April 8, 2011

Famous last words and a bipartisan laughing stock

"Waukesha County could not save Prosser."
That would be yours truly, tapping away one recent Wednesday morning. How morbidly wrong your scribe now appears to be.

I was correct at the time, however, around the previous midnight hour when overwhelmingly Republican Waukesha County finally reported 100% [sic] of its election returns (WaukCo. had been sitting on the AP's results page at 25% for a couple of nailbiting hours).

Armed with an MS Excel file of February's primary results* and comparing in realtime how Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg was improving her general election score dramatically in county after Wisconsin county (every one of which — contra Scott Walker's ludicrous averments, made now even more so in the wake of a rogue election official's enormous bungle — was not Dane County) it was rapidly becoming apparent that the election would hinge on the ferocity of Kloppenburg's clobbering in Waukesha Co. (for the per se clobbering was never in doubt). Sure enough as Tuesday evening turned to Wednesday morning it had grown clear enough that Prosser's Wauk-klopbering was not severe enough to carry the State.

Forfeit a couple Hun

Kloppenburg had previously accomplished her initially required milestone event, reversing Milwaukee County from 54-46 Prosser to roughly 55-45 K-Burg, the 100% [sic] returns from Waukesha County only put Prosser ahead by a couple of hundred votes and based on what was left and Kloppenburg's rising fortunes throughout the rest of the State's most populous counties,** Election Central here reckoned Justice Prosser would quickly forfeit those couple hun, and remain behind the point of no returns, and start packing his bags for July 31.

Which is pretty much exactly what happened until Kathy Nickolaus, a WaukCo. Republican Party True Believer with an apparently lengthy and documented history of extraordinary incompetence, suddenly "discovered" circa 14K ballots from Brookfield yesterday afternoon.

Now it's gotten so bad somebody's had to retain Ben Ginsberg, Esq., of Washington, DC (favorite place in the whole wide world of the "Tea Party" crowd, courted early and often by Justice Prosser, who today happens to be the somebody that's retained Mr. Ginsberg).

Separation of utterances

You may remember one Brian Nemoir, Justice David Prosser's campaign manager, who uttered the now-infamous December 8, 2010 statement of compliance pledging Prosser's fealty to the recently-elected GOP legislative and executive branches of government.

In my view Prosser should have loudly and forcefully jettisoned Nemoir on December 9, 2010, perhaps by figuratively having him rolled over by one of Scott Walker's old federal stimulus-funded, Canadian-made Milwaukee County Transit System motorcoaches.

Instead, Prosser distanced himself over time from the pledge to varying degrees, for the longest while saying little more than, 'Those aren't the words I would have used,' which struck me as particularly unsatisfying because if there's anybody who knows how many different ways there are to say the exact same thing, it's a lawyer.

The Prosser campaign's December pledge of fealty to the Fitz Van Walker regime remained firmly affixed to the candidate's hide right up until two days before the election, when Journal Communications, Inc. ran it all by us one more time in the course of its incoherent endorsement of the politically conservative Supreme Court justice.

Waukesha ha ha

"Waukesha County" is a punchline among liberals — its mere mention invokes the equivalent velocity of eye-rolling as, for example, does "Charlie Sykes" — and even candidate Kloppenburg made a Waukesha County crack at an appearance in Shorewood (an administrative suburb of Milwaukee but in fact an integral part of Milwaukee).

Funny thing is, it's even a punchline among conservative Republicans.

During one especially candid conversation with a Dane County Republican (that would be yer proverbial hen's tooth) official from a couple of weeks ago (I don't have the link handy; I'll dig it up and post it later) Nemoir's mal-spelled renunciation of the bedrock American constitutional doctrine of separation of powers presented itself.

Quipped Justice Prosser: 'Well I guess there's just a little too much Waukesha County in Brian Nemoir.' Yep, we are knowing the feeling.

