You've got to give 'em credit. The "Ribs for Votes" scheme has a long pedigree. According to Tracy Campbell's book Deliver the Vote: A Historuy of Election Fraud, An American Political Tradition - 1742-2004, both Washington and Jefferson tried this type of thing. Back then, swag was provided at the polls. According to Campbell, Washington, in running for the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1758, spent nearly 40 pounds (real money back then) for gallons of wine, rum, brandy and beer. Washington's only concern was that his campaign manager had "spent with too sparing a hand." I turst that WisconsinJobsNow - whoever that may be - will not make the same mistake.
Jefferson dis it too, buying liquor for voters in his own race and anticipating the lame excuse offered by today's offenders. He saw the hootch as a reward for those who had taken the time to travel to the polls (which were often quite distant) and vote. A bit more convincing than the contemporary dodge that barbecue and prizes are a "celebration of voting" - but not much.
Still the Founders were not all in on this. Madison refused to do it in is 1777 race, calling "swilling the planters with bumbo" a "corrupting influence." He must have been right because he lost that race.
But he won the argument and, as has been pointed out, this practice, however old, is illegal. Sec. 12.11(1m)(a)1 applies to anyone who "[o]ffers, gives, lends or promises to give or lend, or endeavors to procure, anything of value, ... to, or for, any elector, or to or for any other person, in order to induce any elector to ... [g]o to or refrain from going to the polls." Do this and you've committed a Class I felony punishable by a fine of up to $ 10,000 and imprisonment of up to 3 and a half years - more if you've got record.
The organizers of these bribery parties say that they're in the clear because someone could come to the party, take the goodies and not go vote. The GAB disagrees and it does seem that the events offered and gave an "inducement" to vote.
There is no way to unring the bell and it is extremely unlikely that this type of fraud would ever justify setting aside the results of an election. That almost never happens.
Because the electoral consequence cannot be avoided, it would seem to present a rather strong case for vigorous prosecution. It is also essential, in political cases, that where there is a clear violation of the rules, officials act quickly. To do otherwise is to essentially excuse the violation and encourage more of this type of thing in the future.
But there may, moreover, be a political price to pay. I see an ad about out of state special interests bribing voters. Not pretty.