Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for the ‘David Prosser’ Category

Wisconsin State Journal’s editorial about recalls falls down on the job

leave a comment »

Folks, I am livid after reading this extremely biased, slanted staff editorial by the Wisconsin State Journal, one of the best-known papers in the state.  The WSJ has the nerve to say that recalls are bad because they extend the election cycle, and when, pray tell, will it end?

Well, I’ll tell you when it’ll end.  When we finally have some responsible people in government who stop behaving like Wisconsin is their personal fiefdom and that the rule of law need not apply.  As Grant Petty, writing for Madison’s alternative paper The Isthmus, wrote in his response to the WSJ editorial:

It was not simply that I disagreed with your position.  I disagree with other publications’ positions all the time without necessarily feeling insulted by them.  The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was that you had once again ignored or grossly oversimplified deep and important issues affecting Wisconsin while basing your position on superficial ones.

Petty goes on to say later on in the article that many things have caused the people of Wisconsin to recall their legislators (especially those of the Republican variety); these things include, but are not limited to:

  • The lack of transparency in government, for the rule of law, and for the constitutionality of our courts by our elected officials.
  • Creating new obstacles to voting in traditionally Democratic demographic groups (minorities, the poor, college students, elderly who don’t live in nursing homes)
  • What Petty calls “blatant pay-to-play favors” for major campaign donors (including the one railroad exec. who pled guilty to an illegal campaign contribution of $49,000 to Scott Walker)
  • A state Supreme Court that Petty calls a “rubber stamp” that was “bought and paid for by Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce,” a lobbying group that traditionally backs Republicans and conservative ideology. and
  • Last, but not least, the overarching inaccuracies of the vote going back at least to 2004 in Waukesha County; Petty describes several troubling aspects of the vote in the 2011 judicial race between Justice David Prosser and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg that changed the outcome of the election, starting with Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus’s finding of 7500 votes over a day after the election had supposedly ended and continuing on with problems with the voting machines and electronic tape malfunctions that were never explored or explained (including one where the totals inexplicably read March 30, 2011, not April 5, 2011 as they should’ve; Barbara With, who observed the Waukesha County recount, explicitly made sure the Government Accountability Board knew about this and testified as to what she’d seen and heard and entered her picture of the faulty tape into evidence, yet the GAB, again inexplicably, refused to believe or accept this and left this testimony out of the official record).

Note that all of this — all — is why most people in Wisconsin, including a sizable minority of Walker’s own party, remains livid regarding the conduct of our current crop of public officials (mostly the recently-elected Walker and many of the Republican officeholders who are being recalled, including State Senator Alberta Darling).  Petty said it extremely well, and I only wish that I’d have written this summation myself; this truly is why Wisconsin is upset and has recalled an unprecedented number of people (remember, before this year, only four people had ever been forced to run in recall elections, with two of them holding their seats while the other two, including my former Republican state Senator George Petak, R-Racine, lost).

As to why the WSJ decided to write a slanted, utterly biased editorial?  Who knows?  But I do know that whenever I read their paper online in the future, I will keep their partisan slant in mind and judge their reportage accordingly.

Other than that, I agree with Petty’s contention that we should be far more concerned with out-and-out election fraud in this state because we’ve apparently had problems now in Waukesha County since 2004 and nothing, but nothing, has been done about them and apparently nothing, but nothing, is going to be done about them because apparently the political powers who now run the state (all three branches of government are run by Republicans, remember, as I’ve stated before) like it the way it is even though most of the rest of us emphatically do not.

And that, my friends, is not only sad.  It’s shameful, and should not be tolerated in what we so euphemistically call “a democratic state.”

Violence in the workplace — is it ever right?

with 4 comments

Folks, it’s 2011, and I thought the answer to my title/question was always, “No” unless we were talking about something like World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).  Yet now I’ve heard the wildest array of excuses made on behalf of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, who may have grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley by the neck on June 13, 2011.

