UPDATES: Two New Hairpin Turns At Sound Barrier Speed Below
Of Course The Obamedia Are Silent
There are charges in other Wisconsin locations but, Dane County is enough. There is a rich history of unprosecuted fraud in Madison, the University of Wisconsin and elsewhere in Dane County. There were more than 10,000 votes in Dane County (all for Kloppenburg) cast only in the judicial race. There was a hotly contested Madison mayoral contest on the same ballot. If those were cast by real voters, nearly all of them would have cast a vote for mayor.
There will be a recount with very possible court challenges. History shows Democrats excel at this and nearly always prevail. Republicans generally believe in the “rule of law” and that fairness will prevail. The Democrat operating principle is to win at any cost. This is so universal, Hugh Hewitt wrote a book about it, “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat.”
The notable exception was the 2000 Bush-Gore in Florida battle. Bush immediately put former Secretary of State, etc. James Baker, in charge of his Florida recount team. The team was brilliant under Baker. Never-the-less, the Florida Supreme Court would have stolen the election for Gore. If not for a brilliantly handled appeal before the United States Supreme Court, where Ted Olsen successfully argued against judicial misconduct, even in this case, Gore —the Democrat— would have prevailed.
The Wisconsin Republican party must see that Justice Prosser find a tough legal team.
Absent the Obamedia, the word about the theft and fraud is getting out. I wrote a heads-up early today in my DAILY CALL (email) about it. Those getting email sources such as Newsmax or The Daily Caller will know the dead fish are spoiling. Matthew Boyle writing today in The Daily Caller raised my point:
Wisconsin citizens and election experts are questioning the veracity of the state’s Supreme Court race, which the Associated Press reports left-wing legal activist JoAnne Kloppenburg won by 204 votes over Justice David Prosser, out of the more than 1.4 million votes.
On an estimated more than 10,000 ballots in Dane County, Wisconsin, where the state capital Madison is, voters selected only a pick in the Supreme Court race, while leaving even the hotly contested mayoral and county executive choices blank. That raises red flags for election experts like Scott St. Clair of the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank.
But Richard L. Hasen, visiting professor (from Loyola), University of California, Irvine, School of Law writing April 6 at The Politico, is astonished at Republicans and saddened by totally unwarranted charges of fraud:
“A recount in this race, which some view as a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union policies, seems inevitable, and it is not clear who will ultimately take the seat on the Wisconsin bench. But if this expensive and nasty race ends up in protracted litigation, it could undermine public confidence in both the judiciary and Wisconsin’s electoral process, especially if, as I expect, supporters of Prosser raise ugly allegations of voter fraud. . . .
I have never met Professor Hasen; this is the first time I’ve heard of him. Already, I do not like him. Just examine this telling thought, “. . . if, as I expect, supporters of Prosser raise ugly allegations of voter fraud . . .” Get it? “Voter fraud” is not the ugly thing, “allegations” are what is ugly. For the sake of the sensibilities of Hasen and his ilk, we must all turn away from Democrat fraud.
“If Kloppenburg can eke out a victory, I wouldn’t be surprised if Prosser supporters play the fraud card. Professor Ann Althouse already raised the specter of fraud in her final post on election results last night. I am sure that others will trumpet now-discredited allegations of voter fraud in Wisconsin, especially about alleged fraud in heavily Democratic and minority communities. . . .
See —it’s not Democrat fraud that is wrong. It is “playing the fraud card.” Then a transgressor, Ann Althouse, is named. Hasen is sure “others will trumpet” should be read “Patriots will Trumpet.” That would be you and me. These leftists are so predictable —here comes the race card. Notice how “Democratic” is tied right to the always offended “minority communities.”
I have not met Althouse personally. She is my primary local sourcefor information on the turmoil in madison. She doesn’t seem to be a Republican or very conservative. Her blog, informative in word, picture and video, has been evenhanded as well as informative. That wasn’t enough for the Liberty hating leftists. As the Republican Legislators and their families faced, death threats from these losers, Ann Althouse was stalked with vulgar, brutal intimidation. Incredibly, she didn’t blink. She did answer Hasen today:
“So… because past claims of fraud have been “methodically debunked” — have they? — we should stop even looking for fraud? We’ll only suffer if we keep checking for cheaters? This sounds way too preemptive to me. I’ve spent the last 2 months in a vortex of political ugliness and saw it grafted onto the judicial election. I saw frantically impassioned protesters grasping at the symbolism of this election and building an intense shared feeling of entitlement to shift the politics of this state. I heard the phrase “by any means necessary” more than once.
