Wednesday, November 25, 2020

WISGOP In Complete Meltdown Mode Over Election Results

 Unless the gentle reader is living in a cave with no contact with the outside world, they are aware that Republicans are having a very difficult time accepting the reality that Trump lost the election a few weeks ago.  It is unfathomable to them that the majority of voters would reject Trump, who is their lord and savior.

And there are none worse than those in Wisconsin.  Even before the election, they followed suite of Trump by throwing around baseless conspiracy theories of voter fraud, election fraud and other easily debunked lies.

Then, at Trump's request, Wisconsin needed to do a recount.  But instead of doing the entire state, Trump singled out just two counties, Dane and Milwaukee.  This was not by accident.  Dane and Milwaukee Counties are not only the two biggest Democratic strongholds in the state, but they also are the home of the two largest minority populations.

Since the recall started, Republican observers have done their best to obstruct the process.  They complained about not being close enough to see the ballots and myriad of other details.  But despite supposedly not being able to see the ballots, they managed to find enough to challenged tens of thousands of these ballots. Even if they managed to win half of the challenges, it would be enough to change the outcome of the state's election.

The gentle reader should be made aware that this wasn't just an act of desperation on the Republican's part, but their actual stategy, as outlined by James Wigderson, a right wing blogger who said the quiet part out loud:

The plan is to challenge enough early absentee ballots and mail-in ballots to randomly draw down enough ballots in Milwaukee and Dane Counties to give President Donald Trump the lead in Wisconsin. 

To throw out the early absentee ballots, the state Republican Party is claiming that every person needed to fill out an application before. receiving a ballot to vote early in person. However, they are not challenging the early votes anywhere else but in Milwaukee and Dane Counties.

Because there is no way to connect the ballot with the early voter, a ballot would have to be drawn at random to be thrown out.

In addition, the Republicans want to throw out the ballots of the "indefinitely confined." Legislative Republicans included that provision in their voter ID law to avoid disenfranchising elderly voters. A lawsuit prevented Dane County from abusing that provision, but not before thousands followed the bad advice of County Clerk Scott McDonell. It's no irony that the GOP would now use the law to protect the elderly vote against elderly voters, it's the plan.

Meanwhile, a Republican State Representative, Joe Sanfelippo, actually had the gall to suggest that the whole election results be tossed and that the electors be put into the hands of the Republican-controlled legislature.

Now, a conservative group, Wisconsin Voters' Alliance, has taken Sanfelippo's bizarre train of thought even further by filing a lawsuit with the Wisconsin Supreme(ly Corrupt) Court, asking that the election results be declared null and void.  The difference this time is that their lawsuit is based on the supposed undue influence of Mark Zuckenberg donating money to certain areas to help get the election done despite of the COVID 19 pandemic:

The lawsuit, brought by the nonprofit Wisconsin Voters Alliance along with a number of individual voters, makes a number of unsubstantiated and far-fetched claims about Wisconsin's elections process, some of which are similar to those made by President Donald Trump's campaign in the ongoing recount in Dane and Milwaukee counties.

Central to the lawsuit is the allegation that several Wisconsin cities — Madison, Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee and Green Bay — unlawfully accepted $6 million from the Mark Zuckerberg-backed Center for Technology and Civic Life to help conduct the Nov. 3 election.

The group particularly objected to the cities' work to promote absentee voting, which it characterized as an effort to help President-elect Joe Biden's campaign. Biden won the state by more than 20,000 votes, according to county canvasses. The result is scheduled to be certified Dec. 1.

Wisconsin's political parties both chose a slate of electors in October. The political party whose presidential candidate is the certified winner in Wisconsin will get all the state's electoral votes.

I'm more than a little surprised they didn't include their favorite bogeyman, George Soros.

This same group had filed another lawsuit in October in federal court asking that the money be blocked, but the federal judge had rejected their request because "the plaintiffs failed to show a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of the case."

 The not so hidden irony in all of this is that there is little reason to believe that this group isn't funded by conservative special interests dark money themselves.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Trump Files For Partial Recount In Wisconsin Because Black People Voted


Trump has been threatening for weeks to call for a recount in Wisconsin, citing baseless conspiracy theories and ridiculous claims.  On Wednesday, Trump carried through on his threat. Sort of.  His campaign filed for a partial recount, targeting only two counties, citing the same silliness:

The recount petition, signed by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Monday, alleges "mistakes and fraud" were committed all over Wisconsin but particularly in Madison and Milwaukee, cities with large numbers of voters for Biden. The petition does not provide specific examples of mistakes or fraud. 

Trump claims his campaign's observers at Milwaukee’s central counting facility were required to stay 30 to 35 feet away from tables where ballots were being counted and that once his observers are closer to the counting, mistakes and fraud will be found. 

Everyone knows that a recount is bound to fail because Biden leads by more than 20,000 votes.  Hell, even former governor Scott Walker said it's going to fail, and Walker could be the only person in a room and still not be the smartest one there. 

But Trump isn't really looking to win a recount.  He is doing this for three primary reasons:

  • To raise as much money as he can to help pay off his campaign debt
  • To bog down the election process and cast further doubt on its integrity
  • Because a large number of people of color voted
The last point is self-evident that Trump decided to only target Milwaukee and Dane Counties, which are the two strongest Democratic bastions, have the largest population and the largest number of Black and Latino people.

