Monday, July 9, 2012

Wanggaard Speaks

Well, sort of...Van Wanggaard issued a plaintive press release explaining his decision to request a recount in his recall election, deriding Racine poll workers who are apparently to blame for his loss and setting the stage for a lawsuit to delay the seating of John Lehman.

Wanggaard's article was spectacularly skewered by Journal Times commenters.

There is only one good way we know of to counter Wanggaard's pathetic essay...with notes of course!

Why I asked for a recount and why you should care If you have to explain to readers why they should care in the title...it's a safe bet they don't 
Almost three weeks ago, I asked for a recount in my senate election under the philosophy of “trust but verify.” First, "trust but verify" is not a philosophy - it's a proverb. A Russian one at that. It is attributed to Ronald Reagan who used it in context to relations with the Soviet Union. Vladimir Lenin liked to say it too. I stated then that I hoped that a trusted and verified result would allow us to finally move forward as a state. Unfortunately, following the recount, we only have a verified vote tally. See in the "trust but verify" scenario - I say I trust you but must verify the facts. As Van says, he has verified the results but still does not trust it - pretty much proving his intention was never to trust at all. He's so stupid. 
Election laws are in place to provide confidence in election results. The Democrats said the recall election was a “trial run” of their ground game for November. Actually pundits said that. We can't attribute that statement to any Democrat. Yet, Wisconsin’s long-standing laws prohibiting electioneering, same-day registration requirements, and how to receive and count ballots were widely ignored in this trial run. No, they weren't widely ignored at all. This is a lie designed to justify Wanggaard's unwillingness to concede his loss. Election laws are in place to ensure the integrity of the vote. When they are not followed, the results are less trustworthy. Having provided no actual proof is the reason even JT commenters scoffed at his flacid explanation.
On election day, my campaign received reports of suspect activities at polling places. By "suspect" he means too many brown people voting. Electioneering and valid legal challenges to voters were ignored by election officials, many of whom signed recall petitions. One challenge we can pinpoint by flunky Lou D'Abbraccio, who registered his challenge incorrectly and began shouting at the Chief Inspector who should have thrown him out. Signing a recall petition is irrelevant - so says the state supreme court - we assume election officials also vote, which does not call their character in to question in other elections. There was a suspiciously high number of same-day registrations and numerous reports of same day voter registration requirements being disregarded. Once again, "suspicious" means brown people registering. There were not numerous reports of disregarded requirements - some folks were confused about what proof of residence documents were needed. Racine poll workers turned away far more people with incorrect information than the few erroneous mistakes they made. Because someone brought insufficient proof doesn't mean they were an unqualified voter or an actor in some conspiracy plot hatched by George Soros. 
Election observers witnessed polling places being open after the polls closed and we all remember that the rest of the state was able to count their votes a full three hours before the City of Racine could. "Open" means the doors were unlocked. Not one single person voted after the polls closed - a lie Wanggaard should retract. The city of Racine began counting immediately - another lie - absentee ballots must be run first if they have not been entered. Wanggaard makes it sound like the city allowed people to vote late - which they did not. Mount Pleasant and Caledonia were the last municipalities to turn in their ballots.  
Even before I asked for a recount, it was reported that the Racine County Sheriff had already launched two investigations into suspicious election activities. Suspicious activities brought forth by Wanggaard's campaign - to a Republican sheriff. The "investigations" thus far have resulted in nothing - even the sheriff's department would not categorize them as evidence of fraud or corruption in recent statements.
Rather than answer these questions, the recount only raised more. Yes, like why you won't concede? While people across the state were required to sign the poll list before receiving a ballot to prevent fraud, hundreds of voters in Racine did not. Not hundreds, perhaps a few dozen. Not signing the book does not invalidate a vote no matter how much you wish it would. Guess what? Voters forgot to sign the book all across the state - because it was busy. In Racine, poll books were missing dozens of pages, missing names or addresses, and contained wrong information. No pages were missing, they were in the wrong order. Some names or signatures were added on separate pages. For hundreds of clerks across Wisconsin, including every other community in Racine County, the poll books were in perfect order. That is also false, this was the only recount in which the poll books were examined. Wanggaard has no way of knowing this at all. In every other municipality, ballot bags were sealed properly on election night. Another statement he has no way of knowing and should be forced to prove. But in the City of Racine, 20 percent of the wards had ballot bags that were sealed and reopened, or never sealed at all. 20% is a false statement and the problem was with the bags not poll workers. Every ballot in the bags were accounted for. All of these discoveries raise serious, and troubling questions. No they don't. You lost, get over it. 
As I mentioned before, there were a large number of same-day registrations in my election. In fact — more than 5 percent of entire population of Racine registered to vote on election day. 40% of the population of the city are renters - meaning they move and must re-register. 5% actually sounds quite low considering a lot of people have not voted since the 2008 presidential election. Is there anyway to read this without seeing how pissed Wanggaard is that so many people voted against him? The requirements for same- day registrations are clear: A voter must prove his or her identity and residence in specific methods laid out in statutes. Unfortunately, Racine was accepting hand-written receipts, ONE - we are aware of and we are still not convinced it wasn't valid. advertisements, Proof please. This is heresay. and mail addressed to “resident” or “occupant” as residence proof in violation of law. A water bill is a mistake and not proof that the voter was unqualified. There is no evidence that water bills were widely accepted. It is a fact that far more Racine poll workers turned away water bills as proof of residence.
To further protect our election integrity, a municipality must send out address verification postcards to new registrants within 10 days of the election. If those postcards are returned, the voter is struck from the polls. Over a month after the election, and more than 20 days after it is required, Racine’s city clerk has yet to comply with the law. There is no evidence that this is true at all - Wanggaard's people have an open records request and are waiting for the clerk (who has nothing better to do) to compile the list for them. Wanggaard does not know they did not send out postcards. Pure conjecture.
Wisconsin’s election day laws are designed to protect the reliability of our electoral process and to prevent and deter fraud. They are simple and easy to read. Yet in the City of Racine, many were disregarded. Because we say so with no evidence or facts - only innuendo and fabrication. Whether this was because of ignorance, negligence or misconduct we may never know. But in the mean time we will focus on misconduct because it suits our purposes. Regardless the reason, every citizen should be concerned when election laws are violated. Yes, only Wanggaard has proven no election laws were violated - not one piece of proof. When they are not followed, it raises questions about the validity of an election — especially close ones. But not this one.
There is more at stake here than one of 33 Senate seats. It’s more important than temporary control of the Wisconsin Senate — although both are important. Mainly to me.  What happened in the city of Racine on election day could happen anywhere in Wisconsin if voters are not vigilant. Human error DID happen elsewhere in Wisconsin dummy. Imagine the uproar if these mistakes were found in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Madison, La Crosse, or Appleton in November. Funny you should mention Waukesha, Van. It could swing the presidential race for the entire country. In 2000, Florida’s electoral process became a joke for the entire country. Because of Republican shenanigans and fraud. We don’t want Wisconsin to become the punch line of 2012. With Wanggaard continuing to hang on to his seat at any cost - could their be any other outcome?
State Sen. Van Wanggaard was defeated by Sen.-elect John Lehman in the 21st Senate District recall eleciton on June 5. He is considering challenging the results of the recount. Is there anyone left who doesn't think he will challenge the recount?