By now you have probably heard of “Subgate”, where a sandwich threatens to put an ugly mayonnaise stain on the tie of the Romney campaign. Yesterday, as the Wisconsin GOP Primary got underway the Romney campaign held what it called an “Election Day Lunch” at a Waukesha, Wisconsin Cousin’s Subs restaurant to encourage people to vote. In attendance was Romney and his new political lover, pretty boy U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) handing out sandwiches.
Wisconsin election law states that you cannot give out “anything” of value” over $1 in the act of encouraging someone to vote or not vote. The subs were going for a minimum of $3.49. Because it was billed as an election event by the Romney campaign it may have run afoul of election law. The Government Accountability Board is looking into the incident but has no jurisdiction since if it was a violation of law the Waukesha District Attorney would have to bring charges.
In an edited video taken by a staffer with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Romney is shown giving a speech at the restaurant and then ends it with saying, “there are plenty more sandwiches back there.” The DPW has filed a complaint with the GAB, but it’s doubtful that a prosecution will come about.
However it will be interesting to gauge conservative reaction to this incident since they went ballistic in 2000 when a democratic volunteer in Milwaukee, acting on their own, gave so-called “smokes for votes” to homeless people. At the time the Al Gore campaign denied any knowledge or coordination, but that didn’t stop conservatives from howling conspiracy and claiming this is why Voter ID is needed.
The difference with Romney is the actual candidate is shown on video, most likely violating election law despite probably having a hoagie-sized group of election lawyers who are supposed to prevent the campaign from holding events like this. I can see it now, as the general election campaign ramps up; sub shops near Romney rallies will sellout so that protesters can wave subs at Mittens.
(See this segment from Rachel Maddow where she breaks down how easily stuff like this happens to Romney)