Lawmaker says in video GOP needs to ‘cheat like a Democrat’

By Scott Bauer | Related press

MADISON, Wis. – A Republican Wisconsin congressman was caught on video saying Republicans need to “cheat like Democrats” to win the election and he wants to punch Democratic Governor Tony Evers on pandemic restrictions.

The video of State Representative Elijah Behnke was posted online on Thursday and went viral on Twitter later that night. The Wisconsin State Journal first covered it on Friday.

In the 25-minute video that appeared to have been secretly filmed by visitors to Behnke’s Capitol office, he disparages Republican Congressional Speaker Robin Vos as a “swamp creature” and supports the Conspiracy theories have been debunked about the 2020 election.

President Joe Biden won Wisconsin with just under 21,000 votes. The result is inevitable re-investigation, lawsuits and numerous investigations. Since losing, however, Republicans have passed bills that make absentee voting more difficult, ordering their own election investigation led by a former Supreme Court justice. Conservative Wisconsin came out on top, and called for members of the bipartisan election committee to resign.

The video was posted the same day Vos stripped Republican Rep. Ramthun also falsely claimed that Vos signed agreements with former attorneys for Hillary Clinton to authorize absentee ballot boxes.

Ramthun responded Friday to the action taken against him, saying in a statement that he had been disciplined without justification and that his staff should be reinstated.

Vos and Behnke did not immediately respond to messages Friday seeking comment. It is not clear who took the video.

Behnke, who owns a cleaning business, also describes his anger at Evers’ issuing a stay-at-home order early during the coronavirus pandemic. Behnke said he was “praying to God” that if he ever saw Evers, “I’d punch him, wouldn’t I? So here I am, I haven’t really seen him in person, so we’ll see if I have. ”

Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback responded by saying that the governor “believes in doing the right thing and leads with kindness, respect, empathy and compassion. Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s values ​​appear to have been lost to Republicans in the Legislature.”

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wikler called on Vos to decline Behnke’s comment and launch an investigation. In the meantime, Wikler said that Behnke should be removed from the legislative committees he sits on and not allowed to meet Republicans in caucus.

Behnke, of Oconto, won a special election in April 2021 after former Representative John Nygren resigned. Lawmaker says in video GOP needs to ‘cheat like a Democrat’

Huynh Nguyen

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