As the unofficial tally of 2.5 million votes were coming in on June 5 and as many of us were at the Capitol Square at 8pm at the time of polls closing, all reports had the post-closing Exit Polls at a dead heat, 50%-50%. Then, as if it was another election, the votes seemed to flip to Walker and Fox News was declaring Walker the winner even as many were still voting. The sudden injection of votes seemed familiar, as if Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nicklaus was involved like she was with the Supreme Court election between Kloppenburg and Prosser.
It had been a dirty campaign where the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision played a huge part with the Koch Brothers-funded Tea Party’s out-of-state buses coming into the state and after Walker had lied through his teeth in television ads since November 2011. Robocalls with a Tom Barrett impersonator had blanketed the state with a lie that voters who signed the Recall petition need not vote and that the Recall Election was Wednesday (it was on Tuesday). Some recent discoveries include that the robocalls came from Republican phone banking sources in Madison. State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) had filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board since that phone number returned with a voicemail confirming it was linked to the Wisconsin Republican Party.
Wisconsin billionaire and Forbes 400 rich list member Diane Hendricks of ABC Supply, worth $2.8 billion, had cajoled Walker in a video where she wanted to turn Wisconsin “into a red state” and “go after unions” making it a “right-to-work” state and he responded: “The first step is, we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, use divide and conquer.” So she then ended up breaking the Wisconsin record with giving Walker over $500,000 as well as millions from the Koch Brothers, out-of-state billionaires also gave Walker lots of cash. Then there were the other out-of-state billionaires making a deposit to make sure Walker “won”:
- Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas casino tycoon and prolific right-wing donor, gave $250,000.
- Christy Walton, Arkansas resident, Wal-Mart heiress and world’s richest woman, pitched in $50,000.
- Thomas Peterffy of Greenwich, Conn. firm Interactive Brokers donated $10,000.
- Robert McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, gave $25,000 towards the cause.
- Joseph Craft of the billionaire Tulsa oil family donated $25,000 to Walker’s reelection.
- Rich DeVos, founder of Amway and resident of Michigan, offered up $250,000.
- Stanley Hubbard, the Minnesota billionaire behind DirecTV, wrote a check for $10,000.
- Bernard Marcus, Home Depot founder and Atlanta resident, put up $50,000 for the case.
- Joe Ricketts, patriarch of the billionaire family who own the Chicago Cubs, donated $100,000.
- Trevor Rees-Jones, an oil and gas mogul from Dallas, pitched in $100,000 to Walker’s campaign.
- Bruce Kovner, New York’s hedge fund legend, also gave $100,000.
- Louis Bacon, also a New York billionaire and CEO of Moore Capital Management, put in $100,000.
- Patrick Ryan, founder of insurance giant Aon and resident of Illinois, donated $100,000.
Source (Forbes Magazine)
Then there is the familiar story of the voting machines used to scan the paper ballots. Questioning the possibility of election fraud is something that is taken very seriously and cautiously. Even Ron Paul fans, who would probably support Walker, should be concerned. Here is a video showing just how the voting machines used in Wisconsin are easily tampered with. These machines are also prone to overheating and 30-70% of votes could be altered or deleted.
Here’s another video that helps educate on how your vote gets cast and what kind of technology it is that handles your most precious part of American freedom:
While Wisconsin voters mostly vote on paper ballots, the optical voting machines that do the counting are actually configured and from Command Central LLC, which has an office in Waite Park, Minnesota. Specifically, the office address is 110 2nd Street S, Suite 232; Waite Park, MN 56387. What’s very interesting is that Tea Party Queen Michelle Bachmann’s office lists 110 2nd Street S, Suite 232; Waite Park, MN 56387 on her web site.
So who is Command Central? You probably don’t have the nerve to ask if Waukesha County County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who “found” enough votes for incumbent Supreme Court Justice David “Strangler” Prosser defeat challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg by about 7,000 votes, is connected.
Command Central is one of Wisconsin’s leading vendors of voting machines and election supplies. They are distributors for Dominion Voting Systems, a privately-owned electronic voting equipment company. Founded in Canada in 2002, Dominion is now based in Denver, CO, since their acquisitions of Premier Election Solutions, from Election Systems & Software (ES&S), and Sequoia Voting Systems.
Command Central deals directly with Wisconsin county and municipal clerks and is closely involved in their selection of voting machines, ballots, and other election supplies. Command Central does all the maintenance on the voting machines and provides tech support throughout the year, with a special “hot line” should clerks need help with glitches, etc., on election day.
