Who is Kathy Nickolaus?
A brief perspective on the Waukesha County clerk who, two days after Joanne Kloppenburg scored a narrow 240-vote win in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, ‘found’ 7,500 votes for her Republican opponent, David Prosser. it’s already been established by experts on the Access database, including DJ Allyn at this site, that Nickolaus was lying when she claimed she ‘lost’ thousands of votes from Brookfield, WI, because she ‘forgot’ to save them. Kathy is counting on most people not knowing that it is impossible to avoid saving data on Access — it is saved automatically. So, who is this woman? Mary Bottari, writing at PRWatch.org, has a few clues.
Long Time Republican Apparatchik
The county clerk in question is long-time Republican apparatchik Kathy Nickolaus. Nickolaus got her start in GOP politics in 1995, when the Republican Speaker of the Assembly was — that’s right — David Prosser. She worked for Prosser’s Republican Assembly Caucus, one of four GOP and Democratic legislative groups that were shut down following a criminal investigation for illegal campaign activity on state time.
Nickolaus first came to public attention in 2001, when she was granted immunity from criminal prosecution in exchange for testimony against her bosses at the Assembly Caucus. The case resulted in unprecedented convictions of Democratic and Republican legislators on felony counts of misconduct in office and arranging for illegal campaign contributions. Both Democratic and Republican leaders were sentenced to jail time.
In the caucus, Nickolaus was the person who ran the numbers, creating databases for illegal donations, partisan mailings and the like. When she escaped criminal prosecution, she hightailed it to Waukesha where she ran for county clerk in the conservative county in 2002.
She later botched a 2006 vote and stirred controversy by placing the entire voting system on her own personal computer. Prompting the County Corporation Counsel to charge: “If she wants to keep everything secret, she probably can.”
On Thursday of this week, she called a press conference to announce the new vote totals that put Prosser over the top and blamed “human error.” She claimed that the canvass was a “open and transparent” process, yet she found the error at noon on Wednesday and sat on the information for 29 hours, not even telling top election officials at the Government Accountability Board. According to election observers, the issue of 14,315 additional votes from Brookfield was never discussed at the canvass. But, this information somehow made its way to right wing bloggers before her press conference.
— Mary Bottari, “Wisconsin Common Cause: Count Every Vote,” PRWatch.org, April 9, 2011.
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