By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Bob Dylan mused in “Like a Rolling Stone,” the greatest rock song ever recorded, “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”
The song could have been written for Green Bay’s leftist Mayor Eric Genrich.
Wisconsin Spotlight’s investigation into the city’s ceding of control of the November presidential election to liberal groups funded by CEO founder Mark Zuckerberg didn’t sit well with Genrich. He and the city lashed out, claiming Spotlight’s report made “egregious and false accusations.”
Wisconsin Spotlight again published the emails showing what Genrich and the gang dispute: That a former Democratic operative had access to the city’s absentee ballots and was involved in other highly questionable activities in the city’s election process.
Then, Genrich went after state Sen. Roger Roth. The Appleton Republican was the first to call for the mayor’s resignation and an investigation into Green Bay’s handling of the election.
“I think Senator Roth, he lost an election to be Majority Leader,” Genrich told Fox11News. “I think he’s trying to stay relevant and that is part of it.”
Roth went back to the emails and other documents — between the city and the third party groups — that raise very serious questions about the transparency and fairness of the election.
“Once again, Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich is not addressing the issues at hand,” Roth wrote in a statement. “Let’s review the facts, as shown by emails between a left-leaning special interest group and Mayor Genrich, his then Chief-of-Staff Celestine Jeffreys who the mayor has since appointed to be the city’s clerk in charge of elections and others. These exchanges and news reports show a pattern of access and influence from outside, partisan actors.”
The senator included the emails showing the Democratic operative with access to the ballots. He included the document that shows the activist was given the keys to the room where the ballots were stored. And he noted an interview Fox11 did with Genrich in September. The mayor was asked how the city would ensure CTCL’s resources were used in a non-partisan way.
“City staff will be working with the firm that we contracted with to make sure that these resources are deployed in a legal and strictly non-partisan way,” Genrich assured.
When the mayor was asked for information about what the process would look like and how the voter outreach messaging would be approved, he said, “I don’t think we need to get into that.” Sounds like the words of a guy who values transparent, open government, doesn’t it?
Genrich’s fellow Democrats in the Legislature leapt to the liberal’s defense. State Rep. Kristina Shelton (D-Green Bay) didn’t help the mayor’s cause.
“That assertion that just because someone has access to ballots does not mean that person impacts ballots or votes at all,” Shelton said.
Not just someone. A guy who worked with and for some of the most partisan Democratic politicians in New York had access to the ballots. The point that the obtuse lawmaker misses is that third-party groups — left or right — shouldn’t be anywhere near the ballots. Ever. They shouldn’t be “curing” or correcting absent ballots, as the former Dem operative apparently diid in Milwaukee. They shouldn’t be writing election guides and Central Count plans, as they did in Green Bay.
It’s not a good look to anyone even remotely concerned about election integrity.
So Genrich and his pals bloviate and use big words like “egregious.” They do so because they’ve got nothing. And, with apologies to Mr. Dylan, these smug liberals with the press at their backs, think they have nothing to lose.
But voters do. Wisconsin does. Representative democracy does.
Elections shouldn’t be the playthings of special interest groups. Genrich disagrees. He does because he’s a tool.
He’s Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.