Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for May 8th, 2011

Yovani Gallardo’s Gem of Saturday

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Folks, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out Yovani Gallardo’s eight-inning, one-hit masterpiece of Saturday afternoon. The Brewers broke a seven-game losing streak because of Gallardo and John Axford (the Brewers’ closer, who came in even though it wasn’t a save situation). The Brewers won, 4-0, and it’s the first time in over three weeks that Gallardo has pitched not only well, but brilliantly (he also had a great game on 4/5/11).

I keep thinking — and saying — that Gallardo isn’t yet an “ace” pitcher, then he goes out and does something like that. Maybe Gallardo is about to mature into that unstoppable force most baseball fans call an “ace” sooner than I thought. (And good for him, if so.)

Check out the Politiwhat blog’s story “The American Imperative”

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Folks, if you like my blog, you almost certainly will like the Politiwhat blog as well . . . a good friend of mine writes this and came up with a very scholarly and erudite post about the killing of Osama bin Laden and how it should not be the impetus to precipitously pull people out of Afghanistan.

Here’s a link to his very interesting blog post:

Go read it, and educate yourself.

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Mandatory Judicial Recount in WI Continues– Waukesha County will not hit 5/9/11 deadline

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The mandatory recount continues in Wisconsin with the April 5, 2011 judicial race between incumbent David Prosser and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg continuing to be properly recounted due to the less than 1/2 percent difference in their vote totals.  All counties save Waukesha — the really big problem county for reasons I’ve detailed in several previous posts — will be finished by tomorrow, May 9, 2011, which was the date the Government Accountability Board had set for the completion of the mandatory recount.  But Waukesha County — the biggest problem county in the state — will not.

What a surprise!

Here’s a story from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel regarding all this, available at

A relevant quote:

All counties with the exception of Waukesha County are expected to complete the recount of the state Supreme Court election by the 5 p.m. Monday deadline, the Government Accountability Board said late Friday afternoon.

Waukesha County officials earlier in the week informed the board that the hand recount would not be completed by the deadline and the board will seek a court extension of the deadline on Monday.

Kevin Kennedy, accountability board director, said the court hearing on the extension for Waukesha County is scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday in Dane County Circuit Court.

Ellen Nowak, chief of staff to Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas, said Friday officials don’t know yet how much more time will be needed to complete the recount.

As of late Friday, the recount was only about 30% complete in Waukesha County, Nowak said.

Note that the date of this article was May 6, 2011 — this past Friday evening — and that as of that time, only 30% of Waukesha County was counted.  This is not acceptable; they’ve had the same amount of time as everyone else (starting a week and a half ago on Wednesday, April 27, 2011) and yet they haven’t even counted 30% of the ballots yet?

Considering both Dane and Milwaukee Counties are much bigger, population-wise (thus more ballots were used in both counties than Waukesha), and considering there were at least two counties (Wausau County and Fond du Lac County) which actually ran out of ballots because so many people came out to vote (it would’ve been understandable had those two smaller counties needed more time), it is absolutely ridiculous that only 30% of Waukesha County’s vote total has been counted. 

Yet it’s the truth.

I realize that there have been multiple problems in Waukesha County: bags with ballots have been improperly sealed — bags are supposed to be sealed up completely between voting day and a recount, and yet they weren’t.  In some cases, the wrong numbers were on the bags — every ballot bag must have a number, and they must match the poll count from the poll workers, and yet, they haven’t in Waukesha County many, many times already.  And quite a few ballots have been objected to because they look odd or don’t match the vote totals or they just don’t make any sense — which is part of the reason the vote count has been so slow, but isn’t the only reason, for certain.

I know observers from both the Prosser and Kloppenburg camps will be out in force in Waukesha County all week long.   And that does slow things down — yet it’s the only way we have to make sure this election was a fair one.  An ethical one.   One that truly reflects the will of the Wisconsin voters who went out to vote on 4/5/2011.

I believe we can do better than this and we must do better than this in Wisconsin.  Which is why I’ve observed the recount (a bit) in Racine and why I will once again go out to observe in Waukesha if all goes well sometime this week — because I am not convinced that what happened in Waukesha County, where their County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus found ballots one and a half days after the election had concluded (note this is solely the fault of Kathy Nickolaus, not the folks in Brookfield who had been telling her for the day and a half that their votes hadn’t been counted), was right.  I’m sure Brookfield’s totals will be proven out — but I think something else happened there in that day and a half that wasn’t right and that the recount volunteers (either on the canvassing board or the observers themselves) will find it.

We may be heading to a state-wide re-vote, all because Kathy Nickolaus didn’t do her job correctly in Waukesha County.  But whether we are or aren’t, at this point we must make sure that any future election, in Waukesha County or anywhere else, is conducted fairly, properly, and impartially.

Otherwise, elections are meaningless, and we may as well not even bother going out to vote.

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm