MADISON, Wis. — State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski today issued the following letter to Speaker Robin Vos, calling for the probe of the 2020 presidential election by the Office of the Special Counsel and former Justice Michael Gableman to be closed, and demanding a full, audited report conducted by the Legislative Audit Bureau on the spending of this effort:
For 10 months, Wisconsinites have watched as the expensive, dangerous, and partisan probe of the 2020 presidential election by the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC) and former Justice Michael Gableman has continued its work to erode public confidence in our elections. The original contract signed was supposed to end this effort on October 31, 2021, yet the OSC’s contract has since been extended multiple times. Enough is enough- it’s time for this so-called investigation to end. Last October, I wrote to you calling for a full, audited report conducted by the Legislative Audit Bureau on the spending of the OSC by the end of 2021. You failed to provide this report to Wisconsin taxpayers, and as the state’s Chief Financial Officer, I am deeply concerned. The taxpayers of Wisconsin deserve transparency and accountability, and I am once again calling on you to end the contract with Gableman and present the public with a complete and audited report of the OSC’s financial transactions.
The financial records that have come to light as the result of open records requests and court battles, which have come at an additional cost to taxpayers, raise further alarm about the seriousness with which Gableman and his staff take their use of taxpayer dollars. These documents have often featured handwritten expense requests lacking precision and blatantly political expenses. As the state’s Chief Financial Officer, I find this laissez-faire attitude towards public dollars appalling and an affront to the taxpayers of this state. Further, the OSC and Gableman have been chasing conspiracy theories without providing conclusive results and have missed deadlines to produce their findings, and the people of Wisconsin have had enough. Multiple nonpartisan and independent reviews, audits, court rulings, and recounts of the 2020 election have all reaffirmed the election results and found no evidence of widespread fraud. It’s time for this investigation to end.
As State Treasurer, it is my job to ensure that Wisconsin has a strong, healthy economy. The connection between democratic stability and economic growth has been proven by studies that have shown that strong democracies have stronger economic growth. Yet, this effort to undermine our elections continues to linger. Not only am I concerned, but the Wisconsin business community is as well. Earlier this year, the bipartisan Wisconsin Business Leaders for Democracy Coalition stated that they “commit to efforts that defend our democracy from further attack.” They have come together to state that the continued attacks on elections are a threat to our state’s stability and economy. We can’t continue to further this false narrative that is harmful to Wisconsin’s democracy and economic security.
Wisconsinites deserve better than this wasteful, dangerous inquiry. I urge you to correct this situation by ending this investigation immediately and providing the people of Wisconsin with a full, audited report conducted by the Legislative Audit Bureau on the spending of this effort. It’s time to accept that the 2020 presidential election is over and focus on the many critical issues facing Wisconsinites.
Wisconsin State Treasurer
See the full letter here.