Home  >  Wisconsin  >  Tammy Baldwin’s political fixer is helping Hillary attack voter ID

Tammy Baldwin’s political fixer is helping Hillary attack voter ID

By   /   June 15, 2015  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 6 of 47 in the series Tomah VA Scandal

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog

MADISON, Wisconsin — The Democrat political fixer brought in to repair U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s public relations mess involving a Veterans Affairs medical center is helping Hillary Clinton go after voter integrity laws.

Mark Elias, general counsel to Clinton’s presidential campaign, is among a team of lawyers assisting Democrats in their drive to overturn voter ID laws in presidential battleground states North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

He’s a busy guy.

Photo by FreeBeacon.com

THE FIXER: Marc Elias, the lawyer Dems turn to when they’re in trouble, has helped Sen. Tammy Baldwin try to repair her image in the wake of a VA medical center scandal. Now he’s helping Democrats “fix” the U.S. Constitution in the war on voter ID.

Earlier this year, Baldwin tapped Elias to deal with the fallout from revelations the senator and her office did nothing with an inspector general’s report that raised concerns about over-prescribing painkillers and other abuses at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Baldwin’s office failed to act after a whistle-blower reportedly begged Baldwin’s office to do something.

In the wake of the scandal, Baldwin fired top aide Marquette Baylor, who headed up the senator’s Milwaukee office.

Baylor fired back, filing a complaint in April with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. Baylor alleges Baldwin is involved in a coverup. The senator offered her fired aide a severance package with a confidentiality agreement — hush money, as it has been described.

“After the public outcry, Senator Baldwin immediately sought to place the blame squarely on me,” Baylor states in her complaint. “(Baldwin) instructed her Chief of Staff, Bill Murat, to fly to Milwaukee, fire me, and offer me a severance package that required me to stay quiet. Murat then moved into damage control, meeting with individuals in Wisconsin and telling them that the inaction was my fault.”

Damage control is precisely what Marc Elias does.

In 2011, Politico named Elias to its list of 50 politicos to watch. The publication described the attorney as “quick-talking, Twitter-savvy.” Elias has represented a “veritable who’s who of Democratic power players, from Sens. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to a trio of new outside groups with close ties to party leaders that are angling to spend tens of millions of dollars on ads attacking Republicans in the 2012 elections — Majority PAC, House Majority PAC and American Bridge,” Politico wrote.

Elias is helping lead the charge in dismantling laws that have reformed what many conservatives see as a porous election system rife with fraud.

Clinton has declared that Republican-controlled states have “systematically and deliberately” tried to “disempower and disenfranchise voters.”

As noted in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece last week, Clinton has called for “sweeping expansion of federal involvement in elections.” She has called for automatic voter registration at 18, a 20-day early-voting period and a maximum 30-minute waiting period to vote.

“She has also endorsed the idea of a federal law permitting convicted felons to vote and allowing individuals, such as students, who reside in one state to vote in another,” wrote David B. Rivkin Jr. and Elizabeth Price Foley in the column, headlined “Hillary’s unlawful plan to overrule voter-ID laws.”

Rivkin is a constitutional litigator who served in the Justice Department and the White House Counsel’s Office in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. Foley is a constitutional law professor at Florida International University College of Law.

Billionaire liberal cause backer George Soros, according to reports, has pledged millions of dollars to help challenge voter ID laws.

“Part of the effort is intended simply to galvanize the Democratic base by stoking a sense of grievance, but the strategy should be taken seriously — and rebutted as unconstitutional,” Rivkin and Foley write.

“The Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate federal elections, not state ones. It also distinguishes between the regulation of presidential versus congressional elections,” the opinion piece reads.

It appears Elias, the political fixer, after trying to repair Baldwin’s image damage is now trying to fix the U.S. Constitution.

