Reporting from Washington — The going rate for a vote in Wisconsin, if you believe the state’s Democratic Party, is as low as a submarine sandwich. After Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul D. Ryan joined together to serve up free sandwiches at Cousins Subs in Waukesha, the Democratic Party sent out a press release contending that by serving up the free food, the campaign had violated Wisconsin law.
Under the category of “Election bribery” in the state’s law books, any individual who “offers, gives, lends or promises to give or lend, or endeavors to procure, anything of value,” with the purpose of either encouraging or discouraging voters from either going to the polls or voting, has gone against the law. That is, so long as the value of the item exceeds $1 and “has utility independent of any political message it contains.”
The subs at Cousins? Their prices range from $4.49 to $5.59, and it isn’t a grand leap to assume that they have utility as food beyond their worth as a marketing vehicle for Romney.
“So bring your friends to the polls, get out and vote and if you want another sandwich, there are more back there,” Romney said to possible voters in attendance.