Shots For Signatures

I sometimes wonder what the market value of a vote would be if you were allowed to buy and sell them on an open marketplace. Amanda Terkel’s report on allegations of fraud in the effort to garner recall petitions against Democratic State Senators in Wisconsin gives us perhaps a window into the issue:

According to a draft of the Democratic complaint to the GAB, obtained by The Huffington Post from a Democratic source, a woman who was at John’s Main Event, a tavern in Burlington, Wis., with her friends on Feb. 27, “heard that someone was providing ‘shots’ to people if they signed a petition to recall State Senator Robert Wirch,” a Democrat.

The woman, who signed the complaint, said a bartender showed her the recall petition and told her that if she signed it, she and her friends would get free shots.

The source also passed along an audio recording of the encounter, in which the woman says, “So you’re going to get us — one, two, three, four, five shots if we sign this?” A man responds, “That’s right. … I’ll buy them.”

According to Yelp, John’s is “Great for a casual beer-and-burger dinner” and features “a good variety of micro-brews” but no word on the ordinary retail price of a shot. According to a book I recently read about George Washington, bribing the electorate with free alcohol was considered par for the course in colonial Virginia.