Trump’s election purge proceeds as GOP commissioner resigns from Wisconsin

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On Tuesday, perhaps the biggest rebuke yet to Donald Trump’s election denial crusade, Georgia Republican voters re-nominated Secretary of State Brad Ravensberger over Trump’s choice and overwhelmingly rejected David Perdue’s primary challenge to governor. Brian Kemp.

On Wednesday came the reality check: another reminder that Trump’s efforts to make his party aware of election denial and to purge those who weren’t sufficiently loyal after the 2020 election continues to move forward in many other ways.

As reported by Rosalind S. Helderman of The Post, that a GOP member of the Wisconsin Elections Committee who had rebuked Trump’s allegations of widespread voter fraud, issued a surprise resignation. In doing so, he effectively said that the bogus “stolen election” narrative had so consumed his party that he could no longer represent him on the committee:

As a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, Dean Knudson led the legislative push to create the six-member commission, which issues directives to local county employees and helps administer the state’s local and federal elections. But he told colleagues at a public meeting Wednesday that his refusal to spread lies about the election had caused him to be branded RINO — “a Republican in name only” — after a lifetime of conservative activism.

“Two of my core values ​​are to exercise service above oneself and to demonstrate personal integrity,” he said. “For me, this integrity requires acknowledgment of the truth, even when the truth hurts. In this case, the painful truth is that President Trump lost the election in 2020. He lost the election in Wisconsin in 2020. The loss was not due to election fraud.

Knudson said he was saddened that elected officials and candidates at the highest levels of the Republican Party “propagated disinformation and perpetuated lies about the 2020 election.”

“Now, it has become clear to me that I cannot be effective in my role to represent Republicans on the committee,” he said.

Knudson’s resignation came amid pressure from Moon. Ron Johnson (Republican whiskey). The practical effects of this will take some time to wear off completely.

As many have noted, his departure left fellow Republican Robert F. Spindale Jr. As the only president eligible for a term that will include much of the 2024 election. (The job alternates between Republicans and Democrats, and the Republican Party will come in). Not only did Spindel tackle Trump’s line on allegations of widespread fraud in 2020, he toured the state and gave a presentation on how he supposedly “rigged elections”, he even worked as a fake Trump voter.

Given that the chair of the commission is empowered to approve state votes and certify the results, the election holder in this role can exercise significant power. (Wisconsin Republicans are currently trying to abolish the commission and put such decisions in the hands of elected officials.)

At the same time, it is not clear that Spindel will get the job. While the committee was due to choose its next chair on Wednesday, the vote ended up being postponed, with Spindel being the only one to vote “no” out of six members. State Assembly Speaker Robin Voss (right) will choose Knudson’s replacement, who could compete with Spindel for the chair. But Voss has also been under a lot of pressure to follow Trump’s line and will certainly do so again.

There is also the question of choosing the presidency, which requires a majority of votes – that is, with a vote from at least one Democrat. What happens if neither Spindell nor the GOP variant is considered acceptable? We don’t know yet.

Regardless, the circumstances of Knudson’s exit mirror many other cases in which those who stood up to Trump’s allegations or acknowledged Trump’s loss found themselves marginalized and pushed out of power. It’s not just election hunters who win GOP support in major races, such as the candidates for Michigan attorney general and secretary of state, and Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial candidate, Doug Mastriano; There are also less obvious and less significant cases.

In Michigan, the state party refused to re-nominate a state expert who confirmed Trump’s triple loss in the state, Aaron Van Langvelde. His Republican alternative, which had to be approved by the Democratic governor. Gretchen Whitmer, it was Tony Daunt.

Satan also found himself marginalized. He resigned from the Republican State Committee last month in a manner somewhat similar to Knudson. He decried that cowardly, cowardly party “leaders” made the election here in Michigan a test of who is most loyal to Donald Trump and are re-litigating the outcome of the 2020 cycle.”

Van Langvelde is not the only person to move under pressure or be replaced. A review of Detroit News found that the party has nominated new commissioners in eight of Michigan’s 11 largest counties — with replacements in many cases being election endorsers. One of the candidates who was replaced, Michelle Voorhees, noted to NPR that every candidate nominated to replace her has spoken about fighting voter fraud, even though commissioners do not have the authority to decide on such matters.

In case that doesn’t seem important, consider it when two Detroit-based Wayne County Republicans for a moment refused to certify the results in November 2020. They eventually did, but one of the new surrogates, Robert Boyd, had he said he wasn’t to do it.

  • In densely populated republican Hood County, Texas, the election director was fired after a widespread campaign against her. The official, Michelle Caro, was technically nonpartisan but says she’s voted Republican for more than a decade.
  • In Scott County, Iowa, the top election official (Democrat) resigned amid another lobbying campaign, and the GOP-controlled Board of Supervisors appointed to replace Republicans in place of a special election. Earlier, the Republican Party chief in the same county resigned after he criticized Trump after January. 6.
  • Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt, the only Republican on the Philadelphia Board of Elections, has infuriated Trump for debunking his allegations. He resigned early to join a watchdog group in late 2021 — though he agreed that Trump played no role.
  • An Associated Press review in the summer of 2021 showed that a wave of election officials were leaving their jobs in key 2020 states.

It’s not clear if any of this will ultimately affect future elections, including 2024. But it’s becoming clear what the message is about who is welcome in the Republican Party to oversee the election. So far, Ravensburger is mostly the exception.

And when to say that the 2020 election has been decided correctly is not in keeping with the conservative movement of officials to continue serving, that is quite the case.

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