“In this context, Prosser proponents have every right to drag us through the search for fraud one more time. I hope they don’t find it, and Professor Hasen can add this new example to his next there-is-no-fraud column. But there’s a 204 vote margin in this crazy election. We need to feel confident that the outcome is correct.”
Althouse clearly meant she hopes there is no fraud, not that she wants it missed. I hope they do find it. If Kloppenburg prevails, the outcome is tainted by Organizing for America and SEIU Banana Republic interference. Finally, Hasen is factually accurate, as he closes, observing allegations of fraud are “often from the Republican side.” Democrats commit fraud; Republicans often make allegations.
“. . . close elections bring out intense partisan fighting and, often from the Republican side, allegations of fraud or voting irregularities.” (emphasis mine)
Update: Votes not reported to AP. Apperantly Prosser won. And, yes, I got it from Ann Althouse. Here is her entire post on this development:
April 7, 2011
Winnebago [sic] County’s numbers say Prosser received 20,701 votes to Kloppenburg’s 18,887. The AP has 19,991 for Prosser to Kloppenburg’s 18,421.
The new numbers would give Prosser 244 more votes, or a 40-vote lead statewide.
ADDED: I wonder if the concept of fraud is suddenly much more appealing to certain people.
UPDATE II: Correctable Mistakes Mightier Than Fraud
It turns out the first report from Waukesha County was from one of several (at least 3) early leaks. The change report by Althouse above was submerged in a landslide of votes not previously reported. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with what appear to be final Waukesha County facts:
In one explosive stroke Thursday, the clerk in a Republican stronghold tilted the tight Supreme Court race in favor of Justice David Prosser by recovering thousands of untallied votes for the incumbent.
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said Thursday that she failed to save on her computer and then report 14,315 votes in the city of Brookfield, omitting them entirely in an unofficial total she released after Tuesday’s election. With other smaller errors in Waukesha County, Prosser gained 7,582 votes over his challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg, leaving the sitting justice significantly ahead for now amid ongoing official counting.
“I’m thankful that this error was caught early in the process. This is not a case of extra ballots being found. This is human error which I apologize for,” Nickolaus said, her voice wavering as she spoke to reporters.
The figures are still far from final in a race that had previously seemed almost certain to see a statewide recount. Around the state, elections officials Thursday were tweaking unofficial results from the day before that had put Kloppenburg, an assistant attorney general, ahead of Prosser by a razor-thin 204 votes.
But nothing compared to Brookfield, where the new totals give 10,859 more votes to Prosser and 3,456 more to Kloppenburg.
“I’m encouraged by the various reports from the county canvasses,” Prosser said in a statement. “We’ve always maintained faith in the voters and trust the election officials involved in the canvassing will reaffirm the lead we’ve taken.”
But Kloppenburg supporters reacted with alarm, pointing out that Nickolaus had worked in the Assembly Republican caucus during the time that Prosser, a former Republican lawmaker, served as the Assembly speaker and that Nickolaus also had faced questions about her handling of elections as clerk.
“Wisconsin voters as well as the Kloppenburg (campaign) deserve a full explanation of how and why these 14,000 votes from an entire city were missed. To that end, we will be filing open records requests for all relevant documentation related to the reporting of election results in Waukesha County, as well as to the discovery and reporting of the errors announced by the county,” Kloppenburg campaign manager Melissa Mulliken said in a statement.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) raised the possibility of an independent investigation over the recovery of the votes.
“This is a serious breach of election procedure,” he said. “We’re going to look further. She waited 24 hours to work this. And she waited until after she verified the results, making it that much more difficult to challenge and verify the results.”
‘We went over everything’
But at the news conference with Nickolaus, Ramona Kitzinger, the Democrat on the Waukesha County Board of Canvassers, said: “We went over everything and made sure all the numbers jibed up and they did. Those numbers jibed up, and we’re satisfied they’re correct.”
As a Democrat, she said, “I’m not going to stand here and tell you something that’s not true.”
Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas, who sat in on Nickolaus’ news conference, said voters can be confident in the results because “all the votes are in that office. If anyone wants to look at them and verify, they can.”
Kristine Schmidt, the clerk in the city of Brookfield, said in a separate interview that she shared the results with the news media on election night.
She said she also sent the results twice to the county. After the first results were sent she said the county requested a second set of data because they wanted results tabulated in a certain format with fewer columns.
“We sent it to the county and called the county to make sure they got it,” Schmidt said.
Nickolaus explained that when she got Brookfield’s results the second time in the correct format, she failed to save it. So when she totaled the results for the unofficial final report Tuesday, Brookfield’s total was not included and she didn’t realize it.
She discovered the error Wednesday when she transferred her data to a state computer program for the canvassers’ review. Brookfield’s results showed a zero. The Board of Canvassers started its work at noon Wednesday, but Nickolaus said she didn’t report the major blunder because everything had to be verified first.
Nickolaus said the problem had nothing to do with her election system, which has been criticized as outdated. Her election operation was the subject of a county audit last year after complaints were leveled that she was not cooperative with information technology specialists who wanted to check the system’s integrity and backup.
The audit concluded that while the clerk’s system generally complies with state and federal guidelines and accuracy of election totals was not at issue, Nickolaus should improve security and backup procedures.
Although it was not among the audit recommendations, Nickolaus’ decision to no longer report municipal election results separately on election night, as many other county clerks do, has raised questions. Nor does she show in the running totals throughout election night what proportion of the voting units are included in the tallies.
Could the error have been spotted sooner had municipal results also been on her website? Nickolaus would not make herself available after the news conference to answer questions.
Schmidt, the Brookfield clerk, said she watched the news conference. Does she buy Nickolaus’ explanation?
“Yeah, I do. I understand those kinds of things can happen,” she said, adding, “I was disappointed I was not informed. I should not have been informed through the news agencies, kind as you people all are.”
She said her lack of information left her and the city open to unwarranted criticism.
She said if the municipal results had been individually shown on the county clerk’s website, the error may have been spotted.
The state’s top elections administrator said he was surprised that such a large mistake had been made but also said it was not entirely unprecedented.
“This emphasizes the need when counties are releasing information to the press on election night that they double check their data,” said Kevin Kennedy, director of the state Government Accountability Board.
Kennedy said the state would review Nickolaus’s figures but that no ballots from the county would be examined unless and until there is a recount.
“We will go back and check her numbers and all of the numbers she made in our system,” he said.
He recalled an incident in 1982 when state elections officials had also made a huge error in adding vote totals, but said that mistake was also caught before official figures were compiled.
Once the final official numbers are in, either candidate – but no one else – can request a recount. If the margin between the candidates is less than 0.5%, the state charges nothing to conduct the recount.
But the added votes from Waukesha County could push the total far enough toward Prosser that a free recount would no longer be available to Kloppenburg, who on Wednesday had an unofficial 204-vote lead out of nearly 1.5 million votes cast.
If the final margin of victory is between 0.5% and 2% of the vote, the candidate asking for the recount must pay $5 per ward.
Mike Maistelman, an election attorney who often does work for Democrats, said he expected a recount would still happen despite Prosser’s large vote gain.
“Nobody knows what’s up or what’s down,” he said. “One day we win and the next day we lost by 10,000 votes? How do we know they did it right this time?”
Nickolaus has had a long career in Republican politics.
For 13 years, she worked as a staffer for the Assembly Republican caucus, one of four GOP and Democratic legislative groups that were shut down following a criminal investigation into state staffers doing campaign work on state time.
Prosser led Assembly Republicans as minority leader in that House from 1989 to 1994 and than as speaker in 1995 and 1996, giving him oversight of the GOP caucus in that House.
“To my knowledge (Prosser) has not had any contact with Kathy since she left the caucus,” Prosser campaign manager Brian Nemoir said.
The caucus investigation eventually led to the resignations and criminal convictions of leaders in the Senate and Assembly for directing caucus and staff employees to engage in illegal political activity during their state employment.
Nickolaus, who earned $54,000 a year as a data analyst and computer specialist for Assembly Republicans, was granted immunity in 2001 by authorities conducting the investigation.
In a criminal complaint issued in 2002 against then-Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen and others, prosecutors claimed Nickolaus developed a computer software program that was used by state officials to track donations. According to a Journal Sentinel report, Nickolaus said she developed the software on her own time because she wanted to sell it to the state elections agency for use in automating state-required campaign reports. She left the caucus around that time. . . .
The respected Stephen Hayes, writing at the Weekly Standard, confident in his Wisconsin source, added this, “Wisconsin sources say that the paper trail on the votes will be obvious and difficult for anyone to dispute. Either votes from Brookfield were counted in the initial tally or they weren’t.”