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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Showing posts with label JoAnne Kloppenburg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JoAnne Kloppenburg. Show all posts

Friday, April 08, 2011

WaukeshaGate

County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus increases Prosser county vote by 17 percent

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus
by malThe same 13-year Assembly Republican caucus computer specialist who last year insisted—over the objections of I/T experts concerned about integrity of election data—that her election results collection-tallying system must be placed under her personal control for "security" (MJS) reasons now claims to have found 17 percent more votes for GOP Justice David Prosser, after an incident in which she claims to have personally failed to save some election results.

Nickolaus claims "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." (Stein, Walker and Glauber; MJS)

Prosser said in a statement: "I'm encouraged by the various reports from the county canvasses."

Prosser, Nickolaus' former boss, made no comment specifically on the circumstances surrounding Nickolaus in which Prosser's total county vote was increased by 17 percent.

Others are demanding forensic investigations and full transparency from the secretive clerk, amid the suspicious circumstances and allegations that Nickolaus' story does not add up.

Nickolaus cited "human error" that she was glad to have discovered before the expected recount, though Nickolaus apparently sat on this error in tallying for 29 hours before right wing bloggers reported the news.

From the Kloppenburg for Justice Campaign: "Wisconsin voters as well as the Kloppenburg for Justice 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. We are confident that election officials in Waukesha County will fulfill these requests as quickly as possible so that both our campaign and the people of Wisconsin can fully understand what happened and why. Just as Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg has run to restore confidence in the court, Wisconsin residents also deserve to have full confidence in election results."

The state Government Accountability Board is expected to audit the entries that Nickolaus made into her system during an anticipated recount.

Nickolaus says she found out about the unsaved data at noon Wendesday. She then "sat on this information for 29 hours before disclosing it." (Citizen Action, see below)

Also clouding the circumstances is the report that a comparison of Waukesha and Dane counties shows that Waukesha County has three times more Supreme Court-only ballots than Dane County.

Citizen Action is calling for a federal investigation, noting:

While it is far too early to judge all the facts of the situation, there are so many apparent discrepancies and contradictions in the currently available fact-base that a full, impartial, and independent investigation is clearly warranted. These warning signs that should trigger a full and independent investigation include:

During her press conference Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus claimed this was an open and transparent process. Yet According to Nickolaus she found out about this at noon yesterday. She then sat on this information for 29 hours before disclosing it.

According to 3 observers who attended the county vote canvass, the issue of 14,315 additional votes from Brookfield never came up in the room.

While it was hidden from the people in the room, others involved in the process, Charlie Sykes, a representative of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, National Review, and conservative bloggers had the story hours before it was announced.

Kathy Nickolaus has a long history of questionable practices in vote counting. The issue of Nicklaus keeping records on her personal computer was central to the audit conducted on her last fall. Was the “human error” she is apologizing for her own personal error made on her personal computer? She has been repeatedly warned about the danger of that process and criticized for keeping information 'secret' from even others with in her own office in the past.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Did Pedro Colón cost Kloppenburg the race?

by folkbum

(midday iPhone update: looks like Kloppenburg will win the pre-recount vote. I stand by the post below, as I think Colon lost an opportunity t do something for a good candidate, and for his own team)

So many caveats before I get into the post! First, as I write this, Justice David Prosser holds a scant 580-some vote lead over JoAnne Kloppenburg. By the time all the counting and recounting is done, the title question here may well be moot. In any case, the race was never supposed to be that close.

It was also a race that was never supposed to be all that heated. For as tense as the last couple of court races have been, Prosser actually was a relatively moderate and (judicially) mild jurist, and Kloppenberg was the mild-mannered and moderate anti-Prosser candidate (recall that the state Democrats pushed Marla Stephens hard in the primary). Circumstances pushed the campaigns, if not the candidates themselves, to extremes. Despite both candidates' having taken public financing (and, therefore, no contributions to their campaigns), this was the single-most expensive court race in the history of the state because it was imbued from outside with so much additional significance.