Here’s a link to the first story that broke in the Wisconsin area:

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/124537284.html

And here’s a link to the story regarding the two, ongoing investigations into what, exactly happened:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/124605454.html

A relevant quote from the latter:

Two agencies are investigating a claim by Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley that Justice David Prosser put her in a chokehold earlier this month – an allegation Gov. Scott Walker on Monday called extremely serious.

Ah, but Scott Walker refused to say what, if anything, should be done just a bit further into the article:

Asked if the reports about Prosser’s behavior, if true, merited his resignation, Walker said: “I don’t even want to go down that path . . . other than to say that just based on the allegations that were made, I can’t overemphasize how serious I think the situation is there. Until we know what happened, I don’t think it’s best for anybody for me to comment on what the next step is.”

Now, I can guarantee that if the countervaling story that the Republicans have put out (that Justice Bradley somehow came at Justice Prosser and that’s why he put hands around her neck; this is the, “The victim is always to blame!” argument, in a nutshell, which I find both revolting and disgusting) is true, Gov. Walker would be calling for Bradley’s head on a platter and impeachment proceedings against her would probably already be underway in the Legislature.  But as we’re talking about another Republican here — Prosser, as we all know, was once the Republican Speaker for the Assembly (Wisconsin’s lower house) before former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson appointed Prosser to the bench — they’re going to proceed with caution in order to keep Prosser there as long as they possibly can.

Mind, nothing has been proven yet, and Prosser is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law — but if the facts are as Bradley has alleged (that Prosser put his hands around her neck in a chokehold), then Prosser should resign and seek immediate medical treatment for his anger management problem — bare minimum, that’s what he should do.

Now, as for a little political commentary: I am astonished and disgusted that anyone, ever, would try to say that violence in the workplace could be condoned due to a “hostile work environment” — that is, the Republicans don’t like it that much of the public is angry over what’s happened since Walker took office and instituted his new unpopular program (which he didn’t campaign on and didn’t warn anyone about beforehand).   And the Wisconsin Supreme Court, though it has four Republicans/conservatives to only three Democrats/liberals, apparently feels the heat of this even though the Rs have the advantage — so apparently, because it’s such a difficult work environment, to some, what Prosser did in “defending himself” was justified, even though no one as of yet has all the facts in this case.

So, I want to ask this question: is it ever right to allow violence in the workplace?   If so, under what circumstances would you allow it?   Does political ideology really make that much of a difference to you as to whether or not someone should put hands on another inside the workplace, much less a man allegedly trying to choke a woman?  (When most men are much taller and heavier than most women?)

I’ll be interested in any logical response to this — because so far, I’ve heard absolutely nothing that makes any sense with regards to defending Prosser’s alleged conduct except the rather weak, “It’s not like you think.”  That’s just not good enough, unless we want to turn back into a nation of brutish thugs — and if that’s what you really want, as Yogi Berra once famously said, “Include me out.”

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 27, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Odds and Ends — including the End of the WI State Supreme Court race

leave a comment »

I have so many different things to discuss right now that I’ve decided to make this an “odds and ends” post — otherwise known as a “quick hits” post.

The first is that the race for the Wisconsin state Supreme Court has come to an end as JoAnne Kloppenburg conceded.   The recount, which I viewed from the beginning as a mandatory one due to the closeness of the vote and the chicanery going on in Waukesha County in particular, brought her a few hundred votes closer to David Prosser but not nearly enough for her, apparently, to keep on fighting despite the hundreds of irregularities and errors found in Waukesha County alone.  Ms. Kloppenburg is a very good lawyer and knows the law regarding recounts much better than I do, so she must’ve felt that it was unlikely she’d win a court case, so prolonging the race any further made no sense to her.

My reaction to all of this, however, is that while I found out by observing the recount in Racine County for a day that our election proceedings here are on the up-and-up, I really think the election was stolen and that Ms. Kloppenburg was the true winner.  I cannot prove this, and it’s possible no one will ever be able to prove it — or maybe someone will after the fact, as some observers did in Florida after the Bush v. Gore incident, or in Ohio with the numerous problems there in the 2004 election — but it’s how I feel.

