Restoration PAC | First Right podcast, episode 58 | Dan O'Donnell
Doug talks to Dan O'Donnell, Wisconsin election expert and radiohost.
Doug Truax: Welcome to the First Right podcast. The weekly conservative news show brought to you by Restoration PAC. I'm Doug Truax, founder, and president of Restoration PAC. Today, we are blessed to have a return guests from the all-important state of Wisconsin. His name is Dan O'Donnell, host of a popular morning talk radio show on Milwaukee on WISN 1130. He also contributes commentary and investigative pieces to the free market MacGyver Institute, an organization that we're a big fan of Dan, his tune as anyone regarding the 2020 election and how it was conducted in Wisconsin. So welcome back, Dan!
Dan O'Donnell: Always my pleasure. All right.
Doug Truax: So in Wisconsin, there's always a lot going on reports and media reports and everything. Everybody's writing up about everything over there. And, but lately we've got this retired Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, Michael Gablemen, with his report out. So give us your thoughts on that. I know you've written a lot about this stuff for the MacIvers we love all the things that you put out there by the way, but you're the expert here. Tell us what you're thinking about that report.
Dan O'Donnell: Well, thank you. I, I would say Gablemen is probably the expert here. I've been following this for a long time though. And, and Gablemens report sort of ties together a lot of loose ends that I've been reporting on for going on two years now, almost since the election happened here in Wisconsin and the primary area of focus of Gablemens investigation was the influence of what we call here. Zuckerbucks, $10 million in funding that Mark Zuckerberg put into Wisconsin's elections from his center for tech and civic life. This was part of a $330 million grant that interestingly enough, Zuckerberg didn't use to try to support any candidate or political party, but he put it directly into America's election infrastructure. In other words, he was funding directly cities like Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Green Bay and Madison here in Wisconsin, not coincidentally the five most heavily Democrat cities in the state and the five cities most critical for Democrats to win.
If they want to have a prayer of winning Wisconsin, $8.8 million of the $10 million that went into Wisconsin, went into those five cities. And what Gablemen was able to demonstrate is that the clerks and the elections commissions in those cities were using that money as part of a massive get out the Democrat vote effort, get out the vote efforts are done by candidates. They're done by parties. They're done by political actors. They're not done by cities, just the act Gablemen said of those cities, taking money with the purpose of getting people to vote actually violates our state's election bribery statute.
Doug Truax: Yeah. And so there you have it. They actually did that. And we're, we're finally calling them out in a report from a gay woman, super credible. I think even last time you were on the show, we were, we've all been talking about what's been happening. What had happened here with the Zuckerberg money and how appalled we all were with it. So finally some progress here and we're seeing what's going to happen, but you never know. You know, we had the situation that we're seeing county sheriff with the nursing homes and then the da takes a pass. So get us up to speed on that. Were you disappointed in how that played out? Which I don't mean to sound like I'm going to be cynical, but you know, I'm always hopeful that justice is going to be done, but in this case it sure looks like it, it wasn't done. So what's your take on that?
Dan O'Donnell: Well, just to back up a second, the Racine county Sheriff's office investigated what it thought was massive fraud, excuse me, in a nursing home, in the town of Mount pleasant. And this happened because people whose parents were in that nursing home noticed, Hey, wait a second. My mom voted. She hasn't known who the president was since 1984. What this clearly showed was that people were from the nursing home voting either on behalf of the residents or essentially coercing them or in some way, influencing their vote. This happened dozens of times and the Racine county Sheriff's office said, all right, this is per se evidence of vote fraud. And the vote fraud was happening because our Wisconsin elections commission, the entity responsible for enforcing Wisconsin's elections laws simply didn't follow our election law here in Wisconsin. Voting in nursing homes can only happen through what are known as special voting deputies.
There are two people who go into the nursing homes. One from the Republican party, one from the Democrat party, they're set by the city clerk's office and they help residents absentee vote. The reason for this is that no funny business can happen, right? If one special voting deputy is trying to cheat. The other special voting deputy will notice it well because of the pandemic. The Wisconsin elections commission said no special voting deputies are allowed in. That was in direct violation of state laws. State law says special voting deputies are the only ones who can conduct the vote. And in fact, nursing home staff members cannot. It's actually written in state law. If you work at a nursing home, you can't help with voting. Well, guess what happened? That was a violation of state law. The Racine Sheriff's department said, all right, because the elections commission, because these people in this nursing home to violate state law, the elections commissioners themselves, we're guilty of election fraud.
