Friday, April 8, 2011

Why Kathy Nickolaus's Story Doesn't Hold Water


(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

"I have not made my decision. This isn't that big of a deal. It isn't worth an argument. This is ridiculous." - Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus to County supervisors when pressed to implement security measures already used all over Wisconsin

If nothing else, Republican activists like Kathy Nickolaus have a twisted view of what can be defined as "ridiculous." What's truly ridiculous is that she could proffer a transparently disingenuous story like "finding" well over 14,000 votes that she forgot to count and doing so with a straight face. Meanwhile, a Nov. 2009 poll showed 52% all self-identified Republicans still believe that ACORN stole the election for Obama while a fifth (21%) don't know whether ACORN did or didn't. That's ridiculous.

The already polarized election for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice was from the start turned into a referendum on the popularity or lack thereof of Gov. Scott Walker's, the state GOP's and, by extension, the Koch Brothers' ceaseless crusade against public unions. But in light of last night's "revelation" by Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus that almost 7600 votes for Prosser mysteriously appeared from a private computer to which she had sole access, the election has become a referendum on the electoral integrity of not just Waukesha County, not just of Wisconsin but of the entire nation as Election Day 2012 draws near.

One of Nickolaus's cover stories from last night was that voter turnout was high on Tuesday night but Christian Schneider of the National Review hastens to add,
On election night, AP results showed a turnout of 110,000 voters in Waukesha County — well short of the 180,000 voters that turned out last November, and 42 percent of the county’s total turnout. By comparison, nearly 90 percent of Dane County voters who cast a ballot in November turned out to vote for Kloppenburg.

That says a mouthful right there. 180,000 county residents came out to vote in a midterm year and 42%, or less than two thirds, came out last Tuesday night.

It's hard to tell where the state's Republican machine is trying to assign blame. Nickolaus seemed to place to blame both on her shoulders and on the outdated software she insists on using to tabulate the votes. In the title of his National Review article, the syympathetic Schneider generously calls the SNAFU a "computer error." And if you're to read the semi-hysterical bloviations of the right wingers who dwell in the basement of the comments section of the right wing NR, you'll hear the usual suspects being named: Al Franken to ACORN to Democrats and liberals in the abstract and even Barack Obama (news flash: Franken was elected to the Senate after 10,000 votes were found like a body in the trunk of a mob car. Forget the fact that Franken won by only 225 votes).

What also brings the stench of the 2000 presidential election wafting into the pristine air of Wisconsin is the fact that another well-placed female Republican operative with obvious ties to the Republican candidate, one in a position to hide electoral data and manipulate votes, suddenly makes it possible for the Republican to win after the Democratic challenger had already been named the victor.

But Tom DeLay can save beaucoup bucks on air fare for his protester goons because this election, if the "results" hold, will involve no recount. The 7500 votes that were found like buried pirate treasure in the ancient sands of Nickolaus's outdated computer gives Justice Prosser, the conservative incumbent and the swing vote on any Supreme Court ruling on Walker's antiunion bill, just enough of a lead to avoid the potentially embarrassing (and incriminating) scrutiny of a recount.

Adding to the sweet smell of corruption is the fact that Nickolaus is a woman who inexplicably remains in a position of power and influence over elections in her county despite already having been found guilty of hiding electoral data on her personal computer then just as inexplicably given immunity from prosecution.

This is also a woman who openly "smirked" when pressed by county supervisors to join the rest of Wisconsin in the 21st century by updating security measures then refused to implement those measures. If she had, then she would've been prevented from hoarding electoral data for 29 hours, then disseminating the "newly-found" votes to right wing bloggers and radio talk show sympathizers before the MSM for consensus.

Nickolaus also blamed the outdated Microsoft system that should've been long-redundant in any county let alone her own. Basically, it was the Dog Ate My Homework story and she blamed Microsoft Access for not having autosave. But a quick-witted blogger familiar with MS Access from New Jersey saved the day by telling us:
There's just one problem: When you are entering data into an Access database, it is saved when you move to the next row. You don't have to "press 'save'" Now, when you write (an) application in Access (which consists of a user interface in front of an auto-saving Access database with some Visual Basic code behind it to handle navigation, saving, and calculations, you can turn autosave off and put a save button on the screen. But it's hard to imagine an actual Access application where each record is a single screen AND has autosave overridden AND allows you to just navigate to the next record without doing something, such as pressing another button called something like "Next Screen". Of course if you wrote an app like that, and there was unsaved data, you would probably display a pop-up window alerting the user that there is unsaved data. And even if it was an application that was sloppily written (which is quite possible, after all, Access is part of Microsoft Office and any monkey with rudimentary programming knowledge can write an application with it. And even if this application DID display one precinct at a time, and even if it did have a save button, it's hard to imagine that she would "forget to press the save button" for EVERY SINGLE RECORD.

So much for that argument.

So, while more polite and fair-minded souls are "questioning" the validity of her multifaceted reasons for how this could have happened, I am saying outright that there is Republican fraud going on in Wisconsin and all over the country. Despite the debacle after the 2000 election, we've had two more presidential and three more midterm elections with little if any reform of the electoral process.

