WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee harshly condemned 2016 presidential hopeful Gov. Scott Walker for fundraising off a controversial voter ID law he enacted in Wisconsin.
“It’s unbelievable that Gov. Walker would seek to capitalize financially off of the potential disenfranchisement of Wisconsin voters,” Michael Tyler, DNC’s director of African American media, said in a statement provided first to TPM. “While we’ve come to expect cynical tactics restricting voting access from Republican leaders across the country, it’s truly incredible that some are now using them as fundraising opportunities.”
Tyler added: “Those who might be inclined to make a contribution off of such a cynical ploy should remember that in Wisconsin, more Scott Walker aides have been indicted than people have been convicted of voter impersonation. Scott Walker should be ashamed of himself.”
In a fundraising email to supporters sent on Wednesday, the Republican governor hailed as “great news” the Supreme Court’s decision to reject a challenge to the Wisconsin law he enacted in 2011, which requires voters to show government-issued photo ID before they vote.
“Our landmark photo ID law is a guard against fraud and protects every single voter who plays by the rules from those who don’t. It’s a fact of life: There are cheaters who vote multiple times and they tarnish democracy’s most precious gift … the security of the ballot box,” Walker wrote, before asking for a donation.
The DNC’s swift attack signifies that party is paying close attention to Walker’s presidential obvious ambitions. It also suggests that Democrats intend to run strongly against restrictive voting laws in the 2016 election. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has already worked to make voting rights an issue ahead of her widely expected campaign launch.
Voter ID laws have become a partisan issue in recent years as Republican governors have enacted such measures in a variety of states. Voting rights advocates point out that the Americans most likely to be disenfranchised tend to be low-income voters who prefer Democrats.