I also feel that the state of Wisconsin has missed out, because Ms. Kloppenburg had an outstanding record and would’ve made a great judge.   Republicans, especially of the Scott Walker variety, liked to paint Ms. Kloppenburg as a “liberal,” but what she really was happened to be an independent, someone who’d worked for both Republican and Democratic Governors.  We needed a centrist on our extremely polarized Supreme Court, and we didn’t get it — what a terrible day for Wisconsin, and what an awful thing to have to say . . . but it’s all true, and it’s sad.

Now onto a happier update.  Vinny Rottino hit .373 in May for the New Orleans Zephyrs (the AAA affiliate of the Florida Marlins); this was after suffering a 1-for-26 slump to start the season.  Rottino has stolen 7 bases, being caught stealing twice; he’s hit 20 RBI, 2 HR, has 10 doubles and one triple, and his current on-base percentage is .407.   Rottino now appears to be playing every day in right field and is playing excellent defense and a fine overall game while putting together another quiet, but good season as a contact hitter.

Here’s a story from nola.com that was written on May 15, 2011, about the Zephyrs and the hot-hitting Rottino in particular:

Vinny Rottino continued his hot hitting Saturday night, and New Orleans Zephyrs relievers continued their shut-down pitching.

The result was a 5-4 Zephyrs victory against Tacoma at Zephyr Field.

Rottino, who has reached base in 21 consecutive games, drove home the go-ahead run in a three-run rally in the sixth inning and also scored two runs.

And here’s what Rottino had to say about it all, especially his 1-for-26 start:

“I never panicked,’’ he said. “That’s the key. I’ve gone through spells like that before at the beginning of the year. … Now I feel pretty good at the plate, just waiting for the pitcher’s mistake. That’s the main thing.’’

Rottino’s game is similar to someone like the Brewers’ Nyjer Morgan; he’s speedy (though not as speedy as Morgan), he plays excellent defense and has a strong arm, and he’ll rarely make mistakes on the basepaths.   Rottino plays all positions except pitcher and second base (unlike Morgan) including catcher (though he’s more of an emergency catcher due to taking it up late) and would be an asset to any major league team whose General Manager is using his brain today.

Finally, there’s the Milwaukee Brewers update.  They actually won their first game against Cincinnati last night and Corey Hart hit yet another home run, raising his season total to five.   Hart’s still not all the way back to last year’s All-Star form, but he’s looking good in the outfield and is hitting steadily now, with some power . . . though I’m a big fan of Hart, the best thing about the ’11 Brewers is that so far, their pitching has been anywhere from OK to outstanding, with Shawn Marcum and Randy Wolf in particular pitching much better than expected.  (Yovani Gallardo is still a little inconsistent, though his last two-three games have been great, and Zack Greinke is still rounding himself into form.  As for Chris Narveson, while he’s a very nice man and can pitch, he’s had some really rough outings lately.   And I keep thinking the Brewers would’ve been better off to keep Chris Capuano, who’s doing well for the Mets despite a 3-5 record because of how poor the Mets are playing as a team.)

So that’s it for updates . . . what I’d encourage you to do is to keep your eye on Rottino (when he finally makes it to the majors to stay, that’ll be one of the best human interest stories of the past several years as he’s now thirty-one years old and has been the apparent victim of what I like to call “age prejudice” as most teams would rather look at a really young guy than an older one with a steady batting eye and a steady presence in the field), keep an eye on the Brewers (especially their pitchers), keep an eye on Capuano, and watch for the upcoming Wisconsin recall elections in July.

Statewide Recount in Judicial Race ends today; Waukesha County’s vote total is in

leave a comment »

Today, the necessary recount for the April 5, 2011 Wisconsin state Supreme Court judicial race has ended as Waukesha County has finally finished recounting the votes.  David Prosser still won Waukesha County with a similar vote total to his previous, though JoAnne Kloppenburg picked up 310 votes statewide; as previously written here, and elsewhere, Ms. Kloppenburg won the rest of the state of Wisconsin (though she didn’t win every county, overall, she was the winner) while she lost, and lost big, in the reddest Republican county in the state, Waukesha County.

