Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 1:23 AM
The mystery buyers of a controversial series of "voter fraud" billboards in Ohio and Wisconsin have been identified. Ideastream's Brian Bull has more.
An African-American news organization, TheGrio, and activist group, One Wisconsin Now, did a joint investigation to uncover the Einhorns, a Milwaukee couple.
Stephen Einhorn is Principal of Capital Midwest Fund, President of Einhorn Associates, and is on the Milwaukee Art Museum's board. He's given $25,000 to Freedomworks for America, a conservative Political Action Committee that's endorsed candidates such as Indiana Senatorial hopeful Richard Mourduck and Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel.
His wife, Nancy Einhorn, serves on the board of the Milwaukee Ballet, and recently gave over $30,000 to the Republican National Committee. She's also given over $3,000 to a couple Tea Party-backed House members in Wisconsin.
The couple bought 175 billboards in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Milwaukee. The signs were displayed in mostly poor, African-American neighborhoods with the phrase, "VOTER FRAUD IS A FELONY" paired with a giant gavel.
In a statement, the Einhorns defend the billboards as a public service, as voter fraud undermines the democratic process.
But many black leaders and ex-felon advocates liken the campaign to Jim Crow tactics, meant to scare and disenfranchise underrepresented voters.
The billboards were taken down after several weeks of controversy, and a counter-campaign was launched to rebut the original message.