Despite millions in outside spending, the GOP's state Senate majority remains intact, and accusations of fraud have left the state divided
In the hullabaloo of the six legislative recall elections held in Wisconsin on Tuesday, state Democratic Party spokesman and former Onion writer Graeme Zielinski went before reporters and declared that the party suspected Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus of tampering with vote totals, saying there were "dirty tricks afoot" and calling for an investigation. A statement titled "Waukesha County Tampering" soon appeared on the Party's website.
An hour later, party Chair Mike Tate was already backing off and calling it a "heat-of-the-moment statement" caused by "the uncertainties that arose from a recent election, known too well." The charge has since been removed from the party's website.
The election "known too well" was the State Supreme Court race on April 5 when, well after vote totals had been reported, Nickolaus "found" 14,315 votes saved on her personal computer. The election miracle swung in favor of conservative Justice David Prosser to the tune of 7,500 votes, who ended up holding his seat for another decade.
Went the dust cleared, standing in the smoldering rubble of the state's political environment were the four Republicans and two Democrats who had been expected to win:
- District 32: Democratic Rep. Jennifer Shilling (55%) defeated recalled Republican Sen. Dan Kapanke (45%)
- District 14: Recalled Republican Sen. Luther Olsen (52%) defeated Democratic Rep. Fred Clark (48%)
- District 18: Democrat Jessica King (51%) defeated recalled Republican Sen. Randy Hopper (49%)
- District 10: Recalled Republican Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (58%) defeated Democrat Shelly Moore (42%)
- District 2: Recalled Republican Sen. Robert Cowles (60%) defeated Democrat Nancy Nusbaum (40%)
- District 8: Recalled Republican Sen. Alberta Darling (54%) defeated Democratic Rep. Sandy Pasch (46%)