UPDATE: Hamilton Board Member Misspells Name on Two Recall Petitions

Lynn Kristensen was first in hot water by certain Patch readers for signing the recall, and now for allegedly spelling her name incorrectly on both the Walker and Darling recall petitions. She commented on her signature and fiercely denied the rumors.

Editor's Note: This article was altered to include details about Kristensen misspelling her name on the Alberta Darling recall petition as well. Changed April 2 at 2:30 p.m.

After learning , rumors began sprouting about how a certain name was signed on the recall.

resident Jeremy Halcomb called both Patch and the Sussex Sun on March 22 saying he believed board member Lynn Kristensen purposely misspelled her name on the recall petition so residents couldn't specifically search for her.

Halcomb also said that when he called to confront Kristensen, , she allegedly lied and said she never signed the recall petition. When the rumor broke, comments flooded in Patch's .

"Why would I have put my correct address down if I was trying to be misleading?"

"Lynn you're toast," wrote in the comments. "These recall petitions are coming in mighty handy."

Sussex resident  felt much different, writing, "Um, the last time I checked you didn't have to check you political beliefs at the door to serve in public office. This is America, right?"

On the recall petition Kristensen's name is listed as "Lynn Kirstense," however, her correct address in Menomonee Falls is listed. She signed her name the same way on the Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) recall in April of 2011 making critics even more upset about the alleged purposeful misspelling.

When questioned by the Sussex Sun, Kristensen sloughed said there was no attempt to mislead anyone.

"Why would I have put my correct address down if I was trying to be misleading? If it's spelled incorrectly, it's because of a data entry mistake," she told the Sun. "And, Lord knows, there has to be plenty of those. We're all human. I certainly did not. Honestly, I never assumed that that petition would be public. I kind of put that in the same vein as my ability to vote privately."

Kristensen recently commented on signing the recall petition, also mentioning she didn't know the list would go public. She told Patch:

"What happened to our right to privacy? What happened to the ability to have open dialogues without fear of hatred resulting from them? What happened to not only tolerating, but actually being able to appreciate, differing viewpoints? Those are the things that make us Americans and differentiate us from many other countries around the world. The toxic nature of the public forum in our state right now deeply saddens me." 

Kristensen called Halcomb the next day to admit that was her name on the recall list, and she said "no" because she was initially caught off guard by his question, according to the Sussex Sun. She said Halcomb left a message on her answering machine, and after assuming his question would be about the district in general, she was "absolutely flabbergasted" when he asked about the recall.

"It's distressing to me, because this School Board election should not be a partisan race," she told the Sun. "This is about creating strong policies, and making wise use of taxpayer dollars that therefore result in a high-quality education, and makes us a desirable community whether you have children in the district or not. That's what I'm standing for, and that's what I wanted to talk to this guy about."

Halcomb's biggest concern when he contacted Patch was her stance on Act 10, which . She said:

"That Hamilton School District has always been fiscally responsible. We have already been able to implement changes that have cut costs, such as moving our employees' retirement benefits from defined-benefit to defined contribution, which saved us over $30,000,000.  Provisions in Act 10 made that move possible. However, I feel that we won't truly be able to evaluate all of the effects of Act 10 until a good deal of time has passed. We can't know yet what impact it will have on our ability to attract and retain the highest quality staff, which I feel is critical to our continued success. I want Hamilton to be a school district where all parties feel valued - students, staff, community and taxpayers."

atthec44 April 03, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Ms Sciortino – I will gladly admit that I plan to single out Lynn Kristensen on the ballot, partially for her political beliefs but mostly for the shenanigans that ensued after she was called out by a constituent for those beliefs. Fortunately for the taxpayers of the Hamilton School District, she’s not running un-opposed. By the way, you’re awfully critical of Jeremy for singling out an elected official for her political beliefs. Were you as critical of Lena Taylor when she singled out a small business owner in her own district for his political beliefs? I bet you weren’t.
Mary Kundert April 03, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Rachel - you seem to want to separate the school board from politics, which is illogical. Act 10 determines how we manage our public schools and tax dollars. Act 10 actually gives teachers the freedom to choose whether or not to be a member of the union. Act 10 allows our school boards to evaluate teachers on merit, rather than seniority. Act 10 has teachers contribute a very nominal amount towards incredibly generous pension and health care benefits, rather than forcing teacher layoffs or massive property tax increases. So, Lynn's "political" position opposing Act 10 by forcing the recall of Gov Walker is the defining issue in this race. I'm sorry you are unable to make these basic connections. You call Jeremy's email "poison" - nothing in the email is untrue.
Mary Kundert April 03, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I also find it interesting that you picked and chose what parts of Jeremy's email to post. The rest of the contents of the email follow: "She misspelled her name when she printed her name on the petition (left the 'n' off the end of her last name). She also signed the Alberta Darling recall petition last year, and misspelled her name the exact same way. She signed this petition even though she did not live in Darling's district. Copies of both recall petitions can be viewed at http://content.clearchannel.com/cc-common/mlib/3627/03/3627_1333053828.pdf (look at Line 7 on both pages). When I called her and asked her if she signed the Walker recall petition, she lied to me and denied signing it four separate times, even saying how 'troublesome' it was that her name was on the petition. She called me back the following night to admit signing the petition. Although she admitted signing, she tried to revise her previous denials by saying that she had meant to say, 'No, I'm not going to respond to your question.' Because she has continued to deny to local media that she lied to me, recordings of the calls have been posted at www.mftax.org so people can listen and judge for themselves."
Mary Kundert April 03, 2012 at 09:14 PM
(email con't) I think there are two important things to note here. One, by signing these recall petitions and opposing Act 10, Lynn clearly believes in a liberal ideology that is counter to what the significant majority of our residents believe in terms of how we should manage our tax dollars and public schools. Second and more importantly, Lynn has demonstrated a pattern of dishonesty. We need people of integrity in our local government, and Lynn isn't one. So I urge each of you to vote this coming Tuesday, April 3rd for Brian Schneider, who thankfully is running against her. In order to make sure we are successful in electing Brian, I would also ask each of you to take a few minutes to email, call, text or post a message to Facebook asking other neighbors or friends in the Hamilton District (Sussex, Lisbon, SW Men Falls) to make sure they vote for Brian on Tuesday. Thanks for your help. Jeremy Everything in this email is true - I suppose the truth can be "poison", Rachel.
Luke April 03, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Rachel said<<<Really? Not being singled out for her political beliefs? Then why did her biggest critic, Mr. Jeremy Halcomb send a poison email to his pals?>>> He sent it out because they would be receptive, and because that is an important issue to him. He has that right. And, in fact, a number of school boards manipulated circumstances so that they run out of money by not taking advantage of Act 10, so it should be a concern to everyone, one way or ther other. And need I remind you, Rachel, that you said this last week? Rachel said: <<<"Um, the last time I checked you didn't have to check you political beliefs at the door to serve in public office. This is America, right?">>> So, apparently Jeremy (myself included) agree with you and want to know exactly what beliefs she is bringing through that door that inform her thinking. The fact remains, however, that Lynn Kristensen has broken the law a number of times, and in addition she went public with a false story, suggesting that Jeremy is the one who is not telling the truth about what went on in that conversation.


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