Deputy charge nurse Katie McIntosh administers the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jabs to Clinical Lead of Outpatient Theatres, Andrew Mencnarowski at the Western General Hospital on the first day of the largest immunization program in the UK's history on Dec. 8 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - Pool / Getty Images)
Deputy charge nurse Katie McIntosh administers the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jabs to Clinical Lead of Outpatient Theatres, Andrew Mencnarowski at the Western General Hospital on the first day of the largest immunization program in the UK's history on Dec. 8 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - Pool / Getty Images)

Evers: ‘Doesn’t even pass the smell test’

Speaking to the state’s most powerful business lobby group, Wisconsin’s Republican legislative leaders again demanded they be given the power to control how COVID-19 vaccines are distributed in the state, according to a story by The Associated Press. They also demanded a seat at the table for future reimbursement of federal funds even though they have not been at any table since leaving the Capitol in mid-April.

In response to these comments, made by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Devin LaMahieu (R-Oostburg) to a virtual gathering of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce members Wednesday, Gov. Tony Evers said he has talked with lawmakers about these issues.

“Let me put it this way, I heard their requests. It is something we are continuing to discuss,” Evers told reporters Thursday. “Clearly, if you think about over 100 people in the Capitol figuring out who gets the vaccine first and second and so on, that doesn’t even pass the smell test. We are concerned about that.”

Evers said they are also concerned about the Republican leaders’ request for more oversight on how federal funding is spent. 

“At this point in time we are in a pandemic,” Evers said. “We need to make decisions on a timely basis. We have talked about this already, and we will continue to talk about it in the future.”

Evers said his office is working to set up another meeting with Vos and LaMahieu for next week. 

The GOP leaders want the Joint Finance Committee, with its 12 Republicans, to oversee vaccine and aid distribution, but one of the committee’s four Democrats says it’s dangerous to give that kind of power to the panel whose primary job is writing the state budget.

“The governor and his administration is best positioned and should continue to advance vaccine distribution as quickly as possible,” Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) told UpNorthNews. He said legislative interference will delay vaccine distribution, potentially leading to more illnesses and deaths. 

It also injects partisan politics “into a process that should be anything but political,” he said.

Who Curiously Is and Is Not on the GOP ‘Witness’ List for Election Review

When Republican legislators use the state Capitol on Friday in an attempt to cast doubt on Wisconsin’s election results, their event will feature a right-wing, talk radio host, but not the state’s top elections official. 

The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections and the Senate Committee on Ethics, Elections and Rural Issues will hold a joint hearing to promote a baseless investigation into non-existent “irregularities” with the Nov. 3 election.

No evidence of fraud has been presented so far.

The invitation-only witness list does not include Meagan Wolfe, administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission who has said there was no fraud detected during or since the election.

“I think the hearing that will be tomorrow will be the same old crap, frankly,” Evers said Thursday. “It’ll be people coming in without direct knowledge, giving some kind of harebrained charge that can’t be validated.”

Evers said he is concerned that as this type of rhetoric continues, more people will become disinterested with the country’s voting process.  

“We are taking more people out of the system. They are going to say, ‘This is crazy. I’m not going to vote anymore,’” Evers said. “The president has sent us down a dangerous path. I am very, very concerned about that.” 

Wisconsin Congressman Supports Effort to Throw Out Wisconsin’s Votes

Even after losing dozens of lawsuits due to the lack of any evidence of election fraud, President Donald Trump’s effort to seize the presidency continues with a case filed by the Texas attorney general that has the support of a northern Wisconsin congressman.

Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) is the only member of the state’s House delegation to join more than 100 of his colleagues in signing an amicus brief in support of the long-shot claim that the US Supreme Court should overturn the voters in Wisconsin and three other states because of its elections rules. The lawsuit asks the justices to give legislatures—controlled by Republicans in Wisconsin—the power to choose electors rather than the voters who in Wisconsin chose President-elect Joe Biden by more than 20,000 votes.

Evers said Thursday he found it ironic that the Texas attorney general, who is under FBI investigation, as well as having numerous calls for his resignation from folks across Texas, is leading the charge to disenfranchise Wisconsin. That effort that has gained the support from 17 other Republican attorney generals. 

“It’s a frivolous suit. It won’t go any place,” Evers said. “The idea that the state of Texas is going to take away the vote from millions and millions of people in the state of Wisconsin? It just borders on insanity.”