Now of course the Racine county district attorney's office did not want to prosecute this and came up with, I'll be honest with you an excuse for this that I didn't buy that she lacked jurisdiction. Of course, our attorney General's office is controlled by a Democrat. Josh Kaul our attorney general. He declined to prosecute just a couple of days ago, Milwaukee county district attorney John Chisholm declined to prosecute, not surprising. We can't get Chisholm to prosecute murderers and carjackers let alone the Wisconsin elections commission. So yeah, it's definitely disappointing. And what the Gablemen report actually just uncovered was that this happened at more nursing homes than just the one that Racine Sheriff's department was investigating. In fact, this was likely happening in all five of the cities that got a lot of the Zuckerberg money. In fact, Gablemen alleged that in dozens of nursing homes that he looked at, there was 100% voter turnout by nursing home residents. I don't need to tell you that that immediately raises red flags.
Doug Truax: Oh my gosh. And, and we look at this after the fact. And when we think about somebody taking advantage of our, our elders here, that the most of the people that should be protected in the name of winning an election. And then, you know, like what you just said, if you can't get people to prosecute, that's where elections have consequences and even worse than that is that people, you know, what it looks like they're cheating in elections. Those have even more consequences down the road. So hopefully we can get this back on track. And so getting back on track with, you know, getting back to the place where we need to be law and order, everybody trusts the system, there's all these reports floating around Gablemen and obviously is a big deal. What other reports out there in Wisconsin that people should be looking at that you think are the ones that kind of put the finger on what happened in that last round of elections?
Dan O'Donnell: Well, our legislative audit bureau, which is a nonpartisan agency of the state, which was actually tasked with auditing the practices of the Wisconsin elections commission, as well as clerks in all of the 72 counties here in Wisconsin that was released last October. And it found multiple violations of state law, not the least of which was that our elections commission simply refused. It's legally required duty of cleaning up the state's voter rolls. There are hundreds of thousands of names that are still on the voter rolls that shouldn't be in addition policies were not followed with respect to what's known as curing a ballot. Remember absentee ballots were coming in by the tens of thousands to all of these cities, what the clerks were doing. If there was a mistake on the ballot envelope, the thing that the ballot obviously comes in supposed to feature the name of the voter, the signature, as well as the name and address and signature of a witness.
Well, if something was missing, say the witness forgot to put his address down, state law says the ballot needs to be mailed back to the voter. And the voter is responsible for curing the ballot, fixing the mistakes, and then sending the ballot back into the clerk's office, the Wisconsin elections commission with no justification whatsoever from state law, back in 2016, started saying, oh, you, in the clerk's office, you can just cure the ballot yourself. You can kind of guess at what the ballot signature witnesses address might be. You can fill in the name yourself. You can fill in the voters, address yourself. In other words, you can make the ballot goods. So it can be counted even though under state law, it shouldn't have been counted. There were thousands of ballots that under state law should not have been counted in Wisconsin in 2020, but they were counted because again, the point was, do juice turnout as much as possible in these five Democrat cities. So as to give the likely candidate that those Democrats would be voting for Joe Biden, a leg up, in other words, what the cities were doing was working on Joe Biden's turnout efforts, not the Joe Biden campaign.
Doug Truax: Yeah. How bout it, well, you know, Trump beats Clinton back in the day in Wisconsin, when nobody saw that coming and you better believe they're going to be coming to win Wisconsin, no matter what you throw in a pandemic. And then you got all kinds of opportunity for things to go wrong. And so I guess my big question for you, there's a lot, there's a lot to talk about here across Wisconsin, a lot of different things, but if they did still the election in 2020, in your opinion, what was the most likely way that they did it?
Dan O'Donnell: The way I've heard it described by a political operative friend of mine was that the election was stolen fair and square. And what was happening was the Zuckerbucks were used in order to get turnout as much as possible. It wasn't one specific thing that costs Donald Trump, the election. It was the combination of all of it. Our Wisconsin elections commission ignored its own prior precedent, as well as the letter of state law by keeping Jill Stein or rather the green party. I forget how we something, the candidate of the green party in 2020 off the ballot, same thing with Kanye West, the rapper who remember ran something of a campaign for president in 2020, in 2016, Jill Stein was essentially blamed for costing Hillary Clinton. The state Jill Stein got about 20,000 votes. The green party therefore has about a 20,000 votes support base in Wisconsin.
