By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch says it’s funny how the times change.
The same Democrats attacking Republican-led investigations into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election were pushing election investigations of their own in 2018, long after their Public Enemy No. 1 — Donald Trump — surprised the hell out of them.
Kleefisch was lieutenant governor during the first two years of the Trump presidency when the left breathlessly pushed the Big Lie that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election right out from under poor, helpless victim Hillary Clinton. They pushed a phony investigation founded on a debunked dossier and paid for by friends of Hillary Clinton.
“Democrats could never give President Trump credit for his victory. That’s why they relentlessly peddled false Russian collusion narratives for years after his win,” Kleefisch told Empower Wisconsin.
Not just nationally. Badger State Democrats couldn’t quit their obsession with conspiracy theories and false information.
Kleefisch points to a March 2018 letter penned by Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) and then-Senate Democratic Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). A letter all but forgotten by the usual suspects in the mainstream media who have rooted on Democrats insisting there’s ‘nothing to see here” in last November’s election.
The letter was addressed to Gov Scott Walker and Republican leadership in the Legislature, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and then-Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). The Dems demanded an investigation.
“We are writing today to request that an investigation be launched immediately into possible Russian hacking of Wisconsin’s election system,” the liberal lawmakers wrote. “National reports this week list Wisconsin as one of seven states U.S. intelligence officials believe was compromised by Russian hackers in the lead up to the 2016 election.”
With the 2018 election season underway, they urged that time was of the essence.
“It is imperative voters, local clerks, and candidates know our elections are secure and protected from interference,” Hintz and Shilling wrote.
The hyperbolic liberals were referring to a report by NBC News that claimed Wisconsin’s websites or voter registration systems were compromised by Russian hackers before the 2016 election. It was debunked (days before the Democrats sent out their press release) by the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the same elections regulator that Democrats are breathlessly defending these days.
“The Wisconsin Elections Commission has never detected a successful hacking attempt on its systems, nor has it ever been notified of one by the Department of Homeland Security or any other state or federal agency,” WEC said in a statement at the time.
WEC’s statement was released several months after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reversed course and informed Wisconsin election officials the Russian government “did not scan the state’s voter registration system.” Despite conflicting federal accounts, an Elections Commission official at the time said the state was not provided with any information “that indicated before the November election that Russian government actors were targeting election systems.”
And still Wisconsin Democrats beat the drum of a hacked and stolen election.
These days Hintz is calling Republican-led investigations into the 2020 election that saw Democrat Joe Biden beat Republican Donald Trump a “witch hunt,” and that Republicans “continue to lie about the integrity of Wisconsin elections.” Gov. Tony Evers uses terms like “inquisition,” omitting the fact that Democrats pushed endless Russian collusion investigations against Trump throughout his presidency.
“Now they’re attacking anyone who dares to support election transparency efforts,” Kleefisch said.
There are plenty of legitimate transparency questions and concerns arising from last year’s election, not the least of which is the takeover of local election administration by liberal voting activist groups bought and paid for by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Some very disturbing emails raise red flags about the conduct of these groups.
And now Wisconsin’s leftist governor is advising WEC and local elections officials to get “lawyered up.” They’re doing just that. Late last week liberal Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit in Dane County Court trying to block subpoenas demanding the commission turn over election-related documents to investigators even as a state audit, dropped on Friday, shows WEC and local clerks manipulated or didn’t follow election law.
“In the face of strong findings of WEC changing election law through guidance at odds with statute, WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe seemed to miss these findings completely and simply complained WEC didn’t get an advance copy of the audit findings,” said Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville), who helped lead election reform legislation that Evers vetoed. “The combination of the Legislative Audit Bureau’s findings, and WEC’s apparent stubborn refusal to comprehend those findings, should call into question everyone’s faith in WEC’s current leadership.”
Kleefisch wants to know what WEC has to hide.
“We must shine a light on what happened here during the 2020 election and give people confidence that their vote will count in the future” she said.
But Democratic leaders who had no problem with investigating the 2016 election, suddenly find probes into the 2020 election a “witch-hunt” and an “inquisition.”