April 2011 - Posts

Former FEC Chair Smith joins litigation team to create "Super-Duper" PACs
Wed, Apr 27 2011 5:19 PM

Prof. Bradley A. Smith, former chairman of the FEC; Allison Hayward, vice-president for policy at the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) and RNLA member; and Allen Dickerson, CCP's legal director, have signed on as co-counsel in Carey et al v. FEC (D.D.C. Civ. No. 11- 259-RMC).

RADM James J. Carey, USN (ret), chairman of the National Defense PAC, along with the PAC and a prospective donor, brought suit after the FEC deadlocked on a 2010 Advisory Opinion Request (see AO 2010-20), in which the PAC sought permission to operate a "Super-Duper" PAC, combining an independent expenditure-only PAC and PAC that makes direct contributions to candidates as a single entity for FEC purposes (if an independent expenditure-only PAC is a super PAC, what else would you call  this new entity other than a Super-Duper PAC? A Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious PAC? Wikipedia suggests Mega-PAC, but that's just not as much fun.)

Dan Backer, principal at DB Capitol Strategies. made the AO request on behalf of the PAC, and serves as lead counsel in the litigation. Backer argued that, following Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010) (Legal Information Institute copy) and SpeechNow v. FEC, 599 F.3d 686 (D.C. Cir. 2010) (FEC Copy of Opinion), that there is no legal basis for a prohibition on non-connected PACs to maintain two separate bank accounts--one that accepts unlimited contributions and makes independent expenditures and pays the PAC's administrative expenses; and one that accepts limited contributions in order to make direct contributions to candidates.

For additional information on the litigation and its background, see--

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Wisconsin Recount Starts Today
Wed, Apr 27 2011 10:01 AM

Today begins the Wisconsin recount, which all experts agree will reaffirm the victory of Justice David Prosser.  It is unfortunate that defeated candidate JoAnne Kloppenberg is putting the desires of liberal hate groups like Daily Kos over the taxpayers and people of Wisconsin: 

We hoped JoAnne Kloppenburg would ask for a statewide recount, and she came through for us. She's putting her political future on the line here and getting a lot of static about wasting taxpayer money in a futile recount.

The cost of the recount will be borne by local governments, not the state or the campaigns. 

RNLA and other concerned observers will be watching that Wisconsin does not become the corrupt recount that occurred in another same day registration state, Minnesota, in 2008-2009.  In Minnesota, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie changed the very rules he had written in his own recount manual because the then-losing candidate, Al Franken, requested it.  Ritchie further allowed the counties to run the recount by different standards.  Early signs are good that Wisconsin will not become the corrupt unfair recount that the Franken-Coleman recount became because all counties will all be playing by the same rules.

Mike Haas, staff counsel with the [Government Accountability Board], stresses the importance of conducting the process uniformly across the state. “We understand that counties may be accustomed to a little bit more latitude when a recount involved only one or two counties, but we are going to be a little bit more of a stickler regarding procedures used in this recount because it is statewide.”

Unfortunately, liberals like the volunteers the Daily Kos called for may stick themselves into the process and it will be up to volunteers like those from RNLA to ensure it is the will of the voters of Wisconsin that is represented, not the partisan political desires of the liberals like those at Daily Kos.  For example, in Rock County:

Because Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler and her staff won’t be able to use electronic ballot machines, she wasn’t able to predict Monday how long the recount would take.

“You might as well throw a dart,” Stottler said. . . .

The hand count will slow things, but the presence of legal representatives from each campaign could have a more significant impact.

Each questionable ballot will be scrutinized [by] a Republican and Democratic member of the board of canvass, as well as the county clerk and the deputy county clerk.

However, each disputed ballot could become a bone of contention for legal representatives from each campaign. 

This is a recount that Democrat and Republican experts alike agree is frivolous.  RNLA Members will be there to help ensure it is accurate. 

by Michael Thielen | with no comments
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DISCLOSE Act Is Back: Obama intends to reverse Citizens United decision by Executive Order
Tue, Apr 19 2011 2:33 PM

"They lost in the Supreme Court, they lost in Congress, they lost at the FEC, so now the president is just going to do it by edict."

Hans von Spakovsky, today, reported that a source has leaked a document that the White House is apparently circulating among several government agencies.  The document, entitled Disclosure of Political Spending By Government Contractors, “appears to be an attempt by the Obama administration to implement by executive fiat portions of the DISCLOSE Act.” 

Read the leaked draft Executive Order by clicking here. 

The DISCLOSE Act, introduced last year by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) in an attempt to reverse the U.S Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, is a blatantly unconstitutional assault on free speech.  As von Spakovsky explained,

 

“[The DISCLOSE Act] never passed Congress because of principled opposition to its unfair, one-side requirements that benefited labor unions at the expense of corporations. Democratic commissioners at the Federal Election Commission then tried to implement portions of the bill in new regulations.  Fortunately, those regulations were not adopted because of the united opposition of the Republican commissioners.”

 

Read the rest of Hans von Spakovsky’s article by clicking here. 