The green party allowed on the ballot. Joe Biden won Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes. In addition, all of these ways in which votes that shouldn't have been counted were counted. Ballot curing voters in nursing homes. Maybe they were voting for themselves. Maybe they weren't, but nursing home staff members and heaven knows who else were assisting them in voting because the Wisconsin elections commission was simply ignoring state law. If the election was stolen, it was because the elections commission acting in concert with the center for tech and civic life. And all of the groups that were deployed to Wisconsin actually took over the election process in the city of green bay. We're actively working to get as much Democrat turnout as they could in a pandemic. And Republicans didn't have nearly that same turnout machine laws were broken in the way that the people who are responsible for administering elections simply ignored the law and substituted their best judgment, which amounted to a partisan Democrat advantage.
Doug Truax: Yeah. And your, your point about their best judgment is tied to their best judgment of how they can get their candidate to win. And when you have situations where you have the will to power, which these guys obviously have, and you lack morals, you'll just go do anything. And I think our place now obviously is to go and investigate. Some people are needing to go to jail because otherwise, you know, next time around, everybody's just gonna be thinking, well, we got away with everything last time. Let's double down on that and do twice as much this time. If we don't, if we don't keep rounding this up. So what based on where we are now and what you've seen and all the things that are out, what, what, in your opinion still needs to be investigated more thoroughly? Where should this all go to keep, keep it, you know, on this path of like getting everything discovered going forward?
Dan O'Donnell: Well, selfishly, since I was basically the one in Wisconsin who first noticed all of the unlawful voting going on in nursing homes, in fact, it was just a couple of days after the election that a woman contacted me and said, my mother voted, she did not know who the president was. I told her story on the air and told her to contact her local law enforcement agency. She did. That was the Racine county Sheriff's office. That's what started that investigation. I was focused very heavily on nursing home fraud, because I believe that is actual fraud. That is the theft of the franchise. And that is the systematic disenfranchisement of our most vulnerable citizens here in Wisconsin, in his testimony before the Wisconsin legislature last week, or a couple of weeks ago, Gable men said he wants to audit every single nursing home, every single vote there across the state. To me, that's what should be done to figure out exactly who was voting in these nursing homes in these group homes that shouldn't have been voting, who in other words, actually had ballots cast in their name or cast without them ever, actually, knowing that to me is the most pressing concern
Doug Truax: Because once we get to the bottom of that, then to your point, it's, that's a pretty quick step to say, Hey, this is illegal. And this is it's, it's obvious that something terrible was done here. So let's, let's get to the bottom of it. So as this continues to get exposed, just give us your opinion on how the Republicans are handling this in Wisconsin. They do it enough. They aggressive enough. I mean, I certainly admire your courage and your aggressiveness, but what do you think about them as a party and what they're doing?
Dan O'Donnell: Well, this is an issue that's really divided Republicans here in Wisconsin. And a lot of that I think is unwarranted. And it's being stoked by the local and national media. For example, the big focus of Gablemen's 135 page report, extensive investigation. When it dropped in the Wisconsin, media was appendix to the five pages at the very end of the report in which Gablemen doesn't make the case for, but says it would theoretically be possible for Wisconsin to decertify its electors and reclaim its 10 electoral votes. I happen to disagree with that legal analysis. I'm an attorney Gablemens an attorney. That's what we're paid to do. We're paid to disagree, right? It's what reasonable minds can disagree about that. But the focus was all on de-certification. There've been about a half dozen major articles in, I believe it's rolling Stone magazine, Politico, vice news, the Washington post all on Timothy Ramthun who is a Wisconsin assembly member.
Who's done great work on the issue of election integrity, but who has said, no, we need to decertify Wisconsin's election. Now are lawyers for the Wisconsin legislature have said, that's not possible. Once the electoral college votes, the vote is done, the votes are already cast, okay, you can call back the electors. What does it do? Right? There's no legal or constitutional mechanism for doing so. The reason that Ramthun who launched his governorship bid on the strength of his, his call to decertify the election. The reason that the media is so focused on him and a recent poll showed ramp thin at 5%, the candidates who are running for governor are being ignored in favor of this so that they can all be discredited. The Republican party has done as much as I would hope. There was a whole package of election bills that were up for a vote just last week and the most recent legislative session.
