Patterico's Pontifications


Dewey Defeats Prosser: The Wisconsin Jinx

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 5:26 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

There’s some seriously jinx-y mojo going on with the poor Democrats in Wisconsin.

In the contentious Wisconsin Supreme Court election, it looks like incumbent Justice David Prosser has defeated JoAnne Kloppenburg — the Kloppenburg who declared victory yesterday.


And my mailbox was full of fundraising stuff like this today….

Dear MoveOn member,

In Wisconsin, we’ve just won a major victory in the fight between Republicans and working folks!

In a huge upset, progressive JoAnne Kloppenburg beat incumbent conservative Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, a close ally of Governor Scott Walker.

or this one, also from MoveOn…

I’m writing to you from Wisconsin, ground zero in the fight between Republicans and the middle class, where we just had a HUGE win!

I’m literally breathless. I’m witnessing history. Incumbent candidates for the WisconsinSupreme Court generally get re-elected in a landslide. But in the general election on Tuesday, progressive JoAnne Kloppenburg closed the gap and won by a razor thin margin against conservative justice David Prosser!

It reminds me of Rachel Maddow crowing about how Walker had caved and Wisconsin won!!! This happened on March 8th, right before Walker proved he didn’t cave.


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

– Lee Stranahan

61 Responses to “Dewey Defeats Prosser: The Wisconsin Jinx”

  1. Cynics are saying the GOP held back to 10,000 votes until the Democrats had exhausted their tricks. The unions must really be grinding teeth about now.

    Mike K (8f3f19)

  2. Mike, I find that unlikely, given the oddball explanation, but then… this is ironclad. these votes can’t be denied.

    I hate to say it, but I think it would be a good idea for a lot of right leaning districts to refuse to report their vote totals until the urban centers have. But this is a chaotic approach, and the best solution is to make a legal reform, where no one reports anything publicly until it is all hand counted.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  3. Well el tougho sh@#to as they say in the Spanish Marines. I’m not bleeding for these union jerks in Wisconsin

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  4. “Wisconsin voters as well as the Kloppenburg for Justice Campaign deserve a full explanation of how and why these 14,000 votes from an entire City were missed. To that end, we will be filing open records requests for all relevant documentation related to the reporting of election results in Waukesha County, as well as to the discovery and reporting of the errors announced by the County. We are confident that election officials in Waukesha County will fulfill these requests as quickly as possible so that both our campaign and the people of Wisconsin can fully understand what happened and why. Just as Assistant Attorney General Kloppenburg has run to restore confidence in the court, Wisconsin residents also deserve to have full confidence in election results.”

    That’s from Klopp’s campaign director, Ms Mulliken.

    That’s rich, given their stubborn insistence that Klopp won before the election was certified, and still hasn’t been. I knew these guys were aggressive when they wouldn’t distance from that molestation advertisement, so no surprise.

    But sure, let’s know more about what happened.

    The Klopp camp gets the issue wrong, though. They didn’t miss 14,000 votes. they counted them, and then there was an error in reporting them, and then they checked to make sure they reported everything accurately, as is routine, and discovered this screw up. Which I agree is not acceptable.

    But the main thing that isn’t acceptable is Kloppenburg declaring herself the winner before these routine certifying procedures take place. Mistakes happen, and the margin was razor thin, so Klopp ran to the press to shout she was the winner when she really wasn’t.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  5. I’m with you Dustin. When the order of precincts reporting vote counts or estimates can be abused, we need to reform the reporting.

    Felipe (d37996)

  6. Dustin,

    The end is sooo messy


    Had to do that after years of dealing with unions I apologize for outright laughing in their faces, I know its juvenile, but its a long time coming

    That one city, those 14 thousand votes just ended the Democrats hold over the senate and the whitehouse

    EricPWJohnson (b6ab2f)

  7. No, EPWJ, laugh away, please. It’s richly, richly deserved. These people have repeatedly spat in the concept of ‘elections have consequences’, and then declared victory in an election they didn’t win.

    This thread is the most disgusting crap I’ve ever seen on the internet.

