On Wednesday, local watchdog Citizens for Responsible Government in Racine reported that Racine native Jeff Demet’s name was found four times on the petition to recall Republican State Senator Van Wanggaard. Finding the same signature four times is bad enough, but when Demet was contacted about the four signatures, he claims he never signed the Wanggaard recall petition at all!
This week, Ken Brown of CRG Racine was perusing the recall petitions for names he might recognize and came across his friend Jeff Demet. Brown thought this was interesting because not only does Demet not support the recall of Senator Wanggaard, but Demet even signed up withVerify The Recall to ensure his name was not on the recall petition.
Nevertheless, there he was was supposedly signing the recall petition four times.
Demet’s signature can be found on the following four Wanggaard recall petition pages:
According to Ken Brown of CRG Racine, the current theory is that Jeff Demet’s brother Mark may have signed Jeff’s name since he is a circulator on page 2755 and the handwriting is remarkably similar.
According to Brown, Demet’s recall forgery may not even be the extent of the fraud potentially perpetrated by Mark Demet:
Mary’s (Mary Demet, Jeff and Mark’s mother) signature as recorded above on form # 2755, is also located on form # 3428, which was also circulated by Mark Demet! Not once but twice he knowingly either forged, or allowed to have forged his own Mothers signature!!Also recorded twice was a “Jackson Demet”, who is the son of Mark..and is signed with 2 different addresses. One on Arlington…the other on Buckingham, in Sturtevant I believe. Mark also signed twice as himself on form #2509 with Sergio Angliano; and secondly on form #241, where Laura Betker was the circulator.
Brown told Media Trackers that the Racine County Sheriff has been contacted and an investigation is being launched.
The plight of Jeff Demet may seem simply like an awkward family prank, but it does show the ease with which duplicates and fraudulent signatures can be written on recall petitions.
Since the recall petitions were released to the public by the Wisconsin Government Accountability, numerous errors, duplicates, and fraudulent names have been uncovered. A thorough review and database entry project is being conducted by the campaigns of those being recalled as well as an independent effort called Verify the Recall.
This is just one more reason to remain deeply skeptical of the number of signatures being reported by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Or more accurately, four more reasons to remain skeptical.
By Collin Roth