So, while Republicans hoarsely scream about dark people like Ignacio Lopez being given the right to vote for non-Republicans and the un-indicted, un-prosecuted ACORN, Republican moles and cronies of Republican candidates in important elections are still subverting the will of the people.

We shouldn't have to be worrying in this day and age in the bastion of freedom and democracy about our elections getting stolen in yet another decade when all it does is distract us from union rights being stolen with more dirty Republican tricks.

7 Comments:

At April 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM, Blogger joetote said...

It has to be noted that a major Democrat who participated in the vote count and the subsequent discovery of the 7,500 omitted votes validated that it was an honest error and approved the final vote tally. She is acknowledged by many from both parties as a lifelong union member, a Democrat and as honest as they come!

Every now and then an honest Democrat appears! Kudos Ramona Kitzinger! Your party could learn a thing or two from you!

Shouldn’t be too long now before the scum on the left starts demonizing another one of their own now, should it? After all, in the union owned Democratic Party, having someone actually tell the truth or show some moral backbone is tantamount to treason, isn’t it?

 
At April 9, 2011 at 12:25 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Something tells me you'd also hold up Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller as models of Democratic honesty, too.

And it's typical for a right wing scumbag like you to completely ignore how very suspicious all this looks. The facts, when you add them up, don't add up to "honest mistakes" or "just coincidences" but another Republican electoral theft a la Katherine Harris.

 
At April 9, 2011 at 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget the manipulation of the 2008 Democratic primaries, it isn't just republicans...

 
At April 9, 2011 at 6:08 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

I know that. That was chicken shit. With Republicans, it's all pervasive. Please don't try to play that ridiculous game of, "OH, the Democrats are just as bad!"

No they're not. They just don't think as big as the Republicans. Like their fellow terrorists in the Middle East, Republicans tend to think beyond the next election cycle.

Don't forget Karl Rove's wet dream of a "permanent Republican majority."

 
At April 10, 2011 at 10:15 AM, Blogger jo6pac said...

I do beleive this pretty simple by looking into when the info was entered there should be a date. Everything saved or not has a date. I'm sure the fbi could do this or any computer expert.

 
At April 10, 2011 at 10:56 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

More than that. Metadata contains a lot of info. Even Word documents contain loads of metadata that record every single keystroke. The trick is in getting the feds interested in investigating this.

 
At April 11, 2011 at 7:23 PM, Blogger Jill said...

Not so fast, Joe. Ramona Kitzinger has made a clarifying statement to address claims such as yours:

Monday, April 11, 2011

(Waukesha County Democratic Party)On Tuesday night, I received a voice message from someone in the office of Clerk Kathy Nickolaus informing me of a Wednesday canvass meeting, which I returned the next morning and said I would be able to report into the canvass by noon -- which I did. Normally the canvass would begin at 9am on Thursday, as has been the general practice for many years. No one explained why they were beginning the canvass on Wednesday, just to please report immediately.

Before this telephone call, I had not been contacted as the designated Democratic observer, and I saw no public notice of the abnormal canvass time. The phone call simply instructed me to report by noon to begin the canvass, which I did. The canvass then proceeded as normal, with no glaring irregularities or mention of a possible 15,000 vote error in Brookfield City.

On Thursday, I then showed up as per normal procedure at 9am and the canvass again went normally and concluded sometime between 4pm and 5pm. During the course of the day, the issue of minor vote corrections in New Berlin and Lisbon came up, but again nothing of a historic nature or reflecting glaring irregularities. In fact, the matter of vote totals in Brookfield City came up specifically during the course of Thursday's canvass. In retrospect, it seems both shocking and somewhat appalling there was no mention of discovery of this 15,000 vote 'human error' that ultimately had the potential to tip the balance of an entire statewide election. How is this possible?

Once the canvass had been completed and the results were finalized, I was called into Kathy's office along with Pat (the Republican observer) and told of an impending 5:30pm press conference. It was at that point that I was first made aware of an error Kathy had made in Brookfield City. Kathy told us she thought she had saved the Brookfield voter information Tuesday night, but then on Wednesday she said she noticed she had not hit save. Kathy didn't offer an explanation about why she didn't mention anything prior to Thursday afternoon's canvass completion, but showed us different tapes where numbers seemed to add up, though I have no idea where the numbers were coming from. I was not told of the magnitude of this error, just that she had made one. I was then instructed that I would not say anything at the press conference, and was actually surprised when I was asked questions by reporters.

The reason I offer this explanation is that, with the enormous amount of attention this has received over the weekend, many people are offering my statements at the press conference that the 'numbers jibed' as validation they are correct and I can vouch for their accuracy. As I told Kathy when I was called into the room -- I am 80 years old and I don't understand anything about computers. I don't know where the numbers Kathy was showing me ultimately came from, but they seemed to add up. I am still very, very confused about why the canvass was finalized before I was informed of the Brookfield error and it wasn't even until the press conference was happening that I learned it was this enormous mistake that could swing the whole election. I was never shown anything that would verify Kathy's statement about the missing vote, and with how events unfolded and people citing me as an authority on this now, I feel like I must speak up.

So, Joe...got anything else, now that you can't use an 80-year-old woman as a human shield for your quite possibly stolen election anymore?

 

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