    Laugh all day, because it’s quite funny.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  8. Want another cup of scadenfreude, on the house:

    narciso (cfef6a)

  9. Kloppenburg’s victory speech and press conference (which I viewed in a clip elsewhere that ran around 13 minutes) was one of the most bizarre election performances I have ever seen. Now, I realize she is not a professional pol per se, but—-. She came across as arrogant and small. She was snarky to Prosser, thanking him for his service, and was borderline rude to several of the reporters who wondered why she was giving an acceptance speech with so much potential water yet to go over the dam. Her answers and statements were not crafted in a manner that suggested the whip-smart intelligence or depth one would hope for on any state’s supreme court.

    I am wondering who pushed her to take a premature victory lap when it is customary protocol to wait for a concession call from the opponent. What I’m saying is that I do not believe she had much control of her own campaign toward the end. Others were pulling the strings, making the decisions, and telling her what to do. Regardless of how this ultimately shakes out, Kloppy looks like a fool.

    elissa (b2da86)

  10. elissa, you captured my feelings. She looked like a dumbass who can’t weigh the evidence or respond to a logical point with fairness. And I agree, she looked like she was just following orders, to take the narrative advantage, which is disturbing, considering she’s not supposed to be a political animal at all.

    Prosser has simply done very little at all, and I think that boosts his credibility considerably.

    narciso, that’s a beautiful look on Matthews’s face. He looks like his heart has broken.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  11. Here’s Prosser’s recent statement:

    ““I’m encouraged by the various reports from the county canvases. Our confidence is high, and we will continue to monitor with optimism, and believe that the positive results will hold. We’ve always maintained faith in the voters and trust the election officials involved in the canvasing will reaffirm the lead we’ve taken.””

    Feel free to compare and contrast with un-classy Kloppy.

    elissa (b2da86)

  12. I’d say it was more along the lines of the dinosaur
    seeing the trail of the meteor, right before impact.

    narciso (cfef6a)

  13. There’s a certain scene from South Park involving yummy, yummy tears of unfathomable sadness that comes to mind. ]:-)

    M. Scott Eiland (27aed4)

  14. Somewhere in Wisconsin there is a liberal judge who will invalidate the results. It will go along the lines that votes weren’t counted quickly enough, thus disenfranchising middle-class people for some reason or another.

    By the way, what is this sudden lefty obsession with the middle class? I guess we’re the new poor. Thanks to the President, they may be right.

    Ag80 (98fa24)

  15. I’m glad the hoochie lost cause of I think she would have been a crappy judge. I think she had already made her mind up to whore the court out to illiterate union thugs like the thuggy thuggy Wisconsin cops and also the greedy greedy teachers.

    I guess we’ll never know for sure.

    I’m ok with that.

    happyfeet (71628d)

  16. Alls I knows is, it reminds me of The Sound of Music:

    ♫ Wis-consin’s aliiive with lib heads ex-plo-dinggg… ♫

    qdpsteve (f1c59f)

  17. It’s still close. But without something like Duval County, Texas, or Cook County, Illinois, where the Democratic dead return to vote in alphabetical order and identical handwriting, it’s going to be hard for the Dems to cheat that much.

    Beldar (cd529f)

  18. I shouldn’t have watched that Madcow clip. I just ate dinner. ugh. But what is fascinating is that she read the headlines in dramatic fashion and breathlessly told her eager viewers that papers across the state had brutally chastized Walker, had criticized Walker, etc. Yet a plain reading of the headlines suggest otherwise. The headlines were just simple statements of fact–that Walker had rebuffed the Dems’ request for a meeting –and that Walker refused to meeet with Dems to negotiate. Yeah, Soooo. For a Rhodes scholar she sure has a frightening lack of perspective and insight.

    elissa (b2da86)

  19. More than one dinosaur involved:

    mail at 6:54 CDT (7:54 EDT)from Steve Hughes at MoveOn saying:

    “I’m writing to you from Wisconsin, ground zero in the fight between Republicans and the middle class, where we just had a HUGE win!

    I’m literally breathless. I’m witnessing history….

    …And it’s proof that the grassroots army that formed to battle Governor Scott Walker is a force to be reckoned with.”

    narciso (cfef6a)

  20. #1, If so, smart move. So long as the votes were not illegal. BWAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Torquemada (fccc6f)

  21. On the bright side, the crazed moonbats out there will have a new hate-object in Kathy Nickolaus–maybe Sarah Palin will get a breather for a week or two while the usual suspects drag out and re-tool all the Katherine Harris jokes from 2000 as they rage away at the dregs of their despair.

