Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘election vote irregularities

Voting and Disappointment

with 10 comments

Folks, I’m sorry to say that business as usual will continue in Wisconsin. Scott Walker won re-election, which I have to say I don’t understand…and there were some truly puzzling things going on in other races, too. (How did Douglas LaFollette only get 49% in his Secretary of State race? He should’ve won with 60% of the vote, as he always does.)

But the voters have spoken. Scott Walker remains the Governor of Wisconsin.

(In case you were wondering, I am truly disappointed.)

It’s not so much that Scott Walker has been re-elected that bothers me, though admittedly I wanted him out. It’s that I don’t see anything in Wisconsin that’s likely to improve with him as our Governor.

Definitely, nothing will improve in Racine, where crying economic needs have been unmet for the past ten years or more.

While I was not a fan of Mary Burke, as I felt she was a corporate Democrat who didn’t have any understanding of the middle or lower classes in Wisconsin, if she had been elected, there might’ve been a prayer that something, anything, might improve.

Instead, we’re going to get the same-old, same-old.

And that’s incredibly disappointing.

Because I’m a prognosticator by trade ( at least part of the time), I will point out that I didn’t think Burke was the answer for Wisconsin.

But I don’t think Scott Walker is the answer, either.

That being said, our choices right now are few. We’ll have to hunker down and endure in Racine, again, as I doubt Walker will approve the casino expansion in Kenosha (one of the few things that might create some desperately needed jobs; something Walker has stalled for the last two years or more).

But I will keep my eyes on the one, potential saving grace: the possibility that if Walker does not change, does not at least become willing to do something to promote true economic opportunity in Wisconsin, he can be recalled in 2016.

Wouldn’t that be a blow to his Presidential aspirations?

Recalls, pt. 2 — Dems fall short

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Folks, this is not the post I was expecting to write this evening, but the facts are what they are.

In three of the R districts, the Rs comfortably held their seats — these were Rob Cowles (Allouez), Sheila Harsdorf (River Falls-Hudson) and Luther Olsen (Ripon), with only Olsen having to worry until the last 5% of the vote or so as to whether or not he’d be retained.

In two of the R districts, the Ds won — Jennifer Shilling easily over Dan Kapanke in LaCrosse (as I’d expected), while Jessica King from Oshkosh defeated Randy Hopper from Fond du Lac narrowly (I’d expected an easier win, but did predict she’d be the victor).

So it was all down to only one race — the race in district 8 (suburban Milwaukee, including parts of Washington, Ozaukee, Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties) between Alberta Darling, the incumbent R from River Hills, and Assembly Rep. Sandy Pasch from Whitefish Bay, a D.  That race went back and forth for a while, then Pasch established a comfortable lead — something like 5000, 5500 votes ahead — until the Waukesha County votes weighed in around the 75% votes counted mark.  At that point, Pasch lost her lead . . . and a controversy ensued.

For a little while around 11:20 p.m. — maybe twenty minutes or so — Mike Tate, head of the Wisconsin Democratic Party (aka WisDems) said that there were “too many problems” in Waukesha County and that something must be done about it.  Graeme Zielinski, the communications person for WisDems, followed up with a statement that this result was wrong and that they would be doing everything necessary to see that a fair and accurate count of the vote was done — then Mike Tate came back around midnight CDT and said (in essence), “Nope, sorry, nothing to see here; we’re not going to dispute the irregularities.”

As to why I don’t have cites?  Well, WisDems pulled their whole site down for a while, and took some of these things off of there, and I don’t know how to look to see if there were any “screen captures” made by anyone.

So there we have it.

Three Rs definitely won.

Two Ds definitely won.

One R won, questionably, with a possibly tainted outcome due to the Waukesha County results (a long delay in counting by Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who’s been under fire before for incompetence, etc.), where the WisDems Chair initially said he’d fight the results — then said he wouldn’t.

These results will not quiet the angry populace here in Wisconsin, because Scott Walker’s Republicans still have control of the Senate at 17 Rs to 16 Ds (next week’s recall elections can only leave the vote totals alone at absolute best, as they’re for two Democratic incumbents).  Making matters worse, Scott Walker signed a horrible redistricting bill that gives major help to three Republicans (Alberta Darling being one) to help hold their seats in ’12 and beyond under the cover of the recall elections.  (This proves he’s got something between the ears besides air; I’ll give him that much.)  Legal challenges to that will definitely ensue unless the Democratic Party of Wisconsin has absolutely zero brainpower.

At any rate, many people across Wisconsin were looking for the recalls against the Republicans to turn up at least three Democratic victors (me, I expected four and thought five was quite possible, as I said before) to slow down Scott Walker and his radical R agenda.  

We didn’t get it. 

This bodes ill for the quality of life here, which was already in the toilet as it was, partially due to high unemployment . . . just a dispiriting result, all told.

All I can say now is, “Congratulations, Senators-elect Shilling and King.”  Then, “Congratulations to you three R Senators, Luther Olsen, Sheila Harsdorf, and Rob Cowles, for your retention.”

But I refuse to congratulate Alberta Darling for anything at all, as I believe her “victory” is heavily-tainted and I truly believe an independent, unbiased observer needs to get in here and figure out what the Hell has gone wrong in our Wisconsin elections because once again, due to the actions of Kathy Nickolaus, none of our vote counts can be completely trusted.

Which makes our “free and fair elections,” which people fought and died for, no such thing.  And that, my friends, is the saddest commentary I’ve had in a long, long time.


** If you’re looking for something else to do, you can try to call the United States Department of Justice and ask for an investigation.  I know I tried that, but I don’t expect them to do anything because if they’d really been all that interested, they’d have done something the last time we had a big mess up here — that’s right, during our state-wide judicial recount for our state Supreme Court race.  And there were far more egregious violations reported there than have been thus far reported by neutral election observers in this election.