“‘Blurring of lines’: Private lawyer plays starring role in taxpayer-funded Wisconsin election probe”

Wisconsin Watch:

A two-story office building in a Milwaukee suburb houses three entities that have led a months-long campaign sowing doubt about Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election.

The gray, indistinct building in Brookfield lists about a dozen occupants, including a marketing company on the first floor, and financial services firms on the second.

But there are three occupants whose names are nowhere to be found: Special Counsel Michael Gableman, attorney Erick Kaardal and the Thomas More Society.

The three, led by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Gableman, are collaborating on the $676,000 investigation into alleged election fraud launched by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. 

Although he lacks a contract or official role in Gableman’s taxpayer-funded investigation, Kaardal has become a de facto lead investigator. A Wisconsin Watch analysis shows roughly half of the chapters in Gableman’s 136-page interim report are based on Kaardal’s work.

Since September, the Minnesota attorney and the conservative Chicago law firm for which he works have subleased office space for about $3,000 a month directly from a company owned by Gableman.

Kaardal’s and Thomas More Society’s connections to — and potential influence on — Gableman’s investigation stretch beyond 2,100 square feet of office space. As a private attorney, Kaardal also represents people under guardianship orders featured in Gableman’s investigation — clients he charges are victims of “voter abuse.”

Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, a member of the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections, said he “absolutely” has concerns about the relationship between Kaardal, the Thomas More Society and Gableman.

Spreitzer also criticized the quality of the information Gableman has released so far, such as the suspiciously high voter turnout rates for nursing homes — claims that media organizations have debunked

“It’s cherry-picked (data) at best, and simply wrong at worst,” Spreitzer said. 

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