    M. Scott Eiland (27aed4)

  22. Boy, the GOP machinery in Brookfield WI puts the Daley machinery in Chicago in the Kennedy-Nixon election to shame.

    Jim (ad29d8)

  23. Somewhere Rossi and Coleman are crying in their beer.

    Torquemada (fccc6f)

  24. I shouldn’t have watched that Madcow clip. I just ate dinner. ugh.

    Never ever having watching a clip of her before… I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person so blatantly pull off the “talk fast because I’m lying/wrong” trick. It was like a volcano of information was erupting, and the only reason she ever ended a sentence was because eventually she needed to throw some snark in.

    I’d recommend taking away the coffee or prescribing a mild sedative.

    In other news, looks like a half-interested Tea Party beats a fully engaged DNC / Union machine in a light blue state.

    I think Rammin’ Rahm picked about the right time to get out of the castle and head back to his fiefdom in Chitown. The king and his men are a crisis you can’t take advantage of.

    deepelemblues (a78b16)

  25. Wouldn’t it be nice if Kloppy (love that name, elissa) conceded as quickly as she claimed victory. But she’s a dimwit, so no chance of that.

    PatAZ (d09837)

  26. The comments at TPM are highly amusing. Just about everyone is screaming fraud or Republican conspiracies. One civil person was calling for lawyers, guns and money to WI.

    nucsnipe (f930d7)

  27. Amazing how the story dropped off the front page of CNN and Google News as soon as it became clear that Prosser was the odds-on winner.

    Mick Langan (f1a0ff)

  28. ==Rammin’ Rahm picked about the right time to get out of the castle and head back to his fiefdom in Chitown==

    Say what you will about our soon to be mayor. Even as a Cubs fan he knew enough to show up on opening day at Sox Park in a White Sox Jacket and show some respect. That’s how you bring a city together!

    elissa (b2da86)

  29. ann althouse has a photoshop you might want to borrow, lee.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  30. I’m not sure if I would characterize her as arrogant or delusional- I guess with enough narcicism you can be both. It is one thing to “be positive”, it’s another thing to “be oblivious”.

    In all seriousness, with the amount of money and effort that the Dems put into this to try to make it a negative referendum on Walker’s policies it’s pretty impressive that they lost.

    One question remaining is whether the City of Madison and Dane county will attempt to secede, and who gets the Capitol building in the divorce settlement. It will be like the Berlin airlift but instead to the City of Madison it will be the State Capitol Building needing supplies brought in by helicopter while the dept of sanitation trucks circle the building to block ground shipments….

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  31. MD, I was totally expecting the ‘progressives’ to win. It’s good that in a minor election that so motivates the unions that they lost. MKH’s twitter on this is hilarious. ‘An election of national proportions is about to mean nothing’ (something like that).

    Anyway, feel free to resist calling her delusional, but Klopp is too stupid to be a judge. the question she was asked about the audacious victory claim was extremely predictable, and she couldn’t respond beyond just saying ‘but I won’ 20 times.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  32. “Anyway, feel free to resist calling her delusional”

    Dustin – Maybe not delusional. Probably just high like most of her supporters in Madison. She is definitely a few cans short of a six pack, though.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. They thought the Peoples Republic of Dane Cty, would carry them through,

    narciso (cfef6a)

  34. Probably just high like most of her supporters in Madison.

    LOL. Basically 65% of the videos I’ve seen of these Madison protests have at least two people who are apparently on drugs.

    It’s a shame. It’s a gorgeous town full of nasty souls.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  35. “I survived a nuclear firestorm of criticism and attack and smear. And so as far as I’m concerned if these results hold up I will be the winner. My opponent has the right to call for a recount and have the state pay for that recount if its in a certain level. But if you get up over 7,000 votes, that’s serious business. That’s not likely to be overcome.”

    Prosser just said this on Fox News.

    This guy comes across well, IMO. Granted, he called some lady a dirty word in private. I’m trying to imagine what led to that.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  36. Did he call Nancy Pelosi the wicked witch of calipornia?

    DohBiden (984d23)

  37. Kloppenburg’s victory presser was so hilarious because she was obviously just repeating what someone from DC had told her to say over and over again.

