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Trump, the Muscovite Candidate, probably won’t last very long

Der Fuhrer Donald Trump actually isn’t president of the United States of America until and unless the members of the Electoral College vote him in on December 19, but even if he survives that test, Trump, the Muscovite Candidate who lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, will be a one-term “president” at best.

I haven’t written all that much about Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, and I hope that some haven’t taken that as any sort of admiration of or acceptance of him on my part.

It’s that The Donald is so fucking bizarre, such an anomaly, such a “presidential” fucking freak, that it’s difficult for me to even know where to begin in discussing him.

Let’s see: During the campaign he routinely uncreatively called Billary Clinton “corrupt Hillary” yet he recently settled his Trump University fraud lawsuit for $25 million, to name just one, recent instance of his own mega-corruption.

Another inconvenient, unflattering fact is that “corrupt Hillary” thus far leads Der Fuhrer Trump by 2.8 million votes in the popular vote.

Despite Trump’s wholly unsubstantiated — and treasonous — bold-faced lie that “millions” of people voted illegally for Billary, the fact remains that Trump lost the election by millions of votes; he did not earn the popular vote of the American people, and therefore he is an illegitimate president-“elect,” in my eyes.

Trump’s presidential illegitimacy is different than was George W. Bush’s — and here I never have written “President Bush” but only “‘President’ Bush,” because Bush always was and always will be a quite illegitimate president. (He lost the popular vote in 2000 by more than a half-million votes and was installed in the White House by his then-Florida-governor brother Jeb!, by then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and by the five Repugnican members of the U.S. Supreme Court who stopped the recount in Florida, the pivotal state for Gee Dubya that his brother very conveniently governed, and who thus, with the other conspirators, decided the presidential election for us commoners.)

In that thus far he has lost the popular vote by a significantly larger margin than Gee Dubya did — if we think that it’s at all important that in a democracy the candidate who actually earns the highest number of votes of the people actually is the one who takes office — Trump is even more illegitimate than George W. Bush was, but Bush’s illegitimacy was worsened with the blatantly partisan — and treasonously anti-democratic — involvement of his brother, Florida elections chief Katherine Harris and the wingnutty members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

That said, it still has yet to be determined exhaustively how and how much Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to try to get Trump rather than Billary into the big chair in the Oval Office. Arguably, Trump’s having had the help of a foreign government to win the White House is even more treasonous than anything that Team Bush ever did to steal the presidency.

The Washington Post has been all over Trump’s ties to Moscow, with recent news stories such as these:

A rather clear pattern has emerged, and it’s pretty fucking funny (in a sick and fucking twisted way, not in a humorous way) that the American right wing, which for decades was opposed to the “evil empire,” very apparently has as its “president” a treasonous piece of shit who has colluded with that “evil empire” in order to win the presidency — with the “evil empire’s” full expectation, of course, that in return, “President” Trump will do its bidding (in Syria and elsewhere).

True, Trump’s die-hard, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging supporters don’t care even if he’s in bed with Vladimir Putin, perhaps even literally, but these self-defeating dipshits are only a minority of Americans. The majority of us Americans — not just Democrats and Democratic leaners, but also old-school, non-Trumpist Repugicans, too, as well as most so-called independents — take a U.S. “president”-“elect” colluding with a foreign government very, very seriously.

Indeed, The Angel of Political Death looms over “President”-“elect” Donald Trump, its scythe at the ready for swift use at any moment.

If he makes it that far, I don’t see Trump finishing even one term, especially once his ties to Russia are fully investigated and publicized. (Unfortunately, however, even for such blatant treason, billionaires only very rarely are ever put behind bars in our two-tiered “justice” system; only we commoners ever are to be punished, even for petty fucking crimes.)

Even if it weren’t for Russia, our Muscovite Candidate always has done whatever the fuck he pleases — clearly, he’s inside of that billionaire’s gilded bubble from which only a prison cell (perhaps) can release him* — and if it wasn’t his collusion with Russia, it always was going to be something else, some other act of corruption and/or treason, that was going to make his time in the White House short.

