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Mike Ellis, Part II

by Jerry Bader

Project Veritas today released the second video they produced after secretly video recording Republican Senate President Mike Ellis at a Madison bar. Not a lot of new ground, although the video does juxtapose portions of yesterday's video with news coverage of Ellis' response. Perhaps the biggest gotcha moment is when they point out that Ellis uses the past tense when he says he "told" his chief fundraiser, Judi Rohdes Engel that if he raises $500,000 she would then be charged with attacking Ellis' November opponent, Representative Penny Bernard Schaber.

That runs afoul of Ellis' claim that he never actually discussed the plan for what would be an illegal coordination with a Super PAC with Engel or any potential donors. It also conflicts with a statement from Rohdes Engel, announcing her resignation from Ellis' team:

"I have never set up any 'super PAC' nor have I had any intention of doing so nor have I ever had any conversation with Senator Ellis about it. I will not work for any committee that would imply that I would improperly do so," she said. "I have terminated my contract with the Ellis to Madison Committee."

The contradiction is significant because Ellis claims he didn't know his plan was illegal (a dubious claim, at best) and that he never acted on it or spoke to Rhodes Engel or anyone else about actually moving forward. There's another moment where Ellis says it is he, and not Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald who was actually running things.

As I said on the air today; I believe this is a fatal wound. Ellis should announce he isn't seeking re-election. If he does somebody needs to challenge him in a Republican primary. The odds of Ellis beating Schaber with this fodder hanging over his head seems unlikely.