Tag Archives: JoAnne Kloppenburg

Wazzup in Wisconsin? (Part 2)

I don’t live in Wisconsin (I live in the great state of California), but I’m paying fairly close attention to what’s going on in the Badger State (which has become the nation’s No. 1 laboratory of democracy and where, except for the rather extreme cold, I could see myself living). Here are three news items that have caught my attention:

(1) Progressive JoAnne Kloppenburg yesterday requested a recount of the April 5 election results for the race for the seat on the state’s Supreme Court, since the official results put her at less than 0.5 percent behind her right-wing opponent David Prosser. Prosser has an official 7,316-vote lead out of about 1.5 million votes cast, but ever since the surprise announcement of thousands of more votes that materialized in Repugnican Tea Party-dominated Waukesha County after Kloppenburg initially had been given a preliminary 204-vote lead, doubt has been cast as to the integrity of the election results at least for that county.    

Kloppenburg not only asked for a statewide recount, but she asked the state to appoint a special investigator to look into the “actions and words” of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, whose suprise announcment of more than 14,000 votes to be added to the preliminary vote count put Prosser up by more than 7,000 votes.

“With a margin this small — less than one-half of 1 percent — the importance of every vote is magnified and doubts about each vote are magnified as well,” Kloppenburg said in announcing her request for a recount, the first statewide recount in more than two decades in Wisconsin but to which Wisconsin state law entitles Kloppenburg. “If there are problems, we need to identify them and fix them. If there is doubt, we need to remove it. If there was misconduct, we must hold those who perpetrated it accountable.”

Team Prosser is criticizing Kloppenburg for having requested the recount, even though state law entitles her to it.

Unless the members of Team Prosser are afraid that fraud might be found, I don’t know why they would criticize Kloppenburg’s decision to utilize the democratic process that the right-wing nutjobs apparently like only when it delivers to them what they want. On that note, I have little doubt that if Kloppenburg were up over Prosser by less than 0.5 percent — the threshold for a candidate to request a statewide recount free of cost to the candidate — then Team Prosser would request a recount, just as Kloppenburg has.

Even if Prosser is declared the eventual winner of the election for the seat that he holds on the state’s Supreme Court, at least the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin have been put on notice that they are being watched for any attempts at committing election fraud.

(2) The media report that while recall-election petitions have been filed against three Democratic Wisconsin state senators, recall petitions already have been filed against five Repugnican Tea Party state senators. Eight Democratic and eight Repugnican Tea Party state senators, by state law, have been subject to recall efforts that anyone might have chosen to launch.

If the Democrats can maintain their current number of seats in the state Senate and flip three state Senate seats from the Repugnican Tea Party to the Dem Party, they will take control of the state Senate, greatly politically weakening Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker.

(3) Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has been named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people on the planet.* Shouldn’t he be listed as one of People magazine’s most beautiful people instead? I mean, here is the photo of Dreamboat Ryan that Time used:

Time.com photo

Damn, he looks so harmless, doesn’t he? Cuddly, even!

Anyway, as if Ryan’s inclusion in Time’s top 100 most influential weren’t bad enough, who composed the little write-up for Ryan? None other than Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker.

Here is “Dead Man” Walker’s ode to Ryan:

Paul Ryan, 41, came of age down the road from me. Although we didn’t know each other at the time, it’s clear now that growing up in south-central Wisconsin during the Reagan years had a lasting impact on both our political philosophies. Like our 40th president, Paul has always stuck to his core beliefs: in limited, effective government; individual liberty; and making the hard decisions so our children will inherit a country at least as great as the one we did. Overnight, his economic plan has redefined the nation’s conversation about public spending.

It has been said that there are two types of people in politics: those who want to be somebody great and those who want to do something great. Paul Ryan is the latter, and our country is better off because of that.

Let’s be clear: Ronald Reagan sucked. His pro-plutocratic, social Darwinist policies, including his union-busting and his “trickle-down” bullshit (the rich only “trickle down” on us to piss all over us), began our national economic collapse — including the largest gap between the rich and the poor seen since the Gilded Age.

And yes, putting forth a so-called “path to prosperity” that has the rich and the super-rich paying even less in taxes than they are paying now and that destroys Medicare as we know it sure has “redefined the nation’s conversation about public spending,” just as how if I were to put forth a proposal that every fucking baby boomer be exterminated at age 65 (which is pretty fucking generous, as in “Logan’s Run” the age of extermination is 30) — an actual path to prosperity, but never mind that — it would redefine the nation’s conversation about retirement.

And to claim that Paul Ryan, who wants to destroy Medicare, is “making the  hard decisions so our children will inherit a country at least as great as the one we did,” is a great big fucking joke, since one, my generation, Generation X (to which, unfortunately, both Ryan and Walker also belong), inherited a nation in much worse shape than it was when the baby boomers first got their greedy grubbies on it, and two, Ryan’s plan for dismantling Medicare grandfathers those who right now are 55 or older but screws the rest of us — including, of course, “our children.”

Today’s old farts vote, you see, but the Repugnican Tea Party traitors very apparently believe that they can fuck over the rest of us without a fight.

Maybe Ryan doesn’t spend enough time in his home state of Wisconsin. Otherwise, he would know that we, the people, are in a fucking fighting mood.

*Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota also made Time’s top 100 list (Archie Bunker-like blowhard Rush Limbaugh wrote the little piece for her, beginning it, “I don’t mind telling you that I’m a great admirer of Michele Bachmann’s,” which of course suggests that he at least somewhat does mind telling us that) — and so did androgynous teen-girl heartthrob Justin Bieber — so it’s not like it’s a Nobel prize or anything, but still…

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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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First stupid white man’s head rolls in Wisconsin

There will be a recount, but the progressive female candidate is leading the stupid white male candidate in yesterday’s election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Normally sedate elections, yesterday’s state Supreme Court election — in large part because it was the first statewide election following the attempt by the stupid white male administration of Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker to destroy the state’s public-sector labor unions — is a big deal in Wisconsin, and indeed, it sends ripples throughout the rest of the nation.

The candidates could not be more symbolic of what they stand for — and they couldn’t be (much) more diametrically politically opposed to each other than they are.

There is Repugnican Tea Party incumbent “Justice” David Prosser —

Dan Vrakas

Associated Press photo

— a stupid white man who in the state’s Legislature mentored Gov. “Dead Man” Walker, whose re-election to the state Supreme Court Sarah Palin endorsed (although, interestingly, Team Prosser declared that they hadn’t asked for the endorsement), and who once called state Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson “a total bitch.” (It’s OK if a white male wingnut calls a woman a bitch, but don’t you call Palin a bitch, because that would make you a misogynist.)

Prosser stands for Politics As Usual — stupid rich (or at least pro-rich) right-wing white men running the show, as they have done since the nation’s founding.

And then there is the Democrat JoAnne Kloppenburg

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg, ...

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg, ...

Associated Press photos

— an assistant attorney general and environmental law specialist who reminds me of Mother Nature Herself coming down to kick some stupid white male ass after the stupid white male has gone waaay too fucking far this time. (Which he has.)

While between one million and two million Wisconsinites cast ballots in yesterday’s state Supreme Court race, as I type this sentence Kloppenburg maintains a preliminary lead of only 204 votes, virtually ensuring a recount.

John Nichols of The Nation concludes:

There could be weeks, even months of wrangling over ballots and counts. But one result has already been confirmed: The referendum on Walker’s policies has sent an important signal. When a candidate who is not given a chance ties a senior justice on the state Supreme Court, when a newcomer ties one of the most entrenched political players in the state, and when these results can be linked to fury at a governor’s policies, that governor has nothing to celebrate.

Something is changing in Wisconsin. A new politics is taking shape. And JoAnne Kloppenburg has been a beneficiary — along with the battered but unbeaten state of Wisconsin.

Yup. If Kloppenburg emerges as the winner — which I predict she will — the state’s high court will lose its 4-3 slant to the right, not only making it that much harder for “Dead Man” Walker to continue his assault on the working class and the middle class in Wisconsin, but making other stupid white men elewhere (like Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, who in the name of “prosperity” wants to destroy Medicare, to name just one of them) think twice before they declare class warfare upon the middle and the working class.

And Kloppenburg’s victory is a Victory of The People Over Politics As Usual. Hers is a true grassroots victory, not a corporately funded astr0-turf effort like the efforts of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party.

Ironically, it seems to me that the bogus “tea party” — a corporately sponsored group of wingnutty people ludicrously comparing themselves to the early American colonists who threw off their British oppressors when they side with our plutocratic overlords over their fellow members of the American working class and the middle class — has inspired a true Boston Tea Party-like pushback of the people against the monarch-like powers that oppress the people.

Only it’s Madison, Wisconsin, this time, intead of Boston, Massachusetts.

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He’s HOT! Too bad he’s fucking EVIL…

I have to wonder if the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who now control the U.S. House of Representatives only because all of us are limp because of Barack Obama’s unfulfilled 2008 campaign promises chose Rep. Paul Ryan to try to sell us on the great idea of destroying Medicare because he’s hot.

I mean, you have to hand it to the Repugnican Tea Party traitors. When Obama controlled both houses of Congress for two fucking years, the only thing that he was able to do was pass pseudo-health care reform. The Repugnican Tea Party traitors control only one house of Congress, and they’ve controlled it for only three months now, but they’re hard at work trying to destroy the remnants of our labor unions and Medicare. (And your little NPR, too!)

Seriously, though, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is such a hottie that he almost could sell me on the wholesale destruction of Medicare, paid for by giving the rich and the super-rich even larger tax breaks. Hell, he probably could sweet-talk me out of both of my kidneys.

I mean, look at that face:

US Republicans push deep long-term spending cuts

Paul Ryan

Associated Press and AFP photos

Would such a handsome young man lie about calling the elimination of Medicare (and giving the rich and the super-rich even bigger tax breaks) “the path to prosperity”?

I don’t know… I realize that Ryan is the chair of the House Budget Committee, but it is an accident that he, and not, say, this guy

John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy

Associated Press photo

— is the face behind the proposed destruction of Medicare, which we just can’t afford anymore, so let’s just give the rich and the super-rich some more tax breaks instead?

Ryan’s proposed make-the-rich-even-richer-and-the-poor-even-poorer budget is going nowhere, but this development is important because the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are floating the idea of destroying Medicare. If this trial balloon were to take off, Social Security would be next on the chopping block.

We need to shoot this shit down, just as we are shooting down the other bullshit that originated in Wisconsin: the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ attempt to destroy what’s left of the labor movement.

Speaking of which, as I type this sentence, a winner has yet to be called in today’s state Supreme Court election in Wisconsin. News reports right now are that the stupid white male incumbent and his challenger, a progressive female candidate, are at a dead heat.

I predict that the progressive candidate, JoAnne Kloppenburg, is going to win — a blow to treasonous Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker & Co. in Wisconsin, which we are taking back from the Repugnican Tea Party.

Speaking of Repugnican Tea Party traitors from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan needs to go at the next election in Wisconsin, too — even though he does makes me want to coin a new acronym: PILF, maybe…

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