They're good bills that of course are going to go nowhere because our governor, Tony Evers will veto them. And it was unfortunate that Ramthun instead of voting on those bills was actually at CPAC receiving an award. So it calls into question the seriousness there about actually changing things here in Wisconsin that said our assembly speaker, Robin Voss has taken a lot of heat and a lot of it is deserved, but he actually just extended the contract of Gablemen through the end of April. So that Gablemen could continue his investigation. The unfortunate reality is, is that until we get a Republican governor and a Republican attorney general who actually care about faithfully enforcing the laws of this state, nothing really is going to happen. Republicans can pass as as many laws as they want, they're going to get vetoed. So that's what I think the focus for all Republicans here in this state is, and that's getting Tony Evers getting Josh called the attorney general out of office.
Doug Truax: Yeah, for sure. And I think that there's a miss understanding amongst Republicans now. And it goes to this concept of being demonized. If you say anything about the election, I think that the Democrats have done a masterful slash nefarious job of tying the January 6th piece to anything that anybody says now about the election. Then you're all the same thing. And that's this point you made about them going to the decertification comment and all that stuff. But I think that, and I've seen this in polling where a lot like 60% of Republicans are totally convinced. There was a lot wrong with this last election, but then you have the, then you have the leaders they're unwilling to go there because they're afraid of, you know, they may have been a little squishy even before this, and now they're even squishier because they're afraid they're gonna, somebody's gonna say something bad about them when ironically the number one thing they could do for their supporters and their base is to dig into this and to work it.
Dan O'Donnell: Yeah. In fact, the number one issue for Republicans in Wisconsin is election integrity. And until we have that, there's a widespread belief that we don't have anything that everything else is secondary to that I think January 6th really did change the calculus both here in Wisconsin and nationally, because remember there was a lot of appetite for continuing the investigation into the election. Once January 6th happened that all changed. Remember there was no more debate about certification or anything like that. The electoral count was quickly certified in the middle of the night after the capital had to be cleared. And after that, you talk about Democrats doing a masterful job, a couple of hundred yahoos getting into the Capitol and acting like riotous Democrats for a couple of hours was made to be presented to the public like the biggest coup attempt in American history that they were actually threatening to take over the government of the United States.
It was ridiculous when it was first starting to formulate as a narrative on January 6th. And it's ridiculous. Now this was a riot sure. In the United States Capitol, but it wasn't an organized coup attempt. But because that message over the last year has been repeated over and over and over and over in the media. And because any attempt to point out election irregularities, as a result of January 6th, social media has felt empowered to actually ban people, including the president of the United States from their platform. What does that do to a Republican who relies on social media for fundraising, for getting his message out there for the lifeblood of politics and that's the ability to connect with the voter base, right? So there is a huge, huge incentive to just sort of stop talking about this. And a lot of Republicans have, well, we want to move forward to 2022 that sort of the narrative, but it really comes from a place of, I'll be honest with you.
A little bit of fear of the consequences about talking about the widespread vote fraud in 2020. Look, this is nothing new. I mean, read a history book for goodness sakes. Democrats have been engaged in boat fraud schemes since before there was a Democrat party. Okay. Since the early 18 hundreds with the formation of the Tammany hall political machine in New York to the gubernatorial election in Illinois, which was rife with fraud, there were dozens of indictments in the early 1980s, right? This has been a common thing. And this is why it's so important to continue to fight for it, regardless of the consequences, because if you don't fight for vote fraud, you're not fighting for your voters. And the most basic fundamental right. We have is the right to speak and be heard and pick our leaders through free and fair elections. If we don't have that, we don't have anything.
Doug Truax: Yeah, that's right. And that's where I get the most head nodding. When we go out and talk about this as people get that concept on, on our side, for sure. You know, they have elections in authoritarian countries, they just know who's going to win. And you know, if we get to that place, it's over. And so we can talk all the issues we want and we're all infuriated about inflation and the Southern border and all these things. But if the Democrats have figured out now how to cheat and then beat us down so that we don't back when they do cheat, then we're going to, we're not going to make a comeback. And so, so this is it. We gotta, we gotta stand this ground. And, and you know, I, I appreciate your courage. You know, you've mentioned Robin Voss and all he's doing, I mean, that's in Gablemen, it was good to see this come through and we just got to keep talking about it and there's going to be lost to talk about, and I'm sure we're going to have you back on cause you, you know, a lot about it and you won't and you won't stop talking about it.
So yeah. So thanks for coming on today, Dan, and, and appreciate all you do and love to have you back at some point in the future.
Dan O'Donnell: Well, thank you so much. I'd love to be back.
Doug Truax: All right. That's our show for today. Thank you so much for tuning in and for supporting service media. Don't ever forget that by working together and staying diligent, we conservatives can bring our country back to true greatness until next week. Let's all keep praying that God will continue to bless America
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