• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

Vos nominates GOP lawyer Don Millis to serve on Wisconsin Elections Commission

ByChad J. Johnson

Jun 8, 2022

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has nominated Republican attorney Don Millis to replace former GOP lawmaker Dean Knudson on the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Millis previously served on the WEC in 2016 when he was nominated by then-Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who is now a member of Congress. Decades ago, Millis also served on the Wisconsin Board of Elections as a representative for former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson.

“Don is a respected attorney whose expertise makes him an excellent addition to the Wisconsin Elections Commission,” Vos’ announcement read. “I have no doubt that he will fairly apply the electoral laws and ensure that the current law is respected.”

Millis’ nomination to the Wisconsin Elections Commission comes days before the panel can elect a new chair from among its members. Under the law that created the commission, Millis is one of two people who could hold the position.

The WEC chairman, who is split 3-3 between Republicans and Democrats, is required to rotate between the parties every two years. Because the current president is Democrat Ann Jacobs, that means the next president must be a Republican. The six-member panel includes two clerks who are not permitted to chair the commission, meaning only Millis or Republican Bob Spindell are eligible.

Spindell has been a vocal critic of the Election Commission’s decisions, earning him praise from some of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the Republican Party base. After the 2020 election, Spindell was also one of 10 Republicans who ran as presidential voters, leading some Democrats to call for his removal from the WEC.

Spindell had campaigned for the chairmanship before the last committee meeting, but the vote was overturned after Knudson’s abrupt resignation.

Knudson said it was made clear to him that Republicans did not want him to chair the panel, a sentiment he attributed to his willingness to tell the truth about former Republican President Donald Trump’s loss during the 2020 election. Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson later revealed that he told Vos that Knudson had lost the trust of rank-and-file Republicans.

Sign up for daily news!

Stay informed with WPR’s email newsletter.

Vos’ press release announcing Millis’ nomination on Wednesday included praise from Thompson, state GOP Chairman Paul Farrow and former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman.

“Don will bring with him both the intellectual firepower and the courageous determination that are both needed to enable him to help bring anarchy to an end to the lawless actions of left-wing WEC members,” the statement read. Gableman.

Vos chose Gableman to lead a taxpayer-funded investigation into the 2020 election, in which Gableman called for the elimination of the WEC. Gableman has become one of the leading voices amplifying Trump’s false claims that he won the 2020 election, urging lawmakers to consider decertifying the election, a move election law experts say is impossible.

Republicans voted to create the WEC in 2015 to replace the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board because they were unhappy with its involvement in an investigation of conservative groups and former Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign. Millis was an early member of the WEC.

Nearly a decade earlier, the GAB had been formed to replace the Wisconsin Elections Board, in part because Republicans were unhappy with a decision by that agency that went against their candidate for office. governor, then U.S. Representative Mark Green. In 2006, Millis was the green campaign advocate.

Millis served on the Wisconsin Elections Board from 1997 to 2001, according to the Vos release.

Vos had said recently that someone with a legal background would be an asset to WEC Republicans. Two Democratic commissioners – Jacobs and Mark Thomsen – are lawyers.