This means that unofficially David Prosser has won the election by just over 7,000 votes according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  Please see this article for further details:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/122364728.html

Here’s a relevant quote:

Waukesha County finished its recount Friday, two weeks after the state’s other 71 counties completed theirs. The county next was to deliver its totals to the state Government Accountability Board.

In Waukesha County, the results showed both candidates gaining votes – 68 more for Prosser, 19 more for Kloppenburg – yielding a net gain of 49 votes for the incumbent.

The board, which oversees state elections, plans to certify the totals on Monday, board attorney Mike Haas said. Kloppenburg would have until May 31 to file a lawsuit over the results.

So there it is; because of repeated and extensive problems in Waukesha County, including torn bags, bags without proper numbers (poll workers write totals and usually then bags are supposed to be left undisturbed until/unless there is a statewide recount), and ballots left in strange places (the worst of these issues wasn’t in Waukesha; it instead was in Verona, which is in Dane County — there, ballots were left out of a bag and on a table, reason unknown), the vote totals reported in Waukesha County remain suspect.  While there also were problems in other areas in the state, Waukesha County’s violations were by far the most egregious, starting with County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus’s problems in getting the proper vote total for Brookfield notated into her computer until 36 hours after the April 5, 2011 election ended.

I don’t know what Ms. Kloppenburg and her campaign manager, Melissa Mulliken, are going to do.  But if the problems in Waukesha are as bad as I have been led to believe (I am a member of a group called Election Integrity, which has been giving unofficial first-hand results from observers in Waukesha County and elsewhere), they may indeed file suit and I wouldn’t blame them at all.

Everyone wants to believe that elections are fair and are conducted on the “up-and-up.”  But we’ve found since Nickolaus’s eleventh-hour revelation that there have been severe and systemic problems in Waukesha County for years, with nothing whatsoever having been done about it for whatever reason.  This has made me seriously question whether or not we really do have fair elections in Wisconsin despite observing on April 27, 2011 in Racine, Wisconsin for the Kloppenburg campaign and believing that Racine County’s elections, themselves, have been conducted fairly.  (Note if David Prosser’s folks had asked me to observe for them, I would’ve done it, though I proudly cast my vote for Ms. Kloppenburg in the April 5, 2011 election.  I firmly believe Ms. Kloppenburg’s credentials, working for both Republican and Democratic Governors as one of the state Assistant Attorneys-General, are outstanding, and I believe that if she is ever freely and fairly elected in Wisconsin, she will make an outstanding Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.)

The whole question now is, has whatever happened in Waukesha County tainted this entire election?  (In my mind, that answer is a clear “yes,” but I don’t know how that would work in court.)  And have there been enough problems in Waukesha County to warrant tossing out that entire county’s votes and making them vote again?  Because that possibly would be the fairest way to go about it, with many observers in every polling place in the county, to make absolutely sure that every legitimate vote (for whomever) is counted properly.  And Kathy Nickolaus, if she hasn’t resigned or been recalled by then, should play no part in this, just as she played no part in the state-wide recount . . . her job performance has been proven to be amazingly weak — and I don’t say that lightly — and she should count herself extremely lucky to have been gainfully employed, much less making $67,000 a year, considering how much she appears to have screwed up during her tenure on the job.

I believe this recount was a mandatory one — the only thing the state could do to restore any faith in free and fair elections — and I know the problems in Waukesha County have been proven to be extensive on a variety of counts.  The only thing now is to see how it plays out, and I promise you, I will stay on this story and post updates as appropriate.

Brewers win, 4-3, as Greinke pitches well; recount update

leave a comment »

Folks, tonight I’m glad to be a Milwaukee Brewers fan.  Zack Greinke pitched well in his first appearance at Miller Park, going six innings, giving up two runs with no walks and getting nine strikeouts.  This excellent performance, along with some unusually fine defense, was why the Brewers won tonight over the San Diego Padres, 4-3. 

Note that the much-maligned of late bullpen pitched reasonably well also, with LaTroy Hawkins pitching a scoreless seventh, Kameron Loe giving up a run in the 8th due to a run scoring while a double play was in the process of being made, then John Axford picked up his sixth save by pitching a scoreless ninth.

