There was a plea deal on Friday in the Milwaukee County case in which tires were slashed on some vans that the local Republicans intended to use to get out the vote. Sensing that a hung jury threatened his case, the DA took a Criminal Damage to property plea deal from four of the defendants while the fifth was found Not Guilty.
Most of the state found this to be not remarkable. The DA got guilty pleas from 80% of the defendants and a weak case was closed. The tizzysphere over by the lake found this to be outrageous. There were allegations of Big Picture voter fraud and national conspiracies.
The short version is this. The courts are a busy place. Getting a conviction at all is a victory for the DA who take them where he can get them. Ask Brian Blanchard. Sometimes half a loaf is the best there is.
I may need to be corrected on this next point (Do it gently please. I'm old and the Madison papers don't cover all of the Milwaukee vandalism cases.) Has there been proof given that so many as one voter was denied a trip to the polls by the actions of the men involved in this trial? Is the Republican Party of Milwaukee County so ineffectual that a few flat tires early in the morning caused them to throw up their hands in despair and proclaim, "Oh, Woe. Our intentions are for naught. Now we'll never be able to get anyone to the polls," and then go home in defeat?
I'm solidly against vandalism. Apparently they thought they'd have been found guilty of something and took a deal. That's good. Their motives were despicable and wrong. I deplore them for interfering in the election process and condemn them for trying to illegally influence it. I also think the judge would have let Howard Dean off the hook if the DA had dragged him into the case.
It was what it was. It's over. It's time for the offended in the southwest corner of the state to start the healing process and catch up to the rest of Wisconsin.