 

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Thielen: As Prosser Wins, the Dems Get the Blame for Wisconsin
Sun, Apr 17 2011 2:37 PM

RNLA Executive Director Michael Thielen penned an op-ed appearing on Pajamas Media Saturday, explaining how Democrats are responsible for the current chaos surrounding Wisconsin’s April 5th judicial election.

Thielen explained,

Wisconsin Democrats could have joined with Republicans to ensure that elections are more open, fair, and honest, but Democrats opposed transparency and favored systems that encourage fraud like “Same Day Registration,” which employs tactics like vouching for votes. This encourages incompetence, making record keeping difficult and committing fraud easy. If Democrats had worked with Republicans to reform the system, then the April 5 Supreme Court election would have undoubtedly been over on election night.

 

Read the article in its entirety here.

 

The election ended with a slim 204-vote margin in favor of the liberal-leaning Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General, JoAnne Kloppenburg; however, the canvas revealed that due to human error, Waukesha County officials had failed to report the results from the City of Brookfield.  Recognition of this error gave conservative incumbent Justice Dave Prosser the lead by nearly 8,000 votes.  The canvas ended this past Friday with Prosser in the lead by 7,316 votes.  Kloppenburg must decide by Wednesday whether or not she will request a recount.  The largest vote turnaround in the history of the Badger State was a mere 489 votes; thus, the question is now whether Kloppenburg will choose to waste the time, money and resources of Wisconsin taxpayers and request a futile recount.

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What Happened and What is Really Going on in Wisconsin
Fri, Apr 15 2011 8:04 AM

WHAT HAPPENED

1.  A close election for State Supreme Court occurred on April 5, this election was seen by some as deciding the fate of Governor Walker’s agenda, as it would determine the makeup of the Wisconsin Supreme Court – whether it is a 4-3 liberal or right of center Court.  (It is unfortunate that Democrats continue to try to use the Courts to undo elections and the will of the people.)

2.  On election night the city of Brookfield in Waukesha County called in its election results to local media, including a subsidiary of the Huffington Post, and the Waukesha County office, but did not report the results to the AP. 

3.  The Waukesha County Government Accountability Board did not include the Brookfield results in their reported results on Election night.

4.  In Wisconsin’s corrupt and incompetent election system, the Government Accountability Board (GAB) administers the elections and election officials are partisans elected by county.  Waukesha’s election officials are majority RepublicanThe GAB does not require results be report in an open matter.  5.  The Waukesha County Board, as with many of Wisconsin’s County Boards, does not follow open election practices. 

6.  The day after the election, the liberal candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg declared victory based on unofficial results that gave her an extremely slim 204 vote margin, despite the votes not all being counted or canvassed.

7.  During the canvas, a process in which you run the numbers to make sure you did everything right,  Waukesha County realized it had made a mistake with its reporting.  Waukesha County took its time, but decided to announce its mistake in a 5:30 press conference.

8.  At the press conference, the Democrat member of the Board in response to a question said: “We went over everything and made sure all the numbers jibed up and they did. . . . I'm not going to stand here and tell you something that's not true." 

WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW

1.  The Conservative incumbent Prosser is up 7,305, but Milwaukee County is still canvassing. 

2.  The most a statewide recount in Wisconsin has ever changed is 489 votes, according to Justice Prosser’s campaign. 

3.  The vote margin must be within 0.5 percent if the state will pay for a recount.  When the final vote total is confirmed, it will be very close as to whether Kloppenburg is within the margin where she can request a recount funded by the state.  Kloppenberg could save the state time and money by not calling for a recount. 

4.  Under Wisconsin law you cannot request a free recount for one county; it is the whole state or nothing.

5.  The Democrats have seemingly been intimidating the Democrat Election official from Waukesha who has now partially recanted her story, saying, “I am 80 years old and I don’t understand anything about computers,” in a written statement from the local Democrat Party.  She has not spoken publicly since the press conference. 

 

WHAT THIS MEANS GOING FORWARD

1.  This election did lack transparency.  All the Waukesha County officials had to do was post the results by city on their website.  At RNLA, we think elections should be open fair and honest.  Waukesha, like much of Wisconsin, failed the “open” part. 

2.  There is no evidence that fraud occurred in Waukesha County, despite claims on the far left.  In addition to the election night release of accurate numbers to media from Brookfield, experts from the New York Times and Milwaukee Journal Sentential agree that there is no evidence of fraud and that this was simply a mistake. 

3.  The ultimate blame for this falls to the Wisconsin Democrat Leadership who resisted multiple bipartisan efforts to reform Wisconsin’s corrupt and incompetent election practices that led to blatant instances of fraud, including “smokes for votes,” “popcorn for votes at a mental home,” and, most telling, the foremost study of election fraud by a non-ideological, non-partisan Milwaukee Police Department Task Force identified voter fraud by 16 Democrat and Liberal allied group campaign staffers, which they concluded was an “illegal organized attempt to influence the outcome of an election in the state of Wisconsin.” 