Here’s a link to more about the game from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story:  http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/121536504.html

As for tonight’s mandatory recount in the Wisconsin state Supreme Court election, held on 4/5/2011, a judge allowed Waukesha County two and a half more weeks to get its entire count done.  But as Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel pointed out, JoAnne Kloppenburg has an uphill battle on her hands if she’s to win this recount with only Waukesha County remaining as it is known to be the “reddest” Republican county in the entire state.

Here’s the link to his story dated today, May 9, 2011: 

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/121496219.html

And a relevant quote from Mr. Gilbert:

With the recount in the April 5 Supreme Court race now complete in every county but Waukesha, JoAnne Kloppenburg has sliced a mere 355 votes off David Prosser’s lead of 7,316 votes, underscoring the extreme odds against Kloppenburg emerging victorious in the fiercely contested judicial contest.

In effect, Kloppenburg would have to gain 6,962 votes in one county – Waukesha – after gaining a tiny fraction of that in the recount of all the state’s other counties.

In those 71 counties recounted so far, Kloppenburg has made a net pick-up of one vote for every 3,873 votes cast.

In Waukesha County, she would have to make a net pick-up of one vote for every 18 votes cast.

And that math actually understates the improbability of a successful outcome for Kloppenburg because about 30% of Waukesha County has already completed the recount process. So far, there’s a net gain of 18 votes for Prosser.

But here’s the main reason why Kloppenburg had to pursue the recount, IMO:

Without taking Waukesha County into account, Kloppenburg leads in the other 71 counties by 712,910 to 660,366, for a margin of 52,544 votes.

So you see how close this election was, state-wide, right?

Here’s the rub:

But based on the election canvass, Prosser carried Waukesha County by 59,505 votes out of a total of 125,021 votes cast.

The problem is, the vote total is in question all because of Kathy Nickolaus’s actions not just in finally figuring out she hadn’t counted the Brookfield tally until a day and a half after the election had ended (and everyone in the state save the folks in Brookfield who knew their vote totals weren’t properly reflected in the count thought JoAnne Kloppenburg had won by about 200 votes), but in several previous elections.

As I’ve said before, there are problems in Waukesha County that go back not just to 2008, but actually to 2004.  (See this link for further details:  https://elfyverse.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/recount-necessary-for-one-waukesha-county-voting-irregularities-go-back-to-2004/)  Seven years ago, there were problems.  Again, five years ago, there were problems.  Then three years ago, there were more problems, yet nothing was ever done by the Government Accountability Board, the Wisconsin state Senate or Assembly (or both), or anyone else, because despite all these systematic problems, apparently no one was paying attention.

If this recount has done nothing else, it has at least assured me that the voters of Wisconsin will be paying attention to Waukesha County for a long, long time to come.  And that the way Waukesha County conducts their future elections had best be a whole lot better — more ethical, above-board, understandable, comprehensible, and transparent — than they have for the past seven years.  Minimum.

Otherwise, as I’ve said before, we in Wisconsin will have no faith at all that our elections mean anything at all.

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

with 10 comments

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 http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/121414194.html:

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

Updates: More pending recalls (Dems and Rs), etc.

leave a comment »

Before we get to the latest folks being recalled, the first update has to do with the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.   The two sides (Prosser and Kloppenburg) have come to an agreement about the recount, and it will start next Monday.  Please see this story for further details, which gives details about how this particular state-wide recount (the first in twenty-two years) will take place:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/120518594.html

Now, as for the newest pending recalls — the drive to recall the Republican 8 continues, as the committee to recall Republican Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) turned in 30,000 signatures — significantly more than the 20,043 signatures required by law (1/4 of the last election) — to see her recalled.

However, we now have three Democrats — Jim Holperin (D-Conover), Bob Wirch (D-Kenosha) and Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) — who have had recall petitions filed against them.   The signatures needed for Holperin was 15,960, with over 23,000 turned in; the signatures needed for Wirch was 13,537, with over 18,000 turned in, and the signatures for Hansen was 13,852 with nearly 19,000 turned in.

