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  “Unbelievably!” Rachel Maddow Uncovers Wisconsin Plot to Count Votes the Same Way They are Counted Everywhere in the United States (True Twit, Part 14)

Posted on April 17 2011 11:00 am
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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This popular post was originally published April 11, 2011.

Chagrined at her premature happy Twit Two-Step, Rachel Maddow tried to salvage something out of the unexpected disaster that Big Labor and the organized Left suffered in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race when it was discovered that conservative Justice David Prosser survived their savage assault.

As usual, it wasn’t so much what she said, but how she said it, with smug intonations and feigned surprise that defy refutation in short, so later in the column, I will fisk her and her guest’s commentary to show you just how their assertions were either sleazy or stupid.

But here’s an example of the attempt to rile up the MSNBC faithful over nothing:

MADDOW:  The county clerk in this case, you can see on the screen here right now, is both elected and it is a partisan position?

LEE:  Unbelievably!

Yeah, just like it is in all 72 counties in Wisconsin (including Democrat Milwaukee where there really has been fraud), just like it is in all 83 counties in Michigan, all 254 counties in Texas, and oh, right the REST of the United States!  Shocking!

I mean isn’t it an abuse of democracy to have people who are accountable to the voters in charge of our elections?

But that’s only the tip of the twittery iceberg.

Just for fun, here was Rache on Wednesday night:

MADDOW:  Thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour as well.

Do you remember in the middle of the fight to stop the big union-stripping bill in Wisconsin, right in the middle of that fight I got on the air in this show and said, “Wisconsin, you won”?  Here‘s what I meant when I said that.

A state Supreme Court election that nobody outside of the candidates and their families really cared about two months ago has just signaled a 180-degree shift in the political winds in the American Midwest!


Here she was last night, trying to hint that something was fishy about the total refutation of her allies; but not quite having the guts to come out and say something inherently dishonest like Olbermann would have or Michael Moore has done.

MADDOW:  There is breaking news out of Wisconsin tonight where what had been an extremely close race for Supreme Court between conservative incumbent Justice David Prosser and the challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg, is now less close  (DF: No, it was never close, just the badly reported COUNT was close.) after an entire town‘s votes were reportedly (not just reportedly) not included in the initial tally, but then they were mysteriously (things that have already been explained are only mysterious to the stupid) found today.  It happened in Waukesha County, the most conservative large county in Wisconsin by a mile. (S0unds sinister, until you realize that’s why the vote count is actually logical.)

The county clerk in Waukesha County says she did not put the vote totals from one whole city in that county into the final total she reported to the media.  The town is called Brookfield, Wisconsin, population 39,000.  Its votes reportedly went quite dramatically for the conservative David Prosser.  And that means that even though “The Associated Press” had JoAnne Kloppenburg in the lead in this race by a couple of hundred votes last night, right now, she appears to be unexpectedly over 7,000 votes behind.  Yes, that is still an unofficial count.

How did such a massive mistake happen and how should we understand it?  Well, according to the county clerk, she says she forgot to hit the save button on the relevant file.  Here‘s her explanation tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)KATHY NICKOLAUS, WAUKESHA COUNTY CLERK:  I discovered that the data that was sent to me from the city of Brookfield was not transferred to the final report that was given to the media on Tuesday night.  The city of Brookfield cast 14,315 votes on April 5th, 10,859 votes went for Justice David Prosser.  And 3,456 went for JoAnne Kloppenburg.  These numbers will be reflected in my official results.

It is important to stress that this is not a case of extra votes or extra ballots being found.  This is human error which I apologize for.  This was an access database file that was on our regular system, and it was just a matter of the save.  It was just a matter of human error.  Again, I apologize.

REPORTER:  Has there been any error like this, this large ever before in Waukesha County?

NICKOLAUS:  Not that I’m aware of.(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW(sarcastically):  Not that I‘m aware of.

Joining us now is Mordecai Lee, professor of government affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Professor Lee is a former member of the Wisconsin state assembly and the state Senate.

Professor, thanks very much for your time tonight.


MADDOW:  What do you make of the explanation for these missing votes reappearing today?  Does this seem to make sense to you?

