The Brad Blog: New Details on Wisconsin Supreme Court ‘Recount,’ Waukesha County Clerk Investigation

Kloppenburg filing for special investigator alleges Prosser met privately with Walker on night after election, Nickolaus may have committed felonies

Both camps agree to hand counts in parts of 31 counties…

April 22, 2011- On Wednesday, Wisconsin's Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg announced that she will be exercising her right to file for a statewide "recount" following the April 5th election for state Supreme Court against the incumbent Justice David Prosser. She also said that she intended to ask for a special investigator to be named to look into a number of still-unanswered questions about election results that were misreported by Waukesha County's Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, a former employee of Prosser's when both served in the state's Assembly Republican Caucus.

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The Badger Herald: GAB denies Kloppenburg’s independent investigator request for recount

April 21, 2011- After announcing she would request a statewide recount in the Supreme Court election earlier this week, challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg and incumbent Justice David Prosser argued in court Thursday to reach a decision as to how the recount would be done.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Ness approved a recount procedure that would include a hand recount in 31 counties and allow for electronic voting equipment for the rest of Wisconsin.

Since declaring victory in the race Monday, Prosser’s campaign has been outspoken against having a recount. But Kloppenburg’s campaign manager Melissa Mulliken said she agreed with the judge’s decision.

“We’re pleased the issue was resolved so quickly and believe it is a good outcome,” Mulliken said. “I don’t think any data has been or will be destroyed.”

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RAW Story: Florida bill an assault on voters’ rights, says ACLU

April 20, 2011- A bill in the Florida House of Representatives to "clean up" voting is the latest sad chapter in the state's handbook of voter suppression, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

The legislation, sponsored by Republican Rep. Dennis Baxley, would cut Florida’s early-voting period from two weeks to one, prevent anyone who has moved or changed a name from updating their information at the polls on Election Day and receiving a ballot, and place restrictions on third-party voter registration organizations, among other changes.

"Legislators have said this bill will ‘narrow the widows and tighten the controls’ of Florida’s elections," Danielle Prendergast, ACLU of Florida's Director of Public Policy, said. "While that’s accurate, it’s also sad that this Legislature views democracy as something that needs to be narrowed and controlled."

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Politcus USA: With A Stroke Of His Pen Obama Strikes Back At Citizens United

April 21, 2011- A little over a year ago the Supreme Court of the United States made a controversial ruling that says corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited. The case known as Citizens United v Federal Election Commission allows corporations to use their general funds to buy campaign ads that was prohibited under federal law, and opened the door for unlimited contributions by corporations as well as unions. The high court cited the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of the right of free speech, and it was the first time a corporate entity was treated like a person. Detractors of the ruling cried foul and correctly pointed out that, “The Supreme Court has handed lobbyists a new weapon. A lobbyist can now tell any elected official: if you vote wrong, my company, labor union or interest group will spend unlimited sums explicitly advertising against your re-election.” The ruling also opened the door for foreign governments to affect the outcome of United States elections.

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Huffington Post: FEC Sued By Chris Van Hollen Over Huge Disclosure Loophole

April 21, 2011- A Democratic congressman on Thursday sued the Federal Election Commission in an effort to close a massive disclosure loophole before individuals and corporations have the chance to secretly funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

In his lawsuit, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) charges that in 2007 the FEC created the loophole by willfully misinterpreting disclosure requirements in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which is more commonly known as McCain-Feingold.

That law clearly called for disclosure of donors to groups making "electioneering communications." Those are defined as the broadcast ads that refer to a federal candidate in the period 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election.

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Brad Blog: BREAKING: Kloppenburg Files for Statewide ‘Recount’ in WI Supreme Court Election

Will ask for hand count in several districts; Calls for special investigator in Waukesha County…

April 20, 2011- Wisconsin's Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg has filed paperwork for a statewide, state-sponsored "recount" in the controversial April 5th State Supreme Court election.

Speaking to supporters at a press conference moments ago in Madison, Kloppenburg pointed to a number of reported irregularities around the state, including in Waukesha County, as well as Racine and Milwaukee and a number of other areas, that led to her decision to ask for such a count. She also mentioned unusually high undervote rates in a number of areas that the campaign had examined.

"I've asked for a recount to determine what the right count is, and also to preserve confidence in the electoral process," she said in response to a question from reporters.

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CNN: Independent groups expected to rake in hundreds of millions

April 14, 2011- As President Barack Obama kicks off the 2012 money race with a series of well-publicized re-election fundraisers in Chicago, Democratic operatives are quietly crisscrossing the nation to raise big money for new independent expenditure groups.

All told, these Democratic third-party groups aim to raise up to $200 million in outside money — that's in addition to the $1 billion Obama's fundraisers set as their campaign goal. The number and size of the independent expenditure groups ballooned last year, thanks in part a Supreme Court ruling that allows unlimited contributions by corporations.

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LA Times: Democrats following Republicans into field of undisclosed donors

Independent political organizations that can accept unlimited and undisclosed contributions are being formed by Democrats, who rebuked Republicans for the use of such groups in the 2010 midterm election

April 7, 2011- Democrats putting together new independent political organizations for the 2012 campaign are embracing a model that will allow them to conceal their donors — the very tactic for which they criticized Republicans in 2010.

Majority PAC, a new group aimed at electing Democrats to the Senate, and American Bridge 21st Century, which will serve as a research hub, are being organized as so-called super political action committees that can raise unlimited amounts of money from contributors whose donations are reported to the Federal Election Commission. But both are also affiliated with nonprofit 501(c)(4) social welfare groups that can raise money from undisclosed donors and give money directly to super PACs.

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