See this link for further details:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/120430074.html

The main difference between the Dems and the Rs at this point is that two of these three Dems appear to be in “safe,” heavily Democratic districts — Hansen and Wirch both have districts that went for Kloppenburg in the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court election, while Holperin’s district is the only one I’d really tend to be worried about — while all five of the Rs with recalls pending could easily lose and lose big.

Here’s a quote from the rally to recall Alberta Darling held on Thursday, April 21, 2011, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article of the same date (link posted above):

Kristopher Rowe of Shorewood, a Darling recall leader who created the Facebook page that sparked the campaign, told several hundred people at the Kletzsch Park rally that they weren’t done until Darling was voted out of office.

“We’re going to finish, and we’re going to finish strong,” he said.

Now, you might be wondering why, in particular, recall groups have focused on getting rid of Alberta Darling.  It’s because she was co-chair of the committee that allowed Gov. Scott Walker (R)’s “budget-repair bill” into the whole Senate; she had all the power in the world to stop that bill from ever coming to light unless/until some of the worst problems with it were fixed, yet she refused to use it.

Further from the Journal-Sentinel article:

Darling is the fifth Republican state senator against whom petitions have been filed.

Darling, a co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, is a central figure in the budget battles that spawned recall efforts against eight Republican and eight Democratic senators. Her opponents clearly will try to hang the budget on her, as did one rally speaker, who referred to the proposed budget as “both immoral and bad economics.”

As I’ve said before, the other four Republicans with recalls pending are:  Luther Olson (R-Ripon), Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse), Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) and Sheila Harsdorf (R-Hudson/River Falls).

And finally, it is confirmed that both Sheldon Wasserman (former Rep., who nearly beat Darling in 2008, losing by about 1000 votes) and Sandy Pasch (the current Rep., D-Whitefish Bay) are seriously thinking about challenging Darling in the pending recall election.  (Note that the Journal-Sentinel had a PolitiFact article today saying it’s wrong to say any of these Senators have been recalled; all we can say is “recalls pending,” as I’ve been saying, or that the “recall petitions have been filed.”)  Both are strong candidates, and the Journal-Sentinel rates this race as “the most competitive race . . .  in the Milwaukee area” (there are five Senators, both R and Dem., who will have to run in recall elections providing the signatures hold up).

Because of the pending recount in the Kloppenburg-Prosser judicial race, it’s possible the recall petitions will take longer to “‘vet” than usual; the Government Accountability Board has been quite busy this year, with no signs of letting up, and it’s the GAB that must oversee both things.

Finally, in personal news, I have one good thing to report.  I wrote 2000 words into part 47 of AN ELFY ABROAD last night, breaking a log-jam that had lasted three weeks after first talking with a friend about the story, then hearing from a different one why I should just give it up already.  (Obviously I disagreed with my second friend.)

Otherwise, I just hit the six year and seven month observance in my personal “grief journey” . . . I tried hard to distract myself and even succeeded for a while, but then I wondered, “What the Hell am I doing?”

Recount necessary — for one, Waukesha County Voting Irregularities go back to 2004

with 4 comments

We’ve been having interesting times this year in Wisconsin, with protests against Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin state Senate Republicans for passing Walker’s “budget repair bill” that stripped public employee union members of their collective bargaining rights, then a hotly-contested state Supreme Court election that looked to be won by the challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg by about 200 votes over incumbent Justice David Prosser.

Realize that right now, the Wisconsin state Supreme Court (with David Prosser as a sitting Justice) has a 4-3 conservative-liberal/centrist edge; then realize that Walker’s “budget-repair bill” is likely headed to the Supreme Court.  Then realize that David Prosser is a former Republican Speaker of the Assembly (Wisconsin’s lower house, equivalent to the federal House of Representatives) . . . that’s why the race for state Supreme Court justice was so vitally important.

But then came Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus — County Clerk of the “reddest” Republican district in the entire state —  who said she’d “forgotten to save” the accurate count for the Town of Brookfield two days after the election was over; when those votes were added in, all of a sudden Prosser led Kloppenburg by over 7,000 votes. 

