Republican Dirty Tricks With Fake Primary Challengers In WI Recall Elections Could Backfire

As was already reported here, the Republicans in Wisconsin got caught planning to recruit fake Democrats to run primary races against the Democrats in the upcoming recall elections. It now appears they have their third candidate -- Former GOP
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As was already reported here, the Republicans in Wisconsin got caught planning to recruit fake Democrats to run primary races against the Democrats in the upcoming recall elections. It now appears they have their third candidate -- Former GOP lawmaker Otto Junkermann to run as Democrat against Nancy Nusbaum in Rob Cowles recall primary:

A former Republican state representative plans to run as a Democrat against Nancy Nusbaum in an attempt to thwart her efforts to unseat Sen. Rob Cowles in a recall race.

Otto Junkermann, 82 of Allouez, said he thinks “very highly” of Cowles, a Republican also from Allouez, and will run against Nusbaum as a “conservative Democrat.”

“I respect Rob a great deal. I’ve known him, I followed him into the Assembly and took the position he had when he went into the Senate, and I always admired him,” Junkermann said.

Junkermann served in the Assembly as a Republican for one term from 1987-88. He was also a Brown County supervisor from 1982-87 and ran again in 2002, 2004 and 2008 but lost.

Asked if he was a so-called “spoiler candidate,” Junkermann said: “I don’t know how I could avoid being considered that.”

So they don't even care who knows that they're willing to win an election by any means necessary. As Rachel pointed out, even the National Review is saying this could backfire on them:

If both Hopper and Kapanke lose, that leaves only one more seat Democrats have to pick up to retake the Senate. In order to delay recall elections, the GOP has planned to run fake Democratic primary candidates against the GOP challengers, which would push the elections back another month. That would give Republicans an extra month’s worth of distance from the collective-bargaining imbroglio that got them in this situation, and would allow more time to campaign.

Yet this will almost certainly be seen as a “dirty trick” by media and some voters. It certainly appears like an admission that Republicans are struggling. And while it can be argued that the recall elections in themselves are merely dirty tricks, enough of a double standard exists that this ploy could backfire.

Here's more from TPM -- Octogenarian Former GOP State Rep To Run As Fake ‘Democrat’ In Wis. Recalls:

Don't let anyone say there isn't bipartisanship in Wisconsin.

The newest example of Wisconsin Republicans recruiting fake Democratic candidates, to force Dem primaries and make trouble in the state Senate recalls: Otto Junkermann, an 82-year old former Republican state representative, who will challenge official Democratic candidate Nancy Nusbaum for the recall against GOP state Sen. Rob Cowles.

As the Green Bay Press Gazette reports, Junkermann very openly professes to support Cowles [...]

Over in another district, a 25-year old county GOP official has signed up to run as a ringer Democrat in a primary. And in another district, a retiree who has donated to multiple Republicans is running as a fake Dem.

The key here is that recalls are now tentatively scheduled for July 12, under the state election officials' proposed timelines, targeting six Republicans. If there were only one Democrat against each one Republican, then the July 12 date would immediately be held as the general election. But if there were additional Democrats, the July 12 date would then become the primary, giving the incumbents more time to campaign for a general election in August.

Also, thanks to Wisconsin's open primary system in which anybody can vote in a party primary, it would force the Democrats to spend time, money and resources campaigning for their own nominations.

The strategy is being officially coordinated by state Republican leaders, and has been endorsed by state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

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