Elections Board violates open meetings law
“I’m an elections lawyer retained in connection with a matter before the Elections Board.”
– Michael S. Maistelman
Tom Hagen: “I have a special practice. I handle one client. Now you have my number. I’ll wait for your call. By the way, I admire your pictures very much.”
– The Godfather
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher will file charges after election day alleging four members of the state elections board violated Wisconsin’s open meeting laws when they agreed to try to force Congressman Mark Green’s campaign for governor to give up over $400,000 in campaign funds.
“This decision was made well in advance” of the Aug. 30 meeting in Brookfield, Bucher said. “I believe I have evidence to show an open meetings violation and I will pursue that.”
Four board members agreed to vote as a bloc, Bucher said. Because only seven of the board’s nine members voted, the four who had strategized over the matter constituted a majority and violated the public meetings law, he said.
Bucher declined to name which members had agreed to vote as a bloc. Michael Maistelman, an attorney with Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle’s campaign, sent e-mails to three Democratic board members – Kerry Dwyer, Carl Holborn and Robert Kasieta – spelling out a strategy to punish Green’s campaign.
Bucher said his investigation showed a fourth member was privy to those communications.
Win or lose Tuesday, the defining moment of Governor Doyle’s term in office came when his campaign decided to fix the elections board.
And we can’t ignore the irony that the above revelation appears in the same edition of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that contains a terrible editorial on the issue of ethics in the campaign. The newspaper is so obsessed with so-called “campaign finance reform” that when it is confronted with a real scandal far more damaging to democracy in Wisconsin than any amount of money that Doyle’s campaign took from any special interest the editorial board can’t confront the moral issues involved.