    Or she was just high, definitely a possibility that voice just doesn’t sound natural.

    deepelemblues (a78b16)

  38. Dustin

    I think he said that two of them (-other judges on the Wisconsin Supreme Court) had bullied him for two years and he finally snapped.

    He owned up to it-and after the way Democrats have acted out prior to this vote maybe a majority of voters in Wisconsin could identify with Prosser on that.

    madawaskan (fd190b)

  39. the person Prosser insulted apparently has a multi-decade history of provoking usually mild people to be other than their usually mild selves

    I don’t know what she was, other than not being rational. I don’t think mere arrogance would answer that way, that’s all I was trying to say.

    Even most students on a sat. night would have a little more insight in responding to the question.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  40. ‘An election of national proportions is about to mean nothing’ (something like that).

    that’s classic, it’s important unless it indicates something they don’t want to hear, like the little boy on “Family Circus” walking outside naked with his eyes closed.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  41. It’s still close. But without something like Duval County, Texas, or Cook County, Illinois, where the Democratic dead return to vote in alphabetical order and identical handwriting, it’s going to be hard for the Dems to cheat that much.

    Comment by Beldar — 4/7/2011 @ 7:03 pm

    I just pointed this out to a liberal I know. He said they both do it and they’re both dirty. I asked for an example of where the dead voted Republican and he couldn’t show me. Then when I said that I had only read that the dead vote republican from liberals and could not find evidence of it, he said that’s because I only read conservative web sites.

    Now I admit that my search skills are pretty poor, but the only thing I could find where the dead vote republican was from the Daily Show and unlike some of my younger acquaintances, I don’t consider the Daily Show to be news. The rest were comments. However there seem to be actual news sources that report the dead voting democrat.

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  42. maybe a majority of voters in Wisconsin could identify with Prosser on that.

    LOL. Yeah, basically that’s how I felt when they ran that attack ad about the molestation victims.

    I don’t think mere arrogance would answer that way, that’s all I was trying to say.

    You’re right. It was unnatural and weird. It’s pretty clear she was heavily coached and clueless. No wonder Obama passed on her for a federal slot.

    multi-decade history of provoking usually mild people to be other than their usually mild selves

    Some people have that gift. The probably make terrific trial lawyers.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  43. Watch that video that Lee embedded and focus your attention on Kloppy’s eyes. Does it seem to the rest of you that she exudes a fair amount of crazy in her demeanor? She reminds me of the lefty women in my college days who would do stuff like shave their heads in support of abortion rights and other weird acts like that. No doubt she fits in well in Madison.

    JVW (615582)

  44. All I can say is I never heard of the dead voting until I moved to Philly, and Repubs don’t win elections here.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  45. Speaking as an IT person, why do election results get entered into different spreadsheets with different unlocked templates? Why do officials have to import spreadsheets into local Microsoft Access databases? Why do they use spreadsheets at all? Why isn’t there a single official database, with a single official web-based interface, instead of multiple partial local repositories that don’t record a batch of data until somebody hits “save?”

    I doubt there’s fraud here. But there is certainly a poorly designed system and workflow that invites trouble and mistakes. It’s bizarre to me because a proper foolproof vote-tabulating system would seem to me to be easy to design.

    In my community, the geriatric tech-phobic election officials would be utterly confounded if they had to deal with Excel and Access. They would be guaranteed to f@ck it up.

    gp (72be5d)

  46. I hate MS Access, GP.

    There are a lot of better solutions, though I bet a custom solution wouldn’t be expensive to implement.

    Anyway, the democrat counterpart confirms the count is what was supposed to be reported, and it just didn’t get reported correctly until the routine verification of these reports. It’s an error, but it’s a predicted error that they found, and thankfully, there’s no question that this issue didn’t change the count.

    Not that this will prevent some from saying she just typed up a few thousands votes on her computer and then claimed to have found them, of course.’

    Access saves automatically, which confuses some when they need to save data to a disk that wasn’t in sync. apparently, that’s what the problem was. It sounds like a problem that can be fixed.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  47. One of the Robert Caro volumes in his still-unfinished biography of LBJ — I’m too lazy to walk to the bookshelf to see which one, just going from memory here — has a really detailed account of the irregularities in several of LBJ’s elections, including of course the 1960 presidential race. It’s pretty candid about what went down in South Texas, and Caro is no Republican flack.

