If anyone was wondering who put up those billboards that were attempting to suppress the vote in minority communities which were taken down last week, well, now we have our answer. Surprise, surprise... it's a wealthy Republican donor and hedge fund manager.
Stephen Einhorn - a Wisconsin venture capital fund manager and major GOP donor - disclosed Monday that he and his wife, Nancy, paid for dozens of anonymous billboards in and around Milwaukee and two Ohio cities warning residents of the penalties for committing voter fraud.
Democrats and civil rights groups complained that the signs - which were taken down last week - were concentrated in minority neighborhoods and intended to suppress the election turnout.
"Stephen and Nancy Einhorn placed these billboards as a public service because voter fraud - whether by Republicans or Democrats - undermines our democratic process," said the Einhorns' statement, which was released by the Chicago public relations firm Culloton Strategies.
"By reminding people of the possible consequences of illegal voting, we hope to help the upcoming election be decided by legally registered voters."
The Einhorns have made campaign donations to many Republican politicians, including Gov. Scott Walker, to whom they have given $49,750 since 2005, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
Einhorn and his son Daniel run Einhorn & Associates, a Wauwatosa mergers-and-acquisitions consulting firm, and Capital Midwest Fund, a venture capital fund. Einhorn's son David, a hedge-fund manager, sought unsuccessfully last year to buy a stake in the New York Mets.
On Monday, the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now and African-American website theGrio identified the Einhorn Family Foundation, based in Milwaukee, as the group that paid for the voter fraud billboard campaigns. [...]
Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, issued a statement Monday raising several questions for the Einhorns.
"Perhaps their Chicago public relations firm could answer why the Einhorns only felt it was necessary to target legal voters in minority communities, and why they didn't feel the need to do this 'public service' throughout communities across Wisconsin where a majority of the residents are white," Ross asked in his email. "Or put their name on it, rather than hiding behind the cowardly veil of anonymity."