Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lucky Republicans "Find" Votes This Time

How lucky the Republicans are! Just when a massive grassroots effort made it appear that unheralded Democratic challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg had unseated Republican incumbent David Prosser in the contentious Wisconsin Supreme Court race, Republicans fortuitously "found" another 7,000 votes for Prosser.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Kloppenburg had a 204-vote advantage over Prosser Wednesday.  Of course, this is an election featuring a Republican candidate, so vote counts tend to become adjusted to favor the GOP plutocrat toady-du-jour.  This time, instead of tossing votes out as they did in 2000, they tossed votes in. Thus, by Thursday, with, apparently, 110% of precincts reporting, David Prosser was awarded an additional 7,000 votes.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court battle is critical, as Republican Governor Scott Walker's union-busting and state asset giveaway sprees are likely all headed to the state high court for adjudication. With Prosser in residence, Walker is assured a 4-3 majority of right-wing toadies.

Brookfield, Wisconsin, in a heavily conservative neck of the woods, declared on April 6 that, enjoying the second highest voter turnout since 2001, they'd delivered 10,859 votes to Prosser. Kloppenburg got 3,456 votes. Then, when Kloppenburg became the unofficial election winner by 204 votes, Republican party hack and Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus played GOP Santa by finding enough additional votes in Brookfield to offer Prosser a 7,000 vote edge. According to Nickolaus' office, 14,000 additional votes had been found, with Prosser getting 11,008 votes and Kloppenburg getting 3,426. 

What is unclear is what happened to the original 10,859 Prosser and 3,456 Kloppenburg votes. Nickolaus didn't immediately explain whether the new 11,008 and 3,426 were being added to the 10,859 and 3,456, or if they were replacing the 10,859 and 3,456. If they were being added to the old total, it is unclear how 28,749 (10,859+ 3,456+11,008+3,426) people voted in the town that has a total population of 39,607. Perhaps there are no children in Brookfield.

Nickolaus is a Republican party donor. The GOP gets a lot of mileage out of loyal GOP election officials named Kathy.  It was Secretary of State Katherine Harris in Florida who managed to toss out thousands of Al Gore votes to hand the election to George W. Bush in 2000. Now, a different GOP Kathy has tossed in votes to give the local Republican toady a leg up.

Nickolaus gave a lengthy explanation about how the county's vote tally had been taken off the state network and put on a separate computer in her office, then experienced some problems with copying and saving files. There may have been some dogs and missing homework involved as well.

One would think that with all those Diebold machines laying around, the Republicans could have found a more elegant way to cheat and steal elections by now. Their arrogance has grown so overwhelming that they no longer even try to dress up their prevarications. Republican County Executive Dan Vrakas said, "...the most important thing is that every vote was counted."  Actually, for Republicans, the most important thing was that every vote was counted twice.

Unless they mean the original 10,859 votes for Prosser and 3,456 votes for Kloppenburg somehow hadn't been sent in to be added to the state totals, and somehow later morphed into 11,008 and 3,426. The Wisconsin Secretary of State hasn't published election results, and there are no city-by-city tallies available. Waukesha County is only offering a lump total for the county as a whole. Officials are no doubt meeting to get their stories straight. If the original 10,859 and 3,456 had been counted toward the original state total, then replacing those numbers with 11,008 and 3,426 would only give Prosser an additional 179 votes, not enough to overcome Kloppenburg's 204-vote advantage. Nickolaus might be in for a severe scourging by her party overseers. Only both counts added together would give Prosser the 7,000 vote advantage. 28,749 votes in a town of 39,607.

But if the dog Nickolaus had entrusted to take the votes to Madison ate the original tallies...
Well, well, Republicans would say, let's not quibble about how many votes Prosser won by. Pick any number you like, and we'll show you where they came from. The important thing is protecting our sacred electoral process by getting rid of ACORN and not to letting horrible people of color vote. Surely, particulars aren't important so long as the Republican wins.

This is why Republicans can plan to plunder the Social Security trust funds, give the money to their Wall Street cronies, and leave you penniless in retirement. This is why Republicans can scheme to dismantle Medicare, give all the money to their insurance company cronies, and leave you with a worthless handful of thirty percent off coupons good toward the purchase of exorbitantly expensive private insurance plans. This is why Republicans can undo banking, financial and environmental regulations and give their plutocrat cronies unfettered reign to pillage and pollute. They have their masters' corporate media cheerleaders cheering them on, and are no election backlashes to fear.

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