And that’s where it’s stood ever since; the Government Accountability Board is still investigating Waukesha and its County Clerk, but has certified the results of the Supreme Court election.   Because the vote totals were so close (each candidate had about 750,000 votes), and is within 1/2 of a percentage point (meaning Prosser leads Kloppenburg right now with 50.04% of the vote to Kloppenburg’s 49.96% or something along those lines), the state of Wisconsin must pick up the tab if a recount is requested.

Because a 7,000 vote margin is nearly impossible to make up — especially when that margin is established after the voting is over, because a county clerk “realized (her) error” — the Kloppenburg campaign is still mulling over whether to request this recount.

However, with all the allegations regarding the problems in Waukesha County alone, a recount must be requested — only then will the voters of Wisconsin know that all the votes have been properly tallied.  A hand-recount is absolutely vital, and remains the only way to know for certain who voted for whom and why — right now, the canvass only counted vote totals, and we know totals can be manipulated deliberately (as well as be wrong due to human error).

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Waukesha County’s problems are worse than just this year, folks.  In fact, Waukesha County’s problems are so bad that it’s absolutely, positively stunning.

For example, in Waukesha County in 2006, there were more votes cast than there were voters.

Here’s a link:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/11/965994/-%28updated%29-Waukesha-voting-irregularities-go-back-to-2004

And here’s a quote:

WAUKESHA COUNTY, WISCONSIN
NOVEMBER 7, 2006

PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 211).  .  .  .  .       210   99.53
REGISTERED VOTERS – TOTAL .  .  .  .  .        0
BALLOTS CAST – TOTAL.  .  .  .  .  .  .            156,804

GOVERNOR/LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
DOYLE/LAWTON (DEM)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    61,401   34.86
GREEN/HUNDERTMARK (REP).  .  .  .  .   112,242   63.73
EISMAN/TODD (WGR).  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     2,320    1.32
WRITE-IN.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .             149     .08

ATTORNEY GENERAL
 KATHLEEN FALK (DEM) .  .  .  .  .  .  .    55,608   31.95              
 J.B. VAN HOLLEN (REP)  .  .  .  .  .  .     118,342   67.99              
 WRITE-IN.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .            97     .06

SECRETARY OF STATE                                                      
 DOUG LA FOLLETTE (DEM) .  .  .  .  .  .    68,302   40.07              
 SANDY SULLIVAN (REP).  .  .  .  .  .  .     96,199   56.44              
 MICHAEL LAFOREST (WGR) .  .  .  .  .  .   5,886    3.45              
 WRITE-IN.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .              53     .03

So, do you see it? In the race for Governor/Lieutenant Governor there were a total of 176,112 votes cast. For Attorney General there were a total of 174,047 votes cast. And for Secretary of State there were a total 170,440 votes cast.

So, look at the 3rd line of the top of that report…Total Ballots Cast: 156,804. So based on those numbers 20,000 extra votes were cast in the election that weren’t actually accounted for in the ballots cast. Again, another sign of election fraud.

(Quote ends.)

Note that the original figures are available here:

http://www.waukeshacounty.gov/uploadedFiles/Media/List_Documents/County_Clerk/2006_Official_Election_Results/Official_Election_Combined_Summary_Nov20_2006.LST

And that’s not all — also from this DKos article, did you know that in 2004, apparently a whopping 97.63% — no, that’s not a misprint — of registered voters went out to vote?  And that in 2005, an off-year for elections, 50,000 new voters were registered when in ’04 there was only a 1.3% increase (about 3,000 voters) for a hotly-contested Presidential election?

I’m sorry, folks; this does not pass the “smell test.”  Something’s really off here.

A good friend of mine found all this out from this blog, and posted it to my Facebook page:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110415/23002413918/wisconsin-county-that-found-lost-votes-apparently-has-major-voting-irregularities-years.shtml

As this latter blog from Tech Dirt points out:

To say the least, these numbers are pretty troubling if you believe in the integrity of democratic elections.

Amen to that — and that’s exactly why we need a hand recount of all the ballots cast in the recent Supreme Court election.

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm