Political mailing causes outrage among many Wisconsin voters

Posted on: 4:33 pm, June 4, 2012, by

MILWAUKEE — A political mailing many in Wisconsin are receiving is causing a bit of outrage among voters. Those who have received it say the senders have gone too far.

“I was outraged. It’s my private information and it’s being sent to everybody all over the neighborhood,”  Eric Zimmerman, who received the mailing at his New Berlin home said Monday — one day before voters take to the polls in Wisconsin’s recall election.

The mailing tells Zimmerman’s neighbors he voted in November 2008 and again in 2010.

People throughout the state are blogging and complaining about the organization that sent the mailing. It’s called the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund. It’s a Madison-based group with Democratic and labor ties.

The mailer contains a United Steel Workers logo in the corner.

The group’s website says after the June 5th election, public records will tell everyone who voted and who didn’t. The site urges people to vote.

The ACLU says the mailing that was sent out by the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund is legal, public record and protected speech. While it may be legally okay, a lot of people believe it’s just not the right thing to do.

Danielle Lawonn also voted, and saw her name on the mailing in her neighborhood.

“I thought it was just an invasion of my privacy. It doesn’t seem right that my name and address could be listed like that for everyone to see,” Lawonn said.

The director of the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund did not return several calls and emails from FOX6 News.

The director of the United Steelworkers Union, Local 318 in New York, which has its logo on the mailing, also did not respond.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board released the following statement Monday: “The Government Accountability Board has received a large number of complaints from around the state in the last few days regarding a direct-mail flier from the Greater Wisconsin Committee. This flier did not come from the Government Accountability Board.

The GAB’s statement went on to say:

  • Voter records (including voting history) are public records, and have been since the days they were kept in handwritten books in the municipal clerk’s office. State voter registration records have been all-digital since 2006.
  • This is the first time to our knowledge that a group has used information in voter lists this way. There is no state law that prohibits such practices, since the information is public.

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