I was part of a group of observers at the April 2011 recount of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Prosser/Kloppenburg election. We observed as copious evidence of election fraud was ignored and votes that should have been disqualified were counted for Republican David L. Prosser, who despite a documented history of partisan legal infractions, was waved onto the bench. His duplicitous victory came just in time, as he immediately overturned a lower court’s ruling that the Republicans had violated Open Meetings Law in March when they illegally tried to strip the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin public workers in the middle of the night, locking out the public.
STEAL THIS BOOK, NOT MY VOTE is my eyewitness account from the front lines of the Wisconsin revolution beginning February 2011. After the Democrats left the state, I established an online presence to report daily as a citizen journalist on Facebook and eventually became a founding member of Wisconsin Citizen Media Coop (wcmcoop.com). Throughout 2011-2012, I listened live to hours of legislative debates and committee meetings, as well as to the very trial that Prosser overturned.
Along with my participation at the recount, I testified about the results at the Committee on Election Reform in June 2011. After seeing the election fraud firsthand, I filed a formal complaint with and testified at the Government Accountability Board meeting, which led to uncovering possible suppression of evidence on the part of the staff. I assisted recount volunteers in establishing Wisconsin Citizens for Election Protection and supported the implementation of an outreach program to bring reform. Along the way, I interviewed a voting machine vendor from Command Central at the County Clerks Association meeting in Ladysmith in June 2011 and obtained evidence of misrepresentation on their part. After investigating activities of the voting machine vendors, I filed a RICO Complaint with the Department of Justice. Along with other members of Wisconsin Citizens Media Coop, we also helped stop AB426, a mining bill written by a mining company, through testifying, educating others and speaking up.
Since Scott Walker took office in January 2011, Wisconsin has been under attack by corporate politicians who seem to be engaged in a hostile takeover of our government. This takeover appears to be a well-executed, long-term plan to destroy our republic and turn America’s resources, state by state, over to the ALEC/Rove/Koch/Cline et al corporate cartel to wage endless war upon the world. Through systemic election rigging, they have placed corrupt politicians and court justices in power to change the laws, dismantle both the State and Federal Constitutions, with the ultimate goal of a society that reflects the corporate cartel’s personal vision. We the People will become the expendable labor force used to feed a perpetual war-making machine, advanced by passing legislation designed to strip us of our rights, put our water, air and land at risk, lay economic siege to our communities, and take complete control of our governance.
My participation on the frontline barricades in Wisconsin since February 2011 made me realize that even people living in our state had no idea what was going on. Between the media’s shameful lack of investigative reporting and the propaganda machine working overtime to spin the corporatist agenda, there is nothing left here of our Fourth Estate. The press is mainly corporate-driven and part of the fraud being perpetrated. The real stories—the criminal acts on the part of legislators, the shutting down of open government, the police state Walker has installed in Wisconsin—aren’t being reported. To get those, you need to go into the legislature and watch your government in action. Social media is vital, but it is literally in the streets is where you find the honest truth. The upshot is that here in Wisconsin we’ve experienced corruption so deep and wide at the highest offices, one might think there is no solution.
However, I believe this is the very catalyst Americans need to finally turn off the TV and become more directly involved in a robust and vigorous participation in our Democracy. In fact, I believe we have no other choice than to take action or we will lose this great Republic to the slavery experienced today in so many other parts of the world.
Pondering what I could contribute, I decided to write and publish STEAL THIS BOOK, NOT MY VOTE to help others understand how we got here, provide overall context so you can connect the dots for yourself and share what others in Wisconsin are doing to stand up to protect our state. My hope is to help move us beyond the shock and awe, suggest clear action steps to protect our rights and restore justice, and then inspire you to take those steps.
Since I started this book in July 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement has risen all across the world as nonviolent resistance manifested in the hearts of people everywhere to demand an end to all wars and discover new ways to bring social, economic, political and environmental justice. Wisconsin has often been cited as the “Mother of the Occupy Movement” due to the occupation of the capitol in Madison by the citizens of this state in February 2011, week after week in the dead of winter. Hope rises when we see ordinary people, members of what are now called the 99%, standing up to protect their rights.
In order to form a more perfect union, I am convinced we must force fair, open and transparent elections. We need every American citizen standing up and taking action to protect his or her vote … but we must start now.
I believe that the citizen movement that arose in Wisconsin during that messy, irreconcilable Supreme Court recount is America’s last great hope: Election Protection. Birthed in the US in the 1970s—when James and Kenneth Collier discovered corrupted vote counts from Miami-Dade County machines in the Florida state congressional race—and since carried on through the decades by brave activists all over the country, election reform will change the course of the corporate takeover of our country.
No system can survive with an infrastructure built on falsehoods, constructed to support the few at the expense of the many. Repeating lies that claim otherwise won’t make them true. Our survival desperately depends on good citizens educating themselves and then lifting their voices to speak the truth and demand change.
Here in Wisconsin, we have a deep and unshakable tradition that goes back generations—we instinctively create systems that serve the greater good to benefit all. It’s why we’re such an extraordinary state and why, I believe, we were given this place in history. It’s also why the fraud and deceit have been exposed so easily: By our nature, Wisconsinites play fair and work together.
Scott Walker and the state Republicans, mimicking the national tone of bullying, fear and lies, are standing out like Bear fans at Lambeau Field. Their legislation is passed without real debate—lock-step extortion-voting for the good of the corporate sponsors who are buying them their votes. As more and more citizens wake to this truth, more and more are rising up to take action.
Thanks to our deep-seated sense of peace and justice, and glorious history of leading national reform, Wisconsin stands ready for the task of exposing these traitors once and for all, and holding them accountable for their crimes.
Wisconsin is intuitively constructive. There is no lack of creative vision on how to restructure government to protect our rights and prevent this from happening again. If anyone can build new, regenerative community-sustaining systems inclusive of all in our society, but especially for the environment and those in need, it’s Wisconsin.
In August 2011, after watching Wisconsin being assaulted from all sides by election, legislative, media and judicial fraud, I filed a complaint with the US Department of Justice.
Since election fraud was just a piece of the puzzle, I asked the Department of Justice to consider my rationale for RICO: the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the only legal action that could encompass the entire scope of the long-term assault we are under. The Defendants include Scott Walker, Karl Rove, The Kochs, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), to name a few.
The hubris and propaganda of the Defendants will be their undoing. We the People must be ready to build a new foundation based on what is best for the good of all. Once again, Wisconsin stands poised to be called to service as a reformer for America.
To the citizens of Wisconsin, I say: This is not about left or right; it’s about right and wrong. It’s about participation in justice. Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green—if you do not act to help bring election reform, you will essentially allow them to steal your vote. What will it take to get you to take action?
To the corporate vote-buyers, I say: Sorry, you picked the wrong state to mess with. The corporatocracy’s rape and destruction of our planet ends here in Wisconsin. And if anyone can stop the collusion of these big money-humping miners, corporate lackeys, patsy politicians, phat-cat lobbyists and other arrogant high-ranking offenders and set these yahoos back on their well-oiled heels—it’s us.
Ft. La Pointe, Fitzwalkerstan*
*Fitzwalkerstan: a nickname for Wisconsin coined by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), February 2011, based on Scott Walker, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R), Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (R) and their father, another Fitzgerald, head of Wisconsin State Troopers.