Wednesday, April 20th, the Kloppenburg campaign chose to initiate a state-wide recount, a right granted under law when vote margins are less than .5%. Despite what the law grants, experts tell us that tabulating all the ballots in 72 counties will be a long and arduous process. Experts also tell us that no state-wide recount in Wisconsin or any other state history has ever overcome a 500 vote margin - Prosser won by 15 times that.
Given the opinion of our election experts, Kloppenburg's decision to request a recount is a little bizarre. From the outset, the Greater Milwaukee Committee poured millions into our local economy transforming the Supreme Court race into a referendum on Governor Scott Walker. Why focus on the Supreme Court? With substantial GOP majorities in State Legislature, there is nothing to stop Walker's agenda from passing. Unless, of course, his agenda gets tied up the courts. It shouldn't be too hard to find a liberal judge in Dane County sympathetic to the cause.
Currently, the Supreme Court has a 4-3 conservative advantage. If Prosser were to lose, the court would tilt left by the same advantage. A Kloppenburg win virtually guarantees stopping Walker's collective bargaining law. But Kloppenburg didn't win, and a recount won't change those facts.
In comes the next theory. Brian Schultz, a political scientist from Minnesota, theorizes that a lengthy recount could keep Prosser off the bench long enough so the Supreme Court rule on the law without him. Such a vote would result in a 3-3 split stopping the bill from going into effect. Kloppenburg's campaign denies that this is their intent, but why else call for a recount when the lead is insurmountable?
Kloppenburg says that a state-wide recount would restore the public trust in the electoral process. But we're not exactly sure how that would happen. If voter fraud occurred, the public trust would be compromised. The only way that the public trust would be restored is if Kloppenburg lost by the same margin as we see now.
More ironic, of course, are the cries of voter fraud from those who've told us that voter fraud doesn't exist. Right now, our Democrat friends are making a better argument for a Voter ID than Republicans have in a very long while.
Things could seriously backfire for Democrats if this recount doesn't yield desired results. If their recount yields no voter fraud, millions of wasted taxpayer money might hurt recalled Democrats in vulnerable districts. Even worse, what if their recount revealed voter fraud in the Milwaukee and Dane Counties? Let's call a spade a spade; voter fraud is usually a problem for Democrats, not Republicans.
Democrats run a real risk by doubling down on this recount. The people of Wisconsin tire quickly of partisan politics. At first, the national hype of massive protests was a novelty. Add a long and expensive Supreme Court recount into the mix and it becomes an annoyance. Democrats have already shown an unwillingness to accept election results when their beloved Rockford 14 fled state in political cowardice. Now they're rejecting the results of the April 5th election, which will cost Wisconsin taxpayers millions more.