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.
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.
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- Baldwin’s public relations team kicks into high gear following ethics complaint
- Ethics watchdog urges Senate committee to investigate Baldwin
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- Senate committee asking if FBI missed the call in veteran’s death at VA
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- Bernie Sanders failed to act in deadly VA scandal, whistleblower says
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- What would Russ Feingold’s 1992 self say to the 2015 version?
- Ad attacking Feingold asserts veterans died because of ‘politicians who looked the other way’
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- PolitiFact Wisconsin trusts Russ Feingold to deliver its facts
- Sources: Ron Kind received call from Jason Simcakoski not long before Marine’s tragic death
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- Baldwin talks transparency while keeping her secrets in Tomah VA scandal
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- Report: Tomah VA hospital story is one of ‘systemic failures’
- Tomah VA hospital whistleblower: ‘It will not change’
- Ron Kind breaks silence on call from veteran victim at Tomah VA hospital
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- Emails say Tomah VA patient reached out to Feingold, Kind, in 2008 about abuse
- Johnson: Hold accountable those who put Tomah veterans at risk of HIV, hepatitis
- Veteran jumps out of third-floor window at Tomah VA hospital
- Tomah VA employee: ‘We have forgotten who we work for’
- Congressional committees want answers on Tomah VA hospital
- Senators ask Pence, Trump transition team, to hold troubled VA accountable
- Veterans advocate: VA hospitals’ ‘improvement’ doesn’t tell whole story
- Tomah VA Medical Center’s ‘Candy Man’ stripped of license
- Opinions differ on whether it’s ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’ at Tomah VA
- Latest data show Tomah VA hospital improving in opioid prescriptions, veteran satisfaction
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