and ex-Justice Dan Kelly were the top two vote-getters in a four-candidate field in the primary and advance to the April 4 general election.
Conservatives currently hold a 4-3 majority on the court, which they have controlled for 15 years.
Wisconsin Takes Action’s scheme uses a technique called “relational organizing,” O’Donnell noted.
O’Donnell cites one of the scheme’s organizers as saying: “It’s really simple. In traditional organizing in campaigns, we may think about campaign offices, someone making a call to a constituent and telling someone to go vote, someone they don’t know. In relational organizing, you’re talking to people who you do know and that’s really effective because you’re talking to your father to go vote or your sister or your friend is a lot more effective than me telling them to go vote because I don’t know them. But with you, there’s a lot more connection or relationship built and more reason for them to be compelled to go vote.”
Wisconsinites who take part in this relational organizing campaign — whom the group calls “community mobilizers” — are paid for every person they deliver to the Wisconsin Takes Action database and, ultimately, to the polls to cast a vote for Protasiewicz.
“In its Zoom training, the Wisconsin Takes Action staffers made it abundantly clear that they were offering money only if their mobilizers would induce their friends and family to go to the polls and vote, preferably for Protasiewicz,” O’Donnell noted.
The “election bribery,” O’Donnell continued, “works this way: People on the Zoom call were told that they would first get $30, payable in gift cards to various retailers or a Mastercard debit card, to download an app through the Empower Project, a left-wing organization that, according to its website, helps ‘progressive organizations and nonprofits… activate, build, and expand their activist bases and organizational reach on a meaningful scale.’
“Once the app is downloaded, mobilizers load it up with the names and contact information of 75 people they plan to convince to vote for Protasiewicz. The Empower app will then randomly and automatically select 15 of those 75 to serve as a control group to test how well the relational organizing system works. The mobilizer won’t contact those 15, and the Empower Project will after the election see if they voted even without the mobilizer’s communication.
“The other 60 people, though, will be active voter contacts, and the mobilizer will be paid $1 each for adding their names to the database and then immediately contacting them to ask them if they plan to vote. Mobilizers will only be paid if they load 60 people and then contact them. If they do, they will receive a $60 gift card from retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Kroger or digital services like Uber, Uber Eats, and Xbox or a $60 prepaid Mastercard.”
One of the organizers stated that “mobilizers” can earn much more than $250:
“We’ve had volunteers make $500-plus on our campaign. From now until March 19th, you will get $30 for every person you know in your personal network to simply download the app and join our campaign. That’s really simple, really easy to make that cash, but also to have a huge impact on this election because then they can become a mobilizer like you.”
O’Donnell pointed out: “All gift cards are emailed directly to the mobilizers, who are quite literally being paid by the vote to deliver votes for Protasiewicz in an obvious and brazen election bribery scheme. … This is in direct violation to Wisconsin Statute § 12.11’s prohibition on giving any person anything of value in exchange for inducing electors to go to the polls and vote for a specific candidate.”
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