MADISON, Wis. — Today, the USA Today Network-Wisconsin Editorial Board slammed Michael Gableman and the Wisconsin GOP for “flushing taxpayer dollars down the drain” to further Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” about an election that was proven to be secure nearly a year ago.
The editorial board said, “Republicans should be embarrassed that public money is being used to lend legitimacy to a lie whose premise is at odds with both common sense and the Constitution.”
A recount, a report from Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security, and countless rulings by courts in Wisconsin proved that the 2020 Wisconsin election was secure time and again. Gableman’s ignorance surrounding elections – and inability to even write an email or send a subpoena without a typo, let alone investigate a serious topic – is further proof the GOP’s entire election review is a sham, built to undermine future elections.
Republicans are running a sham election review and wasting nearly $700,000 in taxpayer funds – all to appease their twice-impeached party leader and justify their voter suppression bills, another way in which the Wisconsin GOP is trying to cheat and steal power.
This sham review is so radical – even Scott Walker is attempting to distance himself from it.
Read the scathing editorial below.
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Editorial Board: Michael Gableman is flushing taxpayer dollars down the drain to support a lie. Wisconsin citizens should demand he stop.
Wisconsin Republicans are wasting $676,000 of your money nearly a year after an election that even Donald Trump’s own administration said was the most secure in history.
All to make a self-serving political point to Trump and his supporters: We back your Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
Republicans should be embarrassed that public money is being used to lend legitimacy to a lie whose premise is at odds with both common sense and the Constitution.
If Republican leaders want to continue spreading the Big Lie, they should pay for it with their own money, just as Trump had to pay for recounts in Dane and Milwaukee counties last year. The recounts in the state’s most Democratic counties confirmed the election results.
Now, an “investigation” into those results is being led by former state Supreme Court justice Michael Gableman, who by his own admission does “not have a comprehensive understanding or even any understanding of how elections work.”
His conduct proves it. He has focused on data on voting machines even though voting machines don’t retain data — they are “dumb machines,” in the words of the Dane County clerk. He has accused officials of impropriety without citing evidence. He has served clerks and mayors with subpoenas then pulled them back amid contradictory statements about what he wanted.
Not at all a trustworthy choice to lead a legitimate review, Gableman, who has deep ties to the state Republican Party and its financial backers, claimed last year, without evidence, that the election was stolen from Trump. He doesn’t even care enough to vote regularly, skipping seven elections in the last three years, including the 2018 election for governor and 2020 election for state Supreme Court.
As part of his partisan campaign, Gableman has consulted with a cast of characters that includes MyPillow pitchman Mike Lindell, who has baselessly claimed China hacked the election, and Shiva Ayyadurai, who claimed without evidence that votes were somehow shaved from Trump (but not from other Republicans who won elections on the same ballots).
Even staunch Trump man Sen. Ron Johnson has said the election was legitimate, noting that other Republicans on the ballot got more votes in Wisconsin than Trump.
Gableman has hired Trump White House attorney Andrew Kloster, who also has claimed without evidence that the election was stolen and who has said that conservatives need prosecutors who will “let our boys off the hook.”
And when Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporters correctly held Gableman accountable by asking questions about how he’s spending our tax dollars, he dug deep into the propaganda slime bucket and compared them to Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi propaganda minister. Goebbels was the worst of the worst in the Nazi regime, stirring up hatred of Jewish people in Germany before and during World War II and orchestrating boycotts of Jewish businesses and artists. He was the architect of Kristallnacht, the infamous 1938 attack on the Jewish community.
Gableman’s odious comments show how bankrupt his effort is. He can’t defend his own incompetence so he pulls out a Nazi wild card and hides behind YouTube videos instead of answering questions about his government-sponsored work.
The journalists covering Gableman are doing their jobs. They are accurately reporting the truth about a naked political mission for the former president. It’s exactly why the founders of our nation set up a free and independent press — to hold government authorities like Gableman accountable. So that we the people remain in control of our democratic republic.
Gableman and Robin Vos, the Assembly Speaker writing his taxpayer-funded checks, have tried to claim the review is about ensuring election integrity. But if that were true, they would accept the findings of dozens of courts and recounts across the nation, including in Wisconsin’s two most populous counties.
The facts show that Joe Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes and won nationally by more than 7 million. Accusations of widespread fraud and conspiracy are lies, nothing less.
Last Nov. 12, officials from two Department of Homeland Security committees released a joint statement that noted, “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.” Trump fired Chris Krebs, his own administration’s most senior cybersecurity official, after that statement was released.
Eleven months later, the true motive for Republicans who continue to lie about the election is a desire to cozy up to Trump and his fan base. They’re also doing whatever they can to tighten election laws to secure an advantage.
Republicans should shut down their phony investigation, but Vos is stuck. He flew by private plane with Trump to a rally in August to explain in person how he would do Trump’s bidding. Vos has vowed this partisan smear campaign will continue.
Wisconsin’s Republican citizens, as well as Democrats and independents, should demand that their tax dollars not be flushed away on this or any other partisan campaign stunt. If Vos and Gableman get away with this, what’s to stop Democrats from wasting tax dollars in similar fashion in the future?
There are far better ways to use $676,000 in public funds. Please contact your elected representatives and tell them to stop wasting your money.