There is a reason that Donald J. Trump is only the third person “elected” to the presidency who had not first been at least a governor of a state, U.S. vice president, a U.S. senator, a U.S. representative or an Army general. (Before Trump, William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover were the only exceptions to that list of five previous jobs that I see. Uncoincidentally, methinks, both Taft and Hoover were one-termers…)

That reason that Trump is the first to have broken these historical norms for the presidency during my lifetime (Lyndon B. Johnson was president when I was born) is that he is uniquely unqualified for the presidency, and the American system more or less has been set up to prevent such an unqualified person from ascending to the White House — which is probably why Trump apparently had an awful lot of help from Russia to “win.”

I’m with Michael Moore on this; it’s possible that Trump won’t even be sworn in next month, perhaps especially with the apparently substantiated-enough allegations that he’s a Muscovite Candidate** swirling about him.

That taint of treason might, just might, be enough to induce the members of the Electoral College to do the right thing on December 19, when they meet for the official election of the next president.***

If not, I expect Trump to hang himself with his gilded rope. If he makes it to Inauguration Day 2017, I don’t see him making it to Inauguration Day 2021.

P.S. Michael Moore, back in July, predicted that Trump would win the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. In an e-mail to his supporters dated July 23 (I still have this e-mail), he wrote (this is a copy and paste from that e-mail, with only slight edits for style and correctness):

… Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust-Belt Brexit. I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the Rust Belt of the upper Great Lakes — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states -– but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat).

In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) than the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done?

Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states.

When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35 percent tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States.

It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next door, John Kasich.

From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England — broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the middle class. Angry, embittered working (and non-working) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room.

What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. …

And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four Rust-Belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November. …

Prescient.

But even if Trump did win Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin fairly and squarely — but the fact that Trump & Co. have sued to prevent recounts and any other audits in the Rust-Belt states that they’re supposedly so certain that they won makes me have to wonder if Russia indeed was involved in the presidential election, quite intimately — Trump still lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, which is the largest gap between the Electoral College and the popular vote in U.S. history.

That indeed is politically damaging, which is why Trump lied that “millions” of votes were cast illegally for Billary Clinton.

Finally, I want to make it clear that I’m no fan of Billary Clinton. I supported Bernie Sanders, the actual Democrat in the Democratic Party presidential primary, and for president I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein (whose recounts of three states I have supported wholeheartedly, even though I don’t think they’re going to go anywhere).

Billary Clinton indeed is corrupt, but her corruption pales by comparison to Trump’s, whose ties to Russia very much appear to have crossed the line from garden-variety political corruption into treason territory.

Everything with Trump leads back to Russia, including his recent twofer pick of Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive Rex Tillerson for U.S. secretary of state — a twofer because it’s yet another corporate weasel guarding the hen house and because Tillerson’s breath, like Trump’s, smells like Vladimir Putin’s penis.

*That’s yet another example of Trump’s projection onto Billary Clinton: not only is she “corrupt” but he isn’t, to hear him tell it, but she belongs in a prison cell but he doesn’t.

Indeed, Trump very apparently believes, in typical wingnut fashion, that if he simply accuses others of his own brand of wrongdoing, then that alone magically lets him off the hook.

**For anyone who doesn’t get the reference — shut the fuck up, because there will be some who don’t get it — I’ve morphed Manchurian Candidate (with this definition of that term in mind) into “Muscovite Candidate,” as “Muscovite” is what you call someone from Moscow.

***As Wikipedia notes (links are Wikipedia’s):

The United States presidential election is the indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia cast ballots for members of the Electoral College, known as electors.

These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, in their respective state capitals for president and vice president of the United States. Each of the states casts as many electoral votes as the total number of its senators and representatives in Congress, while Washington, D.C., casts the same number of electoral votes as the least-represented state, which is three.

Once the voting for the presidential election has concluded and all the votes for each state have been accounted for, the electors are then advised as to what candidate won the majority in their state. The electors of that state then will cast the vote of that candidate to represent the people of their regions’ majority decision.

However, “Twenty-one states do not have provisions that are fairly specific in directing the electors to vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of their party.” This means that an elector could possibly vote against the majority decision of the state due to there being no law that binds electors otherwise in those states.

In modern times, almost all electors vote for a particular presidential candidate that their states’ majority decided upon; thus, the results of the election can generally be determined based on the state-by-state popular vote.

The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president or vice president (currently, at least 270 out of a total of 538) is then projected to be elected to that office.

If no candidate receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president, the House of Representatives chooses the president; if no candidate receives an absolute majority for vice president, the senate chooses the vice president. …

I remain of the strong opinion that the Electoral College needs to be scrapped altogether. There is no compelling reason not to go with the popular vote alone, especially since we call ourselves a democracy, and since the Electoral College has failed us twice in my lifetime of not even 50 years, awarding the White House to the candidate who fucking lost the popular vote.

