Mike Ellis caught on tape conspiring to commit election law felony (VIDEO)

While I’m loathe to link to anything produced by the James O’Keefe-led Project Veritas, this video of Republican Wisconsin State Senate President Mike Ellis sharing his thoughts on how he could create a Political Action Committee (PAC), then use said PAC to coordinate attack ads against his Democratic opponent, State Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber. Of course, any involvement on the part of Sen. Ellis in having a hand in creating a PAC and then coordinating attack ads with said PAC would constitute a serious (felony) violation of state election laws.

Here’s the video.

According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sen. Ellis defended his remarks by saying he learned the next day his proposal was illegal and did not pursue it, but given Ellis’ history of work on campaign finance reform, his “explanation” doesn’t hold water.

Ellis’ opponents pounced on the recording, calling it hypocritical for a longtime champion of campaign finance reform to talk brazenly of setting up such an operation. They said it was implausible Ellis wouldn’t have known such a move would be illegal given how long he has worked on campaign finance legislation.

“I think Ellis is being a little bit like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” said Mike Maistelman, a lawyer who advises Democrats on campaign finance law.

Sen. Ellis’ comment that Judi Engel Rhodes would have no problem helping him illegally coordinate (both financially and strategically) between his PAC and his reelection campaign to attack Penny Bernard Schaber stood out to me as something he said from personal knowledge.


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12 thoughts on “Mike Ellis caught on tape conspiring to commit election law felony (VIDEO)

  1. Who does he think he is, Scott Walker talking to a fake Koch brother? Illegal campaign ‘help’ isn’t for the likes of you, pal, not when you’re willing to publicly (as in shooting your mouth off in a bar) criticize our Dear Leader.
    Who set O’Keefe on Ellis? That’s the biggest question here.
    Time to head to rehab until this blows over, Mike.

  2. That’s the first and probably last time I’ll watch anything from that criminal slime O’Keefe, and along with Sue, the real story to me is which right-wing sleazeball sent the order to try to go after Ellis? We know the last thing these guys want is to have their illegal coordination get busted by the law (they’re fueled by Koch money and other oligarchs) so that’s not the angle.

    It’s also a telling thing to me that this is a tacit admission by Ellis that he has to play the same illegal coordination game that he has despised in the past. These outside interests are totally calling the shots in the GOP today, and if the Dems had any guts in this state, they’d be hammering this point home, and running against big money and outside influences

  3. It’s got to make you wonder who Ellis pissed off for O’Keefe to go after him. O’Keefe’s gone after Sensenbrenner too. For me that’s a big, BIG Hmmm….

    Apparently Jake, Sue and I all have the same sentiment.

    Someone trying to muddy the waters to aid legal challenges to John Doe 2? Sensenbrenner and Ellis aren’t big enough tools? Or Walker’s got his thugs cleaning house. He’s got a lovely reputation for being quietly vindictive, doesn’t he? There’s talk of Litjens going up against Ellis in a primary 9speculated on Blogging Blue). We’ll have to wait and see.

  4. Here’s a possible scenario: The Walkerites think Penny Schaber can beat Ellis in November. They tell him to retire so they can run who they want, someone who takes orders better than Ellis( think Pam Galloway prior to the 2012 recall ). He refuses. Enter O’Keefe.

    My hunch is Mike Ellis announces his retirement in the next couple of weeks.

  5. According to the MJS story, O’Keefe will release more video today (editing can take awhile to get it just right). The likes of he and Breitbart have served as hitmen for the extremist Tea Party faction of the Republican Party. It seems the only way for the TP people to get their way is by having everyone in the GOP in lockstep with the upstarts.
    Many established, moderate Republicans have have resisted their extreme politics. Some have chosen to leave because of the environment that’s been created. The last thing the TP types want is any campaign finance reform, so they are publicly discrediting Ellis and anyone else in the GOP who has those inclinations. TPers know that they would never have become a factor without the rich and corporations spending freely on their candidates.
    Ellis has also been bold enough to think independantly about school vouchers, another big part of the TP agenda in Wisconsin.
    The O’Keefe operation also warns other independant-minded Republicans that they had better line up with them, or they might do something to discredit you.
    So, Tom Petri is too old school Republican for TP types: Glenn Grothman to the rescue! Luther Olsen had better behave!
    Where was Project Veritas all this time when it came to Bill Kramer and his antics?

    1. P.V. was likely out arranging for Kramer’s new attorney, as Kramer is someone they would hate to lose from their political lineup. Threats, deception, and forced manipulation of the vulnerable to various forms of power being indicative of the personal characteristics they cherish and which they practice.


      In Roman mythology, Veritas, meaning truth, was the goddess of truth, a daughter of Saturn and the mother of Virtue. It was believed that she hid in the bottom of a holy well because she was so elusive.


  6. Saw on Channel 12 this morning that Mike Gousha will be discussing on Sunday whether Wisconsin Republican moderates are being driven out of the party. While I would disagree with the word ‘moderate’ in this case I’m happy to see a reporter bringing it up.

    1. The bigger question is “Who’s calling the shots to try to push out any GOP who dares to ask questions about what the Walkers and Vosses are doing?”

      Ellis’s retirement letter talks about how he feels special interests run everything over constituents these days. It’s time to unmask just who those interests are, and who’s paying their bills. If Burke and the Dems had any guts, they’d be screaming this at every turn.

  7. Or was Ellis throwing Walker under Bus with this Video? Is Ellis hinting at what is being Investigated in the JD#2?

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