Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 3. 2022
MADISON — Here we go again.
The city of Milwaukee is caught up in another election scandal, with the mayor and his office taking orders from a longtime Democrat operative.
As Empower Wisconsin first reported last week, communications obtained in an open records request show Democrat and liberal activist Sachin Chheda telling Mayor Cavalier Johnson and his staff what to say about the “Wisconsin Votes 2022” get-out-the-vote campaign” The effort is being funded by a liberal activist group with close ties to the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), the leftist nonprofit richly funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
City officials, under the direction of Chheda, have said Milwaukee is not receiving any private funding for the effort, But text messages make it clear the mayor’s office and Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg are coordinating with Dem operatives.
“Are we coordinating all vote events with your group? Based on the media frenzy yesterday, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Johnson’s spokesman Jeff Fleming asks Chheda in text sent earlier this month.
“When I don’t have information we can’t coordinate,” Chheda testily responds. “I’m not saying every event would be with us, but if you can let me know what’s going on, then I can answer questions and plan. So yes I do want to know everything related to voting.”
Fleming’s question followed the mayor’s comments at a press conference that the city was assisting with the “Milwaukee Votes 2022” effort funded by private grants and that the city would soon be launching a widget on its website related to the get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaign.
The texts show Chheda setting up meetings at the Milwaukee Election Commission office to discuss the handling of Milwaukee Votes 2022. Melissa Baldauff, Gov. Tony Evers’ former comms director and a Democrat political consultant is on the text messages.
According to email communications, Woodall-Vogg previously had connected liberal voting groups with Chheda.
“I am happy to report that Sachin Chheda’s nonprofit-nonpartisan organization is taking the lead for the mayor. I’ve copied him in the hopes that you two can connect,” the elections official wrote in an Aug. 17 email to Peggy Creer, president of the League of Women Voters Milwaukee County. “From my understanding, he is very much on track to still bring in resources for voter education and outreach to the city.”
The Republican Party of Wisconsin late Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court challenging the city’s “Milwaukee Votes 2022” initiative. RPW alleges government resources and personnel appear to be involved in assisting Democratic-aligned organizations, such as GPS Impact, in their GOTV efforts.
For two years we have been lectured by the left and their apologists in the mainstream media about how fair and transparent the elections have been, even as Milwaukee has pulled stunts like this.
No wonder so many voters have lost confidence in our elections. Tools like Cavalier Johnson and Milwuakee’s election administrator allowing party operatives to call the shots don’t instill a lot of faith in the system.
For his willingness to be so blatantly used, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson is Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.