Which is why the message has been sent, regardless of where the final vote tally ends up. Kloppenburg went from out of nowhere to neck-and-neck, for one reason and one reason only--Republican overreach in Madison lately. Current-Governor Scott Walker's hand-picked successor fell in Milwaukee County, as well. It's hard not to see the night as a defeat, though not a crushing one, for Walker and the Republicans in the state legislature.

And, the last caveat, I love Pedro Colón. Way back when I first got started in Wisconsin politics, Colón was one of the few people willing to take that old Howard Dean Meetup group seriously, and work with us (remember Meetup? No? It was the Twitter of 2003). He's a good guy, literal history maker, and a solid member of the liberal community.

But I'm sitting here with the mailer I got from Colón this week, and right there at the top of the list of his endorsements is David Prosser. And on Prosser's website sits Colón's endorsement of the Justice. Prosser's judicial record is still "under construction" (with apologies to Nick Schweitzer for stealing his bit), but the endorsements page is up-to-date. I believe I read that former Governor Pat Lucey's name was off that list within a half hour of Lucey's switching to Kloppenburg.

So here's where my question comes in: No doubt, Colón and Prosser traded endorsements six or eight months ago when none of this mattered, when no one expected in a million years that so very much would be riding on this race and that the outcome would affect not just the composition of the court but potentially the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of public employees (myself included) and the course of action taken by legislative Republicans in dealing with Scott Walker. Whenever it was that Colón's people called Prosser's people and put that deal together, no one could have predicted the Recent Unpleasantness.

That doesn't mean, though, that once it was clear what was going on that Colón didn't have an opportunity--nay, a responsibility--to, as Lucey did, say Waitaminnit. He could have easily said, You know, things change, and my conscience is telling me that I need to change, too. Lucey, really, was his way out, first one through the door, if you will. Had Colón publicly and forcefully withdrawn his Prosser endorsement it would have been good press, and not only might we be talking this morning about Justice-elect Kloppenburg, but Colón's margin could have been a lot greater over (also good guy who deserved a win) Chris Lipscomb.

Obviously, there's no way to know. I do feel confident that a late announcement from Colón switching his support, and urging his voters to do the same, would have been worth some votes. How many, and whether any additional voters would have zagged to Colón's zig (What? That librul is supportin' Kloppenburg now? Prosser it is!) is not something we can ever be sure of. But this is the question that should hang over any 2011 court race retrospection: Could Colón have made the difference?

Friday, March 25, 2011

JoAnne Kloppenburg Running Facts-and-Law Campaign

By Michael Leon

I took some flak here for criticizing both Louis Butler Jr. and Justice Michael Gableman, 2008 candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Butler—now a blocked nominee for federal judgeship with no outraged GOP cries of "up-or-down-floor vote"and Justice Gableman both disgraced the judicial office they sought to hold, I asserted.

'Don’t worry about the result; just tell me what the law is.’

Such a directive ought to be the mission, objective and goal of every justice of the state’s top appellate court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court. ...

If one were to ask candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2008 their commitment to the above principle, one can expect a declaration of absolute fidelity, right? ... [Y]ou would not deduce the presence of this judicial ethos from the campaigns of the two leading candidates for the [Supreme Court], Louis Butler and Judge Michael Gableman. (February 5, 2008)
Since 2008, we have seen two candidates for Wisconsin's high court who dared to edify the electorate in the function of the state's top appellate judicial body—stressing the imperative to be impartial, and avoiding political demagoguery.

These two jurists honor the bench: Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, now a candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Abrahamson ran a facts-and-law campaign and won reelection decisively in 2009.

This election, we also have one candidate running a facts-and-law campaign: Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Kloppenburg opponent, Justice David Prosser, on the other hand, goes out of his way to declare his bias towards specific communities of interest and certain classes of litigants, as well as fidelity to his political party, a committment Prosser unconvincingly goes on to deny when called on this corrupt stance in office.

From Kloppenburg:
In two weeks, Wisconsin voters will elect a Supreme Court Justice.

You and I share the belief that Justices must be independent, impartial and committed to deciding each case on the facts and the law.