* Why the expert wag professors and lawyers insist on comparing Tuesday's results with last November's — or those of the 2008 presidential election, fer the luvva gawd — is beyond your humble correspondent's ken. The political landscape has been altered so substantively by Fitz Van Walker's sundry lawless antics that those prior contests are all but meaningless to the present one. The most directly relevant and of most recent and timely vintage of temperature-taking of the public's attitude toward the Wisconsin Supreme Court general election is, obviously, the Wis. S. Ct. primary election. Or it could be also that the local press has roughly only two of each expert wag professor and lawyer in its desk Rolodex.

More likely the latter, as The Truth is Out Here, and not necessarily anywhere within Journal Communications, Inc. County and environs.

** And a touch of intuition, the poli scientist's ancient Chinese secret.

eta: Jay Bullock debunks once again the Opéra Bouffe that is WPRI.


Just Plain Tired said...

Definitely disappointing, especially when we had assumed victory. It was still an amazing feat though to put what was a shoo-in 7 weeks ago on the ropes and almost win.

Blake said...

It ain't over yet.

illusory tenant said...

Nope it sure ain't.

gnarlytrombone said...

with an apparently lengthy and documented history of extraordinary incompetence

And amazingly that's their defense.

I hear that muzzy-brained reactionaries from around the globe make it their life ambition a pilgrimage to Omphalos of Obliquity in Wiggy's basement game room.

Mike said...

Unfortunately for Kathy Nickolous and her good friend David Prosser, the aforesaid lawless antics so much on display in the last couple months are at the font of everyone's mind, the "anything to win" FitzWalker approach. Mark Miller made a ringing statement about the necessity for an independent investigation. It actually surprised me in its ferocity.

John Foust said...

Don't beat yourself up. You were given bad data.

Anonymous said...

We can debate the competency of Kathy Nickolous all you want. But the facts remain the same, there were legally cast ballots that were counted but not added into the county total. Even the democrats on the canvas committee admit there were no miraculous votes appearing out of nowhere and the revised total was on the up and up. She did not fabricate any votes, if she had the numbers would not add up. I'm sorry for your loss, but happy for the State of Wisconsin. How a prosecutor who has never been a judge at any level, nearly started her judging career on the highest court of the state would have been a seriously frightening event.

illusory tenant said...

Understood, and thanks. Not so much my loss, however.

I endorsed Mike Plaisted for Supreme Court.

gnarlytrombone said...

These winger talking points are really inefficient. I can name that tune in three words: get over it.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the Dems explain 10,000 ballots in Dane County that only had votes for the Supreme Court race. Most of them were for 'burg. No cheating there. Isn't it interesting that it always seems that, in close races, someone has just enough ballots in his trunk to put the Dem candidate ahead. This time the Dems got beat at their own cheating game.

Mike said...

Question anon, how much judging had Prosser done before being appointed to the Supreme Court?

Also, what would your thoughts have been were this situation reversed; namely, if the 7,500 newly reported votes had come from Dane County and tipped the election the other way? The County Clerk in question having in the past been in essence an employee of the candidate receiving those vote, as the Wisconsin State Journal put it.

The point of an election, like a court ruling, is to have a decision-making process that all can respect, whether the outcome has favored them or not. I submit that the fact situation here has put the propriety of the election in question to the detriment of us all, including and maybe even mainly (depending on the actual facts) David Prosser.

Let's have an investigation by some unimpeachable party and get to the bottom of this.

Anonymous said...


illusory tenant said...

Would you care to address that to anyone in particular?

Cindy K. said...

Well, some of us were content to let you dance around us pumping your fists in the air celebrating victory.

It's been an interesting week. This time I get to enjoy the outcome. No doubt, you'll claim a victory of some sort soon enough.

illusory tenant said...

I know you don't read this blog as much as you should but I think the last time I "danced around" in victory was when the Habs won the Stanley Cup. Or in a more meaningful sense, every day I get up in the morning is a victory.

Cindy K. said...

"You" was a generalization meant to represent the entirety of jubilant Democrats in the state of Wisconsin. The statement alludes to a comment I made on my blog, which no doubt, you don't read as much as you should, either. ;)

illusory tenant said...

But I'm not a Democrat either.

Cindy K. said...


