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Saturday, April 9, 2011


There is no taking it back on the internet (h/t Cubachi):

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  1. This race may still end up, in a very demonstrative way, illustrating the inherent weakness involved in states electing higher court justices in particular (and to a somewhat lesser extent) judges in general. What now seem to be only conspiracy-level factors are also being ginned up by the parties.

    But I sense the potential for damage to Democrats (and possibly Obama) is much greater.

    The Journal Sentinel "On-line" is now reporting on several of the issues involved in the aftermath of this race, including the impression that several of the interested parties seem to have even become even more heavily invested in the political outcome of this race, than they were in the run-up to the election -- regardless of what appears to have plainly been a reporting error.

    The SEIU is holding demonstrations outside the Waukesha County Courthouse demanding recounts and investigations; questions are "being raised" about Nickolaus' work for the Assembly Republican caucus, which was back in 1995, when Prosser was the Republican caucus leader. (This further makes the unsupported insinuations of the mystery radio guest "Lee," featured in the radio interview, linked to in your prior post here, in which he voiced "questions" about his "co-worker" status with her, now narrowed down to a time fully 16 years ago, seem quite risible in retrospect.)

    JS-On-line is also reporting that the current vote gap is 6,744 votes, which apparently puts it inside the margin for a possible recount.

    Consider the following from their report:

    . . .
    Meanwhile, Kloppenburg is being represented by the firm Perkins Coie, Mulliken said. Marc Elias, an attorney who handled Democrat Al Franken's U.S. Senate recount fight in Minnesota, is a member of the firm and has been advising the campaign.

    In that recount, a three-judge state panel declared Franken the winner, by 312 votes, over Republican Norm Coleman.

    Elias also handled the Minnesota recount in the gubernatorial race last year involving Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer. Dayton eventually won: out of 2.1 million ballots cast, he won by a 9,000-vote margin.

    Elias, who could not be reached for comment, works in Perkins Coie's political practice section in Washington, D.C. That department was run by Robert F. Bauer, currently President Barack Obama's White House counsel. David Anstaett, who works in the firm's Madison office, has been assisting.

    Prosser's legal team includes Washington lawyer Ben Ginsberg, who served as national counsel to former President George W. Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004. Ginsberg, who declined to comment Friday, played a central role in the 2000 Florida recount on which Bush's successful campaign against Democrat Al Gore hinged.

    Prosser's team includes Madison attorney Jim Troupis, who did not respond to a request for comment Friday. Troupis has represented state Senate Republicans in redistricting matters. He also advised Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) after Senate Democrats left the state amid the upheaval over Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill.
    . . . .

  2. The Left's defeat in WI has been such a source of hope for me. Especially right now, when the House GOP didn't have the courage to face shutdown. The union/budget fight in WI might prove to be more significant than this particular federal budget fight anyway.

    What's gonna be the next big issue? The debt ceiling?

    Cheers! And thanks for moderating the comments, which I think is a big service to your readers. If there is ever a time when it's too burdensome, though--just let us know and we'd understand.


  3. Those eager to engage in conspiracy theory speculation, will no doubt take heart from the JS-Online report and latch onto the White House connection to Kloppenburg's defense team as a way to spin this.

    The connection to White House counsel Robert Bauer (husband of Mao-aficionada, and former Obama Communications Director, Anita Dunn) sure seems like a far more interesting avenue to explore, no?

    Plus, given the President's recent specific "expressions of concern" over the Wisconsin legislation such as calling it an "assault on unions" will no doubt stoke that fire a wee bit further!

    That certainly seems to point to a potentially more fruitful political link, than talking about the fact that the current Waukesha County Clerk once worked for the Republican caucus in the Wisconsin Legislature some 15 years ago when Prosser was the caucus leader!

    The potential for political damage to the Democrats in general, and to the President in particular, is also exponentially higher -- just imagine the political damage if a real and specific connection should surface, showing officious political meddling by the White House in a Wisconsin judicial election?

    I think that would be the beginning of the end of Obama's political career.

  4. Of course, Kloppenburg could show some judicious respect for the institution and release a statement conceding the race and affirming confidence in the process.

  5. "I think that would be the beginning of the end of Obama's political career."

    Someone would have to report it first. And then start asking him questions about it. Do you see any indication that anyone in the media is likely to ask Obama a serious question?

  6. f2000 . . . 12:09 PM: True, she could. But a slew of people became very heavily invested politically in the outcome. She'll at least wait until she is advised that there is literally no chance of prevailing.

    Bringing on the major league recount hirelings would seem to suggest otherwise as well, though I note that both Elias (for Kloppenburg) and Ginsberg (for Prosser) seem to be staying mum so far.

    f2000 . . . 12:26 PM: "Someone would have to report it first." Yes, but one or more members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation, or maybe some other statewide political figure could stir up the issue a bit and perhaps even prompt some questioning of Carney. The Journal Sentinel story did mention the close connection within the law firm to Bauer.

