Sticking to their stories

A blog post from the Jack Craver of The Capital Times in Madison struck a familiar chord for me.

Craver writes about Graeme Zielinksi, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and master of incendiary hyperbole.

Zielinski, Craver notes, has referred to Marquette Law School pollster Charles Franklin as a Republican hack, and cites supposed claims from several former students of Franklin’s, that he boasted about consulting for GOP groups. Craver points out that Franklin says he’s never worked for any party or partisan organization – and that Zielinski’s not buying it.

“If he denies, this, we don’t believe him,” Zielinksi concluded in an e-mail.

Back up a couple of weeks ago and you’ll see a remarkably similar line of, ahem, “reasoning” from someone on the opposite side politically from Zielinksi – Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus talking about his favorite bugaboo, widespread voter fraud in Wisconsin.

“I’m always concerned about voter fraud, you know. Being from Kenosha, and quite frankly have lived through seeing some of it happen. Certainly in Milwaukee we had plenty of it, and I think it’s been documented. I reject any notion that it’s not the case.”

That was Priebus, on a conference call with reporters. The most thorough investigation of voter fraud in Wisconsin, conducted by the Voting Fraud Task Force formed in 2008 by Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Democratic Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, led to about 20 prosecutions for various forms of fraudulent voting.

You can draw your own conclusions as to whether 20 cases constitutes widespread voter fraud, and whether unsubstantiated allegations by unnamed individuals are sufficient grounds for a partisan hatchet man to label someone else as a partisan hack.

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