Your revelation does not negate my comment in any way, given "you" was a generalization. I'll still assume there stood a Democrat in Wisconsin who was jubilant. I'm comfortable it's a safe assumption.

illusory tenant said...

I'll give you that: JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Cindy K. said...

If I may, I'm going to venture into what I hope will be a polite exchange in an attempt to get to know each other better.

I'm not one to describe myself as Republican. I think it's one of the reasons I came up with Fairly Conservative. The double entendre fits for me. So, do you have a definition for yourself? I know labels aren't always appealing, but they are sometimes helpful.

After all, would anyone reading our respective efforts hesitate in any way to say, "He's a Democrat. She's a Republican."

illusory tenant said...

Thanks, Cindy, that's very thoughtful and generous of you (but why would you anticipate my being anything but polite?!). I think you're correct that a lot of people are unwarrantedly hasty to categorize as Democrat or Republican, but that's what you can expect in this relentlessly two-party system.

So it probably derives from a need for people to fit others into convenient boxes to suit their preconceptions, which are often entirely too inflexible.

I don't really care that much, however; they can -- and will -- think and say what they want. You can only control other people's impressions to a certain extent and I gave up worrying about it a long time ago.

As for labels my views are constantly evolving and I can find something useful among nearly faction, including some pretty radical factions, although I draw the line 'round about the Westboro Baptist Church, things like that. Nothing useful there.

And I abhor violence and think the American constitutional system and rule of law is genius. I guess you could say I'm an anarchist (Jefferson) with selected authoritarian (Hamilton) tendencies.

Have a good weekend!

John Foust said...

It's a trap!

Cindy K. said...

Jefferson and Hamilton.

I've forgotten much of what I've learned, but I think I recall Americans have had many of these arguments before. Contrary to what many believe, those early arguments weren't always civil, either. Maybe we're just doing our part to continue the great American tradition.

And Foust, you should definitely be afraid. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm 50% convinced that the new Waukesha totals are valid.

But I just keep having this nagging feeling that the presumably legitimate Brookfield ballots were the ones to be "discovered" after the fact precisely because they were from the only precinct whose results were reported separately (in the Patch)on Tuesday. I keep thinking that the Patch article gave someone a very fortuitous opportunity.

illusory tenant said...

By the way I shouldn't say you can find nothing useful in the Westboro Baptist Church, just nothing you wouldn't find in more useful context in a psychiatry treatise.

illusory tenant said...

I'm not up on the Patch article thing. I'mma have to check it out.

gnarlytrombone said...

Northwest Territories Liberal Party FTW!

Cindy K. said...

The Patch blogger probably grabbed it from the city's website:


The document properties say it was created on Tuesday at 10:06:21

Did you all follow this?


Anonymous said...

This Uppity Wisconsin post takes prior publication of Brookfield totals as substantiation of no fraud.


but see comments as well.

Emily said...

The math doesn't quite seem to add up: http://www.politicususa.com/en/wisconsin-math

illusory tenant said...

Thanks. I was looking at exactly those (and other) figures last night.

Cindy K. said...

Wishing it won't make it so. I invite you to spend all the Democratic-leaning money you'd like tilting at that recount windmill.

Brookfield is known for 90%+ turnouts in presidential elections. It's likely we aren't pulling for the candidate of your choice, but we do vote.

illusory tenant said...

You make a lot of unwarranted assumptions.

Cindy K. said...

"No more than 9,430 votes" is a phrased used in that writing to indicate a number of votes expected. If you look at the tally sheet from the municipality, you'll see totals for the other races. A county judge's race has 12,355 in total, an uncontested race has 8,905, and a local school board election shows combined 9,857.

Like I said, Brookfield votes.

Source: http://cityofbrookfield.com/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1542

illusory tenant said...

an attorney did some math

That's scary though.

Cindy K. said...

Just read a comment from Emily's link that suggested a re-vote in Brookfield. Game on! It's a guaranteed method to increase Prosser's margin. :)

illusory tenant said...

Wow you're really making the rounds of the dark side these days.

Cindy K. said...

You guys are having all the fun right now.