Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Wisconsin special counsel: nursing home election fraud
- The recklessness of Russia’s invasion is on full display
- Macron calls Putin
- And more...
1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
If you have a favorite Bible Verse you want to see in one of our newsletters, please email [email protected].
2. Wisconsin special counsel: nursing home election fraud
Special counsels can be appointed at the state level, too, and it appears that one in Wisconsin has found evidence to confirm widespread election fraud.
The Wisconsin Assembly appointed Special Counsel Michael Gableman, a retired State Supreme Court justice, to investigate concerns about the 2020 election, and on Tuesday, his office issued its second interim report, which runs 150 pages. In Chapter 7, it confirms the conclusion of the Racine County Sheriff’s Office last fall that fraud occurred at Wisconsin nursing homes.
It was the sheriff’s investigation that led to this broader one. Sheriff Christopher Schmaling held a press conference last October 28 at which lead investigator Michael Luell presented their findings. (Note that this hour-long press conference got mostly crickets from national media.) Luell explained that under Wisconsin election law, local municipalities must dispatch two special voting deputies, or SVDs, to residential care facilities to supervise the voting. These officials are tasked with personally delivering ballots to residents and witnessing the voting process. Under law, only a relative or an SVD may assist a resident with the voting process. Once the resident has voted, the SVD seals the ballot envelope and delivers it to the elections clerk.
This sounds like a great plan to preserve the chain of custody and discourage undue influence. Unfortunately, the sheriff’s investigation found that the Ridgewood Care Center in Racine violated every one of those requirements. Amazingly, the blame for this can be traced back to the Wisconsin Election Commission, whose members had allegedly taken it upon themselves to tell municipalities not to use the SVD system and to instead just mail ballots to residents. Such a directive would be illegal.
So it was up to staffers to help residents complete their ballots, and according to the sheriff, they “helped” them, all right --- improperly completing sections of the ballots, mishandling ballots and failing to secure them, and going beyond just reading the ballots to actively discussing the elections and candidates. In legal parlance, that is a no-no.
As Sheriff Schmaling said during his press conference, his investigation had covered only the Ridgewood Care Center, when Racine County was home to 11 such facilities, and Racine County is just one of 72 counties. “There are literally hundreds and hundreds of these facilities throughout the state of Wisconsin,” he said. “We would be foolish to think for a moment that this integrity issue, this violation of the statute, occurred to just this small group of people at one care facility in one county in the entire state.”
Several days after their press conference, the Sheriff’s Office announced that they had forwarded their conclusions to District Attorney Patricia Hanson, recommending that five members of the Wisconsin Election Commission be charged with election fraud, including two felony counts. (Only one member was not cited.) Margot Cleveland has details on the specific charges in her report for The Federalist.
You can probably guess what happened next, which is to say nothing –- no charges were filed. After several months, DA Hanson concluded that she “lacked jurisdiction” and had no authority to prosecute the commissioners because they don’t live in Racine County and didn’t issue the “allegedly illegal directive doing away with SVD.” So, we're confused, as the sheriff's investigation had concluded they did do that.
And after deciding not to charge the commissioners, Hanson couldn’t very well charge the staff at the nursing homes, could she? She reasoned it this way: “[I]t would be unfair for me to expect these health care professionals would better understand the election law in Wisconsin than the Wisconsin Election Commission.” Never mind that she should have had higher expectations for the WEC; after lowering the bar for them, she was able to lower it even farther for the nursing home staff. Case dismissed!
Here’s some of the fallout as reported by a local news outlet, just a few days before the special counsel dropped his report.
Fortunately it didn’t end with that DA, and we now have an eye-opening special counsel report. This would not have happened without the sheriff’s investigation, which had stemmed from a complaint by some individual about potential violations at just one nursing home. Moral: one person speaking up CAN make a difference.
And now, the special counsel apparently has the goods. “Rampant fraud and abuse occurred statewide at Wisconsin’s nursing homes and other residential care facilities,” his report says.
This conclusion came after his investigation of more than 90 nursing homes in five different counties. We’re talking about blatant violations of the election code by nursing home staff and administrators, such as illegal handling of absentee ballots, illegal assistance in marking ballots, illegally “witnessing” the voting, and possible forgery. According to the report, the fraud and abuse resulted ultimately from the unlawful acts of the WEC’s members and staff, because on June 24, 2020, they did issue that directive to mail the ballots to the nursing homes and just follow the rules for regular absentee voting by mail.
The special counsel found “improbably high voting rates” at nursing homes. He was even able to determine that some of the filled-out ballots did not reflect the intent of the nursing home residents. He found suspected forgeries of signatures and votes by people who had been judged incompetent and could not legally vote. He found votes "cast" by people who were unaware of their surroundings and didn’t even know what year it was.
The WEC had tried to use COVID to justify what it had done, saying they didn’t want seniors ”disenfranchised.” Special Counsel Gableman was stern in his assessment of that: “In no way was WEC’s mandating illegal activity a ‘solution’ to ‘disenfranchisement’ and to suggest that WEC’s actions were a good faith effort at doing so ignores the facts and the law.” He went on to point out that the problems he had found, resulting from their directive, WERE examples of disenfranchisement.
