Below the fold in yesterday’s Unaffiliated newsletter from the Colorado Sun’s political crew, a fascinating underreported tidbit beneath the headlines about Colorado’s much higher-profile agent in the ongoing alt-facts drama over Donald Trump’s inability to admit he lost the 2020 election, Colorado Christian University’s Jenna Ellis.
Of any Republican in Colorado, who is the one prior to Ellis coming on the scene you’d most likely guess is working to undo small-d democracy and award Trump another four year term in court by judicial fiat? If you guessed former GOP Secretary of State Scott “Honey Badger” Gessler, you win a prize!
Disclaimer: there’s no prize.
Gessler, a Republican, reviewed statements from six unnamed people, including poll workers, who raised questions about how Nevada conducted its mail-ballot election. In his report, he concluded: “It is my opinion that Nevada did not implement a reliable universal mail ballot system that provides any confidence that Nevada’s voters awarded the state’s six electoral votes to Joe Biden.”
Got that? Scott Gessler talked to six people whose name we don’t get to know, and based on whatever they told him and Gessler’s supposed expertise in how elections work (more on that in a moment), he’s ready to conclude that the state of Nevada’s election for President should be done over or blown off or whatever the overall objective of the Trump legal campaign is since at this point it’s clearly not winning cases.
It’s not quite what Jenna Ellis is rumored to be pulling down per billable hour, but it’s a nice rate if you can get it! And we can certainly see how this could be a boon for Gessler looking to raise his profile ahead of a bid to lead the Colorado Republican Party. But of course, the Sun dutifully pointed us to the inevitable story from KLAS-TV Las Vegas last Friday, the case Gessler rendered his “expert opinion” met the same fate as most of the other forty some-odd Trump election challenge cases:
A Nevada judge has dismissed President Donald Trump’s campaign’s request to declare the president the winner in Nevada and nullify the election results. In his ruling, Judge James Russell also ordered lawyers for the campaign to pay the defendants’ legal fees…
“Contestants did not prove under any standard of proof that any illegal votes were cast and counted, or legal votes were not counted at all, for any other improper or illegal reason, nor in an amount equal to or greater than 33,596, or otherwise in an amount sufficient to raise reasonable doubt as to the outcome of the election,” Russell wrote in his order.
Ouch. Then again, anyone who knows Scott Gessler’s record of baselessly alleging massive voter fraud, a crusade he carried on for years as Secretary of State and thatt pitifully sputtered out after his claims of “tens of thousands” of “illegal voters” dwindled to thousands, then to hundreds, then dozens, and finally less than a half-dozen isolated cases, could have predicted this outcome for any argument based on his so-called “expertise.”
Gessler’s proven fictional claims about vote fraud made a running joke of Republicans obsessed with issue in the eyes of Colorado voters, and then landmark election reforms in 2013 including mail ballots and same-day registration proved that reforms Gessler darkly warned would end in disaster actually work extremely well and have led to historic rates of voter participation in Colorado elections.
What we’re saying, and we believe it’s very defensible based on his record, is that there may be no one in America less credible to allege another state’s election was carried out unfairly than Scott Gessler. Along with the backfiring caricature that Rudy Giuliani has become and Jenna Ellis’ ridiculously overstated “constitutional law” experience, Gessler’s role as an “expert witness” to assist Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 elections perhaps could not be more perfectly ridiculous.