Green Bay mayor calls GOP hearing ‘Stalinist show trial’

March 12, 2021 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich says a legislative committee hearing attended only by Republicans that featured testimony from invited conservative critics of how his city ran the November election was a “Stalinist show trial and a three-ring circus.”

Genrich told WLUK-TV on Thursday that neither he nor any city employees were invited to the Assembly Campaign and Elections hearing held at the Capitol on Wednesday. No one from the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which is charged with running elections, was invited to testify either.

Instead, a conservative attorney who sued to block Green Bay from being awarded grant money to help run the election, the Republican former county clerk and a Republican state representative testified.

They and other election observers made a litany of complaints about Green Bay’s use of the $1.6 million in grant money to hire a private consultant who helped with the election.

“Quite honestly, what we saw at the Capitol yesterday was some combination of a Stalinist show trial and a three-ring circus,” Genrich said. “There is a lot of nonsense that is being spread.”

The Assembly committee’s chairwoman, Republican Rep. Janel Brandtjen, did not immediately respond to a message Friday seeking comment. But the committee issued a news release saying that a second hearing would be held and that Genrich, former Green Bay Clerk Kris Teske and others may be issued subpoenas to testify.

Republican committee members also called for Genrich to resign. Genrich, a Democratic former state representative, rejected those calls, saying the election was run fairly and legally.