Strange Twist in Wisconsin Supreme Court Election


Strange Twist in Wisconsin Supreme Court Election

Something is very wrong with elections in the US. There was the Bush – Gore fiasco in 2000 with evidence of successful efforts to deny thousands of Americans of their right to vote in Florida There was the Bush – Kerry election in 2004 with mountains of evidence of vote manipulation in Ohio. The Republicans successfully brought down Acorn recently which registered poor and minority voters who usually vote Democratic. They are always complaining about voter fraud which is almost non-existent. The Democrats complain of voter caging and election fraud by the Right which is well documented.

One of the big problems is the fact that elections are so close these days. When there is less than 1% difference in the vote for two candidates, it does not take much vote manipulation to tip the scales. There have been a series of elections where it looked like the Democratic candidate won but suddenly, at the last minute, more votes were “found” for the Republican.

The latest incident was in the Supreme Court election in Wisconsin on April 5th. The race was a bitter contest between a moderate Democrat Joanne Kloppenburg who promised to keep politics out of the courtroom and David Prosser, a hard right Republican who was running with a promise to support for the unpopular platform of Scott Walker, the new Republican Governor.  When the ballots were counted, the Democrat had won by less than 300 votes in a race where over a million votes were cast.

Then, two days later, Kathy Nickolaus the Waukesha County clerk “realized” that she had not reported all the votes for her country. She said that she had entered the votes for Brookfield but had not saved them. When more than 14,000 votes were counted, Prosser was suddenly 7,582 votes ahead of Kloppenburg. When the difference was a few hundred, there would have been a mandatory recount. But with a margin of over 7, 582 votes, the difference was conveniently just beyond the threshold of 7,400 votes needed to trigger a recount.

This might have been an honest mistake but there are a lot of things about this sudden reversal that don’t smell right. Nickolaus had been a legislative aid for Prosser when he was the Wisconsin Assembly Speaker and also worked for Scott Walker before he became Governor. She developed software for the Assembly Republican Caucus.  She was caught campaigning for Republicans while working for the state in 2002 but was given immunity from prosecution. She kept the votes on her personal computer although she had been warned before not to do that. She was criticized in 2010 for inadequate security and backup procedures on her computer system.

This situation needs to be investigated by an impartial agency (Black Box Voting is a good start). If there is any evidence of vote manipulation found, Nickolaus should be brought to trial. There is a declining confidence in the integrity of US elections because of incidences like this. We need to do something before the American people lose all hope of participating in fair elections.  For more details click here.


Virginia Recount

I think votes should be counted 3 times or more - minimum.

I can honestly say, I think many people fear politics because "the whole system is rigged". I think that it is not the system that is rigged - it is the people who are too lazy. If you feel that something has been done wrong - ask to have it made right. In voting speak - that is asking for a recount! I already know there is going to be some stuff that will go down in 2012 - and that why I am preparin' ya'll for it. Make sure that everyday has a recount and things might just go our way.

TWOFR: Spring Heel Jack x Muallem

Spring Heel Jack

The Sweetness of the Water

(Thirsty Ear Recordings, 2004)

Folks at Thirsty Ear don’t want you to see what’s coming. Another installment in The Blue Series is here to confound preconceived notions. First though, let it be said that Spring Heel Jack (Ashley Wales and John Coxon) is not a duo that sits firmly within one genre. They’ve collaborated with Everything But The Girl and the master spaceman himself, Jason Pierce. So this recording promises at very least, genre bounding. Throw into the mix, Leo Smith and Jah Wobble’s comrade Mark Sanders and the disc already sounds like a bizarre after party in some dark room.

The disc begins in an unassuming manner, free, but ultimately not awe-inspiring. Track two, “Quintet” showcases the talent seeping from every individual participating. The organ sounds raw and disconnected, as if recorded separately and edited in, but helps hold the freedom-music together. Mark Sanders’ excitable drumming changes repeatedly throughout the track to keep every musician moving. Confusing to all but the advanced listener, there are less melodies on this album than tracks. We do find ourselves amidst a few melodies though (“Lata”, “Track One”, “Autumn”), but in a simplified way. What this album does, that Spiritualized and Spacemen 3 do very well, is to take a plain statement and make it exciting. The ritual flights into freedom by Smith and Evan Parker (Sax) serve to inject the music with braun, while the basic concept is held down by the rest of the crew, including the producers. Again, on this Blue Series release, as with El-P, there is less personality displayed by the producer than the instrumentalists. That being said though, this album far surpasses El-P’s effort.

