Eric Meadows fails to show leadership or integrity in response to KUSDs correction of the April 2022 election error.
What happened to Eric Meadows due to KUSDs error in properly noticing the April 2022 election is terrible and unacceptable. No elected representative should have to deal with a situation like this. He is right to be upset and to pursue legal action if he believes it is warranted.
However, Eric Meadows has consistently failed to show integrity or leadership in response to this situation. Instead he has chosen to create a political circus, has pitted community members against one another and sowed chaos, which is not good for our children, our schools or for Kenosha.
Eric Meadows has now gone on national tv with a lawyer who worked with Republican to overturn the 2020 election in Wisconsin to imply a conspiracy by Meadows' fellow KUSD school board members and the KUSD school district may have been responsible for what happened.
KUSD school board meeting cancelled due to disruptive behavior by Meadows supporters
Meadows followers, members of the Kenosha chapter of Moms for Liberty and the local Republican Party, so disrupted the KUSD meeting where Meadows was to be interviewed by the board for re-instatement last Monday night, that the meeting had to be cancelled. You can see video of that meeting here. Meadows sat through the meeting and did not discourage the behavior of his supporters.
Some of Meadows followers are members of Moms for Liberty, who similarly disrupted KUSD school board meetings during COVID. They have challenged virtual learning during a global pandemic, masking, Pride flags in classrooms; nationally they are banning books about Ruby Bridges and MLK and other topics they don't agree with, have restricted curriculum that teaches America's full history, have pushed for restricting the rights of LGBTQ children and their parents. They are funded by wealthy conservatives who's goal is to undermine public education so they can profit off of their corporate private schools.
Eric Meadows was in attendance at the meeting where his followers disrupted the KUSD school board meeting and did not attempt to stop their behavior. Meadows' supporters also refused to comply with security so the meeting ended and was held virtually on Thursday, where his fellow school board members voted overwhelmingly to re-instate Meadows to the board seat they had bee forced to vacate due to the election noticing error.
Meadows implies left-wing conspiracy on Fox News
Eric Meadows is suing KUSD, which is his right. What happened should have never happened.
However, he and his lawyer went on national Fox New to politicize what happened and implied the election error in April 2022 that led to this confusion was actually a left-wing conspiracy to remove him from his seat.
Some facts to keep in mind while watching this interview with Eric Fox and his lawyer on Fox News:
- Eric Meadow’s lawyer, Eric Kaardal, is part of the Thomas Moore Society. Kaardal worked with Republican Michael Gableman on the Republican election fraud investigation in Wisconsin, which turned up no fraud but cost Wisconsin taxpayers millions. Kaardal and the Thomas More Society have been central figures in questioning the integrity of the 2020 presidential election: pushing theories that judges, audits and other reviews have repeatedly proven false. Kaardal and the Thomas More Society went so far as to sue Vice President Mike Pence to stop the certification of the 2020 election, despite having no proof of fraud. Kaardal’s claims were so egregious that a federal judge filed an ethics referral against him. Kaardal’s attempt to appeal that referral was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
- The ONLY ones politicizing this are Mr. Meadows and Mr. Kaardal. The clerical error that occurred in the 2022 election that resulted in Eric Meadows seat being vacated was made by Tony Garcia, who served as school district clerk at the time: Election notice error Mr. Garcia ran for KUSD in the primary in 2023 with the support of some conservative members of Moms for Liberty and some conservative members of the Republican Party of Kenosha County, so hardly a left-wing candidate. Garcia lost in Tuesday night's primary to Yolanda Adams and to Lamar Madison, another Moms for Liberty/Republican Party endorsed candidate. Adams and Madison will be on the April 4th ballot to fill the single vacant seat on the KUSD school board.
- In the interview on Fox, the interviewer says the people in Kenosha “loved Meadows and voted for him.” Meadows was voted onto the school board in April 2022. He came in third place. Had the seat been properly noticed by Garcia, Meadows would have vacated his seat this April, 2023. That seat has now being vacated to correct Garcia’s noticing error. Meadows was encouraged to apply for that vacancy and was overwhelmingly re-instated to his seat on Thursday night by a vote of his fellow school board members - the same people he implies are part of a left-wing conspiracy.
