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AP Smears WI Clerk For Following Law

As we noted in an earlier post, instead of admitting their own culpability in confusion over the Wisconsin Supreme Court election returns, the Associated Press has decided to defame the county official who did not send them the fullest report of the preliminary numbers:

Ballot error threatens to upend key Wisconsin supreme court election

Published Thursday, Apr. 07, 2011

A conservative incumbent surged to a commanding lead in Wisconsin’s hotly contested Supreme Court election Thursday, after a predominantly Republican county’s clerk announced she had incorrectly entered vote totals in the race seen as a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker’s divisive union rights law.

… [Waukesha County Clerk Kathy] Nickolaus is a former Republican staff member in the Assembly Republican Caucus and the Waukesha County Board has criticized her handling of past elections and lack of oversight in her operations.

“There is a history of secrecy and partisanship surrounding the Waukesha County Clerk and there remain unanswered questions,” Scot Ross, director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said in a statement.

An audit of Ms. Nickolaus’ handling of the 2010 election found that she needed to take steps to improve security and backup procedures, like stop sharing passwords. The audit was requested after the county’s director of administration said Ms. Nickolaus had not been co-operative with attempts to have county experts review her systems and confirm backups were in place.

We will have more on this charge below.

Ms. Nickolaus was given immunity from prosecution in a 2002 criminal investigation into illegal activity by members of the assembly Republican Caucus. She worked for 13 years as a data analyst and computer specialist for the caucus.

Note that Ms. Nickolaus was a lowly data analyst. She was not an evil Republican operator. And she was undoubtedly given immunity because she presented information about her evil Republican employers.

She resigned from her state job in 2002 just before launching her county clerk campaign.

Note how the AP try to make it sound like she quit her job in disgrace. But in reality, most disgraced people do not turn around and run for and win elected office.

The corruption probe took down then-Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, a Republican; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala, D-Madison; Sen. Brian Burke, D-Milwaukee, co-chairman of the powerful Joint Finance Committee; Assembly Majority Leader Steve Foti, R-Oconomowoc; and Rep. Bonnie Ladwig, R-Racine. They all reached plea deals.

The operative phrase here being "plea deals." Which most people will accept rather than facing a bankrupting witch hunt court fight.

As to the "audit" of Ms. Nickolaus’ handling of the 2010 election, we turn to what is probably the only source for the AP’s charges, an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from last August:

Waukesha County to audit election equipment

Clerk criticized for not sharing data with other departments

By Laurel Walker of the Journal Sentinel
Aug. 18, 2010

Waukesha – The County Board’s Executive Committee has ordered an audit of the county clerk’s election equipment and system beginning with the September primary despite several memos she sent to the committee over the weekend defending her practices and resisting the move.

County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus has maintained that as the one in charge of elections, she is responsible for the security and operation of the system. However, other county officials say they worry about the integrity of the old equipment and the system she’s using and whether she has adequate backup.

County Corporation Counsel Thomas Farley told the committee Monday that as an elected official with responsibility for elections, "If she wants to keep everything secret, she probably can.

"I don’t know if that’s wise or what she should do, but if she wants to and the public is satisfied that that’s what they want – someone who keeps everything secret – that’s up to them."

The issue came to a head when Nickolaus removed the election results collection and tallying system from the county computer network this spring and installed it on standalone personal computers in her office. She has said they are backed up with redundant systems.

Director of Administration Norman A. Cummings said Nickolaus has been uncooperative with attempts to have information technologists review the system and confirm the backups.

He said he isn’t interested in placing the system on the county network, but he wants to know whether the system is functional and secure and whether the county will have to replace equipment and programs in the next budget year – in time for the next presidential election

That is, Mr. Cummings wants the vote counting system to be more accessible to people who would not be directly responsible. Why would he want that?

In several memos to the committee, [Ms. Nickolaus] said she didn’t have confidence that security wouldn’t be breached with the county’s information technology department.

She presented information from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission that said voting systems should never be connected to a network not under the election official’s control.

What a nitpicker Ms. Nickolaus is.

She also said she’s running the most current election software certified – as required – by the state. The only old equipment, she wrote, was a computer that collects results from local polling places by modem over the telephone lines. Waukesha County is one of three or four counties that use that method. "The rest have the results faxed, walked into the county clerk’s office, or phoned in," she said…

The attorney, Michael Haas, said that under state law, the clerk is ultimately responsible for securing election records and equipment. Clerks also are subject to a complaint process, he added.

"In the event that an election is affected by an equipment issue, in other words, the clerk is likely to be the official held responsible and left to answer to any affected parties," Haas wrote.

What do laws have to do with anything? And why should Ms. Nickolaus object to opening up her system to tampering when she is the one who would go to jail?

Some committee members criticized Nickolaus for not providing election results for municipalities on election night, or not providing them soon enough at the April election

These anonymous committee members probably have a good point. How are you going to know how many ballots you have to stuff, if you can’t get the results from a Republican stronghold in a timely fashion.

Which, of course, could very well be why the Democrat operatives seem to have come up short in the Supreme Court elections.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, April 8th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “AP Smears WI Clerk For Following Law”

  1. P. Aaron says:

    The AP is fishing for a Katherine Harris moment.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    My faith in the Democratic Machine is unbounded. They will yet pull a steaming sack of evil out of their coven and slap Americans in the face with overturning any Win by Prosser. The Stupid Party will then suck their thumbs and blame you and me for not raising enough money for the National Committee and over at Huffington Post and DU they’ll eat a live newly born child to celebrater ….