That is the kind of Justice I will be.
Independence, impartiality and committment to facts and the law.

That's refreshing. And in the face of an often lawless Scott Walker administration, committment to facts and the law is imperative to preserve the state of Wisconsin as a functioning democratic entity.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fight War on Families; Call Your Senator; Vote in April

by Michael A Leon
Find your state senator here.e

Beginning this week, Walker and the GOP will try to push through legislation, they say, will combat the massive voter fraud that resulted in their election that allegedly gives Republicans their mandate to strike at state, county and municipal workers, our neighbors, our friends, and our families.

Walker, if successful, will drive families to bankruptcy, jeopardize college plans, and inflict stress on already over-stressed, working parents.

But I do not believe for a moment that most GOP senators have any idea how badly families with state, county and municipal public workers will be hurt by what Walker is doing.

Call your state senator here.

In November 2010 some 26 percent of eligible Wisconsin voters cast their lot in the gubernatorial election for Scott Walker, handing Walker a narrow 52-47 victory.

Walker claims mandate to end collective bargaining and local control

Walker now claims a mandate to dismantle public union collective bargaining, and a state-mandated end to local control in county, school district and municipal governance.

Think it's your school district your property taxes pay for? Think again, it's Walker's or so he believes when Walker has political scores to settle and power to grab.

Local communities and families are collateral damage in Walker's war for Walker.

Putting aside aside Walker's absurd assertion that citizen demands for radical change in labor negotiations catapulted him to victory, one notes Walker assures us the 2010 legislative elections reveal a similar call for initiatives that just happen to weaken the political infrastructure of his opponents.

And no compromises, Walker says.

Walker claims mandate to end local control of health care

And that includes no local control of Medicare, Family Care, Senior Care and Badger Care because that's what the voters want, and this just happens to coincide exactly with what the multi-billionaire Koch Brothers want.

Family and senior health care are collateral damage in Walker's war for Walker.

Depoliticized is dangerous

The number of Wisconsin citizens who can name their state representative and state senator, their political affiliation, and policy positions in this age of 30-second TV campaigns is low.

Most families are straining to make ends meet.

It strains credulity to contend a mandate for targeting Wisconsin families, as Walker does.

Wisconsinites like most Americans are depoliticized; though as Walker's schemes become known outrage and betrayal are the common resulting sentiments as we have seen in the streets around the state.

Walker claims mandate to end same-day registration and mandate voter qualifications

Beginning this week, Walker and the GOP will try to push through legislation, they say, will combat the massive voter fraud that presumably resulted in their elections that give Republicans their allegedly powerful mandate.

It just so happens that our fellow citizens who are most vulnerable to be being obstructed from voting from the GOP legislation—college students, blacks, browns, and the working class—lean Democratic.

Other GOP initiatives targeting Democrats specifically and families generally will be presented in the coming months.

Elect JoAnne Kloppenburg over David Prosser

Most of Walker's agenda will face vigorous legal challenge in the court system, so it is critical that we work to elect independent-minded jurists.

In the state's highest court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Justice David T. Prosser, rakes in money from the same ideological special interests who fund Walker.

Walker, a petulant man, in his 18 years in the state assembly says he soaked in plenty of GOP money, and brags about his GOP connections: "Well, let me say this. I have the most partisan background of any member of the court." (Zweifel, Capital Times)

Prosser will face JoAnne Kloppenburg, Assistant Attorney General, dedicated to the rule of law and impartial adjudciation in the state's top appellate court.

But Prosser's campaign manager felt so comfortable in Prosser's loyalty to the GOP cause that he said a new Prosser term would protect the "conservative judicial majority and [act] as a common sense compliment [sic] to both the new [Walker] administration and Legislature." (Lueders, Isthmus)

Now, Prosser says he really didn't mean it, all that GOP money means nothing to Prosser when votes on cases before the Court. Right.

One critical step in restoring some sense of decency in Wisconsin politics is the election of Kloppenburg over the GOP tool, Prosser.

We have seen the results when we voters stay home.