Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mayor Cavalier Johnson has asked for help with the city’s privately funded get-out-the-vote campaign. The problem is Johnson did not ask a neutral party for help but rather a democrat operative, and has not been transparent about the funding or its use. Some critics are labeling his actions “Zuckbucks 2.0,” as elections may again be influenced by private funding.
World News Guru said, “Here we go again,”
— World News Guru (@worldnews_guru) September 28, 2022
Fortunately, the GOP is already wise to the potential interference and has filed a lawsuit. Executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Mark Jefferson, issued a press release in which he stated,
“The Republican Party of Wisconsin is deeply concerned that cities like Milwaukee are working with Democrat operatives and partisan third party groups to get out the vote in a manner designed to tip the scales for Democrats,” he went on “Government’s role in elections must be to ensure fairness and transparency, not to benefit one party at the expense of another, and we will aggressively fight to ensure that election laws are followed.”
The concern is “Milwaukee Votes 2022,” is a door-to-door canvassing get-out-the-vote campaign using private funds.
Wisconsin Rep. Janel Brandtjen’s requested public records from Johnson’s office, helping those concerned about election integrity get to the bottom of this situation.
— Rep. Janel Brandtjen (@RepJanel) September 12, 2022
According to the Federalist, Mayor Johnson and aide Jeff Fleming asked Sachin Chheda how to respond to questions they were receiving about “Milwaukee Votes 2022”. The problem is Chheda is a left-wing operative and political consultant advising the mayor on how to get out the vote using private dollars. Chheda has an extensive history of working for Democratic political campaigns, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, and former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.
Records show Fleming texted Chheda on Sept. 12, “Getting multiple media requests on where the $$$ is coming from for canvassing and outreach. Do you have an answer?”
“Private donors and foundations,” Chheda responded, then added that Fleming could also direct reporters’ questions to Melissa Baldauff. Baldauff is also a Democratic Party activist as well as the former communications director for Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, and most significantly the spokeswoman for Milwaukee Votes 2022, per the records.
Then Chheda changed his mind, texting “Actually hold on. Can we just sit tight for an hour and then get back to folks?” this response was excluded from the requested records.
The release of the email and text exchange is causing appropriate problems for the Milwaukee Mayor, who is now finding himself in hot water.
MKE Mayor Cavalier Johnson found himself in some hot water when he said a GOTV effort would be run by the city.
Now, new records show that the city sought advice from long-term dem operative on how to explain the possible Zuckerbucks 2.0.https://t.co/ZwOwD3U0up
— Empower Wisconsin (@EmpowerWi) September 29, 2022
Major Johnson was informed of where the money was originating. On Sept 2, Chheda texted Mayor Johnson and his chief of staff, Jim Bohl,
“Wanted to let you guys know we have been approved for a $1 million grant from The Center for Secure and Modern Elections. The money is coming to the High Ground Institute to support the nonpartisan Milwaukee Votes 2022 Canvass as we discussed. We should set up a meeting next week to give you guys the full update.”
Wisconsin Assembly Campaign Finance and Elections Commission Chair Rep. Brandtjen worries “Milwaukee Votes 2022” is a continuation of Zuckbucks. She expressed concern to the election group Empower Wisconsin that there is no way to oversee the “nonpartisan” nonprofit groups funding the effort. Her office has filed more open records requests revealing communications between the city and the Center for Secure and Modern Elections.