Incumbent Republican Justice declares 'decisive' victory over Kloppenburg in state-wide race said to have been won by 0.488%...
By Brad Friedman on 4/18/2011, 3:14pm PT  

Via Eric Kleefeld at TPM...

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser held a press conference at the state Capitol on Monday, in which he declared victory in his reelection race --- and at which his campaign advisers said they would object to any recount that might be requested by Prosser's opponent, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

The Prosser campaign went on the offensive at the presser in hopes of keeping a state-wide examination of ballots, meant to ensure the true winner of the 10-year term on the state's high court, from taking place at all.

As Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Patrick Marley reports Prosser campaign attorney Jim Troupis said, "We will take every and any step to prevent this frivolous matter going forward."

In other words, they will do everything they can to block the verification of the unverified vote tally for a 10-year term on the state Supreme Court --- despite state law which allows for such a verification if opted for by one of the candidates in such a close race.

"Reporters asked multiple times what grounds the Prosser campaign would use to object to a recount, given that state law entitles a candidate losing by less than 0.5% to request one at state and local expense," writes Kleefeld. "When a reporter bluntly asked Troupis whether he would say what grounds would be listed in an objection to a recount, compared to what is in state law, Troupis simply responded: 'No.'"

The article also quotes Prosser himself, in all his Orwellian wonder announcing, "This was a decisive election about judicial independence." Then, just minutes later, the long-time partisan Republican who had, during the campaign, signaled his intention to help facilitate the political agenda of Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP state legislature, thanked his voters for their support of "the advancement of conservative values as the way to address and ameliorate our many problems."

Talk about your "judicial independence"!...

As to the "decisive" nature of this election, Prosser, who had reportedly "lost" to Kloppenburg on Election Night by just 204 votes out of some 1.5 million cast across the state, received a stunning turn of luck when his former employee Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, announced the tally of some 14,000 additional votes from the city of Brookfield which she had failed to include in her Election Night totals, giving Prosser the lead in the contest by some 7,500 votes.

Nickolaus worked for Prosser when he was leader of the state's Assembly Republican Caucus. Questions about the results of past elections in Waukesha, including some 20,000 more votes counted than "ballots cast" in 2006, are now being investigated by the WI Governmental Accountability Board (GAB), the body which oversees elections across the state.

The final canvass of all 72 counties in WI's state-wide April 5th Supreme Court election gives Prosser a slim "decisive" margin of just 7,316 votes over Kloppenburg in a contest which the incumbent Prosser was predicted to easily win just two months ago, but which then grew into a proxy battle between supporters and detractors of the Badger State's controversial new GOP governor and the dishonest "big government" tactics he used to legislate away the rights of citizens to collectively bargain with the state.

The Right currently enjoys a 4 to 3 majority on the state Supreme Court. A win by Kloppenburg might change the balance of the court as Gov. Walker's controversial union-stripping measures are likely to face a challenge before the state's Supremes in the coming months. Kloppenburg campaigned in the supposedly non-partisan race promising the very "judicial independence" that Prosser is claiming now that he believes he has won the election.

As The BRAD BLOG noted both when Kloppenburg was believed to be the "winner", as well as ever since Prosser was announced to have taken the lead in the unverified vote count, that the vast majority of paper ballots cast in the state have been tabulated only by often-inaccurate, easily-manipuated optical-scan computer systems made by companies like Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia. After tally by op-scan in Wisconsin, paper ballots are not examined during the post-election canvass to assure the computer tabulation correctly reflects the will of the voters.

The Kloppenburg campaign has until Wednesday to decide if they wish to carry out the state-sponsored machine "recount" they are entitled, as Prosser's canvassed (but unverified) vote count is just 0.488% higher than the hers. In order to have a state-wide hand count of ballots, as called for by a number of Election Integrity organizations, the Kloppenburg campaign would need to receive a court order, according to WI's recount procedures [PDF]. In receiving such an order, the campaign would have to present evidence to show that a hand count of ballots was likely to change the final results of the election in her favor.

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Related articles at The BRAD BLOG on WI's 4/5/11 Supreme Court election...

4/15/11: Prosser 'Wins' WI Supreme Court Election by 7,316 Over Kloppenburg, According to Unverified Canvass
4/14/11: Waukesha, WI Follies: 97.63% Turnout in 2004? 20,000 More Votes Than 'Ballots Cast' in 2006?
4/14/11: 'State Investigating Vote Irregularities in Waukesha County Going Back 5 Years'
4/11/11: 'Democracy's Gold Standard' - A 'Special Comment' by Brad Friedman in the Wake of WI's Supreme Court Election Debacle
4/8/11: WI's Supreme Election Debacle (And What We Should, But Probably Won't, Learn From It)
4/7/11:: Prosser Up by 7500+ in WI Supreme Court Race After 'Database Error' Discovered by Controversial Clerk in Republican Waukesha County
4/6/11:: WI Supreme Court Election Virtually Deadlocked, According to the Machines Anyway

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