Gableman said that to get the full picture of the significance of the fraud, “a state-wide, complete audit of all absentee votes from all facilities” required to use the SVD system is necessary.
In the 2020 election, Wisconsin went for Biden by a margin of just 20,682 votes. Since about 92,000 people reside in Wisconsin nursing homes, the findings of this investigation cast “doubt on the election result” according to the special counsel report. The Wisconsin State Assembly might authorize Gableman to expand his audit, but that’s not official at this writing. Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul called the sheriff’s original investigation a “publicity stunt” and is highly unlikely to do anything with this one. That seems like a great reason for voters to show up in droves this fall and boot him out of office.
Incidentally, the report has chapters dealing with other issues in Wisconsin that we’ve discussed before, such as the infusion of money from Mark Zuckerberg and the Center for Tech and Civic Life, and potential violations of law concerning ballot security at dropboxes. Look for social media to flag discussions of this report as heretical and news outlets to trash it (Politico and BuzzFeed already have), even though it’s the product of a special counsel investigation and contains, presumably, facts.
3. The recklessness of Russia’s invasion is on full display
As we continue to pray for the people of Ukraine, here is today’s link to the Fox News page for continually-updated bulletins:
The biggest news yesterday was that, in one of the most reckless military maneuvers in history, Russian forces shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the largest nuclear reactor in Europe. Thank God, they didn’t damage the reactor, no radiation leaked, and the fires it caused were safely extinguished. There were fears that it could spark a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster that would affect central Europe for decades.
But the danger is hardly past. Russian troops seized the plant, and according to employees, they’re trying to lay down landmines around the plant so they can hold it hostage and “blackmail the whole of Europe.” The UN Security Council is meeting this morning to discuss the crisis. Let’s hope they don’t let the Russian ambassador run the meeting again.
Former Senator Joe Lieberman has an op-ed at Fox News, arguing that the Russian takeover of the nuclear plant is reason enough for the Biden White House to end its negotiations with Iran to restart Obama’s Iran nuclear deal that Trump killed. Lieberman points out that Russia and China have both joined forces with the tyrannical government of Iran, so how can we trust that government to keep its promises to limit its nuclear ambitions?
I couldn’t agree more, except that I would say the same thing if the Russians had never stupidly bombed a nuclear plant. A couple of weeks ago, an Israeli security official said the original Iran nuclear deal was bad, but the latest version is “spectacularly bad.” It would allow Iran to keep all the advances it’s made in nuclear technology despite its promises, and keep building toward a bomb from there.
If Biden still pushes forward with that catastrophic Iran nuclear deal, then it will be official: not even bombs landing on a nuclear reactor can create a big enough flash for him to see the light.
4. Macron calls Putin
In other Russia/Ukraine war developments, Putin agreed to peace talks, but only to set up channels for evacuees to leave. French President Emmanuel Macron had a 90-minute phone call with Putin on Thursday and warned him that Russia would pay dearly and end up isolated, weakened and sanctioned for a long time. But he said Putin was unmoved and said his objective in Ukraine "will be fulfilled in any case." Macron said he fears the worst is yet to come.
5. Evil in the world
Putin's intransigence may come as a harsh wake-up call to a lot of people in the West that, yes, there is evil in the world, and not everyone is just like them and just wants to get along and be hugged. Nor can some people be intimidated by Twitter shaming. While we all hope and pray for Ukraine, we shouldn’t fool ourselves that the Ukrainians can hold out forever against a superior force that’s showing no signs of mercy or even human decency.
The images coming out of Ukraine are horrifying and heartbreaking, and I must warn you, some are graphic.
6. Ukraine Resolution Passed
Wednesday, the House passed a resolution to support Ukraine by a nearly-unanimous 426-3. The only “no” votes were from Republican Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Matt Rosendale of Montana and Paul Gosar of Arizona.
Since our media has only one setting, they were predictably assailed as Putin puppets. But Massie went on Laura Ingraham’s show and strongly denied that. He said the three fully support Ukraine, but thought the resolution went too far. Rather than a simple statement of support, he said it was seven pages long, and vague enough that it could be interpreted to mean the US was making military commitments to put boots on the ground or enforce a no-fly zone, and that might inflame the situation even more.
7. February Jobs Report
Friday morning, the Labor Department issued a stronger-then-expected jobs report for February. It shows that payroll employment rose by 678,000 and unemployment dropped to 3.8%.
The bad news: 4.2 million Americans are still out of work because their employers closed or lost business due to the pandemic (actually, due to the reaction to the pandemic.) Employment is still down by 2.1 million jobs from its pre-pandemic level, which debunks President Biden’s claim that he “created” all those “new jobs.” Also, while hourly wages increased by 5.1% since last February, inflation reached 7%, so even higher wages are buying less.
8. Russia’s media
Like all dictators, Putin needs a compliant media to lie to the public if he wants to stay in power.
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