- The Wisconsin Election Commission noticed the error that had been made in 2022 shortly before the February primary and contacted the KUSD school district about correcting it. That notification came too late to put Mr. Meadows on the February primary ballot, which is why the district returned Meadows to his seat through an appointment. The Wisconsin Election Commission is a bi-partisan state board made up of three Republicans and three Democrats; it is headed by a Republican. The WEC probably has no interest or awareness of Mr. Meadows' personal politics. The implication that this was a politically motivated left-wing conspiracy is irresponsible and reckless and a statement about Mr. Meadows' character.
- The school board followed the advice of the Wisconsin Election Commission and the district’s legal counsel in correcting this unfortunate situation. They followed Wisconsin Election law. It was not an arbitrary decision and had nothing to do with Mr. Meadows and his lawyer's “suspicions” that it was politically motivated.
- Implications that the KUSD school board has been fiscally irresponsible are also untrue. The state Republicans in Madison have systematically defunded Wisconsin public schools for years and also have capped revenues; those factors, paired with declining enrollment, have resulted in a $9 million deficit to KUSD this year that the school board and school district have struggled to deal with. This is an issue being faced throughout the state and is not specific to KUSD. The KUSD school board, of which Meadows is one, have made tough decisions like closing Wilson Elementary School. Complex problems demand thoughtful solutions, not partisan politics meant to cause chaos and pit community members against our schools and one another.
- Implying that progressive money is being poured into Kenosha school board elections is false. Quite the opposite has proven true. National conservatives have heavily funded candidates in KUSD school board races for years, including the Koch Brothers Americans for Prosperity group. You can read more about that here. In non-partisan races last April, the Republican Party of Kenosha County spent $30,000 to elect candidates to non-partisan seats in Kenosha County. Campaign finance reports are public record - we encourage citizens to read them regularly.
- The implication that progressive candidates are violating election law is also not supported by fact. Kaardal’s claim is part of the false narrative of election fraud that fueled multiple investigations that turned up no election fraud and which contributed to the attack on the nation’s Capitol on January 6th. Lawyers with the Thomas More Society, of which Eric Kaardal is one, helped and profited from Republican Michael Gableman’s million dollar+ election investigation in Wisconsin, which found no fraud. You can read more about the Thomas More Society here.
So exactly what 'conservative' actions has Meadows taken on the board that would trigger a vast conspiracy against him? Pretty much nothing.
- June 2022: made a motion to extend former superintendent Beth Ormseth's contract.
- July, 2022: made a motion to approve the KUSD COVID guidelines.
- September 2022: made a motion to approve the board's amended policy language regarding sexual harrassment.
- September 2022: made a motion to approve a resolution to celebrate Polish Heritage Month.
That's it. That is the entirety of Meadows' entire actions on the board. Yet he hired a notorious Republican lawyer who was involved with the attempt to overturn the 2020 election and went on national news to insinuate his fellow school board members, the ones who overwhelmingly voted him back onto the board, and the district may have engaged in a left-wing conspiracy to remove him based on four ordinary board actions. Links to board minutes: KUSD meeting minutes.
Kenosha County Democratic Party endorses Yolanda Santos Adams in April for common sense leadership
Lamar Madison is running for KUSD school board with the backing of Moms for Liberty and the Republican Party of Kenosha County, some of who's members have been responsible for disrupting KUSD school board meetings, including the meeting on Monday night.
We hope voters will vote against another candidate who stands for culture wars and chaos on our school board.
We hope voters will remember Eric Meadows' response to what happened, should he run in future elections. Encouraging chaos and promoting conspiracy theories is not good for our schools or our community.
Leadership requires integrity and Mr. Meadows, Moms for Liberty and the Republican Party of Kenosha County have shown no integrity in the face of this situation.
For common sense leadership and an end to chaos and culture wars in our community, the members of the Democratic Party of Kenosha County have voted unanimously to endorse Yolanda Santos Adams.
You can watch the interview with Eric Meadows and Eric Kaardal of the Thomas More Society here.
You can see Eric Meadows' followers disrupting the KUSD school board meeting here.