  7. @Trochilus

    Your thoughtful and thorough comments, which I always make a point to read, are a fine example of "contributing to the content of the blog." I find there is a lot to learn from most of the commenters on LI.

  8. @Professor Jacobson

    That song brings back childhood memories of sitting in the Cowsills' garage and watching them rehearse. I had a huge crush on Susie Cowsill. I played with her quite a bit, but she was a very busy girl.

    I'm not a country & western fan, but a little trivia for your readers who are. Also in the mid-1960s, my grandfather and my uncle owned a number of nightclubs in Phoenix, the largest and most famous being JD's. One floor was for country, where Waylon Jennings was the house band playing seven nights a week, and the other for rock, where Ricky Nelson of Ozzie & Harriet fame was the house band. In this article, my uncle, James Musil Jr. is interviewed about Waylon and tells the story of the night a jealous husband showed up at JD's to kill Waylon.

    My uncle produced Waylon's first solo album (Waylon had recorded as a member of Buddy Holly's Crickets) a faux-live album at JD's. My uncle and Waylon partnered to produce Phil & the Frantics, who enjoyed moderate regional success in the southwest, my uncle writing the songs and taking care of the business side, while Waylon played on some of the tracks.  I'll never forget the time my uncle brought them, in their Beatle boots and mod haircuts, circa 1965, when I was about six years old, to my older sister's birthday party as a surprise. My uncle would come out to L.A. all the time and cruise around Sunset signing bands to play in his clubs. He was always making records and worked with a lot of people in the business. He has hundreds of amazing stories from the wild-west days of 1960s music. I call him "Rain Man" because he's very reclusive and carries around a briefcase of pictures of himself with famous acts and other trivia from that era.

    He really is a "Rain Man" type. My mom had been taking care of him for several years before she passed away this last December. A few months before she passed she told me he had been getting calls from some officials in Phoenix that JD's was going to be inducted into Phoenix's hall of fame or something and they wanted him to make a speech at the ceremony, to be followed by a party at Alice Cooper's (my uncle knows him well ... he signed him as an act many times). My uncle, who has terrible social phobia, is dreading it, and my mom asked me to accompany him (I have social phobia, too!).

    The day before my mom died, my siblings and I promised her we'd take care of Uncle Jim, her baby brother.  So, I guess I'll be going on a road trip with "Rain Man" to party at Alice Cooper's place. A couple of social phobics ... what could go wrong?

  9. A Supreme Court district race in southern Illinois in 2004 didn't change the balance of the state court, but the GOP pick-up sent a message that downstate was tired of being home to that "Judicial Hellhole" of Madison County, which is in that district. Karmeier now oversees the county.

  10. LOL, Professor!

    My sister called me tonight to remind me it's my turn to call up Uncle Jim tomorrow (Sunday) and keep him company on the phone for a bit. He is so lonely, especially since my mom died, that he talks for hours (almost all about music back in the days).

    He'll be tickled pink when I tell him what you did. You'll make a sweet old guy who is very depressed have a happy day tomorrow. You're a Mensch, Professor!

    In that article that quotes him about Waylon, it says Bob Dylan was a Waylon Jennings fan. (Imagine being a recording artist and being told Bob Dylan is a fan.) Waylon covered Dylan's "Don't Think Twice" on the JD's album. I looked for it on youtube but it looks like nobody has uploaded it.

    I'll ask my uncle if he has it. I hope I can get him off the phone in less time than it takes to drive from L.A. to Phoenix.

  11. The county by county results via the report from JSOnline also show some significant numbers, and indicate that the race is all but over with Prosser prevailing.

    Note that there are only a handful of the 72 or so Wisconsin Counties that have not as yet certified their results to the State Government Accountability Board (GAB) after doing canvassing between the 6th, when the AP published the results, and April 8th when this chart was published.

    Of those, there appear to only be four counties whose officials specifically told the paper that they had not certified their results -- Brown, Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Outagamie.

    And of those four every single one of them except Outagamie County, showed some mostly minor changes in the numbers between the AP numbers reported on the 6th, and the canvassing numbers reported on the 8th.

    Outagamie County may have done canvassing even though they showed no change in the numbers. But in any event, it does not appear to be a Democrat-leaning county, at least as far as this vote would indicate. Prosser got nearly 57% of the vote there.

    I'd suspect that if there was going to be a big swing for Kloppenburg in the vote totals for any one of those remaining counties, Milwaukee would be the most likely.

    But Milwaukee already appears to have done their canvassing, as evidenced by them showing a gain of 99 votes for Prosser versus a gain of 665 votes for Kloppenburg -- for a net gain of 566 votes for Kloppenburg between the 6th and the 8th. Any significant additional change at this point, therefore, would be highly suspicious.

