Wisconsin Rep. Says GOP Should 'Cheat' Like Dems, Calls Assembly Leader 'Swamp Creature'

Wisconsin state Representative Elijah Behnke said that Republicans need to "cheat like the Democrats" to win elections and called Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos a "swamp creature" in a video posted on Thursday.

The Wisconsin State Journal first reported on the video, in which Behnke, a Republican, was secretly filmed by visitors to his Capitol office.

Behnke is heard in the video calling Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos a "swamp creature," as well as saying if he ever saw Democratic Governor Tony Evers, he is "going to punch him, right? So here I am, I haven't really seen him face-to-face yet, so we'll see if I do." The anger was centered around Evers issuing stay-at-home orders early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also in the video, Behnke is heard supporting debunked conspiracy theories that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and says he is convinced of fraud.

"It could be 160,000, it could have been 16,000," he says in the video.

In the video, a woman disagreed with Behnke, saying, "We can't be cheating...I don't agree with you on that. Otherwise, what are we? Just two gangs fighting each other."

Vos was advised by Wisconsin Democratic Party chair Ben Wikler to launch an investigation into the video, as well as strip Behnke of his committee assignments and remove him from his seat.

"Behnke's suggestion that Republications should cheat in elections, while on taxpayer-funded time inside the Capitol, appears on its face to constitute illegal electioneering while serving in an official capacity—and a disturbing encouragement of further illegal behavior," Wikler said.

The same day the video was posted, Behnke and Vos removed Republican state Representative Timothy Ramthun's only staff member after Ramthun called for the Legislature to undo Biden's win in Wisconsin, where he won by almost 21,000 votes.

Ramthun spread false claims that Vos and former Hillary Clinton attorneys signed deals to authorize absentee ballot drop boxes, according to the Associated Press.

Britt Cudaback, spokeswoman for Evers, reacted to the video by saying Evers "believes in doing the right thing and leading with kindness, respect, empathy and compassion. It's a shame those Wisconsin values seem to be lost on Republicans in the Legislature," AP reported.

Behnke won the seat April of 2021 against Democrat Karl Jaeger with 63 percent of the vote, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. He is the owner of a cleaning company.

Wisconsin Republicans Unemployment Benefits COVID
Wisconsin state Representative Elijah Behnke said that Republicans need to "cheat like the Democrats" to win elections in a video posted on Thursday. Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images