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Kloppenburg seeks recount in Supreme Court race

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« on: April 20, 2011, 04:39:57 pm »

Kloppenburg seeks recount in Supreme Court race

Kloppenburg seeks recount in Supreme Court race
TODD RICHMOND | Associated Press madison.com | (2) Comments | Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 4:02 pm

Wisconsin Supreme Court justice candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg addresses supporters gathered for an election-night party at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison in the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 6, 2011. JOHN HART — State Journal
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A Wisconsin Supreme Court hopeful says she will seek a statewide recount against an incumbent justice, prolonging a messy race defined by the state's bitter fight over union rights.
JoAnne Kloppenburg's campaign surged after her supporters worked to tie conservative incumbent Justice David Prosser to Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Walker's plan to strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights.
Initial returns from the April 5 election showed Kloppenburg had defeated Prosser by a little more than 200 votes. But the Waukesha County clerk announced she had failed to report 14,000 votes, which flipped the race to Prosser.
Final county tallies completed on Friday showed Prosser with a 7,316-vote lead.
Copyright 2011 madison.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritte

Report confirms Walker budget would cut tax aid for poor, decrease overall taxes
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Report confirms Walker budget would cut tax aid for poor, decrease overall taxes
MARY SPICUZZA | mspicuzza@madison.com | 608-252-6122 madison.com | (163) Comments | Posted: Saturday, April 16, 2011 7:30 am
http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/host.madison.com/content/tncms/assets/editorial/2/0b/282/20b2828e-66f1-11e0-9e32-001cc4c03286-revisions/4da786dd5e46a.image.jpg http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/host.madison.com/content/tncms/assets/editorial/2/0b/282/20b2828e-66f1-11e0-9e32-001cc4c03286-revisions/4da786dd5e46a.image.jpg
 Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 14, 2011, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to discuss the problems with balancing state budgets in a tough economy. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE - Associated Press
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Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget would reduce tax credits for the poor — effectively taking money out of their pockets — while decreasing taxes overall, according to a nonpartisan report released Friday.
Low and middle income people would lose tax credits worth about $49.4 million over two years, the new Legislative Fiscal Bureau report said.
Those affected most by Walker's proposal would include low-income families who qualify for the earned income tax credit program, and low-income homeowners who receive tax rebates under the homestead tax credit.
Walker repeatedly promised during his campaign for governor not to raise taxes.
Democratic lawmakers now accuse the new Republican governor of breaking his word, and making corporations a priority at the expense of poor families.
"Budgets really are about choices and priorities," said state Rep. Donna Seidel, D-Wausau. "And while we hear Gov. Walker talk about shared sacrifice, what we see is that he is attempting to balance the budget on the backs of working class families and the most vulnerable, while continuing to give tax breaks to the wealthiest corporations."
Net taxes would decrease about $34 million overall under Walker's budget proposal, and fees would increase by nearly $110 million. Most of those changes would come from University of Wisconsin tuition and fee increases.
"The Governor proposed a balanced budget that creates the lowest structural deficit in recent time, lowers taxes, holds the line on fees, and maintains core services," Walker spokesman Chris Schrimpf said Friday.
In an interview with the State Journal last month, Walker called the tax credit a "redistribution program" that involves "taking money from other taxpayers and giving it to individuals who have a limited tax liability."
"This is reducing how much money other taxpayers have to give to those individuals," Walker said at the time.
Rep. Robin Vos, R- Rochester, agreed. He said the changes basically amount to sending people a smaller government check than they expected.
"I don't know how you can call that a tax increase," Vos said.
Copyright 2011 madison.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 
Posted in Govt-and-politics on Saturday, April 16, 2011 7:30 am Scott Walker Budget, Scott Walker, Political Economy, Tax Credit, Tax, Earned Income Tax Credit, Tax Reform, Alternative Minimum Tax, Robin Vos, Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Donna Seidel, Chris Schrimpf, Dennis Kucinich, Collective Bargaining,
State investigating vote irregularities in Waukesha County going back 5 years
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MARY SPICUZZA | mspicuzza@madison.com | 608-252-6122 madison.com | (171) Comments | Posted: Friday, April 15, 2011 5:10 am
http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/host.madison.com/content/tncms/assets/editorial/0/1a/3c5/01a3c55a-6215-11e0-9fb8-001cc4c03286-revisions/4d9f5f8eb5700.image.jpg http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/host.madison.com/content/tncms/assets/editorial/0/1a/3c5/01a3c55a-6215-11e0-9fb8-001cc4c03286-revisions/4d9f5f8eb5700.image.jpg
 Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus is at the center of a political fire over vote vote counts in the state Supreme Court race between David Prosser and Joanne Kloppenburg. MICHAEL SEARS – Associated Press
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The state's investigation into vote irregularities in Waukesha County will stretch back at least five years, the head of the Government Accountability Board said Thursday.
Questions over vote totals in Waukesha have lingered over the past week after County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus announced she failed to report more than 14,000 votes from the city of Brookfield in initial vote totals.
The new total gave incumbent Supreme Court Justice David Prosser a lead of about 7,000 votes over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg in the hotly contested state Supreme Court race. Official results in that race have not yet been announced.
Now questions have emerged over Nickolaus' published vote counts from as far back as the fall of 2006, when there were key statewide elections including races for governor and attorney general.
"This is part of what we're looking into. We have a lot of complaints," said Kevin Kennedy, the director and general counsel for GAB. "It's part of our investigation."
Kennedy said the board's current priority is determining the integrity of numbers reported in this spring's election but added investigators are reviewing broader questions about Nickolaus and vote counting.
GAB staff members have been in Waukesha County much of the week, and they were there again Thursday, staff attorney Mike Haas said.
‘Hand-entered results'
Additional questions surfaced after bloggers raised questions and Nickolaus posted a note to the clerk's website this week explaining discrepancies between the total ballots cast in several elections and the votes for particular offices.
In many cases, the number of votes totaled more than the number of ballots cast.
The results for the 2006 attorney general's race, for example, show 174,047 votes for either Democrat Kathleen Falk, Republican J.B. Van Hollen or write-in candidates, a total that is 17,243 votes higher than the total ballots cast recorded elsewhere in the results.
In her note, Nickolaus said the reference to ballots cast "is the number of ballots that were fed through the election machines at the polling places and the results were collected using a modem in the office" but does not include "any hand-entered results."
It was unclear what Nickolaus meant by "hand-entered results," and she was unavailable for comment Wednesday and Thursday.
Democrats seek answers
Calls for investigations into Waukesha County's vote count controversy have grown. Mike Tate, chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said in a letter to Kennedy on Wednesday that "these apparent repeated problems from the Waukesha County clerk undermine the public's confidence in elections."
Also Wednesday, a group of Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter urging joint Assembly-Senate hearings to investigate the results and conduct of election officials in Waukesha County. Others, including U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the matter.
Haas said investigators have spoken with Nickolaus and want to make sure "we understand her explanation."
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