(Well, the Electoral College has yet to confirm a president for January 2017, and while it’s possible that the Electoral College on December 19 will not pick Trump, it strikes me as an outside chance that the Electoral College will deny Trump the victory. Most people tend to fall in line rather than do the right thing, even if the right thing is staring them right in the face.)

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Love Honor Cherish breaks its vow

Updated below (on Tuesday, February 14, 2012)

No wonder we struggle for same-sex-marriage rights: The organizations that are supposed to be looking out for our interests are in such fucking disarray.

On January 6, 2012, I received an e-mail from the California-based pro-same-sex-marriage organization Love Honor Cherish. The subject line of the fundraising e-mail was “Now it’s our time.”

“It’s our time. Please support our campaign to put repeal of Prop 8 on the ballot this November 6th,” reads a link in that e-mail that, when you click it, still takes you to Love Honor Cherish’s fundraising page on the left-leaning fundraising website ActBlue.com. The e-mail concludes:

“It is our time. Waiting to do the right thing when we can win this November is just wrong. It’s not fair to gay and lesbian couples and their children.

“Join us and forward this email to your friends and family. Let’s win back marriage equality at the ballot box on November 6th.”

The e-mail bears the electronic signature of Eric Harrison, Love Honor Cherish’s “interim executive director.”

I was thrilled. California’s pro-same-sex-marriage groups have been too pussy to try to get the issue of same-sex marriage back on the ballot after the passage of Proposition H8.

Based upon this e-mail, I agreed to give Love Honor Cherish $20 a month for four months via ActBlue.com.

But today, I received an e-mail from Love Honor Cherish, also under Eric Harrison’s electronic signature, with the subject line of “Cherish Truth.”

The e-mail announces, in part:

Following last week’s victory in the 9th Circuit, we are now hopeful that weddings of gay and lesbian couples will resume by the end of this year, or even, at the end of this month. And what an incredible day that will be when gays and lesbians are able to marry again in California!

In the meantime, our “backup plan” to put the repeal of Prop 8 on the ballot this November is no longer feasible. Although we have had success so far – our wonderful volunteers, significant donor commitments, our campaign office, and support from numerous leaders and organizations around the state – collecting the 807,615 valid signatures required will likely not happen by mid-April as required to qualify for the November 2012 ballot.

We would need more than $1.5 million in donor commitments to hire a paid signature gathering firm to assist us in this massive effort. In view of the 9th Circuit victory and the narrowness of the ruling, making Supreme Court review less likely, raising the additional funds needed is now not realistic. And, as we have stated, we had no illusions that the initiative could qualify based solely on our statewide volunteer signature gathering effort.

Bullshit.

Nothing in the January 6 fundraising e-mail said anything about the ballot effort being a “backup plan.” And there is no guarantee that as a result of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal’s recent ruling that Prop H8 is unconstitutional that same-sex marriages will resume in California any day soon.

The only sure way to overturn Prop H8 right now would be another ballot effort to amend California’s Constitution to allow same-sex marriage — and such a ballot effort, if successful, also would destroy the right-wing haters’ argument that the majority of the people (Californians, at least) don’t want to allow same-sex marriage. (Indeed, to my knowledge, every time that same-sex marriage has been put up to a vote in a state, it has failed. [Polls show that same-sex marriage would pass in California today, however.])  

I get it that getting anything on the statewide California ballot is a gargantuan effort. Indeed, to amend the state’s Constitution does take more than 800,000 qualifying signatures.

However, to put out a fundraising e-mail promising to go forward with the effort, and then, just one month and one week later to announce that the effort is not “feasible” or “realistic” — about two months before the signature-gathering deadline has arrived — is grossly irresponsible at best and fraudulent at worst.

Love Honor Cherish got $40 of my money — only because I believed Love Honor Cherish’s promise to go forward with the effort to put same-sex marriage back on the California ballot. (I stopped any future monthly donations today after I received the organization’s quitter in chief’s e-mail.)

How much money did Love Honor Cherish raise, I wonder, from people like me who were excited to see that the organization was going to fight for our equal human and civil rights?

Today I e-mailed Eric Harrison, in part, “when people trust you with their money and you then renege on your promise, it does not do your organization’s reputation any good.”

