So ET signed a recall petition

Vicki McKenna has this photo on her Facebook page:

ET signed the petition. Can’t deny that. What gets me going is the comments below the Facebook entry. A number of people complain the signatures must be fraudulent because they all share the same address. No, one replies. It’s a housing facility. Another even goes so far as to acknowledge there’s someone in unit 303 with the initials E.T. And if you look carefully, there is a bit of a mark before those initials.

Was this signature properly witnessed in order to make it count? Probably not. But that doesn’t discount the fact that someone went to an elderly subsidized living facility and collected signatures. Disgusting? Borderline. But one might argue this group of people are fearful of losing their current arrangement.

Illegal with the intent to commit fraud? No.

I’m not having any fun with this recall business, either. I think it’s expensive and stupid, and will likely produce the results we have now. However, it’s happening. Is it possible we can stay classy about it?

Hello Wisconsin. Time to put your best self forward. Both sides of this issue. All the time.


  1. Joanne Brown says:

    Why is it disgusting to collect signatures at a housing facility for the elderly? And why the assumption that it is subsidized? Couldn’t it just be a nursing home? There are nearly blind people (see the sig above ETs) in regular old nursing homes too.

  2. I can confirm that it is a low income elderly apartment building, I have been there, for work, many times over the years.

  3. Well, thanks for doing your part in splashing around the names and addresses of some poor, elderly folks. They’ll likely be getting 3am harassing phone calls now. Or were you hoping for visits.

    I’d like to a wider angle of that photo. As I “recall,” there was a column for printed name, and one for signature. My signature, by the way, is my initials only as well.

  4. And now that I think about it, whatever happened to that “Vicki McKenna” signature that Vicki McKenna reported was on a petition. Any sign of that yet?

  5. jimspice: You started it.

    You are having a hard time with that reality, aren’t you?

  6. What did I do. Me. Personally.

  7. Oh. Ok. I see. I post a picture that’s all over the internet and it’s my fault, and you, well, you didn’t do a thing.

  8. Where is it besides McKenna’s Facebook page? And yes, it is partly your fault if these people are harassed.

  9. And I DIDN’T do a thing.

  10. Every petition is going to be available sooner or later. I suppose that’s my fault, too?

  11. So you don’t think public records should be public? Or only records that your side doesn’t like?

  12. An acquaintance told me that ET is Ed Thomas, a parapalegic. When I said I thought it should be thrown out he indicated that I am a jerk for wanting to throw out a signature of a parapalegic. I told him it had nothing to do with that but everything to do with filling out the form correctly and legally. How is anyone not personally acquainted with Ed Thomas supposed to know that “ET” refers to him? His full name is not printed and the signature is on the wrong line. If “ET” is of sound enough mind to sign the petition he should be of sound enough mind to read it and make sure it is filled out correctly! The name above ET should also be thrown out.

  13. I seem to remember something about the way to legally honor an “x” or a mark as a signature. I would think that applies here?

  14. It’s issues like this that could delay the recall for a long time if either side chooses to make it difficult. I think under the common law, an illiterate person can legitimately “sign” something with an “X,” and likely the same principle would be applied to “ET” if it can be shown that he uses it as a signature. I’m not sure what difference it makes being a paraplegic (unless he also has limited use of his arms or hands), but most people’s signatures are illegible, and a court might be unlikely to throw out someone’s signature on a technicality (such as not printing a full name).

    If more polls come out showing Walker is ahead, I wouldn’t be surprised if those supporting the recall launch “fake” challenges just to delay the vote to closer to the fall election.

  15. Well said, KPOM. Thanks.

  16. By the way, the commenters at McKenna’s Facebook page are now suggesting marching over to the residence to demand verification, with one even encouraging people be armed. Nice.

    I’m all for transparency. The petitions are available for public inspection, and if McIver wants to pony up $.65 per page to have them photocopied, more power to ’em. But signers were not notified that petitions would be scanned and made available electronically at the click of any mouse in the hands of some drunken yahoo with a grudge and shiny new CC permit.

  17. Clever photo, not showing the rest of the page to see if the circulator initialed to indicate veracity of the signature, as per petition instructions. Also clever to not show or even state whether there was an attachment to the petition, another instruction to circulator re unusual signatures.

    Reading comments here and elsewhere, I really have to wonder whether any of the commenters bothered to do a couple of quick clicks to the GAB site to see instructions for circulators. It would help if Sykes, for one, would do so — or have his staff do so and read instructions aloud to him? — as he is stating untruths on all of this.

    And as for the recallers planning fake challenges: As if. Every delay has been sought by Walker’s forces to give him more time to raise more money out of state. In this state, let’s move forward without him and get to the election.

  18. travis gochenaur says:

    being disabled myself and supporting the recall, i myself am glad you posted this. showing some common sense on the matter, and yes you are right the name/address is already all over the net. what you did was fairly put it into perspective, so from this disabled person who supports the recall and fears the same complaints over my own signature i THANK YOU

  19. travis gochenaur says:

    btw i disagree on throwing names out lisa. again my arm is partially paralyzed, it is legal to sign with a ‘mark’ when you cant sign. your post speaks volumes of not allowing the disabled to have a voice, disgusting.

  20. Hopefully, Travis, someone let you make your mark but filled in the full name above it. That would likely have made this one valid. The issue here is than an anonymous person is on the petition.

