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Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan Cleared in Election Day Sub Bribe Allegations

Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel declines to file charges against Republican presidential candidate, saying that the intent of the event was to provide lunch to campaign supporters.

OUTSIDE MILWAUKEE, WI -- GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, will not face prosecution for an Election Day event where he gave supporters and voters a sub sandwich and a soda from in Waukesha.

Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel concluded a six-week investigation and released on Friday his decision to Melissa Bauldauff, the research director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

with the Government Accountability Board, the state agency that oversees elections in Wisconsin, and with the district attorney's office. Since the party alleged that a crime was committed, Waukesha County District Attorney's office, rather than the GAB, investigated the case.

shows Romney and Ryan handing out the sub sandwiches. Additionally, a video edited by the state Democratic Party shows Romney leading a rally and telling supporters to go vote, and, “If you want another sandwich, there are more back there.”

State law prohibits offering something valued at more than $1 in exchange for a vote.

However, in his decision, Schimel disagreed that it was election bribery:

“There is nothing unusual about a candidate telling people to vote on Election Day. It is common knowledge that on Election Day candidates stop in at local diners, senior centers and other places the public gathers to remind people to vote. That is what candidates do on Election Day.

“In his interactions with people in the sandwich line and during his speech, Governor Romney acknowledges the fact that it is likely that many present have already voted.  The candidate knows he is talking to a group that is politically involved, and are likely voters.  The encouragement to tell a friend can not be characterized as offensive to the law.

“In his speech, Governor Romney indicates that there were more sandwiches available.  The organizers paid for 100 sandwiches, but as they noted, less than 100 people attended the event. Event organizers concede that it is possible that an uninvited member of the public managed to obtain a free sandwich. However, the fact that there appeared to be plenty of sandwiches left over reflects that it is unlikely that any significant number of uninvited members of the public helped themselves to free lunch.  Even if they had, the evidence demonstrates that the intention of the organizers was only to provide lunch to invited volunteers and supporters.  Thus, no one who was not otherwise inclined to vote was intentionally offered any inducement to do so.”