Let’s say I’m a teen-age girl. I wouldn’t let these guys de-flower me, but I’d probably let ‘em finger bang me in the back of their Mini-Cooper.


Frankie Splits

(Compost Records, 2006)

The guest appearances of Beans, Lyrics Born and Wordsworth are promising.  And each of these tracks proves that Muallem can create beats to suite each individual rapper.  Unfortunately, the rest of the album proves that Muallem also can conjure the sound track to your next visit to The Gap.  So there’s this bizarre dichotomy that this producer must conquer, or at least control.  The hip-hop tracks are quality, but the dance music, while most likely pleasing to some, disturbs the majority.  A decent effort from a seasoned producer who will hopefully, in the future be able to create entire albums of one genre, or at-least be able to combine the two more deftly.

Free Voter Issue Training in Colorado

If you’re young and unemployed, underemployed, or simply a pro-choice voter who wants to hone in on your election-based skills, you might want to think about attending the Youth the Vote Training in Denver on September 18, 2010. Choice USA: Leadership for a Pro-Choice Future is holding the training to help young people master the skills and knowledge necessary to not only get out the vote this fall, but to also ensure that reproductive rights are ensured in the sate of Colorado.

Choice USA, COLOR, and more volunteers will be providing education on the “fetal personhood” amendment being debated in Colorado, as well as how to mobilize friends, family, and other voters to take action against it. Even though the bill, worded in nearly the exact same way, was voted down in 2008 by the citizens of Colorado, it’s back on the table now with only slightly different language. Of course, if the bill does pass, it would negate Roe vs. Wade, and would have a good chance of being struck down by the Supreme Court. Still, as it could provide a fetus with the same rights a human has (including a social security card? A birth (conception?) certificate?), it’s a dangerous piece of legislation that could put many women’s lives in danger. The Tabor Initiatives will also be discussed.

To register for the event, click here. Though a donation amount of $10 is suggested, any amount will suffice. Choice USA will also provide free training to those who cannot afford a donation at this time. This training has the potential to train young activists to not only help save the lives of women and their families this fall, but also to help them become more knowledgeable voters, activists, and possible political leaders. The knowledge you’ll be sure to attain at this leadership training will come in handy while searching for jobs, becoming a political figure, or in working in the grassroots organizing sector.

And even if you don’t plan on running for office, you already have a steady job, or you’re already planning on mobilizing friends and family to vote this fall, this training program can still help you to learn more about the issues, maximize your arsenal of activist skills, and network with other pro-choice activists in the area. To learn more about Choice USA, to sign up for e-mail alerts, or to get involved right now in the organization’s various campaigns, click here.

Those Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Those dirty rotten Republican scoundrels in Arizona have placed drifters and homeless people on the ballot as Green Party candidates in a scheme to siphon votes away from Democrats.

The New York Times reports that, "Arizona’s Democratic Party has filed a formal complaint with local, state and federal prosecutors in an effort to have the candidates removed from the ballot, and the Green Party has urged its supporters to steer clear of the rogue candidates. The Democratic Party is fuming over (the Republicans) tactics ... The Green Party does not have the resources to put candidates on ballots around the state and thus creates the opportunity for write-in contenders like the (homeless straw candidates) to easily win primaries and get their names on the ballot for November. Complaints about spurious candidates have cropped up often before, though never involving an entire roster of candidates drawn from a group of street people."

The Arizona Republican party is known for dirty tricks and for voter suppression. The late US Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, back when he was a Republican political operative in Arizona, was a notorious political dirty trickster, leading voter suppression campaigns to keep African-Americans and Latinos from voting.

Male Voters and Politics

The process of voting for many modern societies has roots in a male dominated type of political system. In many countries it was only rich, white, land owning men that had any say in matters of voting and in some cases, depending on who you talk to, this is how the system is still run.

In the lead up to the 2008 presidential election there was a lot of focus on the male voter. Stories such as "The Vanishing Male Voter" , and "Obama's problem with white, male voters", dominated the news. The stories focused on men avoiding the voting booths and their civil responsibilities to America. Did these stories have any merit, was there any truth to them? Well - not when you look at the statistics of the voting population after the election as these showed that - at least for young men - testosterone held the majority of votes. A lot of hot air can certainly help keep ratings up - even if its not really accurate.

