Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tosa Teapot? Records Fixed?

What the blazes is going on in Tosa?

The campaign manager for state Sen. Tom Reynolds (R-West Allis) filed a complaint Monday with the state Elections Board accusing Wauwatosa City Clerk Carla Ledesma of illegally altering the voting record of Reynolds' opponent, Wauwatosa Ald. James Sullivan.

Reynolds claimed the change was made to indicate that Sullivan did not vote twice in the September 1998 election, as the Reynolds camp has charged.

Ledesma defended her actions Monday, saying she changed the record in recent weeks to correct an error and maintained she "did nothing wrong."

"I have a poll list that clearly shows he did not vote" in Wauwatosa in September 1998, Ledesma said. "Yes, I corrected the record."

State Elections Board spokesman Kyle Richmond said local clerks are authorized to correct election records, as long as they document those actions.

Ledesma states that there was no 'ticket number' next to Sullivan's name, meaning that he did not vote in Tosa in that election.

But this is curious:

Ledesma speculated that the discrepancy could have been caused by an antiquated voter software program that was replaced in 2002 after it became clear that it was corrupting data.

Ledesma said she first became aware of the discrepancy in 2000 when Sullivan's critics raised his voting record during his Wauwatosa aldermanic campaign. She said Monday that she could not remember whether she attempted to correct the record at that time.

So---what OTHER voting records were discovered to be erroneous in 2000? Were any of them corrected? If not, why not?


M.Z. said...
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M.Z. said...

What is not immediately clear and no one seems to be asking is "was the change made to voting material originals or a secondary database used to field requests?" As best as I can ascertain it would be the latter. If it is the latter, it doesn't strike me as a change to the voting record. I'm not a lawyer, but generally secondary documents can be modified to correct transcription and other errors whereas primary documents cannot. There doesn't seem to be a real interest in figuring out which is which. My hunch is that the Reynold's camp is overplaying their hand.

Dad29 said...

I think you are right--Reynolds & Co. are pushing the envelope too hard.

On the other hand, seems to me that Ms. Ledesma should have had more documentation of the changes stapled right to the documents...

Anonymous said...

Of course, it is a change to the voting record -- to make it correct, as I would hope any public employee would be bound to do. It clearly is not a change to the original document.

It is the same as a city property assessment based on incorrect earlier documentation of a lot size. If it happened to you, I presume that you would want the assessment and lot boundaries corrected on the official record. But that wouldn't require the city to go back and change the earlier documents. Indeed, you would want those original documents to remain as they were, in case there was need for further appeal for retroactive repayment.

Or put it this way: When Reynolds wants laws to be changed -- for tax credits for his home-schooling of his children, say -- he wouldn't want the earlier laws to be erased, the pages torn from the records. The record simply would be updated to include the new law, while the old ones would remain on the books.

Then again, who knows -- Reynolds might well want to eradicate everything that went before, the way his weird mind works.

This case is so obvious to everyone except Reynolds and his henchman Dohnal. Now they are impugning the integrity of an employee who is a voter in the district. I suspect we can guess how she will vote.

And others in the district have to wonder when Reynolds and Dohnal will go after them -- perhaps for changing the color of the paint on their houses without first scraping off the paint layers that preceded them.

Reynolds and Dohnal are major embarrassments to the Republicans, who are not controlling them. Why?

Dad29 said...

I would guess that the commissioner did her job correctly; I only hope that her documentation is in order.

Reynolds is not "controlled" by the Pubbies because they don't spend a bunch of money on his campaigns, and some of them hate him for what he achieved on the Automatic GasTax--the Pubbies' favorite method of Taxation Without Representation.

They hate his guts because he personally destroyed their little clubhouse.