It was just Saturday, I sat at a table downtown with a group of people who were attending the Democracy Convention with me. We got to talking about election integrity and little did I know we would unfold a bombshell. As we were talking about Kevin Kennedy, the director of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board who showed up at a conference and was nice enough to allow question and answer. I, however, was not at this workshop because I was at court contesting a ticket that was issued to me for holding the Constitution silently in the gallery of the Senate. I was doing my civil duty, fortunately I didn’t have to be. At some point the conversation veered to Mike Huebsch, Secretary of the Department of Administration, former GOP leader in the state, and former ALEC State Chair. In fact, we recently released his campaign finance report (released meaning drew attention to, it is public information) where he was paid by ALEC.
As the conversation continued, someone eventually brought up that Kevin Kennedy mentioned the Department of Administration in the seminar. Very few people, in fact, know that this office is the second most powerful in the state (second to Governors). They run practically every state department and partisan governors appoint the Secretary or head of the office. I went home and searched and searched, then realized that a fellow protester had taken video of the session. I watched the entire session and there it was: Kevin Kennedy says that the GAB does not have software developers and uses the DOA for that with elections code. But wait a second the famous election software that Kathy Nickolaus, the Waukesha County Clerk who had an incident of either gross negligence or election fraud that flipped the Supreme Court Race for David Prosser (the Republican), was written by the GAB as previously reported by the GAB, right? Guess the GAB was less than honest as Kevin clearly said, they have no developers on board so contract with the GAB.
So we made up a press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4:30 P.M. CST, August 31, 2011
PROTESTERS DEMAND STATEMENT FROM DOA, REFUSE TO LEAVE
Madison, August 31, 2011: Since February the protests at the Capitol have been almost always at the Capitol. Today that all changed. At approximately 1:00 PM organizers Jeremy Ryan and CJ Terrell went to the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Administration to request a statement in response to Kevin Kennedy’s comments in a video found here:
(in between 13-14 mins Kevin Kennedy admits that the GAB has no software programmers capable of reading the code used in election machine software and contracts with the DOA.)
At around 4:30 they returned, followed by several other concerned citizens, and refused to leave until receiving an official statement.
In the statement left at the office, they asked for information on which counties had election software written by the DOA and who the people were writing the software. By watching the entire video you draw two conclusions. One, some counties use software from the vendor, others the DOA. And two, the software written for Kathy Nickolaus which was formerly thought to be written by GAB, was actually written by DOA.
“Mike Huebsch is the Secretary of the DOA. He is also former GOP leader and ALEC leader. It doesn’t take a PhD to see the conflict of interest in allowing any department run by such a highly partisan official anywhere near our election systems or software,” said Ryan, who is also Executive Director of Defending Wisconsin PAC. “The citizens deserve to know to what extent the DOA works on our election systems and software. It saddens me to see how far downhill our elections will go. But elections are the cornerstone of our Democracy and that is why we are not leaving until we get our answers.”
The organizers state that they are not asking for much, simply a statement acknowledging or disputing the involvement that was referred to by Kevin Kennedy or they will not leave. To date, this would be the first time in which the Department of Administration has been a target of a sit-in.
UPDATE (8.31.11 8pm) The protesters left & gave the DOA until 1pm on Tuesday 9.6.11 to make a statement, otherwise more actions will be planned.
And Nick Nice (@nicknicemadison), local DJ and political activist, released the press release. Initially, we were planning to be arrested. All local media and national media were alerted before we left. None showed up and we decided that we should be reasonable. Given as we filed our request around 1:00 PM CST today, we will allow three business days and we are demanding a response by 1:00 PM on Tuesday, September 6th. Either way, however, if the citizens share this story and people find out what is going on, the citizens will win. Because only through publicity and us all playing our part and sharing these stories will we win this battle. The mainstream media will not cover this to acceptable standards, it is up to us.
Video of Kevin Kennedy admitting that the DOA programs software and demand for information:
Defending Wisconsin PAC
Note: Segway Jeremy Ryan has become a full-time member of the protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Formerly a businessman, he gave up his business to join the fight for the middle class in the State of Wisconsin. Through videos and writings he has informed hundreds of thousands of people of what was going on at the Wisconsin State Capitol once the mainstream media had mostly abandoned the protests. His full-time activism is completely funded by the people. If you would like to help out please click here.
Edited By: Alexis Atherton