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Even More Wisconsin Corruption Charges

Even More Wisconsin Corruption Charges

More developments came out of Madison yesterday as the hotly contested Wisconsin Supreme Court case remains unresolved and another of Gov. Scott Walker’s cronies faces felony election-fraud charges.

First the election.  On Friday the state Government Accountability Board, the body responsible for monitoring election integrity, announced it sent staff to Waukesha County to look into the procedures that allowed for a 7000 vote swing and upending of results due to “human error.”  So far reports indicate that gross negligence is more to blame than any criminal activity, but the investigation is ongoing.  According to Reuters the results of the election will not be certified until the GAB has an answer.

Then yesterday, Democratic member of the county canvassing board, county Democratic vice chair Ramona Kitzinger released a statement that seriously calls into question her corroboration of the events in the county.

The statement can be found here

What’s clear is that, on paper, the numbers appear to match.  But what is not as clear is how those vote totals were tabulated and why no one would have caught an error like leaving off the entire city of Brookfied, for example. 

And if it is the case that no one can vouch for the integrity of the process of tabulating votes other than Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus (R) then Wisconsin is in a very tricky spot constitutionally and any certified results would almost certainly face a due process challenge, tying the results up in litigation for the foreseeable future.

In other corruption-related news, on Monday railroad executive and Gov. Walker donor William Gardner was charged with two felonies for making illegal campaign contributions.  Gardner is the head of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad and is accused of one count of making an excessive donation and one count for unlawful donations. 

Gardner has already admitted using company money to reimburse employees who donated to Walker’s campaign and Walker has already returned $43,000 in illegal contributions from Gardner.

These latest revelations only make the shadow cast over the legitimacy of Walker’s union-busting effort darker.  So far Walker, like Kasich and the other Republican governors pushing similarly extreme right agendas have danced to the same tune: corrupt ties to corporate interests, a refusal to conduct state business in a transparent and democratic fashion and a willingness to play fast and loose with election laws and procedures.

And don’t forget to include the harassment campaigns targeting public intellectuals  and political dissenters.

Whatever legitimacy these governors, and Walker in particular, could claim for their agenda has been eradicated by their open embrace of some pretty fascist principles.  Let’s hope our democracy can recover.

For more on the events in Wisconsin and elsewhere, click here.

 

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photo courtesy of marctasman via Flickr

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56 comments

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1:30AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

@ Frank S,
All you have to do is replace "Kock bothers", with "George Soros", then replace "Tea Party" with "Democrats", in Justin Krebbs article and it would have about as much truth to it (maybe even more). Krebbs seemed to forgot that every other wage earner in America also received their tax breaks, or didn't have to pay any taxes at all because of the Bush tax cuts. He also forgot to mention just how "regular Americans had to sacrifice more and more".

We all know the government has gotten less functional. It's been that way ever since the Democrats took control of both houses of Congress during the last two years Bush was in office, and it became much more dysfunctional after Obama was elected. Thankfully, we may only have to put up with that dysfunction for another 16 months.

1:11AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

@Margaret S,
Don't you mean, America needs to join in with the Scott Walkers in every state and in Congress and tell them unequivocally their war to help the poor and middle class will win."

There's no war against the middle class, and you know it. Because the poor teachers union in Wisconsin got their hands spanked and toes stepped on, all you leftists can come up with is your spewing hate and vitreal at anyone who is not in support of your leftiest agenda.

How do you equate the teachers union getting its wings clipped, and the teachers losing their ability to bargain over their benefits package, a war on the middle income. In fact, union workers make up a very small portion of the work force. That union loss had nothing to do with, or any effect on the low or middle income wage earners in Wisconsin, so pick one of your other leftist talking points to bicker about.

You leftists always bitch and bellyache about the Bush tax cuts. Please tell us all just how the tax cuts received by low and middle income wage earners who got thier taxes lowered, and the millions of low income wage earners who were removed from having to pay any taxes at all, turned into a war against them??? Your definition of what constitutes warring, or trying to hurt low and middle income earners, is pretty far out of whack, ... just the same as all other leftists.

12:51AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

@Frank S,
The Tea Party couldn't possibly destroy the country any more than the Democrats in power have done already. It's hard to destroy anything when you aren't the one ruling the country.

2:13AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

There seems nothing grand about the GOP.Millions unemployed unlike unions; well maybe there should be more unions.

3:55PM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

Here is a very interesting article on how the Tea party is just a vehicle for the “super rich sheep shearers,” that fund it. And also about their followers whom now are in worse shape than ever! The Tea party is working very hard to destroy the country!

The Tea Party's Terrible Twos
Monday, April 18, 2011 - 09:21 AM
By Justin Krebs

“And wealthy conservatives like the Koch Brothers - the billionaires in search of ever-greater power and ever-smaller government to stand in their way - are doing just fine. The super-rich who helped fund an array of organizations that supported the Tea Party movement got their tax cuts in December, while regular Americans have had to sacrifice more and more; and the less functional the government, the less regulation there is to stop them from even greater profits.”-wnyc.org

“And in all of that, where is the American who didn't have a job and was worried about his pension, his home, his family's future when he first joined the Tea Party? Still jobless as conservatives stand in the way of using public money on robust job-creation.”-wnyc.org

“For him, and for many Americans, the second anniversary of the Tea Party isn't much to celebrate.”-wnyc.org

http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/its-free-blog/2011/apr/18/tea-partys-terrible-twos/

9:30AM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

not surprising

12:20AM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

It's sad that the great state of Wisconsin has earned a terrible reputation due to the illegal behavior of it's governor.

7:23AM PDT on Apr 16, 2011

LIke the communists and the fascist dictatorships of the 20th C, the repubican's are planning a dictatorship via a government takeover...they will stop at nothing.

9:39PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

so sorry, everyone. i used "missing-then-found votes" in my post. i didn't want to call them "lost votes," so i'd taken a few moments to try to think of something descriptive yet non-inflammatory, but didn't realize the extent of margaret's sensitiveness.

to be more accurate, i should have used "tabulated-in-some-unknown-fashion-stored-only-on-one-office-computer-mismanaged-by-the-very-person-who-designed-the-software-unreported-except-for-to-one-local-paper-which-obviously-had-no-way-of-verifying-the-accuracy-of-said-report-and-later-reported-to-the-legally-required-entity-29-hours-after-the-original-human-error-of-epic-proportions-was-discovered votes."

i'll try to be more accurate in the future.

7:04PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Margaret S,
Good for you for getting all your facts out on this topic!!!

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