The Truth-O-Meter Says:
Bowers

Says Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is making voting more difficult by closing Department of Motor Vehicles offices where "low-income voters" live.

Chris Bowers on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 in an interview

Daily Kos official says that, with possible recall looming, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker closing DMV offices in poor areas

The liberal blog Daily Kos describes itself as a national political "news organization, community and activist hub" -- in other words, it doesn’t just cover politics, it engages in it.

Indeed, like a candidate or political organization, Daily Kos employs a campaign director, Chris Bowers.

On Nov. 30, 2011, Bowers appeared on "The Big Picture," a political talk show produced by RT, a network carried by cable and satellite TV providers.

Bowers and the host, liberal commentator Thom Hartmann, discussed the campaign launched earlier that month to recall Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. They also talked about how Wisconsin’s new voter photo identification law -- which requires a photo ID for nearly all voters -- might affect a recall election, should one be held in 2012.

Bowers said many Wisconsin residents don't know about the law -- "especially low-income voters in urban areas where, not only do they now have to have an ID in order to vote, Department of Motor Vehicles (offices) in these areas are being closed down at the same time."

Republicans say photo ID ensures integrity at the ballot box, while Democrats say the law will discourage low-income residents and others who typically back Democrats from voting.

But is Walker really shutting down DMV offices -- places where many people would go to get a photo ID -- in low-income areas?

In a September 2011 item-- in which we rated Pants on Fire a claim by the Democratic Governors Association that Walker was denying Democrats the right to vote -- we noted Walker had dropped a plan to close DMV offices.

Walker had faced pressure from lawmakers and citizens to shelve the plan.

So, we wondered if something had changed that would have led the Bowers to say Walker was closing DMV offices in low-income urban areas.

We asked Bowers, who simply replied in an email: "I misspoke."

Without question.

Our conclusion

Bowers claimed Walker is closing Department of Motor Vehicles offices in urban areas of Wisconsin where "low-income voters" live.

A plan to close DMV offices had been dropped two months earlier, however, and Daily Kos’ campaign director admitted he had spoken in error.

We rate the statement False.
 
(Editor's note: In this item, we originally attributed the statement to the Daily Kos organization. Publisher Markos Moulitsas told us Bowers was speaking for himself, not the organization. So we have changed the source of the statement to reflect that.)
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About this statement:

Published: Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.

Subjects: Elections, Poverty

Sources:

YouTube.com, "The Big Picture" Chris Bowers interview, Nov. 30, 2011

PolitiFact Wisconsin, "Democrats group says Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is denying Democrats the right to vote," Sept. 25, 2011

Email interview, Daily Kos campaign director Chris Bowers, Dec. 1, 2011

Email interview, Gov. Scott Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie, Dec. 1, 2011

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "State puts brakes on plan to close DMV sites," Aug. 4, 2011

Written by: Tom Kertscher
Researched by: Tom Kertscher
Edited by: Greg Borowski

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