The widespread allegations of voter fraud in Wisconsin from last year’s presidential election, the level of which may have fraudulently pushed the state into John Kerry’s Electoral College column, will finally receive some attention from Congress. Greg Borowski reported on Wednesday that the House Administration Committee would come to Milwaukee to hear from witnesses. However, one member of the delegation has some eyebrows raised (h/t: CQ reader A Guy In Wisconsin):
The meeting of the House Administration Committee, which oversees election issues, will put the state’s election system under a potentially powerful microscope.
But the visit was criticized Tuesday amid questions about whether any Democratic members would attend. There also were questions about the witness list, heavy with Republicans and – for now – without Milwaukee representation.
The committee chairman, Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), said Tuesday that he was told Rep. Gwen Moore, a Milwaukee Democrat, would be sitting in.
Moore is not on the committee, but Ney said she would be able to testify and join the committee in questioning witnesses. The three Democrats on the nine-member committee all have conflicts and will not attend. Apparently, they had not submitted any witnesses they wanted called.
Rep. Mark Green made the request to get more attention on the case, which has languished since Mayor Tom Barrett appointed an investigatory board of city, state, and federal officials to look into the allegations. (My case archive on this can be found here.) The state Democratic Party Chairman, Joe Weineke, takes a dim view of the proceedings, claiming that they amount to nothing more than a political stunt and “road show” for Green, a Republican. Weineke wants to know why the witness list doesn’t include more Democrats. Perhaps he should consider himself lucky at not having to explain why more of them won’t be subpoenaed.
The inclusion of Rep. Gwen Moore has some people scratching their heads. After all, the Democratic Congresswoman has a significant connection to these allegations. Her son Sowande Omokunde, also known by the memorable name of Supreme Solar Allah, got charged with felonious vandalism in an Election Day tire-slashing incident meant to keep Republicans from going to the polls:
The investigation into the Great Tire-Slashing Caper will end Monday with felony charges against the adult sons of two prominent Milwaukee politicians – U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt.
Sources close to the 83-day-old probe said Sowande Omokunde, Michael Pratt and three other paid Democratic activists will each be charged with a single felony count of criminal damage to property, legalese for vandalism.
Omokunde, also known as Supreme Solar Allah, is the 25-year-old son of the rookie congresswoman. Pratt, 32, worked on Kerry’s local campaign, which was chaired by his father.
Pratt, Omokunde and the other staffers will be accused of cutting the tires of some 20 vans and cars rented by the state Republican Party to usher the party faithful to and from the polls on election day. The charges will state that the damage to the vehicles was well in excess of $2,500 – the minimum required to merit a felony.
With that in mind, having Moore taking part as an investigator instead of a witness reminds me of having Jamie Gorelick serve on the 9/11 Commission. In fact, it might be worse. Supreme faces trial next year, and given her personal and professional connections to him, Moore could wind up as a witness or even as a possible accessory in the case. She refuses to answer questions about the case, so why should she be in a position to ask questions about other voter-fraud incidents in Wisconsin?
It appears that the Democrats want the cheesewash to continue.