    Beldar (cd529f)

  48. gp – It sounds like Wisconsin aggregates results by county before reporting results of statewide results to a single repository. Since some races are only local why wouldn’t this make sense? Otherwise you are asking local officials to separate vote totals which should be reported centrally from those which do not, creating another opportunity for a screw up. This gives the locals the illusion of control, the opportunity to call polling stations which are late reporting, etc., and harass them.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  49. Having grown up in Waukesha, the most conservative county in WI, the high drama with which their victory has been achieved is most sweet.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  50. The Wikipedia page for David Prosser as of now offers some juicy bits of liberal soreloserness:

    On April 7th, Prosser took around an 8,000 vote lead after it was announced by the Waukesha County Clerk at a news conference that Republican cheating had caused 11,000 votes for Prosser and 3,000 votes for Kloppenburg from Brookfield, Wisconsin not to be added to the total.

    A news conference held by the Waukesha County Clerk confirmed the issues in Brookfield, Wisconsin and stated that out of around 14,000 votes cast in Brookfield, Prosser picked up an additional 11,000 votes and Kloppenburg an additional 3,000 votes. Thanks to Republicans rigging the election, this puts Prosser ahead by about 8,000 votes.

    Hopefully this will soon be edited out. Or not.

    Chorizo (0692b1)

  51. “I hate MS Access, GP” I LOVE Access, for myself, a highly trained IT pro. But in the hands of people who don’t know proper relational DB design, it’s a dangerous booby trap. The idea of dozens or hundreds of IT-naive election officials, each with their own copy of Access and their own private schemas on their own private MDBs, importing non-standardized spreadsheets with altered templates, just screams trouble. It’s expensive, duplicative, and worst, out-of-control. There should be one schema, one repository, one data-entry interface, one query interface.

    “Access saves automatically” Yes, you change or add a row via the interface, and the mdb is instantly updated. So I’m not sure what she was talking about when she said she hadn’t saved something.

    gp (72be5d)

  52. gp, she was trying to save the db to a disk, and it was automatically updating on the HDD.

    Take my account with a grain of salt, but apparently the problem is that she synced the database at one point, and got more data to enter, and then failed to sync it again. When they checked to see if all the data was reported, they realized they left out some of it.

    Because Access saves in real time, I guess the idea of saving didn’t occur to her (again, take my version with some salt).

    BTW, you have a point about separated Access databases just begging for chaos, but my complaint about access is that it’s just plain clunky.

    I’d much rather use Excel to keep track of data. Or just another database program.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  53. MS Access is God’s punishment for an evil world.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  54. No, that’s Window’s Vista, Ctluthu’s toolbox

    narciso (cfef6a)

  55. Dewey Defeats Prosser: The Wisconsin Fix

    There we go, fixed that for ya!

    Love hearing people with “principles” and “values” justifying suspicious sounding shenanigans. Next up, Democrats will start saying “yes we do let the dead vote, but only to counter those Republican voting machine vote rigger people”.

    Legit mistake? Probably but we will never know.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  56. I’am literally laughing my arse off at the right wing hate machine

    /Chuckles the buttless wonder

    DohBiden (984d23)

  57. One of the problems with creating a specialized IT solution for elections would be the very small market for it and a relatively high cost to develop and market such a system.

    The amount of customization would have to be significant as rules and policies would be different in every jurisdiction.

    Ultiimately, the problem in Wisconsin is that someone just seems to have neglected to actually enter data in and then and save a spreadsheet. There is no system in the world that is going to correct for that problem.

    Tight deadlines, enormous pressure, lack of sleep, and overwork will always lead people to make errors. The common catchphrase in IT is “cheap, fast or good: pick any two.” That applies to software as well as anything else.

    WarEagle (2ca889)

  58. A computer “error” on an ex-Prosser staff member’s computer… the same staff member that has been “uncooperative with attempts to have information technologists review the system and confirm the backups” and… the same person who was the subject of a Waukesha County Board audit last fall because of concerns about the integrity of the equipment she used in the backup system – the move came after Nickolaus removed the election results collection and tallying system from the county computer network last spring and installed it on standalone personal computers in her office.

    hmmmm…. no story here.

    ITer (a1f721)

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