(WISCONSIN) – Today, Voces de la Frontera Action (VDFLA), Wisconsin’s leading immigrant and workers rights organization, filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court challenging the legality of an astoundingly broad and invasive subpoena issued on January 5 by the leader of the Republican-led sham election review, Special Counsel Michael Gableman. VDFLA seeks to intervene in the current pending case before Judge Rhonda Lanford, WEC v. Wis. Assembly, (Case No. 2021CV2552).
Special Counsel Gableman’s unwarranted subpoena demanding that VDFLA turn over a veritable mountain of internal documents and communications related in any way to the 2020 election represents a new and even more dangerous turn of Gableman’s witch hunt, seeking to continue to spread lies about the 2020 election and validate the objectives of the violent, right-wing attempted coup on January 6.
The subpoena issued by Gableman to VDLFA represents the first time that the Assembly’s sham investigation into the 2020 election has looked beyond government actors and is now taking a new, unlawful focus on the internal affairs and activities of a non-governmental, community-based organization and its constitutionally protected activity to engage voters around important issues involving Latinx, immigrant and workers rights.
Gableman lacks any legal authority under state law to investigate non-governmental organizations and individuals and lacks any shred of evidence that VDLFA committed any wrongdoing. Yet, Gableman’s subpoena demands that VDLFA turn over by today all communications including emails, letters, etc. that have anything to do with the 2020 election. This includes every communication by anyone associated with Voces who communicated about the election with other organizations, individuals, voters, government officials, and even internal documents and communications to staff and members of Voces about the 2020 election.
In response to these latest attempts by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Republicans to intimidate voters of color and the organizations that represent them, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera Action, said,
“Gableman’s subpoena is modern-day McCarthyite political theater designed to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and silence and intimidate voters of color from exercising their right to free speech and their right to vote. This attack from Assembly Speaker Vos and the corporate, white supremacist special interests that he represents is an attempt to distract Wisconsin voters from their own failure to respond to the urgent needs of working families during a historic global pandemic. It’s also a shameful attempt to undermine the will of Wisconsin voters in 2020, and an effort to try to steal elections in the future by attacking organizations who successfully turned out large voting blocs of historically underrepresented communities.
VDFLA is being targeted precisely because we have successfully motivated and organized tens of thousands of Latinxs and mutliracial youth voters statewide to turnout and vote in the 2018 gubernatorial race and in the 2020 presidential election. These constituencies were decisive in the election outcomes, and in rejecting the politics of hate, division, and corporate greed.
VDFLA calls on all people of conscience and allied organizations in the struggle for equality to oppose this intrusion into our rights by Vos and Gableman. The same forces that attempted a violent right-wing coup are continuing their efforts to seize power through fraud, lies, and pathetic illegal efforts to try to discredit and intimidate social justice organizations that organize working class people of color to vote. We are filing our lawsuit to challenge this sham review not just on behalf of our organization but on behalf of the larger fight for democracy.”