Op Ed

Republican Slams Party for State Recount

Fond du Lac Chairman, talk radio’s Jeff Wagner attack effort to ‘disenfranchise' legal voters.

By - Nov 24th, 2020 01:48 pm
Day four of the presidential recount. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Day four of the presidential recount. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The recounts in Milwaukee and Dane Counties are dragging on at the request of the campaign of President Donald Trump, but one prominent state Republican has had enough.

Rohn Bishop, the chairman of the Fond du Lac County Republican Party and a supporter of President Donald Trump, accused the state Republican Party on Saturday of disenfranchising voters.

“The worst part of the GOP strategy is I’ve spent a decade supporting GOP laws to tighten up our elections,” Bishop wrote on Twitter. “Voter ID, signing the book, etc. I’ve pushed back against Dem claims that we Repubs were trying to disenfranchise people. Now here we are, trying to disenfranchise people.”

The Twitter post was in response to WTMJ-AM’s Jeff Wagner, a conservative talk show host, saying that the Republican strategy of trying to throw out “tens of thousands of votes” to claim victory was “ill-considered in the extreme.”

A request for comment was made to Alec Zimmerman, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, but no response was received by press time.

After accusing the GOP of disenfranchising voters, Bishop continued with his criticism of the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s strategy in the recount saying he did not see the fraud claimed by the Trump campaign.

“These voters did nothing wrong. There’s no fraud. We’re pushing for a draw-down based on a tech{nicality}!” Bishop wrote. “Technicalities that helped voters vote and have been commonly used for early voting for 10 years. BTW, I’m still waiting for all FRAUD I was promised!”

Bishop speculated what Republican reaction would be if the Democrats tried similar tactics in a close election.

“If Democrats we’re trying to steal an election like we’re doing right now, Rush would be so hot the golden EIB mic would have melted,” Bishop wrote. “Now he just spews conspiracies in his attempt to become the Art Bell of daytime radio. It’s all really sad!”

In response to an inquiry from RightWisconsin, Bishop said he had not heard from anyone at the state Republican Party about his remarks.

Bishop’s remarks came a day after it was revealed by RightWisconsin that the strategy of the Republican Party and the Trump campaign was not about recounting the votes, but challenging enough votes to put Trump ahead in Wisconsin.

After a canvass of the votes by Wisconsin’s 72 counties, former Vice President Joe Biden still led Trump by over 20,000 votes. A full recount would have cost the Trump campaign close to $8 million, but Trump opted instead to ask for a partial recount in just Milwaukee and Dane Counties.

RightWisconsin learned that a conference call with the county party chairmen was held the night before the recount began, and state Party Chairman Andrew Hitt explained on the call that the strategy was to get enough votes thrown out to give Trump the lead, not find more votes for Trump. The targets of the “recount” effort are early absentee votes, absentee votes for those listed as indefinitely confined, and absentee ballots where the clerk’s office may have corrected information on the envelope containing the ballot such as the addresses of the absentee ballot witness.

By challenging whole categories of votes, the GOP hopes that they can have enough ballots randomly “drawn down” in Milwaukee and Dane counties to affect the election’s outcome.

Because of the margin of victory and the ratio of Trump to Biden voters in Milwaukee and Dane Counties, the Trump campaign would have to be successful in challenging the ballots of at least 35,700 voters, Trump and Biden voters, to have a shot of overcoming Biden’s lead.

In Pennsylvania and Michigan, lawsuits by the Trump campaign have been thrown out of court as the Trump campaign has been unable to produce any evidence of vote fraud that would lead to the election results in those states being overturned. A hand recount in Georgia has also confirmed the election result there and the Republican official in charge of the state’s elections has confirmed he will certify the results.

The vote has now been certified in both Pennsylvania and Michigan, effectively ending any hope of the Trump campaign overcoming Biden’s lead in the Electoral College.

Bishop, an occasional contributor to RightWisconsin, criticized the Trump campaign earlier this year for not supporting mail-in voting, saying Republicans in Wisconsin needed to encourage mail-in absentee voting to offset the Democrats’ advantage. However, Bishop remained a supporter of Trump and actively led volunteer efforts in his county to support the president’s re-election efforts.

The criticism of Bishop came the same day as Republican observers of the recount in Milwaukee County did everything they could to disrupt the count, at one point even objecting to absentee ballots that were folded in half and ballots that had two different colors of ink, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile on the other side of the county, a rally for Trump was led by WISN-AM radio talk show host Vicki McKenna at the same shopping mall where eight people were shot just the night before in a mass shooting. The mall was closed Saturday because of the shooting Friday night.

Also present at the rally was former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who brought a contingent of Proud Boys with him as “security.” The Proud Boys are a violent, all-male group of rightwing extremists who are oddly obsessed with how often they commit a sexual act alone and whether they wear cargo shorts.

The presence of the Proud Boys was welcomed by McKenna who promised on Twitter that there will be another similar event supporting Trump in Madison.

James Wigderson is editor of Right Wisconsin, where this column was first published.

More about the 2020 General Election

Read more about 2020 General Election here

More about the Presidential Recount

Read more about Presidential Recount here

Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

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