He replied, in part, “We did not renege on our promise, Robert. You only fight for what’s right if you’re guaranteed victory?”

WTF?

You stop the effort two months before the signature-gathering deadline? That is a good-faith effort?

Of course I knew that victory wasn’t guaranteed. Of course I knew that after the total of $80 that I would have donated, the effort might fall short of the signatures needed. I was willing to take that risk.

But why even fucking start the effort only to announce a month and a week later that it’s too much to be able to accomplish?

Eric Harrison should step down.

In the meantime, today I mailed a complaint against Love Honor Cherish to the California Attorney General’s Office. Again, I believe that the organization’s actions have been grossly irresponsible at best, but probably in violation of California state law as well.

It’s bad enough to be fucked over by the enemy. To be screwed over by your own, however, is intolerable.

Updated (Tuesday, February 14, 2012): To clarify the timeline on this issue, the California Secretary of State’s Office cleared Love Honor Cherish to start collecting petition signatures on December 15, 2011. The January 6, 2012, fundraising e-mail came out less than a month after that.

So, given that Love Honor Cherish could start collecting signatures on December 15 and then announced on February 13 that it couldn’t possibly be done, that means that Love Honor Cherish didn’t stick with the effort even for a full two months.

Also, despite Eric Harrison’s e-mail claim that the signature-collection deadline is in “mid-April,” according to the Secretary of State’s Office, the deadline for the signatures to be submitted actually is May 14, 2012.

So: Love Honor Cherish gave up on the effort a full three months before the deadline.

Again: Eric Harrison should step down. Now.

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Obama’s condescending words, not AP’s rendition of his words, offensive

Barack Obama’s weekend lecture to the Congressional Black Caucus still is in the news.

There’s even chatter that some consider the way that The Associated Press quoted him to be racist.

The AP quoted Obama as saying to the members of the CBC: “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

Some believe that in journalism you always should fix others’ grammar, but I take issue with that stance. (Possessing a bachelor’s degree in journalism, I’m not talking out of my ass here.) When you put quotation marks around something, that’s supposed to be an exact rendering of what that person actually uttered. I might argue that to fix someone’s grammar in order to paint him or her in a better light actually is to show a bias.

And context is everything. As a journalist or writer you might choose not to clean up someone’s grammar in order to paint a more accurate and complete picture of that person’s personality and background. For instance, it would be, in my book, a gross distortion to write that someone uttered, “I am preparing to run for the presidency of the United States of America” when what that person actually uttered was, “I’m a-fixin’ to run for president of these here United States.”

Speaking of the president of the United States, it’s OK to quote the U.S. president verbatim, I think. There is a difference, I think, between cleaning up a rather unknown individual’s grammar for a news story and cleaning up the president’s.

What I took the AP to mean by quoting Obama that way (“Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin'”) when I read that AP news story is that Obama was trying to be all folksy with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus. If my impression is correct — and the video of Obama speaking those words to the CBC in a folksy accent that he never otherwise uses certainly seems to confirm my impression — then that is indicative that Obama has a sickening way of talking to people the way he thinks that they want him to talk to them. And because he very apparently actually thinks that that transparent bullshit actually works, that indicates to me that he’s a condescending prick.

When Billary Clinton was talking like the common folk in order to try to get their votes in the waaay-too-drawn-out 2008 Democratic Party primary race, I found it nauseating. I mean, it’s not like no one is going to notice when Billary suddenly gets a drawl or Obama suddenly starts a-talkin’ like this.

But fuck how Obama said the words or how the AP wrote that he said the words. The words themselves are sickeningly condescending: “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying.”

Obama, just like his brain-dead supporters do, always tries to find a way to try to blame his critics for his shortcomings. It’s not his fault. It’s your fault. Somehow. So stop grumblin’ and stop cryin’.  And put on your marching shoes.

Oh, except that Obama the hypocrite won’t slip out of his bedroom slippers himself.

In 2007, when he was making the plethora of campaign promises that he wouldn’t keep, Obama promised:

“If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself; I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

Nice words, but when Wisconsinites’ right to organize and collectively bargain was under serious attack earlier this year by Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker & Co., Barack Obama didn’t show his face in the state once. Not once. I guess that he couldn’t find his marching shoes that he’d promised to don.

