Friday evening, Madison, Wisconsin blogger Ann Althouse reported receiving (HT Instapundit) an "Incredibly creepy mail today from the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund." She has a put up an image of what she received with names and addresses redacted (except for her name). It's a list which includes Althouse and many of her neighbors indicating who has and hasn't voted in the last two elections.
Unsurprisingly, the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund is the political fundraising arm of the Greater Wisconsin Committee, both of which lean very left. Both support the effort to recall Badger State Governor Scott Walker. Both appear likely to get a virtually free pass from the establishment press. Althouse's reaction follows the jump:
... be assured, this was a list of real names and addresses of people who live near me, with the information about whether they voted in the last 2 elections. This is an effort to shame and pressure people about voting, and it is truly despicable. Your vote is private, you have a right not to vote, and anyone who tries to shame and an harass you about it is violating your privacy, and the assumption that I will become active in shaming and pressuring my neighbors is repugnant.
Not voting is a valid choice. If you don't have a preference in the election, don't vote. If you think no one deserves your vote, don't vote.
This may be the most disgusting thing I have ever received in the mail.
Two obvious observations:
- I'll bet that the GWPF isn't sending these mailers to conservative and Republican areas of Wisconsin or (if it's possible to determine) conservative or Republican households.
- If a conservative or Republican group attempted this kind of shame-your-neighbors tactic, it would already have received saturation wire service and TV news coverage. My bet is that we'll see little if anything about it in the establishment press in the coming days beyond what Christian Schneider, who also received the mailing, has reported at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Yankee Review blog.
One never knows in a election such as this with no real precedent, but the mailing appears to be a desperation tactic by leftists who sense that they're likely to lose on Tuesday and are trying to shore up a resigned, apathetic base.
So will Tom Barrett repudiate this tactic?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.