In June 2011, the Wisconsin County Clerks Association held their annual summer conference in Ladysmith. Seventy-five county clerks from across the state came together to, among other things, “assist the legislators in developing sound legislation that affects county clerks and county government by providing accurate and useful information.” WCCA Legislation Committee (WCCO Agenda) chair at the time was Kathy Nickolaus.
OK. So the same office listed for the out-of-state company that supplies computerized voting equipment for Wisconsin’s elections shares an office address with a Tea Party Republican. The fact that Kathy Nickolaus is part of the web of deception is another matter.
Sue Wahl-Storbeck, one of the two people operating Command Central, the other being her step-son Aaron Storbeck, is the person responsible for programming 3,000 voting machines in 46 districts in the State of Wisconsin. Wahl-Storbeck’s resume includes a stint at ACS Enterprises, a data processing company out of Texas. I’m not sure what she did at the data processing company but I do know that she was fired for refusing to take the company’s annual ethics exam and when her unemployment was denied, because she refused to take the company’s annual ethics exam, she took it to court and lost. Given the fact that “whoever programs the PROM packs has the ability to inject all the machines with a virus that will flip votes only on Election Day,” I’d like to know that the person programming the machine was both ethical and incorruptible especially since, “with two different PROM packs in play, it’s easy to see how public tests could be flawless and the machines could still flip votes Election Day.”
Wisconsin election integrity investigator John Washburn has some history with Command Central. In July of 2011 he asked “to examine the PROM packs from the July 15, 2011 recall election in wards 1-4 in Fox Point. When they responded that it would cost him $450, Washburn filed a complaint alleging that Command Central LLC wasn’t cooperative in responding to the open records request.” Last September, 2011, Washburn discovered that Command Central had offered to replace the Optech Scanner for two DRE screen models. It has been proven over and over again how easy it is to hack both the DRE and the Optech, but at least with the Optech you have a paper trail, the ballot is fed into the machine, you have a receipt that you voted, and in case of a recount the election official can physically monitor the number of ballots to see it they match the machine total. The DRE is a touch screen, votes are recorded directly onto a memory cartridge, meaning there is no receipt or paper trail to confirm that your vote was counted; all the election official gets at the end of the day is a paper tape that shows the votes and vote totals. Without a verifiable paper trail, the votes can be easily flipped. Once again, “with two different PROM packs in play, it’s easy to see how public tests could be flawless and the machines could still flip votes Election Day.” I can find absolutely no evidence at all that the PROM packs for the Walker re-call election were checked by anyone other than Sue Wald-Storbeck.
According to John Washburn, Command Central’s DRE offer violated “the statutes issued by the GAB (Government Accountability Board) for the State approved system as described on the Government Accountability Board’s website that requires the inclusion of an Optech Insight Scanner. On January 13, 2010 Washburn emailed the GAB about this situation. When he did not receive an answer, he submitted and Open Records request to the GAB with no reply. On Mat 2, he submitted another, again, to no response. On May 4th, he turned the case over to Dane County Attorney, and on May 14th, he kicked it up to the Department of Justice.” I was pretty shocked that GAB didn’t respond to Washburn’s request immediately, given the subject had to do with the integrity of the Democratic process, that is until I discovered Judge Michael Brennan, one of the six judges on the board, was just tapped to chair Governor Scott Walker’s Judicial Selection Advisory Committee.
Command Central distributes voting machines through Dominion Voting Systems, who merged Diebold, Premier and Sequoia voting systems:
Their purchase of Diebold/Premier’s assets was actually made from ES&S, the world’s largest voting machine company, who was forced to divest of the assets they’d purchased from Diebold (previously, the second largest voting machine company in the country) for $5 million last year, as part of an anti-trust suit settlement with the DoJ.
In our coverage, we noted the comment of Dominion CEO John Poulos who, in the company’s press release [PDF] announcing the Diebold/Premier asset acquisition, stated ominously: “We are extremely pleased to conclude this transaction, which…will allow Dominion to expand its capabilities and operational footprint to every corner of the United States.”
As a side note, perhaps everyone remembers when Diebold’s CEO Walden O’Dell sent out a fundraising letter in August 2003, proclaiming as a top fund-raiser for President George W. Bush that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.” Ohio did go for Bush and the election through very dubious means and O’Dell later quickly resigned by to insider trading charges.
Here is a video by Black Box Voting in 2004. As you can see, nothing has changed much.
Joseph Stalin stated: “It’s not the votes that count, it’s who counts the votes”.