    Likewise, the only other sizeable Democrat leaning county on the "uncertified" list -- Kenosha County. There Kloppenburg actually ended up with a net loss of 60 votes between the 6th and the 8th. Any large swing there at this point would be extremely suspicious as well.

    The "certification" question for three other counties, Lincoln, Richland, and Sauk, was left blank by the newspaper, but none of those three are capable of showing a large vote swing at this point (low population counties), and two of the three already showed minor vote total changes between the 6th and the 8th, so they were canvassing.

    Increasingly, therefore, it appears that this race is over. Prosser's camp is agreeing to the idea of a recount in Waukesha County because of the questions, but is now publicly discouraging Kloppenburg to eschew a demand for a statewide recount. Kloppenburg's camp seems to be focusing on the "remaining questions" in Waukesha as well.

    One Congress-Critter, however, is actually attempting to demagogue the issue by demanding a federal investigation:

    "Late FridayU.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking for a federal investigation into the handling of vote records in Waukesha County."

  12. @CoolHandLuke
    JDs was between Scottsdale and Tempe when originally built. I think it was on county land. It was never close to Phoenix and Phoenix has a poor history of acknowledging historic property. They are better at knocking it down.
    The Valley of the Sun was not the wild-west during the 1960s. Arizona State University, with the continually winning Sun Devils was about a mile and half from JDs.
    One of the big problems was that when it rained hard, and it did several times in the 60s and early 70s, the roads across the Salt River were wiped out (there were only two bridges), you could not get to JDs until the roads were rebuilt. And a couple of times the basement of JDs was completely flooded.
    I did see Jerry Lee Lewis there as well as Waylon. But Waylon was not a big deal yet, mostly a local favorite. Lewis was a big star. When Jennings got national exposure, he left JDs as a regular.

  13. @Paul

    Hi Paul,

    I never lived in Phoenix, but when I say Phoenix, I mean the general area, just like I'll say L.A. when I specifically mean Santa Monica, for people who may have never heard of Santa Monica (city between the Pacific and West Los Angeles). I might even use L.A. for Pasadena (although PasadenaPhil might bark about that!)

    When I said "wild-west" I wasn't referring to the Valley of the Sun, I was referring to the raw, early form of the business in those days, when my uncle would speed out to LA in his latest hot rod and cruise Sunset Strip signing bands, before heading off to Vegas and back to Phoenix.

    My uncle hired Arizona State University football players as bouncers for his clubs. They remain loyal to him to this day, especially one nicknamed "Brick" who calls up my uncle occasionally to check on him (my uncle's now incapacitating anxieties and phobias have become progressively worse over his lifetime, to the point where he rarely leaves the house nowadays).

    A story he told me recently was how his mom (my grandmother) chided him for charging Wayne Newton too much for his (I believe he said Jr. ROTC cap?) in high school. Newton was a year or two behind him in school.

  14. Had an excrutiating two-and-a-half hour phone conversation with my uncle.

    After what seemed to be an eternity explaining to him what a blog was and then describing this particular blog, and after I told him Professor Jacobson posted his song, etc., etc., .... the end of the conversation was like this (as best as I can remember--I developed a throbbing headache):

    Me: Okay, Uncle Jim, I gotta go.

    Jim: Well ... tell Professor Jacoby ...

    Me: Professor Jacobson.

    Jim: Oh. Tell Professor Jacobson I said "Thank you." That was so nice of him to do that. Wow.

    Me: I will. I gotta go. Keiko (my wife) is calling me. She's getting mad. I have to go downstairs for dinner.

    Jim: Cornell is a great school.

    Me: Yes, it is. I gotta go, Jim. She's really getting mad.

    Jim: But you just called me.

    Me: Jim, we've been talking for almost three hours. I gotta go.

    Jim: Yeah, but now you've got me all excited talking about music and one of my songs being on the internet. I was just sitting here eating a TV dinner by myself when you called.

    Me: Uncle Jim ... I'm hanging up now.

    Jim: Jacobson. Is he Jewish? I never came across many conservative Jews. They were almost all liberals.

    Me: Yes, he is. I'll call you in a week or two.

    Jim: Tell Professor Jacobson I said "Thank you." ... Are you making all this up? Did somebody really put one of my songs on the internet?

    Me: Jim, it's true. But I'll tell him to take your song off right now if you don't hang up the phone.

    Jim: (laughing) Why are you so uptight all the time? You used to be the sweetest little kid ...

    Me: Did I say I'd call you in a week or two? Maybe I'll call you in a couple of months ....

    My nerves were completely frazzled.

    I have a bit of personal trivia about The Turtles, Professor, but I'm done with music trivia for today. (I blame this all on you, Professor.)