Election officials across Wisconsin carefully counted the votes for president in November, and Joe Biden won.
They audited voting machines in every county, and the equipment worked well.
They recounted all of the votes cast in the Democratic strongholds of Dane and Milwaukee counties. Biden’s lead slightly expanded.
Lawsuits were filed, challenging the results. Judges, some of them appointed by Republicans, listened to the facts and ruled the votes were handled fairly.
More than eight months after the Nov. 3 election, it’s perfectly clear that Biden is our president for the next three-plus years. It doesn’t matter how much bluster the losing candidate, former President Donald Trump, continues to bloviate. Biden won, fair and square.
Everybody including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, knows that — even if some of his Republican colleagues pretend otherwise. Yet Vos continues to waste Wisconsin tax dollars on pointless probes of stale election complaints that have already been repeatedly debunked.
That needs to end.
Vos announced in May he would hire three retired police officers — at least one of them with partisan ties — to investigate “potential irregularities and/or illegalities.” Vos is paying the investigators a total of $28,800 in state tax money over three months, the Associated Press reported in June.
If the goal was to appease Trump, it didn’t work. The former president slammed Vos and other GOP leaders in Wisconsin on the eve of their annual political convention June 25. Trump absurdly claimed Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, were “working hard to cover up election corruption” in Wisconsin.
“Don’t fall for their lies!” Trump said in a statement.
Vos and LeMahieu gently deflected Trump’s inanity, saying Trump was “simply misinformed.” That’s an understatement.
Yet the day after Trump’s broadside, Vos doubled down on pandering to the former president. Vos announced he was hiring former conservative state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to oversee the Assembly investigation of election questions that have already been answered. The public will now be on the hook to pay Gableman $44,000 through October, the AP reported last week.
That brings the total taxpayer tab for Vos’ redundant and partisan probe to $72,800.
For state lawmakers who just approved an $87 billion state budget, $72,800 may be an insignificant sum. But for a local school district, that’s enough to hire another teacher. For a local police department, that’s an officer. For a small town in Wisconsin, that could fix a lot of potholes.
And who knows how much higher the bill will get?
State lawmakers should remember the oath they made to support the state constitution and to faithfully and impartially discharge their legislative duties. They fail to live up to their constitutional obligations when they blatantly ignore the facts established by our courts and recklessly spend taxpayers’ money to attack the election process.
Vos and Co. should stop kowtowing to Trump and call off the witch hunt. Stop wasting our money on conspiracy theories.
– Wisconsin State Journal