Yet now Obama is lecturing the members of the Congressional Black Caucus — who surely don’t need a lecture by the man who in 2008 only rode all the way to the White House on the wave that Howard Dean, not he, created– to “put on [their] marching shoes.”

Barack Obama doesn’t lead by example.

And the only thing that he does well is break his campaign promises.

He’s all talk and no action.

But it’s all our fault.

We should stop complainin’, stop grumblin’ and stop cryin’.

Yes, we do have work to do. A lot of work to do. Unfortunately, Barack Obama is working against us, not with us or for us.

Only when it’s election time is he suddenly one of us.

The rest of the time, it’s pretty fucking clear whom he’s working for.

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Wazzup in Wisconsin?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photo

Katherine Harris wannabe (?) Kathy Nickolaus (shown at top, above an image of the actual Katherine Harris), a Repugnican Tea Party county clerk in a Repugnican Tea Party-leaning county in Wisconsin, announces on Thursday that she’d overlooked 14,000 votes in her initial report of her county’s vote tally in the state’s Supreme Court election on Tuesday. Her “human error,” she claimed, put the Repugnican Tea Party incumbent “Justice” David Prosser more than 7,500 votes ahead of his progressive opponent JoAnne Kloppenburg. Nickolaus has a scandalous history, and her claims are being investigated.

It’s been a rocky week in Wisconsin. First, progressive Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg was named the preliminary winner of the election for the seat in the state’s Supreme Court currently held by stupid white man and Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker ally David Prosser — by only 204 votes out of about 1.5 million votes cast.

Then, a Repugnican Tea Party county clerk, Kathy Nickolaus of Waukesha County, on Thursday announced that oopsie — in her initial report of her county’s vote tallies, she’d overlooked some 14,000 votes, which, she later discovered, actually put Prosser ahead of Kloppenburg by more than 7,500 votes.

Nickolaus has a scandalous, partisan history, so at the time I took — and I still take — her announcement of an “oopsie” with a fucking grain of salt. The 2000 presidential election — and the 2004 presidential election, too, as well as other elections, such as the election for the U.S. Senate in Alaska in November — have demonstrated amply that Repugnican Tea Party candidates and operatives have no problem stealing elections.

Thankfully, apparently Nickolaus isn’t going to get away with the world just taking her word for it; investigation of her claims is under way, and the election won’t be certified until the investigation is finished.

Reports The Christian Science Monitor:

Questions are being raised in Wisconsin regarding the party ties of a local county clerk whose discovery of about 14,000 unrecorded votes is assuring a victory for the Republican incumbent in last week’s election for state Supreme Court. A federal investigation into the matter was requested late Friday night.

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus became the center of the controversy Thursday when she announced she failed to record the votes of Brookfield, a city located outside Milwaukee that typically leans Republican.

Her actions turned the tables of the election, which was being tracked as an informal referendum on the policies of Gov. Scott Walker (R).

For nearly two months, Wisconsin has been in the national spotlight regarding a bill Gov. Walker introduced that erodes union power in the state.

Late last month, a circuit court judge issued a temporary restraining order barring the bill from becoming law, saying more time was needed to review the procedure Senate Republicans took to push the bill through in order to make it law. …

The case will likely end up being decided by the state’s Supreme Court, which brought unprecedented attention on last Tuesday’s election, pitting incumbent Justice David Prosser, backed by Republicans, and Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, favored by Democrats.

Before Nickolaus announced her mistake, Kloppenburg seemed headed for victory. She had a 204-vote lead out of 1.5 million votes cast and a recount was in the works.

The unrecorded ballots discovered Thursday favor Prosser, putting him ahead by 7,500 votes. Nickolaus told reporters that her mistake was “human error” and she apologized.

Nickolaus is now under scrutiny for her ties to the state’s Republican party. She worked as a data analyst and computer specialist for the state’s Republican caucus for 13 years, a time window that included Prosser’s brief tenure as Assembly speaker in 1995 and 1996.

A 2002 corruption probe investigating state employees working on campaigns on state time led to indictments of five legislative leaders, but Nickolaus received immunity from prosecutors and resigned that same year.

As circuit clerk of the Waukesha County Board, she was criticized for not being cooperative with the county’s director of administration, resulting in an audit following the 2010 election that showed she failed to follow proper security and backup procedures and would not share passwords with her superiors. [Emphasis mine.]