LEE:  Not really.  It‘s awfully bizarre. (Yes, if you have never been involved in an election with an unexpectedly high turnout.  I have seen ballots in cities have the Republican and Democrat votes counted in reverse, townships left out of a “final” reported count on Election Night because turnout was so high they ran out of ballots and had to count their improvised ballots by hand, etc.  And I’m not nearly as old as this guy, nor called to be an “expert witness” in a “national” show  — well MNSBC, anyway.) In a clip that wasn‘t part of what you showed, she claimed that they didn‘t use the form she sent them, that they amended her template.  I don‘t understand how she can hand out a template that other people can play with.  This really raises basic questions about the professionalism there.  It just struck me as amateur hour.  (Admittedly, it wasn’t a great performance, but it was caught by a county clerk BEFORE the recount, which is something.  This poor lady is paying the price for the Left’s premature celebration.)

MADDOW:  Is Waukesha County in particular or Wisconsin broadly speaking, does it have a history of shenanigans about voting or incompetence about voting or other things that should help the national audience understand whether or not this late announcement today is something to worry about or just something to wonder about?  (No, but questions like that are what led to the Twit moniker…)

LEE:  This is something to wonder and worry about.  I mean, we‘re not Chicago in 1960 or Texas in 1948 when they stole elections.  (Wait, did this dufus just admit Kennedy stole the election?) But 7,500 votes, that‘s a ton.  I have been involved in Wisconsin politics since the late 1960s, and I have never seen an election that had such a major mistake. (Numerically, perhaps, but this was really a matter of one keystroke, and the mistake was discovered through oversight as it was supposed to be.  Sorry about your wasted champagne, guys.)

You know, she was questioned by an audit about her I.T. system last year by the county government, and she claimed that she could just have a free standing P.C.  I think this is an indication of incompetence.  And I don‘t even understand why we elect partisan county clerks.  Isn‘t it time for civil service and public administration to run our elections?  (Isn’t it time for Rachel to get some guests with professionalism?  Large and medium sized counties do have their elections “run” by civil service employees.  The elected clerk is there to be a public administrator who sets policy and the budget like every other elected executive.  And, oh, yeah, clerks do a lot more than just administer elections a few times a year, they oversee pistol permits, birth, death, and marriage records, just to scratch the surface.)

MADDOW:  The county clerk in this case, you can see on the screen here right now, is both elected and it is a partisan position?

LEE:  Unbelievably.  I mean, how can there be a supposedly Republican way to run elections or Democratic way?  That‘s such 19th century America.  We really need to professionalize those offices.  (Well, this genius did list the Democrat way of counting votes earlier in the conversation…)

And elections are the basis of democracy.  And here in Wisconsin, we like to think of ourselves as dull and staid and straightforward.  And for the last 60 days, every day, we have woken up to another jaw dropping story.  But this takes the cake.  I just can‘t believe it. (OMG! A computer error was discovered by a clerk who double checked the process!  Will the madness never cease!)

MADDOW:  There has been a lot of national attention on this local election.  I mean, here we are in prime time national cable news (well talk about overstatement!) talking about a dramatic turn in the state Supreme Court election in Wisconsin.  But that‘s because this has been seen (by MSNBC leftist shills) as essentially a proxy vote on the union-stripping measures and the tactics of the Republican Party in Wisconsin, which have been so dramatic this year, substantively.  (Which was why I was so ecstatic last night…)

Does the winner of this race have a substantive effect on the fate of Governor Walker‘s union-stripping law? (Are union members now naked in Wisconsin?  And can somebody please start saying “PUBLIC EMPLOYEES union” at the very least?  But of course, the whole point is to blur the distinction.)

LEE:  The answer is yes.  This was not a symbolic election. (Okay, just what the… future… is a “symbolic election?”  I’ve never been involved in one of those, but then I guess I haven’t been around as much as this expert.) This was an election for the swing vote on our seven-member state Supreme Court.  Right now, with Justice Prosser there, there‘s an ideological majority of four conservatives.  If he were to be replaced, there will be an ideological majority of I guess you‘d say left of center progressives.

So, this was really a vote about whether the collective bargaining bill, if it reaches the state Supreme Court, is going to be upheld or rejected.  (Uh, no, it was a vote for a Supreme Court justice.  For a guy who just said it wasn’t a symbolic vote, you just told us what it symbolized… oh, never mind.)

MADDOW:  Former Wisconsin State Senator Mordecai Lee, who is now professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, thank you very much for helping us sort through this.  We know it‘s not over.  (Oh, yes it is!) We may be talking to you again, sir.  (That I don’t doubt, you twits are made for each other.)



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