nototherepubs May 26, 2012 at 01:48 PM
yes, complain about all the chaos, scott walker is creating in your state, while the whole world watches. i guess his teabagger agendas, are working up there in wisconsin. a blue-collar state, with honest, hard working blue-collar workers. many wisoconsin workers, have be unionized for decades. along comes walker, and tries to take away their collective bargaining rights.was his broken campaign promise, to create 250,000 jobs, or to get rid of 250,000 jobs?. because his reckless spending cuts, have resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of wisconsin jobs. along with that, right in the middle of a recall election the "friends of scott walker", are being red-flagged by banks and credit card companies, for illegally withdrawing funds from credit card holders. taking illegal,unauthorized withdrawals from credit cards, even from cardholders in other states. so add to the list, of reasons to recall this guy, 'FRAUD'
Randy1949 May 26, 2012 at 01:52 PM
The same could be said about cigarettes and barbecue. Few people would sell their vote for something like that, no matter what political party you're talking about. However, it happens to be the law in Wisconsin. I can give Mitt Romney a pass for not knowing that, but shame on Paul Ryan.
nototherepubs May 26, 2012 at 01:57 PM
can you imagine, if somehow, this guy gets into the oval office??? i can invision soup lines forming, and he'd probably cut/slash that, too.......
Jo Gregg May 26, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Good God. Do none of the people posting here know that Obama increased entitlement spending (i.e. vote buying) in his first year in office by more than the entire cost of the Iraq War? When I saw the headline, I thought it was a satire piece. No wonder our country is collapsing.
Randy1949 May 26, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Mitt Romney touts his 'business' experience, but the way he did business doesn't bode well for those whom he would consider 'deadwood' and in need of streamlining for the profit, er, good of the country. There's no denying that Bain sucked the life out of vulnerable companies and screwed over the little guys to give the big guys nice rewards. Romney's tax policies do basically the same thing -- cut entitlements to pay for further tax reductions for the lucky few.
Randy1949 May 26, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Would you care to provide a link to which 'entitlements' were so dramatically increased? Preferably one with figures.
Mickey Mouse May 26, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Looks like @nototherepubs can just go on and on all day long. Must be typing away in his/her parents' basement while searching for job in this Obama economy. Oh, that's right, it's still Bush's fault almost four years later...
Mickey Mouse May 26, 2012 at 02:26 PM
@nototherepubs, well, at least we'd get soup under a Romney administration vs. nothing under Obama.
Randy1949 May 26, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Well, Mickey, how much cooperation has President Obama had from the GOP when it comes to reforming the tax and trade policies that reward offshoring? Have we been able to effectively regulate the Wall Street Banks that brought on the financial crash? And yes, it is still Bush's fault. He took us into the hole that we're still climbing out of. At least we're climbing.
Randy1949 May 26, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Really, Mickey? Nothing under President Obama? I'd rather have affordable healthcare and Social Security than what Mitt and Paul Ryan plan to give us.
James R Hoffa May 26, 2012 at 06:08 PM
@Randy1949 - Read the opinion letter. The un-refuted findings of fact indicated that this was an invitation only party for campaign workers and supporters. The intent was to reward the invitees for their dedication and hard work put in on the Romney primary campaign. There was no evidence presented that the sandwiches were distributed as an enticement to vote. Dems claimed that they had both video evidence and a witness that would prove otherwise, but failed to deliver both, despite their promises to do so. Compare to an election night campaign party. Clearly those in attendance most likely voted and did so for the candidate who's party they are attending. Often, drinks and snacks are served at these parties. Yet, the GAB, nor any DA's office has ever come out and said that these return parties are contrary to WI election law, have they? Contrast this with Smokes for Votes, wherein a person was enticed with a few cigarettes, told to go and vote, and only after having voted would they then receive the entire pack of cigs. Same with Cigs for Sigs, wherein a person was told that if they signed a recall petition, they would receive some cigs, but only after they signed. Clearly, the Smokes/Cigs were being given, and the intent behind the giving, was to entice the person into voting/signing.
James R Hoffa May 26, 2012 at 06:08 PM
BBQ for Votes is a little more tricky, but clearly the intent behind giving the BBQ, although not a direct requirement to receiving the BBQ, was in the hopes that the person would get on a van to go and vote. This was undisputed by Jobs Now! during that investigation. In fact, the Milwaukee County DA failed to prosecute that case because it thought that there was a lack of actus reus, giving something of value greater than a $1, not mens rea, intent. What an absurd finding that goes against common sense, unlike the Waukesha County DA's decision. This has nothing to do with partisanship, only a common sense analysis of the factual situations presented.
Randy1949 May 26, 2012 at 06:14 PM
@JRH -- Interesting. You mean to say that the Cousins Sub shop where the video was shot was closed for the day and only those with an invitation could come in and partake of a sub served by Mitt and Paul? It didn't really look that way.
$$andSense May 26, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I have been told that a whore will not give a kiss for one dollar. Not that I would personally know. Honest...... I'm telling the truth here! (please don't let my wife know. PLEASE!)
$$andSense May 26, 2012 at 06:40 PM
