Electoral College Wisconsin (copy)

Members of Wisconsin's Electoral College cast their votes for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris at the state Capitol in Madison in December 2020.

So now we're learning where the real 2020 election mischief took place.

It wasn't the votes cast on election day in 2020 that have been endlessly scrutinized and declared valid through recounts, court cases and even studies by conservative interest groups. No, it was by a cabal of Republicans willing to stop at nothing in their zeal to mollify Donald Trump.

We all witnessed the fraudulent efforts by Republican members of Congress — including two shameless Wisconsin U.S. representatives, Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald — to get then-Vice President Michael Pence to unconstitutionally void the votes of several states on Jan. 6. Fifteen equally shameless Wisconsin Republican legislators joined that subterfuge.

But before that dreadful day, 10 Republican officials here in Wisconsin got together — which now appears to be at the urging of Rudy Giuliani and aimed at the Jan. 6 tabulation of the electoral votes — to sign documents in an attempt to lay claim to Electoral College votes that weren't theirs.

Those documents stated that Trump had won Wisconsin's presidential election even though the state Supreme Court had ruled just an hour earlier that Biden was the victor. They sent the documents to the U.S. Senate, the National Archives, Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette and a U.S. District Court judge.

The committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection is reportedly looking into that apparent deception, along with similar actions taken by Republicans in four other states being contested by Trump.

The 10 Wisconsin Republicans who signed those fake documents on Dec. 14, the same day that victorious Democrats chose their 10 electors, included Bob Spindell, a lifelong Republican who sits on the Wisconsin Elections Commission, and then-state GOP Chair Andrew Hitt. 

Amazingly, state Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu reappointed Spindell to the six-member commission of three Democrats and three Republicans in April.

LeMahieu claimed Spindell, who will now serve until 2026, will fight for election integrity, conveniently overlooking Spindell's insistence that the election was rigged and his appearance at rallies with the likes of the My Pillow Trump devotee Mike Lindell. 

Spindell's position on the board appears to be at the heart of why the Elections Commission hasn't acted on a complaint filed nearly a year ago by Law Forward, a liberal law firm that claims what the 10 did amounts to fraud because they were well aware Trump had lost.

At the very least, Spindell needs to recuse himself from any WEC decision on the complaint. How can one, even shameless partisans like him, help decide his own case?

Similar complaints have been filed with the Milwaukee County district attorney, and Law Forward wants the Office of Lawyer Regulation to look into Hitt's role as an attorney.

The 10 Republicans insist that they prepared and delivered the documents just in case Biden's victory in Wisconsin was overturned.

But David Schultz, a professor of political science at Hamlin University and an expert on Electoral College procedures, told the Wisconsin State Journal earlier this week that Wisconsin statutes likely do not contemplate a group of individuals falsely claiming to be electors, but the matter likely constitutes a fraudulent act.

"It's probably some type of fraud, probably some type of criminal forgery," he told the newspaper.

Perhaps the Trump-controlled GOP ought to stop insisting that the election was a fraud and take a closer look at their own house.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@captimes.com, 608-252-6410 and on Twitter @DaveZweifel.  

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