Part of 47 in the series Tomah VA Scandal
  1. After damaging silence, Baldwin now calls for probe of troubled VA center
  2. Legal expert says U.S. Sen Tammy Baldwin is in full ‘damage control’
  3. Baldwin aide breaks silence, alleges senator engaged in ‘coverup’
  4. Baldwin’s public relations team kicks into high gear following ethics complaint
  5. Ethics watchdog urges Senate committee to investigate Baldwin
  6. Tammy Baldwin’s political fixer is helping Hillary attack voter ID
  7. Senate committee asking if FBI missed the call in veteran’s death at VA
  8. When lawmakers failed Wisconsin’s veterans
  9. Is political pressure behind Lin Ellinghuysen’s differing accounts on VA memo?
  10. Bernie Sanders failed to act in deadly VA scandal, whistleblower says
  11. Does government union chief’s threat show AFGE’s hand on veterans care?
  12. What would Russ Feingold’s 1992 self say to the 2015 version?
  13. Ad attacking Feingold asserts veterans died because of ‘politicians who looked the other way’
  14. Feingold’s campaign caught up in VA scandal memo war
  15. PolitiFact Wisconsin trusts Russ Feingold to deliver its facts
  16. Sources: Ron Kind received call from Jason Simcakoski not long before Marine’s tragic death
  17. Captain Campaign Finance Reform, Russ Feingold, changes ‘dark money’ tune
  18. Baldwin talks transparency while keeping her secrets in Tomah VA scandal
  19. Ron Kind knew about Tomah VA abuse years before the story broke
  20. Ron Kind now solving Tomah VA scandal one press release at a time
  21. Tammy Baldwin silent on her failures as she blasts Tomah VA medical center
  22. Tomah VA whistleblower says he’s getting pressure from unhappy Dems
  23. Feingold’s facts fail again in face of Tomah scandal
  24. Senate field hearing to shine more light on Tomah VA scandal
  25. Tomah VA supervisor accused of misconduct gets promoted
  26. Senate hearing to look deeper into scandal-plagued Tomah VA hospital
  27. Kind flees questions, Senate committee turns up heat on Tomah VA hospital scandal
  28. Report: Tomah VA hospital story is one of ‘systemic failures’
  29. Tomah VA hospital whistleblower: ‘It will not change’
  30. Ron Kind breaks silence on call from veteran victim at Tomah VA hospital
  31. VA union holds rally to save itself, Tomah whistleblower says
  32. Sound familiar? Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth accused of retaliation at VA
  33. Emails say Tomah VA patient reached out to Feingold, Kind, in 2008 about abuse
  34. Johnson: Hold accountable those who put Tomah veterans at risk of HIV, hepatitis
  35. Veteran jumps out of third-floor window at Tomah VA hospital
  36. Tomah VA employee: ‘We have forgotten who we work for’
  37. Congressional committees want answers on Tomah VA hospital
  38. Senators ask Pence, Trump transition team, to hold troubled VA accountable
  39. Veterans advocate: VA hospitals’ ‘improvement’ doesn’t tell whole story
  40. Tomah VA Medical Center’s ‘Candy Man’ stripped of license
  41. Opinions differ on whether it’s ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’ at Tomah VA
  42. Latest data show Tomah VA hospital improving in opioid prescriptions, veteran satisfaction
  43. VA secretary nominee faces little resistance, lots of challenges
  44. Insiders: Tomah VA troubles continue with nurse shortage, neglectful care
  45. VA whistleblower has questions for Congressman Ron Kind
  46. Johnson brings back whistleblower protection bill as Sunshine Week opens
  47. Iraq war veteran burned by ‘very frustrating process’ at VA


M.D. Kittle is bureau chief of Wisconsin Watchdog and First Amendment Reporter for Watchdog.org. Kittle is a 25-year veteran of print, broadcast and online media. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism excellence from The Associated Press, Inland Press, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and others. He is also a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Kittle's extensive series on Wisconsin's unconstitutional John Doe investigations was the basis of a 2014 documentary on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze. His work has been featured in Town Hall, Fox News, NewsMax, and other national publications, and his reporting has been cited by news outlets nationwide. Kittle is a fill-in talk show host on the Jay Weber Show and the Vicki McKenna Show in Milwaukee and Madison.