It didn't take long for Democratic leaders to call out the Trump campaign on this fact, but was best said by the City of Milwaukee Common Council in their press release:

The Trump Campaign is seeking a recount of the votes cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties on November 3rd, in what is a clear attempt to somehow cast doubt on the outcome of the election in Wisconsin by looking for evidence of non-existent voter fraud.

The recount, focused on Wisconsin’s most diverse counties where by far the state’s largest populations of Black and brown people reside, is not only without merit, it is RACIST and despicable!

We expect the recount to find no significant issues nor anything that will change the vote totals in any major way.

To seek to delegitimize and disenfranchise voters after a clear and sizable election result (where you lost fair and square, Mr. President) is, in our view, purely evil.

Friday, November 13, 2020

WISGOP: No Democracy For You!

It is no deep, dark secret that Republicans hate, hate, hate democracy.  But the actions taken - and not taken by them regarding the 2020 elections is absolutely appalling, even for them.

It was not surprising that the number of absentee ballots being cast in Wisconsin was staggering.  Everyone saw it coming.  Democrats and Republicans alike were urging people to be smart during the COVID 19 pandemic and vote absentee and to get their ballots in early.

But when the elections clerks asked for some help, not only did the Republicans do nothing, they actively fought against any common sense efforts to make the counting of the millions of ballots more efficient.

When the clerks asked for permission to start counting the day before the elections. The Republicans said no.

When the clerks asked to be able to run the ballots through the machines, the Republicans again said no.

Well, the all too predictable happened and Trump lost not only Wisconsin but also the presidency.  He immediately launched the mother of all temper tantrums and started to wildly spew baseless claims of voter fraud, election fraud and all sorts of shenanigans.  

Wisconsin Republicans were all to happy to repeat these asinine claims, citing problems that stemmed directly from their own unwillingness to improve the efficiency of this election.  Robin "It's perfectly safe" Vos went so far as to order the Republican controlled assembly elections committee to do an investigative audit of the elections to find the fraud that wasn't there.

If these accusations were accurate, you just have to admire the cleverness of the Democrats, who, based on these blatantly false accusations, were able to swing enough votes to seize the presidency while still losing ground in congress and not changing the state legislature enough to make a difference.

But State Representative Joe Sanfelippo, who sits on the committee, took it 50 steps further.  Sanfelippo made the absurd - and highly illegal - suggestion that the results of the election just be scrapped or that the electors change their votes to be in favor of Trump:

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has called for an Assembly committee with subpoena powers to oversee an investigation into potential fraud surrounding alleged “concerns surfacing about mail-in ballot dumps and voter fraud” in Wisconsin. And the vice chair of that committee, Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) says the committee may need to overturn Wisconsin voters’ choice of Joe Biden and conduct a new election or order electors to vote instead to give the state’s 10 Electoral College votes to Donald Trump. Legal experts say either action would violate state and federal law and is beyond the power of the committee.

“If an investigation shows these actions affected the outcome of the election, we need to either declare this past election null and void and hold a new election or require our Electoral College Delegates to correct the injustice with their votes,” Sanfelippo said in a statement Monday. He claimed — without providing evidence —  that there was insufficient voter purging by the Wisconsin Elections Commission and that clerks in Dane and Milwaukee counties “colluded” to keep unverified names on voter lists and began voting too early. Those allegations were “just the beginning” Sanfelippo said.

Realizing how insane they sounded, Republicans started to back pedal away from this.

Robin Vos, who was dead sure that fraud had been committed, changed his tune and admitted that they weren't going to find enough problems to make a difference in the final results.

The assembly elections committee chair, Representative Ron Tusler, politely threw Sanfelippo under the bus before speeding off:

As chair, Tusler makes it clear the committee’s goals are different.

“Joe’s statements are not the statements of our committee,” he says. “They are of a single representative and his feelings and his concerns about this election.”

First, says Tusler, information needs to be gathered, which is where witnesses — some of whom may be subpoenaed although he said that power may not be utilized — come in. 

“I think that we, at this point, need to try to preserve the election that we have,” Tusler says. “I think we need to look into a lot of issues. And if there were some massive amount of fraud, it should be the case that we can remove that fraud from our results and our results just are different than they currently are. If there isn’t a vast amount of fraud, then there isn’t any reason to take that kind of drastic action.”

The worst part of all this is that we now have to wait another two years before we can try to correct the situation by voting out these democracy-hating, fascists.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

This Is Why You Need To Vote!

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found it newsworthy to post an advisory article for people not to transport their snowmobiles on top of cars:

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation would like to remind everyone to not transport a snowmobile on the roof of a small car, like say, a Toyota Corolla. Sure, that might be a no-brainer, but someone in Polk County was caught trying it. The Wisconsin DOT shared the image on social media and warned, "Do not try this at home." "Our friends at the Wisconsin State Patrol stopped this vehicle Sunday on US 63 in Polk County because this isn’t a safe way to transport a snowmobile," the Facebook post said. The Wisconsin DOT recommended safely hauling winter equipment in a trailer or in the bed of a truck.
My first question would be how the hell did they get the snowmobile up there? 

My next question would be who the hell does that sort of thing? But the answer occurred to me as soon as the question did. They would be same people who think wearing a mask is an infringement of their rights; that the rich getting richer is more important than saving lives; that the pandemic is all just fake news and that COVID-19 is no worse than the flu; etc, etc, etc. 

Evem worse, this wasn't the only time something like this has happened. 

 And these people vote?! Make sure that you vote too, or we will have these idiots ruling the country again!