4.  However, Wisconsin’s Democratic Leadership wanted this system.   Why?  Because incompetence allows fraud.  As the DOJ and other prosecutors detailed when they decided not to bring charges against the multiple Democrat and liberal staffers caught committing “multiple criminal acts”: “Based on the investigation to date, the task force has found widespread record keeping failures and separate areas of voter fraud. These findings impact each other.  Simply put: it is hard to prove a bank embezzlement if the bank cannot tell how much money was there in the first place. Without accurate records, the task force will have difficulty proving criminal conduct beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

5.  Regarding the April 5 elections, there is evidence of fraud in Dane County (where Madison is located) and other places that should be investigated.  In the last few weeks, many out of state union and liberal activists have been protesting and frequenting the Madison area.  Did they also vote? We know under Wisconsin’s fraud promoting laws, an out of state activist can easily be vouched for by a Wisconsin resident.  (The Milwaukee police found multiple campaign workers and activists illegally voting in their report.) Any recount should thoroughly investigate what happened in Dane County.  As the Daily Caller first reported: “On an estimated more than 10,000 ballots in Dane County, Wisconsin, where the state capital Madison is, voters selected only a pick in the Supreme Court race, while leaving even the hotly contested mayoral and county executive choices blank.”  Voting experts agree it is very unlikely that so many residents would only care about one race, but we know the liberal activists only cared about the Supreme Court race.

 

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Reports of Voter Intimidation in Wisconsin
Tue, Apr 5 2011 7:58 PM

Mark Belling of News Talk 1130 WISN in Milwaukee confirmed he had spoken with witnesses of voter intimidation at the polls in the spring elections that took place today.  Democrats characterized the non-partisan judicial election that took place today as a vote against Governor Scott Walker and the budget bill that has offended some union members in Wisconsin and union activists from outside Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Supreme Court may hear the case challenging the validity of the law and the outcome of this election could determine the decision reached by the Court.

Village of Grafton Police were called to the Grafton Town Hall because election officials were concerned that protesters were too close to the polling place and were not following the rules established by Wisconsin's Election Authority or Government Accountability Board (GAB).  Two witnesses confirmed that a Police Officer who reported to address the incident apparently refused to deal with the protesters initially.  Jessica Schmidt, Grafton Town Clerk, and another witness heard the officer say, "I used to be a conservative but I’m not anymore."  Apparently, this behavior was a result of the recent debate over union rights that has consumed Wisconsin.  The officer then walked outside and without addressing the issues presented by the protesters and refused to do his job, allowing the intimidation to continue.  The officer’s behavior was apparently upsetting enough that an elderly poll worker was shaking immediately following the incident and needed to be calmed down by a nurse that was present at the polling place.   

When Belling contacted the Police Chief, he told him he was not aware of that specific allegation.  Schmidt, the Town Clerk, was personally aware that the Grafton Police were informed of the incident.  Another witness stated said she personally called dispatcher at Village of Grafton Police Department to report the incident.  As Belling pointed out, the Police Chief should have been aware about this allegation of unprofessional behavior and it should have been immediately addressed.  It is inappropriate for an officer to refuse to do his job on the basis of a political preference and to allow election intimidation to occur in any situation.

The podcast of Mark Belling’s talk radio show can be listened to here.

 

 

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Is Wisconsin the Vote Fraud Capitol of the US?
Mon, Apr 4 2011 2:50 PM

In focus tomorrow in elections, and ongoing in the months to come as  efforts to recall Wisconsin Republican State Senators continue, will be Wisconsin's flawed, corrupt and incompetently-run election system. This is not a partisan allegation, but rather one made by the most thorough, non-ideological study ever conducted on an election, which was released by the Milwaukee Police Department. The left has never refuted any of the substance of the Milwaukee report, yet virtually nothing has been done to attempt to rectify the problems it identified.

Why?  Because the record keeping in Wisconsin is incompetent. Although investigators found an "illegal organized attempt to influence the outcome of an election in the state of Wisconsin," nothing was done to prosecute the various Democrat and liberal staffers who committed the vote fraud.  This is because:

Based on the investigation to date, the task force has found widespread record keeping failures and separate areas of voter fraud. These findings impact each other. Simply put: it is hard to prove a bank embezzlement if the bank cannot tell how much money was there in the first place. Without accurate records, the task force will have difficulty proving criminal conduct beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

In other words, incompetent Election Officials make it hard to prosecute guilty people and groups, even when caught red-handed committing election fraud. The obvious solution, a legislative fix such as abandoning the corrupt system of same day registration, has been opposed by most elected Democrat officials, who must know such a system provides them with thousands of fraudulent votes every election. As the police concluded:

What is most troubling is that each ineligible ballot accepted in effect cancels a legal vote cast by a Wisconsin state resident.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin is to be lauded for their efforts to ensure a fair and accurate count. We only wish Democrats would join with Republicans and put the interest of ensuring honest and fair elections before their own self interest.

 

by Michael Thielen | with no comments
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