Republican admits voter ID was enacted to help his party

AP and WIG

Republican U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman told Milwaukee TV station  WTMJ-TV that Wisconsin’s  voter ID law will “make a little bit of a difference” in helping the GOP in November.

A link to video of Grothman’s comment has been re-tweeted hundreds of times. Viewers say it was a gaffe that shows the law was intended to suppress the Democratic vote, WTMJ-TV reported

At a Ted Cruz victory party April 5, a WTMJ reporter asked Grothman whether a Republican can win the White House.

“Hillary Clinton is about the weakest candidate that the Democrats have ever put up, and now we have photo ID. I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of difference as well,” Grothman said. His office didn’t immediately respond to phone or email messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed the voter ID in 2011 after it was passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, but court battles kept it from taking effect until this year. Supporters say it prevents fraud, while critics say widespread fraud doesn’t exist in Wisconsin and that the law disenfranchises young, poor and minority voters who tend to support Democrats and are less likely to have the mandated forms of identification.

“At least Congressman Grothman is telling the truth,” said 10th Assembly District Rep. David Bowen in a statement to the press. “The Republican Party has been deliberately deceiving the public about the one true goal of voter ID since their voter suppression effort was first conceived. Now that they have been honest about its purpose, they should work with Democrats to repeal this anti-democratic law.

Bowen noted that Politifact recently rated “true” an assertion by U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan that more people are struck by lightning than commit the type of voter fraud that voter ID was purported to prevent.

Grothman is a fringe-right leader who campaigned on his opposition to marriage equality and choice. Shortly after he took office in January 2015, he made a number of gaffes that drew national attention. Since then he’s been largely silent, leading some political observers to suspect that House Republican leaders put him under some sort of informal gag order.