Commentary

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Hires Retired Cops to Investigate 2020 Presidential Election

The Republican Wisconsin Assembly speaker plans to hire retired police officers to investigate alleged irregularities related to November’s election in the Badger State.

There certainly can be no better use of state resources than to reassure citizens that their votes will be counted and counted fairly.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week investigators will be given a broad mandate to look into issues people have raised since the election such as clerks reportedly stepping in and curing absentee ballots that had errors and the use of private grants to governments in multiple Democrat-led cities to help turn out the vote.

“Is there a whole lot of smoke or is there actual fire? We just don’t know yet,” Vos said.

The findings will help inform the kinds of election integrity reforms the Republican-led legislature will seek to pass.

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Vos said he expects the investigators will work in conjunction with an Assembly committee set up to review November’s election.

The investigators, who will be overseen by an attorney, can request that the legislature subpoena witnesses, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

“We need to have a fact basis to continue to show the public in Wisconsin that, number one, we continue to take these irregularities seriously, and that at the end of the day, the laws that we proposed are based on facts in addition to anecdotes,” Vos told the paper.

“I think there’s a much deeper analysis that can be done to say, OK, let’s give people confidence in the election, so at the end of the day, whatever happens in 2022, the election is held fairly and nobody looks at it after that election and says, ‘Wow, my side … lost and it was because of somebody else not doing their job,’” the speaker added.

Do you support Wisconsin investigating irregularities?

President Joe Biden carried Wisconsin — a state former President Donald Trump won in 2016 by 22,750 votes over Clinton — by approximately 20,700 votes.

The 2020 election was a wild ride, with Trump in a solid lead on election night only to see it evaporate by the next morning.

The Journal Sentinel headlined the day after the election: “A late night, race-altering results and a police escort were all part of a surreal election overnight in Wisconsin.”

“Milwaukee County’s lump-sum contribution turned the race on its side. To that point, Donald Trump held a lead of 109,000 votes over Joe Biden, but once Milwaukee County absentee and early-voting ballots were uploaded into the system, Biden took a lead of 11,000 votes,” the paper reported.

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The Center for Tech and Civic Life apparently helped drive those huge absentee ballot numbers in Milwaukee and other cities.

The nonprofit, funded in part by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, gave $6.3 million in grants to Wisconsin’s five largest cities: Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, Milwaukee and Racine, according to The Associated Press.

The Center grants given nationwide totaled $250 million, the AP reported.

“Conservatives sued to stop the funding in Wisconsin, but lost in federal court,” the wire service added.

In March, the Wisconsin Spotlight chronicled that Green Bay received a grant of $1.6 million from the Center.

The report alleged that the “grant mentor” overseeing the Green Bay effort, Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein, was given access to absentee ballots.

Spitzer-Rubenstein, Wisconsin state lead for the National Vote at Home Institute, has worked for several Democratic Party candidates in the past.

He “became the de facto city elections chief” in many ways, the Spotlight reported, based on emails obtained by Wisconsin lawmakers.

“The emails show Green Bay’s highly partisan Democrat Mayor Eric Genrich and his staff usurping city Clerk Kris Teske’s authority and letting the Zuckerberg-funded ‘grant team’ take over — a clear violation of Wisconsin election statutes, say election law experts,” the outlet reported.

In an Oct. 7 email, Spitzer-Rubenstein sought to assist Green Bay election officials in “curing” returned absentee ballots.

“Can we help with curing absentee ballots that are missing a signature or witness signature address?” he wrote to city clerk Kris Teske.

Teske turned down Spitzer-Rubenstein’s offer.

The mayor’s office then intervened.

“The grant mentors would like to meet with you to discuss, further, the ballot curing process. Please let them know when you’re available,” Celestine Jeffreys, Genrich’s chief of staff, wrote to Teske.

“I don’t understand how people who don’t have knowledge of the process can tell us how to manage the election,” Teske added in another email to a Green Bay official.

Teske apparently reached the end of her rope by Oct. 22 and announced via email she was going on leave, starting immediately, and indicated two members of her staff wanted to quit.

The pressuring of public election officials by outside groups is problematic, and if it was happening in all five cities that received grants, that’s trouble.

Here’s hoping Vos’ investigators have great success in their efforts and Wisconsin joins the ranks of states like Arizona and potentially Georgia in launching audits to more carefully review the ballots and confirm the election results are accurate.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 1,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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