Editorial Summary: Wisconsin | Wisconsin News

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Editorial: Gableman couldn’t find a pea shooter, let alone a smoking gun

Michael Gableman, Inspector Clouseau of right-wing conspiratorial politics in Wisconsin, is urging the Legislature “to look very closely” at decertifying the state’s presidential election.

Lawmakers should instead take a very tough pass, given how stale and tiresome the endless rehashing of the 2020 vote has become, and given that legal experts from across the political spectrum call Gableman’s suggestion impossible and unconstitutional.

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Also, instead of “killing and dismantling” the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which Gableman morally calls for, the legislature should kill and dismantle Gableman’s investigation, which is wasting $676,000 of public money and likely more. the longer his wild goose chase continues.

Careful election counts, recounts, non-partisan auditing, independent scrutiny and – most importantly – our judicial system have repeatedly found that President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by more than 20,000 votes, without any widespread fraud. which could have changed the outcome.

Gableman’s “interim report” on the last presidential election, released Tuesday, rehashes long-standing Republican suspicions about election irregularities while mostly ignoring why those inconsistencies occurred: Because Wisconsin was in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century. Clearly, the vote was going to be different, with public health officials urging voters to avoid crowds — including at the polls — so they don’t catch COVID-19, which has killed more than 12,000 people. and hospitalized 59,000 people in Wisconsin.

That’s why 430 communities have installed safe and easy voting drop boxes outside municipal buildings. Gableman’s boss, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, who hired Gableman to conduct the redundant review, backed the drop boxes as the election nears. But now that former President Donald Trump has lost his re-election bid and won’t concede defeat, Vos won’t say whether he still supports drop boxes, fearing a backlash from conservative conspirators.

If Gableman is so certain that drop boxes violated Wisconsin law — even though state law is silent on them — perhaps Gableman should subpoena Vos to testify at Gableman’s private mall office in Brookfield, rather than threatening the mayors of Madison, Green Bay and Racine with arrest. Vos could explain under oath why he supported them and whether he favors them now.

Incidentally, these mayors agreed to testify in public. They simply won’t submit to Gableman’s questioning behind closed doors, which Gableman doesn’t seem to have the legal authority to demand. This is because he acts on behalf of the State Assembly, which must follow its own authority to subpoena witnesses for public hearings.

After Gableman’s nearly three-hour presentation last week to the Assembly Elections Committee, where he bragged about his thin findings, it’s clear why he doesn’t like doing things in public. His show failed.

Gableman claims the Election Commission broke the law by allowing local clerks to send absentee ballots to residents of nursing homes without the presence of voting assistants. But the commission — including the appointee by Vos, a former Republican lawmaker — allowed the unusual exemption because some nursing homes were restricting visitors during the pandemic. Commissioners were also concerned that election aides could spread COVID-19 to elderly residents, who are most vulnerable to the disease.

Gableman claimed that every registered voter voted at certain nursing homes, but his report did not support this with documentation. The Electoral Commission is skeptical of this claim. The videos Gableman posted of a few nursing home residents struggling to understand the questions don’t prove much either. He suggests that these residents should not have voted because they were mentally unfit. But only a judge can determine that, under state law. And does he really think that more than 20,000 of those people voted – all for Biden – in some nefarious plot? Please.

Gableman claims Democratic-leaning cities such as Madison, Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee and Green Bay engaged in ‘voter corruption’ by taking money from a Facebook-funded group to help administer and encourage Safe Voting during the pandemic. But many rural communities that favored Republican candidates also took the money. Why isn’t Gableman suing them? Politics, of course.

A judge appointed by former GOP Chairman George W. Bush declined to block grants in 2020 because nothing in state law prohibited donations. An appeals court agreed. The Wisconsin Supreme Court would not take a similar case.

So game over – but not for Gableman, according to him. Although he was supposed to wrap things up last fall, Gableman says his job is far from done.

We of course hope he’s wrong about that too.

At least Detective Clouseau, thanks to the Hollywood scriptwriters, managed to work his way up to recover a rare, stolen diamond in one of those old “Pink Panther” movies. Gableman’s problem is that he’s plodding for something that doesn’t exist – a grand conspiracy to steal the last election. His “interim report” should be the end credits of his investigation.

Root Journal Times. March 4, 2022.

Editorial: The idea of ​​a COP youth program deserves a fast-track

The Racine Police Department’s Community Policing Unit proposal for a program to keep youth out of trouble received a warm reception last week from the city’s finance department and staff.

Under this plan, the COP program would establish two programs, one to put young people to work in neighborhoods and a second that would create a volunteer infrastructure for young people who have had trouble with the law and who must perform community service hours.

“I hear a lot of people in the community asking for this kind of thing, so it’s pretty exciting,” was Alderman Natalia Taft’s reception, “Hopefully we get it.”

As stated by Sgt. James Pettis, the city would seek to fund the programs by seeking a $50,000 grant from the state Department of Justice. The first program would pay $10 an hour to about 30 young people between the ages of 10 and 16 to perform services like snow removal, leaf removal and lawn maintenance for neighbors in Anthony Lane, Geneva Street neighborhoods , Villa Street and Mead Street.

The idea came from Racine Police Constable Travis Brady, who said he noticed an abundance of properties in his COP House neighborhood that needed work and an abundance of young people who needed something to do.

“I think it’s important for these kids to give back fairly and have the opportunity to give back without having to travel far when families run out of transportation,” Brady said.

A little honest work for young people, a little money in their pockets and better maintained neighborhoods, that seems to us to be a winning formula.

We urge the city to put this good idea on a fast track.

Copyright 2022 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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