By Frank Salvato
One of the most important elections in recent times took place in the state of Wisconsin. It wasn't for president, governor, senator or Congress, and it wasn't in pursuit of a recall, although where certain State Senators are concerned there are grassroots efforts afoot to do just that. It was for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This singular election could very well serve as a barometer for the 2012 General Election; a barometer that, at the very least, gauges the raw coercive power of national and international labor unions in local, state and federal elections...that and, perhaps, election fraud.
Truth be told, many times, in states where judges are elected, ballots can be cast without the electorate really knowing anything about judicial candidates. In fact, many conscientious voters most often have trouble divining from what political ideology a judicial candidate emanates, given the fact that judges are supposed to be non-partisan advocates of the law over politics, the critical words here being "supposed to be." In reality the idea of a non-partisan elected judge is pure fiction, but for the incredibly rare instance. The occasion of the race in Wisconsin is not such a case.
The lead in the race for the seat currently held by incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has vacillated. Early Thursday April 7th, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg held a 204 vote lead over the incumbent, with 99 percent of the vote counted. Late Thursday, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus reported votes that should have been counted weren't reported to The Associated Press on Tuesday due to "human error." The error gives Prosser a 7,500 vote lead, should it stand-up to the canvassing of Wisconsin's 72 counties prior to certification.
This race has been infused with politics because of the probability that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear an assortment of cases related to the recently passed, signed and "enacted" legislation that limits public-sector labor union power to negotiate benefits. Contrary to what the media, the labor unions and many elected Progressives insist, the bill does not "bust unions" or "end collective bargaining" for public sector union employees. But that hasn't stopped Progressives and labor union activists from lying about it for political gain. But I digress...
Kloppenburg, a Progressive Democrat, championed buy Progressive Left activists and the labor unions, just this past February, lost a five-way primary to Prosser by a margin of 54.99 percent to 24.99 percent, or 231,017 votes to 105,002 votes. In fact, if you delivered all of the votes to Kloppenburg from those who voted for someone other than Prosser, Prosser still beat Kloppenburg 231, 017 votes to 189,093 votes; a 41,924 vote margin.
Today, the vote totals were quite different. Not only was the traditionally low Wisconsin voter turnout elevated – Wisconsin has a shameful 18 to 20 percent voter turnout average, yet this current contest boasted a 33 percent turnout (if one can be proud of the fact that only one out of every three voters exercised their right) – but the primary results were at first up-ended; with Kloppenburg then leading Prosser by a tally of 740,090 votes to 739, 886 votes. With the late report of unreported votes in Waukesha those totals have again change, adding 7,500 votes to Prosser's tally; 747,590 in total
Interestingly, and purely using averages, if the voter turnout was 13 percent higher than the normal turnout of 20 percent – and that's using the average high-end statistic – then we should have expected the total number of ballots cast in the Supreme Court race to be in the area of 470,500 votes. The total number of votes cast per the official results stands at 1,487, 476. Seems to me that a heck of a lot more voters took an interest in the Supreme Court race this time around; 1,067,366 voters, to be somewhat exact.
To be certain, the issue of the limiting of public-sector union employee collective bargaining power remains contentious today. We should have expected a spike in the voter turnout. But in a state where voter apathy seems to be the order of the day for approximately 80 percent of the citizenry we need to examine – at least in a cursory manner – the motivating factors for this increase in voter turnout and whether or not they are "tactics" that will be employed on an even wider; and even larger scale in the 2012 General Election.
In the case of the Wisconsin Supreme Court election, advocates on both sides of the issue spent a small fortune in television ads advocating for both Kloppenburg and Prosser. In fact, the mainstream media is quick to point out that Conservative advocacy groups out-spent labor union and Progressive advocacy groups on ad revenue leading up to the election. If that were the only element contributing to an elevated vote tally the argument would be moot. But, in the United States today – and, progressively (no pun intended) around the world – that is not the case. Two more important elements that contribute to increasing vote tallies are superior organization and the ability to perpetrate voter fraud without getting caught, at least not until after the election vote tallies are certified.
Without doubt, organized labor had a huge impact on the elevated election tally in Wisconsin's Supreme Court election. Just as we saw tens of thousands of activists descend on Madison, the state's capitol, during the contentious argument over the then proposed collective bargaining legislation, you would have to engage a "willing suspension of disbelief" to embrace the notion that labor unions didn't have a full contingent of boots on the ground for this election. A fully charges union presence would mean organized get out the vote campaigns, all-hands-on-deck for union employees (both in the private and public sectors) and the full weight of the unions' friendly relationships with the mainstream media outlets.
Then, there are the Progressive advocacy groups. As reported at the Progressive publication MotherJones.com:
A recount in this race is all but inevitable and unless the Conservatives and the Tea Party Movement apply a maximum amount of pressure in an effort to guard the sanctity of the ballot box, we can all but surmise that those supporting Kloppenburg will attempt to "find" enough votes to win the race, regardless of whether the true tally of the votes cast is reflected in the final vote certification. If that sounds cynical, consider this information brought forth by this exquisite piece of journalism by The Wall Street Journal's John Fund:
If the Tea Party Movement is to affect real and tangible "change" – change that moves our country back to the realm of being a "nation of laws, not men" – then they must take the lead in exposing any and all voter fraud or illegal and unethical union behavior while demanding that appropriate action be taken to not only acknowledge the crimes but to keep them from influencing any election results. If enough fraud and coercion is provable then the good citizens of Wisconsin would certainly deserve a second election, one devoid of intimidation, coercion, fraud and outside influence, and that includes the behemoth footprint influence of national and international organized labor.
If the Tea Party Movement doesn't balance the coercive influence of organized labor unions and Progressive advocacy groups then this election will be stolen from the voters of Wisconsin, just like Al Franken's senatorial election was stolen from the voters of Minnesota and the Washington State gubernatorial election was stolen from the voters in the election of Christine Gregoire. In both cases, enough votes were "found" to reverse the initial results.
In fact, if the Tea Party Movement, Conservatives and honest Americans doesn't stand-up now for clean, untainted and honest elections – without exception, Progressives will just keep counting votes – or simply not search as hard for those "uncast votes," as the case may be – until they have enough to claim victory.
And you wonder why Pres. Obama doesn't look too worried about his chances for re-election.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting Network and on NetTalkWorld Global Talk Radio catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. Mr. Salvato is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the USA Radio Network. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.