@Randy1949 People just need to make sure there is no BBQ sauce on their chin, or stain on their shirt or blouse when they walk into the polls. Kinda like the ink stained Iraqi citizen finger.
Michael Wade May 26, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Romney should be held accomtable for breaking the rules. We have laws for a reason.
Michael Wade May 26, 2012 at 06:54 PM
What does that have to do with Romney breaking the law.
James R Hoffa May 26, 2012 at 07:44 PM
@Randy1949 - Read the opinion letter. While the Cousin's wasn't closed to the general public, it was being used for the private invitation only party at the time the video online was filmed. An invitation that was previously emailed to specific and select campaign workers and supporters verifies this fact. Originally, Cousin's was going to cater a party at Romney campaign HQ's, but the party was relocated to the restaurant after more people RSVP'd than originally expected and Cousin's offered the use of their dining room. While the DA admits that a member of the general public could have snuck into the private party line and been given a free sub and soft-drink, this was never intended by the campaign or Romney/Ryan and was more so a failing of Cousin's to properly segregate the private party from the general public. There were also 100 sandwiches that were ordered, paid for, and prepared for the event by the Romney campaign. Over 20 sandwiches were remaining, left in Cousin's possession, after the party had ended. The DA concluded that not only was this consistent with the stated intent but also indicative of the fact that not many, if any at all of the general public managed to infiltrate the line and get a free sub.
James R Hoffa May 26, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Contrast with the facts established in BBQ for Votes. The block parties were general admittance to anyone who would show up. Job Now! admitted that the overall intent was it's hope that people would get on a van that they provided that would then take those people to the polls in order to vote. Although voting wasn't a requirement in order to get the offered free BBQ, as it was in the Smokes/Cigs scandals, it's was the organizers intent that it would induce people into actually getting on a van and voting. I honestly hope that you can see the factual differences between these cases.
Bren May 26, 2012 at 07:46 PM
The recent stories about Romney's bullying I found disturbing. Instead of the dog on the roof story being an isolated incident, suddenly there is a second incident of abuse (temporary disfigurement) and the potential revealed of a pattern of behavior. Firing someone isn't easy, but Romney has said, "I like to be able to fire people." Who says that? Jon Huntsman. There was a man and a candidate I could respect.
Bren May 26, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Randy, perhaps Jo believes she/he is referring to stimulus spending (which in fact began at the end of the Bush presidency). Of course, those of us who keep apprised of such matters are aware that, other than having to keep the economy from collapsing, Obama's federal spending is the second lowest since WWII.
James R Hoffa May 26, 2012 at 07:53 PM
@Bren - Funny how you hold Romney accountable for the misgivings of youth/past now that he's a mature adult, but are completely silent about how Obama, in his own book, admitted to getting stoned out on pot, coke, crack, and heroin and drunk on alcohol, and treating those around him horribly. Once again, another Bren double standard all in the name of good old fashion partisan politics!
scot May 26, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I just love the 1st picture in this article. The Mitster and St. Pauly boys actually find jobs they can excel at. Subway Poster Boys.
Michael Wade May 27, 2012 at 12:05 AM
the country is collapsing in your head
Michael Wade May 27, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Romney still gets $50,000 a day from Bain, and is so cheap he bribes voters with cheap subways and a tiny bag of chips.
Michael Wade May 27, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Obama grew out of it and openly admits his youthful mistakes. Romney "forgets" and recently fired a man because he was gay.
Michael Wade May 27, 2012 at 12:21 AM
If unions were handing out free food Ryan would have the arrested. A bribe is a bribe. I work for the city and if i took anything free i would be fired.
morninmist May 28, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Walker has his little elves out also. @GovWalker busing in OUT-of STATE helpers http://redalertpolitics.com/2012/05/28/will-waukesha-come-through-for-scott-walker-again-in-next-weeks-recall-election/ #wiunion # wirecall
morninmist May 28, 2012 at 05:20 PM
First mistake. Obama trusted a Republican! Ray Lawson ‏@Lawsonbulk Republican NLRB Member resign in Ethics Controversy. http://bit.ly/JwYDCP By: David Dayen Monday May 28, 2012 7:44 am TweetTweet digg stumbleupon Terence Flynn, a Republican member of the National Labor Relations Board, who leaked documents to Republican confidants according to that agency’s inspector general, resigned on Sunday. Flynn’s resignation becomes effective July 24. Flynn had only been on the board since January, as a recess appointment of the President, along with two Democrats, giving the board a full complement of five members. In March and May, NLRB IG David Berry issued reports showing that Flynn leaked early drafts of board rulings and internal documents to former NLRB Chairman Peter Schaumber, who happens to be a labor advisory committee aide to presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, along with another former board member, now a counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers. This occurred when Flynn was a staff lawyer for board member Brian Hayes in 2010 and 2011. Flynn repeatedly denied involvement, and his resignation letter makes no mention of the controversy. However, aside from the fact that his lawyer made a statement, the contents of the statement lead in that direction:.....
CowDung May 29, 2012 at 08:03 PM
The cigarettes weren't intended to change anyone's opinion, they were being traded for absentee ballots which could be filled out by the Dems...

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