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Friday, April 22, 2011

Woman’s courage bucks machine — Wis’s Kloppenburg

Re-reporting, quotes transcribed from FSRN, editing, comment by Carolyn Bennett

Elections in the United States are repeatedly compromised — as in Haiti and Honduras, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. 

Elections, campaign processes and public office are tainted, void of credibility, filled with entrenched incompetents, compromised top to bottom like drug market transactions in boardrooms, couriered business to business, trafficked Florida to Appalachia, on street corners of cities. Public office rife with and characterized by influence peddling — the corrupt and corruptible sitting in legislatures and State Houses, in private and nongovernmental corporate, including religious and other nonprofit, places, in corner grocery stores, they swap, sell and buy, bribe and blackmail votes and privilege.

In this stiflingly oppressive air and under threat of the machine, it takes “woman’s” courage to stand firm against it.

In the face of another instance of questionable election results as in earlier years in U.S. states of Florida and Ohio, Assistant Attorney General and candidate for a seat on the State’s Supreme Court JoAnne F. Kloppenburg called for a Wisconsin investigation and recount.

“Wisconsin residents must have full confidence that election results are legitimate, that this election was fair,” Kloppenburg said on Wednesday. “A recount will establish where votes were incorrectly tabulated and expose if irregularities compromised the electoral process.”

Backing her position, she listed questionable incidents. “We are aware of anomalies that occurred around the State: an under vote in cities of Milwaukee and Racine, the Waukesha County situation, reports of long lines and photocopied ballots in several counties including Fond du Lac; and significant changes in the vote in Winnebago County. These anomalies are widespread and that coupled with their nature necessitates a statewide recount.”

Asst. Attorney General Kloppenburg had run in the April 5, 2011, election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She said she ran because people asked her to run “and there’s a sense among a lot of folks in the state that the court has been losing people’s confidence.” The court is perceived to be losing “its independence and impartiality.”

People believed Kloppenburg “would run a campaign” and be a judge who “would restore the people’s confidence” in the court.

Early on April 7, Kloppenburg was ahead by 311 votes, with five precincts outstanding. Later on April 7, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, with a reported record of misdeeds, found more votes on her  personal computer. She said she had failed to include 14,315 votes from the city of Brookfield in her unofficial vote tally. These together with other discovered votes resulting from “smaller errors in unofficial vote reports,” pushed the total for incumbent candidate David Prosser to a 7,582-vote lead. With the seemingly manufactured, or at least questionable, votes, the difference amounted to fewer than one half of one percent of votes cast, thus supporting, under Wisconsin law, a free recount of all votes.

“Partisan politics do not belong in our Courts,”  Kloppenburg quoted Wisconsin people she met on the campaign trail leading up to the April election.

Indeed.  It takes a woman’s courage to buck the machine.

Source and notes

JoAnne F. Kloppenburg
Since 1989, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg has been a litigator and prosecutor at the Wisconsin Department of Justice. She has served under Attorneys General from multiple political parties. Her legal experience includes constitutional law, appellate law, civil litigation, environmental prosecution and administrative law. She has argued numerous cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and she has tried cases in circuit courts around the state.

Kloppenburg is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School (1988), Yale (1974), and Princeton University (1976). In Law School, she interned for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and later clerked for Chief Judge of the United States District Court Barbara Crabb.  Attorney Kloppenburg has been an instructor at the University of Wisconsin Law School since 1990 and, in earlier years, was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana (1976-1979).

She is a member of the Legal Association for Women (LAW), a mentor with the Dane County Bar Association, an English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) tutor, and a member of her neighborhood association board, and has volunteered with various nonprofit groups. She remains active in professional, civic and community life, http://www.kloppenburgforjustice.com/aboutJoAnne.html

Free Speech Radio News Segments April 21, 2011: “The challenger in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court election asks for recount — Wisconsin has been on the crest of a tidal wave of austerity legislation sweeping the country and the State Supreme Court is widely expected to be the last stop for attempts to stop their controversial law. Yet it’s been more than two weeks since the Supreme Court election was held in Wisconsin and the winner of that race is still in dispute. Following one of the closest races in state history— one that saw errors in the initial vote tallies — many citizens are still questioning the accuracy of the election.

“On Wednesday, challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg asked for a statewide recount of all one and half million ballots.” (Molly Stentz of WORT reported from Madison), http://fsrn.org/audio/challenger-wisconsin%E2%80%99s-supreme-court-election-asks-recount/8395

BUCK: a verb meaning to resist, combat, contest, dispute, oppose, withstand [Merriam Webster]


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