by Benjamin Yount
Now that Wisconsin’s special election investigator has been fired, one of the Republican lawmakers who led the investigation into the 2020 election wants to know what will happen with the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, on Monday said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos needs to be as tough on the Commission as he was on former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman.
“Speaker Vos recently referred to me as ‘going rogue.’ Why doesn’t he have words for the lawless Wisconsin Elections Commission,” Brandtjen said in a statement. “Where is talk of a rogue agency when it comes to the fact that WEC sued him.”
Vos on Friday fired Gableman from the 2020 election investigation.
Vos said Gableman’s investigation started out well, but “got off the rails,” at some point.
“He bought into the rhetoric of Janel Brandtjen, which is consistent to say she is an election conspiracy denier,” Vos said last week.
“Speaker Vos tries to soothe voters by saying new election bills will solve election integrity issues,” Brandtjen added. “WEC, formed by the legislature, regularly acts beyond the law and puts our elections at risk. Both the [Legislative Audit Bureau] report and Justice Gableman’s report determined how lawless WEC acted. We don’t need more laws that WEC can ignore; we need more oversight, which is the job of the legislature.”
Brandtjen is one of several lawmakers who want to get rid of the Elections Commission. Vos has been less dedicated to that idea, saying he’d rather focus on passing new election integrity laws.
“WEC is a lawless agency that consistently pretends its guidance is law, just as the ruling that ballot boxes were illegal. The list of WEC’s law violations is so long and embarrassing that the Speaker had to fire Justice Gableman, and has refused to talk to me for months,” Brandtjen added.
Brandtjen leads the Assembly’s Committee on Campaigns and Elections, and launched an investigation through that committee. It’s not clear if she will keep that committee when lawmakers return for the next legislative session in January.
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Benjamin Yount is a regular contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Janel Brandtjen” by Representative Janel Brandtjen. Photo “Robin Vos” by Wisconsin Legislation. Background Photo “Wisconsin Capitol” by Carol M. Highsmith.