Posted at 12:20 p.m. on March 11, 2021
This is a brief that previews a full story to appear in the March 18 print edition of THE BRILLION NEWS.
MADISON – The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections held an informational meeting on Wednesday, March 10, with a parade of witnesses saying that Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich turned the city’s November election over to pro-Democrat private interests.
Genrich is a former member of the state Assembly who was elected as a Democrat.
The state legislature and all of its committees have Republican majorities.
The hearing followed the March 9 release of an investigative story, by the conservative Wisconsin Spotlight news service, that said a liberal group was brought into the City of Green Bay and took control of the election operation in the city, pushing the city clerk and her staff out of the picture.
The committee took testimony from several witnesses, all pointing the finger at Genrich for alleged misconduct in managing both the April and November general elections.
The primary witness was Erick Kaardal, a Minnesota attorney who has actively challenged 2020 election results on behalf of conservative causes.
The three Democrats on the committee issued a joint statement, saying the hearing represented “wild accusations, no evidence of wrongdoing, and implications of impropriety that run far ahead of the facts.”
The Republicans disagreed.
Much of the evidence of alleged misconduct came from emails uncovered by Republican State Rep. Shae Sortwell, of rural Two Rivers, who filed a public records request with the City of Green Bay.
[<< Shae Sortwell photo]
The chair of the Senate Committee on Elections, Kathy Bernier, R-Lake Hallie, said Genrich needs to resign as mayor of Green Bay.
Bernier also demanded that Democratic Governor Tony Evers investigate the misconduct allegedly perpetrated in Green Bay.
Genrich told WLUK-TV Fox 11 that he did nothing wrong and there was no manipulation of the election by the city.
Representative Dave Murphy, R-Greenville, a member of the committee said: “Hard evidence and sworn witness testimony is proving that concerns about elections integrity in Wisconsin was warranted. Unfortunately, my Democratic colleagues and the mayor of Green Bay continue to deny the demonstrated facts.”
State Senator Rob Cowles, R-Green Bay, said the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB), which conducts forensic investigations, has been assigned to conduct an audit of elections administration in Wisconsin.
All of the information gathered by the Wisconsin Spotlight and information presented to the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections is being forwarded to the LAB auditors.
Sortwell said there was a “pattern of election interference by the mayor of Green Bay as far back as April.”
~ Ed Byrne/BN with information from WisEye.org; Wisconsin Spotlight; Sen. Kathy Bernier, R-Lake Hallie; State Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit; State Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison; State Rep. Jodi Emerson, D-Eau Claire; Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills; Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay; State Rep. David Murphy, R-Greenville; WLUK-TV Fox 11