I personally feel the competition between "players", and "cheering for ones own team" will keep the sport of elections and politics alive for men in the years to come. Its the adrenaline rush, and the feeling of victory that makes politics interesting to men. I am just waiting for the time elections are sponsored by a major beer company; maybe something like "OBAMA 2012 - if change wasn't your thing try it with a cold, refreshing, Budweiser". A boy can dream.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Politics in its truest, boldest and most base form: Cash. Time is Money; Money is Power; Moneeeey… It’s a gas… Keep your hands off my stash…(Musical post: listen to this one while you read this post).

This week closes with two important power-moves revolving around the cold hard cash. California, who doesn’t have any, finally agrees with itself on how to spend it and the U.S., who doesn’t really have any either, decides to give $200 million to the Palestinian Authority.

Let’s start there.

Apparently the Palestinian Authority has a budget crisis so the U.S. is planning to transfer $200 million there. A formal announcement from Hillary Clinton is expected before the end of the day. The administration is framing this as part of a peace-talk preparation, that they are trying to smooth the groundwork so that Israeli-Palestinian peace-talks can resume.

Sounds more like the U.S. trying to get Palestinian Authority confidence and dependence. It’s a lot harder to say no to someone about something when you owe them money, right? This past March Clinton pledged $900 million during a conference in Egypt, so we may just see plenty more before too long.

It’s interesting politics- if we can get the Palestinian Authority to owe us money, then Israel needs us for guns and the P.A. for cash- now that’s control. Whether we have that much control, well, of course I don’t know, but the machinations of power are strong in this one, young Jedi.

And then there is California. I see this headline screaming at me everyday from the bus stops: Budget Deficit Grows, Talks Stalled or something like that. A few weeks ago the state started paying people with I.O.U.’s and their (our) credit rating got switched to a few notches above junk status- so we’ve got that going for us.

Well, this morning the state senate approved a set of bills that will balance the state budget, closing the imposing $26.3 Billion deficit. The state Assembly still needs to sign off, as does Arnold, but for something that has been stalled in a virtual staring and pissing match for weeks, this is progress worth celebrating. And it gives some perspective on the money issues- The Palestinian Authority is getting a $200 million loan, which I assume is at least a meaningful sum. ONE STATE in the U.S. is down over $25 BILLION for ONE YEAR.

California is not in good shape- 11% unemployment, up 4% from last year at this time. This new budget balancing set of bills cuts funding to programs in education and public programs, big cuts, probably when those services are about to be needed the most.

Maybe the Palestinian Authority should consider lending half of that money to California at interest. You loan it to create it- maybe California should do the same- loan money to the folks they aren’t paying and ask for it back at interest. Time to call Silicon Valley- there’s a business plan in there somewhere.

The week ends off with politics in its truest, boldest and most base form: Cash.

Ohio, One of Twelve States to Follow On Election Day

Ohio is one of the twelve states likely to see some troubles on Election Day.  Check out the story at
"Controversy and lawsuits swirled around the state s six-day one-stop registration and voting period that ended earlier this month. Republicans say the options should have never been allowed, arguing that it violated the state s voter registration deadlines, though it has been on the books in the state for more than a quarter century"

Ohio Vulnerable to Electronic Election Theft

In Ohio voting is getting pretty messy.  From suspicious voter registrations, to unveryfiable provisional votes, now it is being reported that the chances of election theft from rigged or faulty electronic voting machines is a likely scenario.  Democrats fear loosing thousands of votes to purging, out-right intimidation and computerized manipulations.
[...]Vote shifting has also surfaced where citizens attempt to select a straight party ticket. Even during less pressured advance balloting, machines are breaking down, causing delays and opening wide the door to theft and fraud. The magic word "recalibration" has come to mean mid-stream re-rigging of electronic machines, and is being strategically conjured in voting booths throughout the nation. The antidote is clear: paper ballots must be made universal. In Ohio, Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has attempted to make this happen, but has been beaten back by Republicans. Maryland and Virginia have announced they will return to paper ballots, but AFTER this year's election. In Pennsylvania, a Democratic Secretary of State has, incredibly, RESISTED making paper ballots universally available in a state now dominated by electronic machines without paper trails. It should be no surprise that the McCain campaign is now insisting that Pennsylvania is still "in play" despite a double-digit lead in the polls by his opponent, Senator Barack Obama.[...]
Check out the complete article in