Corruption in Wisconsin: Undercover videos expose GOP State Sen. Mike Ellis

Christian Hartsock Filmmaker, Journalist
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Today, James O’Keefe and Project Veritas released the following video in which a fellow Veritas investigator and I went undercover in Madison to expose Wisconsin Republican State Senator Mike Ellis.

In the video, Senator Ellis contradicts statements he has made to both the press and his constituents regarding special interests and outside campaign donations. He also makes negative comments about Wisconsin Governor and possible presidential candidate Scott Walker, a fellow Republican. Worse yet, he potentially conspires to commit a felony by violating Wisconsin’s state election law by planning to coordinate with super PACs.

In pursuit of the state senator, my partner and I visited one of his favorite haunts — the Inn at the Park across the street from the Capitol building. Claiming to be a “lifelong Republican” who grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin — a town in Ellis’s district — I expressed my disillusionment with a governor and party leadership ostensibly more receptive to outside interests and distracted by presidential ambitions, which the senator ate up.

I told him not only that am I a fierce supporter of his, but my father was as well. Ellis seemed intimately familiar with my fictitious father, whom he claimed he remembered well and called “a great man.”

We proceeded to glowingly commend the senator for his long-lasting local loyalties and establish common resentment against the Walker administration. The state senator seemed to relish the John Doe probes — an ongoing secret investigation into fundraising and spending by Walker and conservative groups during the recent recall elections that the Wall Street Journal deemed a “political operation intended to shut up Mr. Walker’s allies as he seeks re-election this year.” I asked Ellis if he thinks the probes are “blessing in disguise.” “I think so!” he said.

A state legislator relishing organized political repression against his own allies to clear the brush for his own ambitions is alarming in its own right. The potentially illegal extent to which he seems willing to go to realize them is too far.

As Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe put it this morning: “Wisconsin State Senate President Mike Ellis’s trail of hypocrisy and his discussion of possible illegal coordination with a super PAC is extremely concerning. His recent actions are emblematic of exactly what is wrong with many career politicians. His constituents deserve an answer to what we have uncovered immediately.”