Green Bay mayor seeks sanctions against head of GOP election probe
An attorney for Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich is asking a judge to impose sanctions on the special investigator leading the Republican-ordered review into the 2020 election, saying Michael Gableman has made incorrect statements and should take out full-page newspaper ads to correct the record.
Genrich attorney Jeffrey Mandell made the request in a filing Tuesday in a case brought by Gableman in Waukesha County Circuit Court. Gableman is trying to force Genrich and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway to answer questions behind closed doors related to the ongoing investigation. He asked the judge to jail them if they did not comply.
Gableman, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, did not immediately return messages Wednesday seeking comment.
Gableman was hired by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to investigate the election at a cost of $676,000 to taxpayers. His contract expired last month, but Vos has said the review will likely go longer and cost more money.
Gableman made a baseless claim at a pro-Donald Trump rally in 2020 that the election in Wisconsin had been stolen by bureaucrats. He has met with and hired people who formerly worked for Trump and espoused conspiracy theories about the election to work with him on the investigation.
President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes, an outcome that has withstood recounts and numerous lawsuits. An Associated Press review of battleground states contested by Trump, including Wisconsin, found too few cases of possible fraud to have affected the outcome.
Gableman subpoenaed Genrich, Rhodes-Conway and the mayors of Racine, Milwaukee and Kenosha in October, but shortly afterward agreed to put off his interviews with them if the cities provided election-related information he had requested.
Gableman argues in his lawsuit that Genrich and Rhodes-Conway did not appear for depositions on Nov. 15, but the mayors argue Gableman had agreed to postpone those interviews. The mayors have said they turned over requested information to Gableman and the understanding was the interviews were not necessary.
Mandell said in Tuesday’s court filing that Gableman’s attempt to force Genrich to submit to questioning was “frivolous” and rife with factual errors and misleading statements.
Mandell asked that Judge Ralph Ramirez impose a number of sanctions on Gableman, including taking out full-page ads in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin State Journal and the Green Bay Press-Gazette acknowledging that he made inaccurate statements to the state Assembly elections committee about Genrich’s response to the subpoena.
Mandell also asked that Gableman be ordered to testify before the committee that it was inaccurate for him to have said previously that Genrich “violated a lawful obligation to provide testimony.”
Mandell is also asking that Gableman be fined, be required to take at least three hours of continuing education classes on legal ethics and have no further communication with Green Bay city officials and employees.
A hearing in that case is set for Jan. 21.
Another lawsuit, brought by Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul, seeks to block a subpoena from Gableman seeking records and a closed-door interview with the state’s top elections administrator, Meagan Wolfe.
Dane County Judge Rhonda Lanford has said she will issue a ruling by Monday.
Last week, Gableman issued additional subpoenas to Madison officials and a Democratic Wisconsin Elections Commission board member. A justice department attorney sent Lanford a letter on Tuesday, saying additional legal action related to the latest subpoenas may be coming depending on how the judge rules on the earlier ones.
The state has multiple, overlapping safeguards aimed at preventing ineligible voters from casting ballots, tampering with the ballots or altering vote totals.
Nothing in the emails suggests there were problems with the election that contributed in any meaningful way to Trump’s 20,682-vote loss to Joe Biden.
“Despite concerns with statewide elections procedures, this audit showed us that the election was largely safe and secure,” Sen. Rob Cowles said Friday.
The grants were provided to every Wisconsin municipality that asked for them, and in the amounts they asked for.
“Application of the U.S. Department of Justice guidance among the clerks in Wisconsin is not uniform,” the memo says.
“To put it simply, we did not break the law,” the chair of the Elections Commission said.
The memo states that state law gives the Audit Bureau complete access to all records during an audit investigation and federal law and guidance does not prohibit an election official from handing over election records.
Drop boxes were used throughout Wisconsin, including in areas where Trump won the vast majority of counties.
Thousands of ballot certifications examined from Madison are a window onto how elections officials handled a pandemic and a divided and unhelpful state government.
“I don’t think that you instill confidence in a process by kind of blindly assuming there’s nothing to see here,” WILL president and general counsel Rick Esenberg said.
The Associated Press reviewed every potential case of voter fraud in six battleground states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvan…
Since the start of the outbreak, Gov. Tony Evers has issued multiple public health emergencies and a series of related orders.
Sen. Ron slammed the impeachment over the weekend as “vindictive and divisive,” and possibly a “diversionary operation” by Democrats to distract from security lapses at the U.S. Capitol.
“I wouldn’t run if I don’t think I could win,” said Johnson, who is undecided on a re-election bid.
The Fort Atkinson School Board approved a mask mandate for all students on a 4 to 1 vote Thursday night after the death of a 13-year-old middle school student whose mother said died after contracting COVID-19.
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Fort McCoy officials acknowledge there were initial problems with food supply, but that and other issues are being addressed.
The idea is in its infancy and all options, including declining to pursue anything, are on the table.
Gableman has asked the court, which plans to take up the matter on Dec. 22, to compel the two mayors to meet with him.
Deborah Kerr said she has also voted for Republicans and tells GOP audiences on the campaign trail for the officially nonpartisan race that she is a “pragmatic Democrat.”
Limbaugh died Wednesday at 70.
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