  3. proreason says:

    Some people are speculating that the Republicans deliberately persuaded the lady to hold back a substantial block of votes in a stong Republican area.

    By doing so, it gave the dim libs 24 hours to do their usual cheating, which we witnessed real-time a couple of days ago as Sweet Pea gloated right here on S&L. Then the huge block was brought forward; large enough that additional cheating can’t overcome Posser’s lead.

    I pray that it’s true.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      I have pondered the same notion, Pro, as I’m sure many thinking people have. Not telling the AP about the vote count correctly is not illegal and seems to have been an effective tool to wallop any potential “vote finding” by the national socialists. Hopefully, they are testing the waters for the presidential election of 2012. Nothing would make me happier than to see the chairman’s camp being smug, talking trash, etc…then have the real numbers come in and see the reactionaries do what they do best.

      And the fact that it was all done with a legitimate paper trail and is, in fact, traceable and legal and all on the up-and-up makes it that much better. Naturally, the left is doing their best to destroy the person who made the “error” while they look at things through their own prism. That prism includes speculation on all the ways Prosser could “steal” the election. However, by complaining so loudly, they reveal their own methods for manipulating elections. Watch them closely to see where they look and what they are looking for and it will solve any mysteries about how they, themselves do it.

    • tranquil.night says:

      These series of events in Wisconsin over the past couple of months are a case study in genuine Leftwing ‘democracy’ on full display, and why our Founders gravely worried about such mob rule.

  4. SLFan says:

    I’m happy about the result but how is the AP culpable in this?

    • proreason says:

      Because they knew the votes were missing. Anybody familiar with Wisconsin politics knew. At S&L, we didn’t know, but we don’t follow Wisconsin politics at the detail level. You would have to live there and be an expert to know….but there were lots of people who did know, and the AP had access to those experts. Indeed, they certainly had some of those experts on staff, since election returns are a major part of their operation.

      Koppenberg knew when she declared “victory”, with an infinitesmal lead that was certainly too small to worthy of any kind of declaration, that it was likely to swing dramatically the other way when the unreported precincts showed up in the official count.

      Since the AP knew all of that, they are certainly culpable in the attempted theft of the election.

  5. sheehanjihad says:

    It was as if she knew…(they knew) that as usual, the Democrat candidate would win by a few votes….just a very few like they do in every other election. This time….someone was smart enough to withhold information that would be key to that handful of winning votes prevailing. Brilliant! Democrat operatives are kicking themselves for being snookered….and with legal votes to boot!

    The AP got taken, the Dems got taken, and someone who invested a ton of money to purchase another Democrat socialist victory got cleaned! Sweet. Too bad they won’t be able to do it again so easily…..now the registration for graveyards across the nation are going to be bulging with voters! I love this….fire with fire. For once.

  6. proreason says:

    From commentator Black saint at American Spectator:
    Read the facts outlined below, it is our history and may be our future. The Ten poorest cities and percentage of population below the poverty level:

    1. Detroit , MI 32.5% 2. Buffalo , NY 29.9% 3. Cincinnati , OH 27.8% 4. Cleveland , OH 27.0% 5. Miami , FL 26.9% 6. St. Louis , MO 26.8% 7. Chicago, Ill. 26.4% 8. Milwaukee , WI 26.2% 9. Philadelphia , PA 25.1% 10. Newark , NJ 24.2% U.S. Census Bureau, 2010

    What do the top ten cities (over 250,000) with the highest poverty rate all have in common? THE DEMOCRAT PARTY, and HEAVY UNIONISM!

    Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961.
    Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1954.
    Cincinnati , OH (3rd) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1984.
    Cleveland , OH (4th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1989.
    Miami, FL (5th) has never had a Republican mayor.
    St. Louis , MO (6th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1949.
    Chicago, Ill (7th) has never had a Republican mayor.
    Milwaukee , WI (8th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1908.
    Philadelphia , PA (9th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1952.
    Newark , NJ (10th) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

    Reason: The people in these cities elect Democrats and belong to unions because of their socialistic agendas and it is clear it is not working. Their failure is a burden on us all.

    Barack Obama is no different, he backs the failed policies of the pass and the very things that led to the demise of the Blue states and these cities.

    The definition of insanity is going the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!

    So is Obama and liberals insane or wanting failure and to reduce this Nation to Third World Status controlled by the Socialist/Democrat party of Northern Mexico?


    In the history of our federal government: * 5 Representatives have been expelled. All 5 were Democrats. * 14 Senators have been expelled. All 14 were Democrats. * 21 Representatives censured. 16 Democrats, 5 Republicans. * 7 Senators have been censured. 4 were Democrats, 3 were Republican. * 2 Presidents have been impeached. Both were Democrats.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Who let the gorilla in our bedroom?

    • tranquil.night says:

      My whole State of California has approached Banana Republic status. I don’t even think they need to go all out with the voter fraud anymore with how successful they’ve been in chasing out producers.

      And we sank a trillion dollars of stimulus into these black holes, never to return, just so that others could stay fat while we tanked our economic engine. Game effing over.

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