  21. travis gochenaur says:

    which can be verified..instead of making huge accusations a simple verification could of and should have been done. being unable to use my right hand very much i know full well about making a mark and in cases someone simply putting initials, much like you initial a contract. should ‘et’ be contacted to verify it sure, should ‘et’ however be made a laughing stock before even looking into it, definitely not. the address after all is a valid address, wasnt that the point of putting an address down to ‘verify’.

  22. I’m all for the disabled having a voice, Travis, but it has to be done correctly. How is anyone supposed to know who “ET” is if the name is not fully listed? If my acquaintance had not told me he was disabled, then how in the heck would anyone verifying it know unless they personally knew “ET”? Seriously. Your post speaks volumes for “let’s allow anything and everything just in case”. There may be a chance he is registered to vote as ET, but if not then his full name should have been printed before he signed. Then it wouldn’t matter if he signed with an x (or with the initials it looks like he used) before someone wrote ET next to what he signed. Sheesh.

  23. BTW, Travis–my grandfather had MS and was in a wheelchair for 35 years. So yeah. It really angers and bothers me that you would accuse me of “not allowing the disabled to have a voice, disgusting”. Excuse me for not being eloquent enough to get my point across in a way where you could understand my meaning.

  24. I think it’s kind of funny that people just jump to conclusions that either ET did not care about making sure it was filled out completely or that it is a completely false name without the full story. Many people just assume that everyone knows how to read/write and how to fill out forms correctly. Many people assume that everyone is just as well-off as themselves–financially, educationally, health-wise, etc. Not everyone has/had the same opportunities. Hence why there are other boxes on the forms to fill out–to try to get more of the story. Hence why there is a ‘verification period’ for the recall. So those signatures in question, such as ET’s, can still be counted and those people can still have a voice and NOT be discounted for whatever stupid reason someone can come up with.

  25. travis gochenaur says:

    an address is there with the ability to verify if there is an et. instead of giving this disabled man a chance, which in most cases from experience an initialed mark is fine, walker supporters instead jumped to throw the signature out and vilify the man. the disabled who can not sign of course are bound by different rules, and are normally given lead way. jumping to throw out the signatures shows me that throwing out signatures is more important than giving the disabled a voice..

  26. travis gochenaur says:

    btw how do we know if fred thomson is real or not? a verification process that could easily show the man is real. but again all i see is finding ways to throw out signatures. i will reiterate DISGUSTING especially what verify the recall supporters keep posting on the web.

  27. Randy in Richmond says:

    You are doing exactly what you are blaming others of doing. Based on an unconfirmed comment in a blog ” an acquaintance told me”, by someone you do not know, you are making accusations about a person who may or may not be handicapped. Our system is not about giving or taking from the handicapped a voice –it is about giving ‘all’ who are qualified a voice.

  28. travis gochenaur says:

    and yet people are directly advocating to take this disabled mans voice away, whos voice am i taking away? those who wish to squash this mans signature because it isn pretty enough for them? this is exactly why i refused to sign my ‘mark’ on the recall and fought through my paralysis/pain to sign because i was afraid of just this exact circumstance. DISGUSTING
    btw i have stated to verify it have i not? when others said to just throw it away bit of a difference dont you think?

  29. The solution arrived at by the GAB is perfectly A-OK with me. The petitions are online, but as images, not a searchable database. I believe that protects all interests.

  30. travis gochenaur says:

    btw randy reread to what ive mainly been responding to,,

    An acquaintance told me that ET is Ed Thomas, a parapalegic. When I said I thought it should be thrown out he indicated that I am a jerk for wanting to throw out a signature of a parapalegic. I told him it had nothing to do with that but everything to do with filling out the form correctly and legally. How is anyone not personally acquainted with Ed Thomas supposed to know that “ET” refers to him? His full name is not printed and the signature is on the wrong line. If “ET” is of sound enough mind to sign the petition he should be of sound enough mind to read it and make sure it is filled out correctly! The name above ET should also be thrown out.

    someone saying that even though et might be a paraplegic still throw the signature out. i am directly responding to statements of throwing a signature of a paraplegic out, et could be a rock, this poster however stated very clearly even if he was throw the signature out. again i have also stated numerous times to verify he in fact exists, quite different from simply tossing out his signature.

  31. Sorry guys, it was book club night and I hosted. My usual diligence to the blog took second place to a dozen amazing women and The Dovekeepers.

    Yes, jimspice, agree, the compromise works. (I agreed with you. You are kind of obligated to remember that someday.)

  32. I realize that the outside verify group is attempting to crowdsource the typing in of all the names and addresses, creating a searchable database, but I think they may have caught a bigger fish than they can fry — or at least bigger than they expected. I hope (actually, I don’t) they’ve hired an outside tech consultant and programmer, as crowdsourcing is an intricate dance. Each page should should be served randomly to a verifier, and should be re-entered by at LEAST 2 other people to catch errors and to identify and block malicious usurpers of the process. Not that I’m encouraging ne’er-do-wells to do any such thing. Monkeywrenching is more the domain of your side, as evidenced by fake primary candidates, fake circulators, fake recall initiators, and very real spitters, scribblers, rippers and shovers.

    I promise to chime in the next time you say something I agree with. Hey, I did it just yesterday to Wiggy when he admitted Walker’s HR skills are starting to prove to be, shall we say, sub par.