But wait; the’re more:

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) of Wisconsin is asking US Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a federal investigation into the handling of votes in Waukesha County. In a letter sent Friday night, Rep. Baldwin [stated that she] wants the Justice Department Public Integrity Section, which investigates election crime, to see if votes were mishandled following Tuesday’s election.

“Numerous constituents have contacted me expressing serious doubt that this election was a free and fair one,” she wrote. “They fear, as I do, that political interests are manipulating the results.” [Emphasis mine.]

State Democrat leaders are also calling for investigations into the matter and Kloppenburg announced she would raise money for a recount. State Rep. Peter Barca told the Green Bay Post-Gazette Friday that Nickolaus’ actions “doesn’t instill confidence in her competence or integrity.”

Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, a non-partisan and non-profit advocacy group, said in a statement that his state “deserves elections that are fair, clean and transparent” and that “there is a history of secrecy and partisanship surrounding [Nickolaus] and there remain unanswered questions.”

Election night numbers are not yet verified in the election as 12 of the state’s 72 counties have not yet finalized the canvass process, which is expected to take place late next week. Once that is complete, candidates have three days to file a request for a recount.

Prosser told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he “met [Nickolaus] a number of times in the last few months” but did not remember whether or not she worked for him during his time as Assembly speaker.

“I can’t say it didn’t happen, but I don’t remember,” he said.

Why Prosser met (with?) Nickolaus “a number of times in the last few months” is interesting; what business a state Supreme Court “justice” would have meeting (with?) a county’s top elections official escapes me.

There also is a Reuters news story that reports that the Wisconsin Supreme Court election results won’t be certified until a state investigation into Nickolaus’ alleged “oopsie” is completed:

The [state] agency overseeing Wisconsin elections will not certify results of Tuesday’s state Supreme Court race until it concludes a probe into how a county clerk misplaced and then found some 14,000 votes that upended the contest.

Michael Haas, Government Accountability Board staff attorney, told Reuters on Friday the watchdog agency was looking into vote tabulation errors in Republican-leaning Waukesha County which gave the conservative incumbent a net gain of more than 7,000 votes — a lead his union-backed challenger seems unlikely to surmount.

“We’re going to do a review of the procedures and the records in Waukesha before we certify the statewide results,” Haas said. “It’s not that we necessarily expect to find anything criminal. But we want to make sure the public has confidence in the results.” [Emphasis mine.]

Unofficial returns in the statewide race had given the challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg, a narrow 204 vote statewide lead over David Prosser, a former Republican legislator.

But late Thursday, the top vote counter in Waukesha County said votes she had failed to report in earlier totals resulted in a net gain of 7,582 votes for Prosser in the county.

News of the uncounted votes came as officials throughout Wisconsin were conducting county canvasses, a final review of voting records that allows the state to certify this week’s bitterly contested elections.

The Supreme Court contest was widely seen as a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker and the curbs on collective bargaining he and his allies passed in the legislature. …

If Prosser wins, Kloppenburg has the right to ask for a recount — though based on the current tally, Wisconsin law may require she pay for it herself.

In a statement, Kloppenburg said her campaign had filed an 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.”

Under Wisconsin law, county clerks have until Friday, April 15, to complete the canvass and report the results to the GAB. Once results from all 72 counties are in, a three-day period begins for candidates to request a recount. If there are no delays connected to a recount, the board’s deadline for certifying the results is May 15.

It’s possible that Nickolaus is just incompetent, but given her scandalous history and her history of activism within the Repugnican Tea Party, I’m happy that multiple parties — not just Kloppenburg, but also U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board — are looking into what happened in her county and aren’t just taking her word for it.

If indeed Nickolaus is found guilty of election fraud, I hope that she’s thrown into prison for many, many years. Election fraud by an elections official isn’t just felonious; it’s a fucking treasonous betrayal of the people’s interests and confidence.

Even if Nickolaus is cleared of wrongdoing, if the certified results of the election declare Prosser the winner and fall within the margin for a recount by Wisconsin state law — up to a 0.5 percent vote-tally difference between Kloppenburg and Prosser for a free recount, and from a 0.5 percent to a 2.0 percent difference for a candidate-funded recount (with the candidate requesting the recount the one who has to pay for it) — I hope that Kloppenburg pursues a recount effort to the full extent of Wisconsin state law. It’s been too fucking fishy for her not to, and if she needs any money to pay for the recount, I’ll be more than happy to chip in.

One Katherine Harris was bad enough.

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