Commentary

Praise for Dean Knudson, decision time for Vos

May 27, 2022 10:04 am
Low angle view of people lined up to vote

Voters wait to cast their ballots. (SDI Productions | Getty Images)

Dean Knudson deserves praise for telling the truth about the November 2020 elections.

One of the Republicans on the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Knudson announced his resignation on May 27, and he made no bones about the nonsense some Republicans have been peddling about Donald Trump’s loss to Joe Biden.

“Trump lost the election in 2020, lost the election in Wisconsin in 2020, and the loss was not due to election fraud,” Knudson said.

“And unfortunately now, elected officials, appointed officials, and candidates at the highest levels in my party have refused to believe that President Trump lost,” Knudson said. “Even worse, some have peddled misinformation and perpetuated falsehoods about the 2020 election.”

Knudson’s truth-telling echoes that of fellow Wisconsin Republicans Paul Ryan, who was Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Senator Kathy Bernier, who heads the Wisconsin Senate committee on elections.

Ann Jacobs, chair of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, lauded Knudson for his “incredibly brave” comments.

And while telling the obvious truth shouldn’t qualify as an act of incredible bravery, in today’s toxic climate in Republican areas it’s actually become so, which is, in itself, a sad commentary.

With Knudson’s resignation, it now falls to Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos to choose his replacement, and that replacement will likely be the new chair of the commission.

Vos has a choice to make here.

He can continue to try to placate the rightwing base of his party, as he has done by keeping the buffoonish Michael Gableman on as special counsel. He could appoint someone like Gableman or, God forbid, Gableman himself to the commission.

Or Vos could do what he does too rarely, which is to stand up to the rightwing base of his party, as he has in opposing the decertification of the 2020 elections. If he decides, this time, to do that, he should appoint Bernier to the commission. She’s already thrown her hat in the ring, and as a former clerk, she is certainly the most qualified Republican in Wisconsin for this role.

So will Vos appoint the most qualified Republican, or will he throw another bone to the growling dogs on his right?

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Matt Rothschild
Matt Rothschild

Prior to joining the Democracy Campaign at the start of 2015, Matt worked at The Progressive magazine for 32 years. For most of those, he was the editor and publisher of The Progressive.

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