Senator Alberta Darling Tries To Sound Moderate

Amazing what a recall attempt will make a conservative Republican State Senator sound like.

State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), in remarks to supporters at her campaign office in Glendale on Saturday morning, said there needed to be a “full-court press” to get to the bottom of the mistake made in the Waukesha County count.

“We need that,” said Darling, co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. “We need people to understand what happened.”

One might remind Senator Darling Wisconsin voters also need to find out what the urgency was in the statehouse to pass the collective bargain ‘law’, and why open meeting laws were tossed under the bus.  Lots of issues need a “full-court press”.

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin Asks U.S. Attorney General To Investigate Supreme Court Election

The mess in Wisconsin resulting from the sloppy (or worse) undertaking of  Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus in relation to this past week’s Supreme Court race will require federal investigation.   I have thought this was the route needed, and folks I have talked with over the last 48 hours think the same.  It is vital that the integrity of the voting process not be allowed to be sullied by anyone in Wisconsin. 

That David Prosser is opposed to having the U.S. Attorney General investigate is troubling.  I would think that everyone would want to get to the bottom of this matter.

Right?

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking for a federal investigation into the handling of vote records in Waukesha County in the wake of Tuesday’s election for the state Supreme Court.

Baldwin’s office said she sent the letter Friday night.

Baldwin wrote Holder: “Following this week’s election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, numerous constituents have contacted me expressing serious doubt that this election was a free and fair one. They fear, as I do, that political interests are manipulating the results.”

Baldwin asked Holder to assign the Justice Department Public Integrity Section, which oversees the federal prosecution of election crimes, to investigate.

In Waukesha County, thousands of votes from the City of Brookfield that were not reported by the county clerk on election night were discovered the day after. Justice David Prosser’s margin of victory in Brookfield helped push him ahead of challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg.

“We, the people, must be assured that our votes are fairly counted and reported and our democracy remains intact and untainted,” Baldwin wrote.

Investigation Into Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus Begins

And it starts, and justifiably so.

Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), announced today he is dispatching staff to inspect and review the election night procedures in Waukesha County, where the outcome of the Supreme Court race is likely to be determined.
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus announced Thursday that she discovered more than 14,000 votes from the City of Brookfield had not been counted in her original tally of Tuesday’s election.

 The votes gave Justice David Prosser the lead over challenger Joanne Kloppenberg in the closely contested race , as other counties in Wisconsin continued to canvass their vote totals today.

Nickolaus, who had been previously criticized by a Waukesha County audit that found she stored key electoral documents, including vote totals, on her personal computer, said the Brookfield votes were not counted because of “human error.”

Kennedy issued the following statement today:

“Our election system is administered by people, and some problems are bound to occur. However, our post-election canvass system is designed to identify any errors and correct them. While unofficial results reported by some counties on Election Night have proven to be incorrect, the process of election officials canvassing and certifying those results is working.

“Because of the attention on vote totals from Brookfield, I am dispatching G.A.B. staff to Waukesha County today to review the business processes and verify the reported results in the election for Supreme Court justice. I have been in close contact with Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus since her news conference on Thursday, and have directed her to make the official returns from the polling places available for public inspection. These documents are public records. I believe she is now taking steps to ensure transparency and public confidence in the official results.

“The G.A.B. will issue a report on the results of its review as soon as possible, and before certifying the statewide election results.
 

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus Needs To Resign Over Botched Election Results

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus needs to resign because of the statewide mess she created concerning the election returns from the State Supreme Court race.

The reasons Kathy Nickolaus needs to resign as County Clerk are multi-fold.   

Kathy Nickolaus demonstrated a lack of professionalism that is expected of an official with her responsibilities.  She has also failed to be professional over time, and in so doing helped create the chaos that now engulfs Wisconsin.  

Kathy Nickolaus is also very suspect in this vote fiasco in light of the fact she was granted immunity after a caucus scandal when she worked as an Assembly Republican Caucus Employee while David Prosser was both Minority Leader and later as Speaker of the State Assembly.

Simply put, what took place in Waukesha County reeks to the heavens!  Kathy Nickolaus must own up to the massive problem, and resign.

Late Thursday the Waukesha County clerk announced that the vote total in Tuesday’s Wisconsin Supreme Court race had been mistaken, and that the corrected numbers changed the outcome of the entire election.

There were 3,456 missing votes for Democratic-backed challenger Kathleen Kloppenburg and 11,059 for incumbent GOP-backed Justice David Prosser. Kloppenburg has previously been beating Prosser by just 200 votes of the roughly 1.5 million cast statewide. The new total puts Prosser on a significant path to victory, about 7,500 votes ahead of Kloppenburg.

This error seems more than fishy given the past working relationship Kathy Nickolaus has had with David Prosser.  For thirteen years Nickolaus worked for the Wisconsin State Assembly Republican Caucus as a data analyst and computer specialist.  During that time Prosser served in powerful elected positions in the State Assembly. 

Before Kathy Nicklous resigned in 2002 from her partisan job she  was granted immunity to testify about her role in the caucus.  The Republican Caucus was under investigation for using state resources (tax dollars) to secretly run campaigns.

There is no way that I buy into Kathy Nickolaus’ near-tearful explanation of how Brookfield was misplaced when counting and adding the numbers.  There is no degree of plausibility given all we know about her.  Kathy Nicklous’ partisan dealings that landed her in the legal arena makes this latest, and most unbelievable turn of events, not rising to the smell test.

Kathy Nickolaus’ lack of professionalism is underscored by the fact Waukesha County has what can only be described as an outdated and rickety means of keeping  tabs of votes cast.  She has insisted the county results be kept on an antiquated personal computer, rather than upgrade to a new data system being utilized statewide.  

When confronted about the problems in the past she smiled in face of the facts that were presented to her.

The Waukesha County Board also heavily criticized the clerk after she brushed aside their recommendations for improving election security. At one point during a hearing in January, board chairman Jim Dwyer grew exasperated with Nickolaus and said, “There really is nothing funny about this, Kathy. Don’t sit there and grin when I’m explaining what this is about.”

Again, what has occurred in Waukesha County regarding the court election does not meet the smell test.

Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Barca gave voice late Thursday for voters all over Wisconsin in a blunt statement.  

It is especially troubling that she waited more than 24 hours to report the startling discovery and then did so at a press conference and only after she verified the results. This makes it all the harder to challenge and audit the integrity of the vote.  

The partisan, political history of Ms. Nickolaus and the serious concerns about the quality of her performance found in an audit raises the question of whether an investigation is warranted. The public deserves to know that the votes were counted properly.

No one can relish the idea of making it clear to someone that they must step aside from a job.  But the damage that Kathy Nickolaus has done to our election process in Wisconsin is no small thing.  The people’s faith in casting a ballot has been damaged by the actions undertaken in the last 48 hours from the Waukesha County Clerk. 

It is time that Kathy Nickolaus resign her office.

The people of Waukesha County and all of Wisconsin deserve no less.