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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Credit Where Due

April 9th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker

Yesterday, I wrote a piece on the right wing's callous double standards regarding election fraud. I stand by my arguments and my critique of their tactics immediately following the apparent victory of the Democrat in Wisconsin's Supreme Court Race. Although I am not walking back any of my statements on arch-conservative John Fund's history of fear-mongering nor letting him off the hook for his still despicable April 7th WSJ column written prior to the stunning discovery of "uncounted votes" favoring the Republican, I need to make a clarification.

Mr. Fund has written a piece in today's WSJ that demands he not be grouped with the other conservatives I went on to expose as crass opportunists in the wake of the "magic vote" affair. He has very clearly stated what so many of his fellow travelers will not.

"Ms. Nickolaus {Waukesha, WI County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus} ought to resign her position out of a sense of shame. An independent investigation is called for, if for no other reason than to clear the air and to recommend procedures to ensure such errors don't happen again. Just as many Wisconsin officials have ignored or downplayed evidence of vote fraud (see the Milwaukee Police Department's 2008 detailed investigation) so too have sloppy election procedures been allowed to fester in some counties.

If the mistake was innocent, it resulted from a lack of transparency. Ms. Nickolaus has long been criticized for keeping her county's election data on private office computers that are not part of the county network. But of equal concern is her decision to no longer report the individual breakdown of results from cities in her county on her office's website. If she had, everyone could have seen that the city of Brookfield was listed as reporting that no votes had been cast. In addition, Ms. Nickolaus's office never reported what percentage of the county's vote had been counted at any point on election night.

Ms. Nickolaus still hasn't provided a full explanation of what happened, but the public deserves answers. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says she ended the prior clerk's practice of reporting election results for individual cities because it was "not her responsibility" and she didn't "have the staff to enter all the data that's required for such reporting." That is an absurd excuse. Many smaller Wisconsin counties are able to post such data on their websites and provide proper transparency."

Hear hear. I think, as he goes onto posit, it may well be true that there is no actual fraud. Perhaps, the candidate I supported with much passion has indeed legitimately lost this race. I might not like it, but that's not germane. Which was my whole point yesterday. The only reasonable American response is to shine a whole lot of light on Wisconsin. Then certify a result that is confirmed to be true. Either way.

Again, John Fund has argued for justice and fairness. I challenge all the members of the right who have been mocking calls for a full investigative review to grow up. And join him

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