By Eric Timmons
President Donald Trump is still insisting, despite any substantial evidence, that last week’s election was marred by rampant fraud. Local Republican officials are singing a different tune, at least when it comes to their neighborhoods.
“I’m absolutely convinced that there was no fraud in La Crosse or La Crosse County whatsoever,” said La Crosse Common Council member Doug Happel, who was a donor to Trump’s campaign.
But Happel left the door ajar by suggesting that while he was certain nothing untoward happened in La Crosse he could not say the same of the “big cities.” Still, he admitted he had seen no solid evidence of fraud elsewhere.
“I’m not all that thrilled about it but it does look like Joe Biden won, yes it does,” Happel told the La Crosse Independent.
There’s nothing wrong with waiting for the outcome of any investigations or recounts, such as the one that may occur in Wisconsin, a state Biden won by about 20,000 votes, Happel said. But once those events are complete, Trump will have to accept reality.
“At some point you just gotta say OK that was it,” Happel said.
La Crosse County Republican Party Chairman Bill Feehan, in an interview with Buzzfeed News, also said he had seen no proof of significant fraud, despite the near constant assertions by Trump that illegal election meddling was abundant.
“I’m a man of reason, so I look to see what evidence is there right now, and essentially I haven’t seen any evidence that proves that there was massive voter fraud, enough to change 20,000 votes in the state of Wisconsin,” Feehan said.
In Vernon County, when asked if had seen any evidence of fraud, state Rep. Loren Oldenburg, R-Viroqua, had a one word answer: “No.”
But Oldenburg, echoing the line of many of his fellow Republicans, said it was right and fair to wait for the outcome of any recounts and other challenges before declaring a winner. He was fulsome in his praise of election workers, at least locally.
“What I see in my area, they do an excellent job in the rural communities,” he said. “I have personally not seen any fraud, and that’s all I can say about it.”
Are the Republicans perhaps beginning to get just a little tired of Trump’s barrage of baseless allegations and half-cooked conspiracy theories?
“Generally speaking in life you should praise in public, criticize in private and personally I wish the president, and all parties, would do that a little more,” said Roger Call, chairman of the Vernon County Republican Party.
Call, incidentally, also told the La Crosse Independent that poll workers in his area did an excellent job and that he could not point to any evidence of fraud.
Beyond the local region, if any substantial fraud was committed during last week’s elections, it’s proving to be very difficult to unearth.
“There’s a great human capacity for inventing things that aren’t true about elections,” Frank LaRose, a Republican who serves as Ohio’s secretary of state told the New York Times in an article published on Monday. “The conspiracy theories and rumors and all those things run rampant. For some reason, elections breed that type of mythology.”
Top image of President Trump by Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 3.0. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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