Democrats worry about 'dirty tricks'
Kathy Sullivan, former chair of the state Democratic Committee, is telling party members to be on high alert for dirty tricks after news reports that Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein has brought on Matt Seaholm, former National Field Director at Americans for Prosperity, as his campaign manager.
"Seaholm involved w/sending absentee ballot apps to Wisconsin D's w/ wrong deadline," Sullivan tweeted after Granite Status reported Tuesday on Havenstein's campaign team.
The allegations stem from 2011 recall petitions aimed at state senators in the Wisconsin Legislature. Both parties targeted lawmakers from across the aisle, with eight Democrats and eight Republicans facing recall in the wake of Gov.Scott Walker's controversial state budget and efforts to limit collective bargaining by state employees. In the end, Republicans held onto their State Senate majority.
At the time, Seaholm was state director for Americans for Prosperity, which was accused of sending Democratic voters absentee ballots with incorrect submission deadlines. The recall elections against Republican state senators were scheduled for Aug. 9, while the mailings told Democratic voters in six districts they could return their ballots as late as Aug. 11.
Seaholm, told news outlets at the time that the incorrect date was a typo and the letter was only sent to AFP members. However, two of the individuals filing complaints against AFP claimed they were, in fact, "card-carrying Democrats."
Havenstein Press Secrtary Henry Goodwin said the allegations were dismissed at the time, and have no bearing on the current campaign.
"This is sour grapes from Democrats because Matt Seaholm won that election," he wrote in an email. "The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board said it was a harmless mistake and took no action."