President Donald Trump has decided to spend somewhere in the area of $3 million to conduct a recount of the Nov. 3 votes for president in Milwaukee and Dane counties.

Trump, through his campaign committee, is alleging election irregularities. While it is doubtful a recount will change the results of the Wisconsin election, it would be helpful to ensure the integrity of future elections if the recount either confirms the counties were diligent in making sure the election was fair or some problems are uncovered.

In any case, Trump has every right to pay for a recount.

Trump and his supporters also have every right to question county clerks when there appears to be inconsistent results. What they do not have the right to do is manufacture false facts. Rock County provides an example.

Trump’s son, Eric, breathlessly reported that Rock County Clerk Lisa Tollefson screwed up royally when she made a 9,000-vote error favoring Biden. Trump’s son was relying on a Fox News report.

Eric Trump and Fox got it wrong, reported fake news and ended up with election egg on their faces.

Tollefson accurately reported the election results. When the Associated Press put the results on the wire, someone at AP transposed the numbers. Fox picked up the incorrect results and put them on the screen.

AP, within a few minutes, corrected its mistake, but that didn’t stop Eric Trump from blasting out fake news. His mistake is still being felt in Tollefson’s office. She has requested law enforcement protection for her staff after repeated angry calls to the office staff.

So far, there have been no confirmed cases of widespread election fraud, and courts around the country are challenging President Trump’s attempts to throw out votes. Again, Trump has every right to buy recounts and file lawsuits. We’ll simply have to wait until this all plays out to see if there was any confirmed widespread voter fraud.

In the meantime, Republicans are wondering what life will be like, assuming Trump lost his re-election bid. Of immediate concern is whether major GOP donors will continue to pour billions of dollars into Republican and conservative causes and candidates.

To borrow a phrase from the movie The Right Stuff, “no bucks, no Buck Rogers.”

He may not be Buck Rogers, but Charles Koch has the bucks, and he recently sent shivers through the GOP fundraising community. Koch, who along with his late brother David, have poured billions of dollars into GOP candidates and conservative causes.

That might be coming to an end.

Less than two weeks after the Nov. 3 election, the 85-year-old Koch told the Wall Street Journal that instead of solely supporting conservative causes, he now wants to build bridges across the political divide dominating the country.

Koch says he regrets the partisanship he helped create when the tea party was launched.

“Boy, did we screw up,” Koch said in his new book Believe in People. “What a mess.”

Koch has congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory, and he’s open to cooperating with them.

“I look forward to finding ways to work with them to break down the barriers holding people back, whether it’s in the economy, criminal justice, immigration, the COVID-19 pandemic or anything else,” he said.

Have conservatives lost the voice and the billions of dollars of a major contributor in the past? Time will tell, but if Koch abandons ship, it’s a safe bet others will follow.

Three million dollars to fund a conservative-led partial recount in Wisconsin is petty cash in terms of election spending. But when Koch says he wants to work with a Democratic administration, will his billions of dollars follow? And that’s not petty cash

Stan Milam, a Janesville native, is the host of the “Stan Milam Show” on WCLO Radio.

Stan Milam, a Janesville native, is the host of the “Stan Milam Show” on WCLO Radio.

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