Friends, my computer was very sick the past couple of days. Bad timing!! Imagine last night I'm sitting here with this stunning news breaking about the Supreme Court election and all I could do was stare at the empty space where my computer usually is!!!
Well, the phone lines were getting singed, as you can imagine. I watched the live press conference from Waukesha with dismay and rage. We are supposed to believe that this happened because County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus forgot to click 'save' for the Brookfield vote count. Why did she look so nervous? Why such trouble looking anyone in the eye? Embarrassment? Or something else?
I won't reiterate what has been in the news for 20 hours now - her old connections with Prosser, her questionable practices in past elections, etc. I will, however, make note of how carefully the new count managed to just pass the threshold for the 0.5% margin that would have meant a state-funded recount. Not only did the election suddenly turn towards Prosser, but the new margin meant Kloppenburg would have to come up with the funds for a recount.
You know, right? that any faith in this election requires that authorities seize computers, records, ballots, vount counts - anything conceivably related to this disaster. Without that, we cannot trust the outcome and this state will really be in turmoil.
I have often said that with the computerization of the voting process now, a close election is getting pretty easy to fix. My question it this: what happened to the Brookfield vote count during the time of its disappearance? How much do the new canvas numbers match up with the original numbers recorded at each polling place?
If we don't get satisfactory answers to those questions, this election will remain in doubt. And, friends, I would love to tell you that this is a unique event here in the state of Wisconsin, but in reality funny stuff has been going for many years all across the country with the birth of computerized voting. When I have written in the past that democracy itself is at stake here, I was not kidding.
Put this up against what is going on right now with the federal budget, and I will state as clearly as I can - there is an assault on our democracy, on our Constitutional rights, going on, swiftly and boldly on the part of rightist corporate powers that do not like the political empowerment of the 'masses,' the disenfranchised, workers and their families, poor people - powers that believe they should be ruling our economies and running our governments for their benefit.
Walker, Boehner, Kantor, Kasich, and more will tell you that business ought to be free to invest as they want and with as few constraints as possible so that they can create jobs and thereby re-energize the economy. But here is what they want - an abundance of unemployed workers who will take any job they can get at whatever pay and whatever conditions are offered, so no unions, please. Good paying jobs? Jobs that can support a family with a home and dignity? Uh uh, friends - I give you MacDonald's plan to hire 50,000 new employees to sling hamburgers at minimum wage 24 hours a day.
Nothing saves money for big business like a cheap and abundant labor pool desperate for a job! Check out the so-called Third World countries. They did it there first. Now it has come home to roost.
What comes next in this story of Wisconsin?