Michael Gableman | Up Front screen shot
At a rally outside the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on Saturday, Michael Gableman accused election officials and the Democratic leaders of the state’s largest cities of fraud and urged attendees to fight for action from Republican legislators.
Gableman has been conducting a partisan review of the 2020 presidential election since last summer. His work has been widely derided as unprofessional and harmful from across the state’s political landscape. Recounts, lawsuits, audits and reviews have confirmed Joe Biden won Wisconsin’s election in 2020.
On Saturday, Gableman was joined in speaking at the rally by prominent election skeptics, including Rep. Tim Ramthun (R-Campbellsport), who is running a right-wing campaign for governor but polling at about 4%; Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee), the chairwoman of the Assembly Campaigns and Elections Committee; Adam Steen, who is running a primary campaign against Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester); former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and former Menomonee Falls Village President Jefferson Davis, who has been a leading figure in the state’s election denialism. Michael Flynn, former National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump and prominent conspiracy theorist, joined the rally through a Zoom call to endorse Ramthun for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
In his speech, Gableman said his review is targeted at people who see the 2020 election results his way. “They threw the rules away in an effort to defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden,” he told the crowd. Gableman has joined a fringe group of Republicans in calling for the decertification of Wisconsin’s 2020 election and the recall of the state’s 10 Electoral College votes.
“And really, the change and what we want to see is very, very simple and direct and common sense,” Gableman said. “And that’s why it’s going to take positive, persistent, passion each day, each day for all of us to show up and do what’s necessary to support the people who see it our way.”
Gableman followed Steen, Vos’ primary challenger, on the rally stage. Last week the speaker extended the former Supreme Court justice’s contract again, allowing Gableman to continue his work as he fights lawsuits from a number of officials he’s seeking to interview.
Gableman and the legislators calling for decertification have drawn widespread condemnation from Democrats and a handful of state Republicans, including retiring Assembly Majority Leader Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) who has promised to kill any bills to decertify the election and retiring Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls), who chairs the Senate elections committee and previously administered elections as a county clerk.
On Sunday, Gableman’s conservative critics were joined by the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, which accused Gableman of a “plot to lose Wisconsin in 2022.”
“Michael Gableman isn’t a secret Democratic double agent, but he’s sure acting like one,” the editorial stated.
The article included the numerous fact checks and debunkings of Gableman’s fantastical claims of election fraud that have been repeatedly made by election officials and news outlets, before stating that state Republicans’ continued focus on the 2020 election could have harmful consequences for the party in elections moving forward.
“Mr. Trump lost Wisconsin in 2020 on his own, and if Republicans keep chasing ghosts, he will also help them lose in 2022,” the board wrote.
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