Van Hollen Refuses to Answer Simple Question: Did He Talk to GOP About Lawsuit?

Sep 17, 2008

Asked Three Times About Behind the Scenes
Collusion with GOP, Silence from AG’s Office Deafening

MADISON – Attorney General JB Van Hollen’s office today refused to answer questions about whether Van Hollen spoke with the Republican Party or John McCain’s Campaign before filing a politically motivated lawsuit designed to disenfranchise voters and sway the election in favor of McCain. Van Hollen serves as state Co-Chair of the McCain Campaign.

Van Hollen’s spokesman today refused to answer numerous questions from reporters on whether there were talks about the lawsuit between Van Hollen and officials from the Republican Party or the McCain Campaign. The questions followed a hearing this morning in front of Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi. (Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 9.18.08)

“The refusal from the Attorney General’s office to answer a simple question is very telling,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Joe Wineke. “From the beginning, this has been a hyper-partisan lawsuit brought forward by John McCain’s Campaign Co-Chair designed to further the GOP’s goal of disenfranchising voters.”

Van Hollen filed his suit last week, shortly after the Republican Party unsuccessfully lobbied the non-partisan Government Accountability Board (GAB) on the same issue. Though Van Hollen has been in office for nearly two years, he waited until less than two months before the November election to file suit.  The GAB, which is made up of retired judges, was created to take politics out of elections – and now JB Van Hollen wants to bring it back in.

The suit is without merit, as the GAB is compliant with the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act and there have been no allegations or instances of fraud or malfeasance. Instead, Van Hollen’s lawsuit would seize on discrepancies such as hyphenated names or missing middle initials in different bureaucratic databases to deny up to one million eligible Wisconsin voters of their right to vote.

Meanwhile, Republicans are fabricating stories about widespread voter fraud in attempts to justify the baseless lawsuit. There is no voter fraud in Wisconsin as Republican U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic has already confirmed following a thorough investigation. This lawsuit is about Van Hollen trying to deny the right to vote of people like the retired judges at the GAB who have a middle initial on their drivers’ license, but not on their voter registration, Wineke said.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin this week filed a motion to intervene in the suit to ensure that the votes of every eligible voter are counted.  The DPW has a direct interest in the matter – ensuring voter enfranchisement – and as a party to the lawsuit, would be ensured a voice in the outcome.