Flashback: Sen. McConnell blocked election security bills shortly after getting campaign donations from voting machine lobbyists

Flashback: Sen. McConnell blocked election security bills
shortly after getting campaign donations from voting machine
lobbyists 1

The following article contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

WASHINGTON, DC- If you were to have taken a pool on which high-profile Republican would be the first to cave and refer to Biden as “president elect,” you would have probably had Willard “Mitt” Romney in it. The Bush’s would obviously be in there. The top three would also consist of none other than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

After all, McConnell received donations from voting machine lobbyists prior to blocking election security bills, an article from Newsweek in 2019 reported. Think that’s haunting the country now? 

According to the piece, McConnell had put the kibosh to two bills which were intended to ensure election security, which now looking back is prophetic.

In fact, the bills in question were quashed only one day after former special counsel Robert Mueller had warned the Russians were trying to undermine the 2020 election. While Mueller may have gotten the country wrong, he had the basics correct.

McConnell complained that the bills were “partisan” however McConnell had received a number of donations from four of the top voting machine lobbyists in the country, Newsweek reported.

“Clearly this request is not a serious effort to make a law. Clearly something so partisan that it only received one single solitary Republican vote in the House is not going to travel through the Senate by unanimous consent,” McConnell said.

One of the voting machine companies whose lobbyists donated to McConnell’s campaign should sound familiar—Dominion Voting Systems.

According to Sludge, an investigative outlet that focuses on money in politics, lobbyists from Dominion, as well as Election Systems & Software (ES&S), the two largest electronic voting machine vendors in the US contributed to McConnell.

Between the two companies, they manufacture around 80 percent of the voting machines in the country.

Sludge discovered that David Cohen, a lobbyist for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, working for Dominion had donated $2,000 to McConnell. Brian Wild, who works with Cohen and has also lobbied Dominion donated to McConnell in the amount of $1,000.

Two other lobbyists, Emily Kirlin and Jen Olson, on February 19 and March 4 last year donated $1,000 each to McConnell. Both lobby on behalf of Election Systems & Software.

It is interesting because back then unlike now, it was Democrats who were concerned about election fraud, not Republicans.

Clearly Democrats, who up until today still believe the fantasy that Russian collusion was what elected Donald Trump, thought that it was the Republicans who would use the electronic voting machines to game the election.

Good times, the old days were.

In the 2019 bills, one which was resented by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wanted to direct $775 billion to bolster election security while requiring states to keep paper trails of all votes cast.

A second bill presented by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal would have required political candidates, as well as their staff and family members to notify the FBI about any foreign government which offer assistance.

ES&S’s CEO Tom Burt actually spoke in favor of creating paper trails for digital election systems and urged the Senate to pass legislation requiring states to do so. The company no longer sells machines without paperless ballots, so a rule change would be favorable for them.

Newsweek poses an interesting dichotomy from how election fraud was viewed 16 months ago and how it is viewed now. Back then, it was Democrats and liberals who were concerned about election fraud while Republicans didn’t appear to be as much. Look to today and it’s 180 degrees opposite.

Back then, the Brennan Center for Justice, a George Soros extravaganza, slammed McConnell for blocking the bills.

“It’s not surprising to me that Mitch McConnell is receiving these campaign contributions,” said the Brennan Center’s Lawrence Norden to Sludge.

“He seems single-handedly to be standing in the way of anything passing in Congress around election security, and that includes things that the vendors might want, like money for the states to replace antiquated equipment.”

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Fast forward to now. When President Trump started to express concern about election fraud, the Brennan Center flipped the script.

In a May 27 report, “10 Voter Fraud Lies Debunked,” the same Brennan Center completely downplayed the concerns of President Trump about possible voter fraud, and cited 10 areas where they claimed voter fraud doesn’t exist. So apparently for the Brennan Center, it’s all about who is making the voter fraud claims.

McConnell’s blocking of the election security bills flew in the face of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which released a report which claimed Russians had targeted voting systems in all 50 states in 2016. No evidence was presented that showed votes were changed, however in Illinois, “Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data.”

Newsweek continued that in 2018, 14 states used electronic voter systems which had no paper trail, meaning if votes were inaccurately tallied or if there were malfunctioning voting machines, there would be no way to either investigate or recover those votes.

In another case of hypocrisy, none other than Joe Scarborough, Mr. Mika Brzezinski complained at the time about McConnell blocking the votes on his MSNBC program Morning Joe.

“He is aiding and abetting [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s ongoing attempts to subvert American democracy, according to the Republican FBI, CIA, DNI, intel committee,’ he said.

“All Republicans are saying Russia is subverting American democracy and Moscow Mitch won’t even let the Senate take a vote on it. That is un-American.”

Fast forward to this election cycle and Mr. Scarborough, one of the biggest phony hypocrites on television.

On Dec. 11, Breitbart News reported Scarborough was reacting to a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University in which 77 percent of Republicans believe there was widespread voter fraud during the November presidential election.

Scarborough, who slammed McConnell when he thought he was blocking attempts to prevent Russian interference in the 2020 election for the purported benefit of President Trump pivoted to slam Republican voters for believing the election was stolen from Trump.

In speaking to the reporter who spoke to the poll, Scarborough said:

“But Kasie, this just coming across the wire, that Q poll says the majority of Americans believe the election was fair, but 77 percent of Republicans believe there was widespread voter fraud,” he said. “Just seriously, I mean…it basically means 77 percent of Republicans are disconnected from reality and actually live in an alternative reality. But that is what it is.”

Still, the fact that McConnell blocked the election security bill back in 2019 is coming back to haunt Republicans and President Trump this year. As always, money talks, especially in the swamp.

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