Bob Donovan’s Attempt To Smear Cavalier Johnson

Now the social media truism, if there aren’t pictures it didn’t happen. Well there aren’t any pictures…my bad. But it did happen but because I don’t have screen grabs here I will do my best to paraphrase the event from memory.

SO…most of our regulars know that former Alderman Bob Donovan is one of seven candidates running for Mayor of Milwaukee in a special election to replace long term Mayor Tom Barrett who resigned to become ambassador to Luxembourg. Mr. Donovan has run for mayor in the past and was soundly defeated by Mayor Barrett in 2016. And if you do a search here on Blogging Blue you will find that our various writers have had a lot to say about Mr. Donovan. And surprisingly a 2012 post by Zach W has been the most ‘popular’ post on BB for the past month or so…including nearly 600 visits in the past 10 days.

Bob Donovan via Google images from TV58

Now Mr. Donovan has always been described as a conservative and he has garnered most of his support and endorsements from the extreme right…and some of his tactics and positions reflect the current divisions in American politics.

And Cavalier Johnson is the current Milwaukee Common Council President and as a result is currently Milwaukee’s Acting Mayor. And as previously stated here on BB, I have endorsed Mr. Johnson…so obviously his demeanor is far more liberal.

Bob Donovan via Google images from JSOnline

So what brings us here today? Well on Tuesday evening, February 8, 2022, a sponsored post appeared on my Facebook timeline from Bob Donovan’s campaign. The featured topic was Dan Bice’s column from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about a third party running independent ads in support of Alderman Johnson. We talked about the column briefly earlier .

The text supplied by Mr. Donovan’s campaign along with the link to Mr. Bice’s article stated that a third party was funding all of Mr. Johnson’s campaign. I commented on the post stating that the article did not say nor imply that at all…and that I expected more precision in statements from someone who wants to be my mayor. I expected that nothing else would happen as usually happens when I comment on a Republican or conservative post on Facebook. Sometimes another civilian will comment but usually the original poster leaves it alone and eventually it disappears in the glut of comments. But I was actually quite surprised that someone using the campaign’s ID, the same ID that created the original post, replied with a Yeah But!

And that was that the third party spent $120,000 on ads in support of Mr. Johnson. And I replied that I agreed that was true and that I hated these third party groups…but that didn’t indicate anyone but the candidate was actually running his campaign. If anyone reviews media articles it is apparent that a lot more is being spent on this campaign than the relatively paltry $120,000 at this point. But I digress.

Then my respondent came back with a link or screen grab of a tweet from the Johnson campaign that featured the candidates second TV ad. It clearly stated so in the headline over the picture from the ad. The respondent tried to use that headline saying second TV ad as a supposed link back to the third party ad purporting that the Johnson campaign was claiming the third party ad as his first. When in fact the actual campaign has run two TV ads of its own so far. So there is no link there as I stated for them.

And then the next Yeah But…this ad is tagged paid for by Cavalier for Mayor. Deep breath. At this point I hadn’t seen any of the ads since I don’t have a TV and don’t really stream any commercial product on my computer. But I did NOT think Cavalier for Mayor sounded right, so I tracked down this second ad and it is tagged Cavalier for Milwaukee…which is what I think Mr. Johnson has used in most of his aldermanic contests as well. So my Yeah But was…that Cavalier for Mayor isn’t the tagline used by Mr. Johnson’s campaign.

Then it was getting late and I headed off to bed. But during my 1 AM toss and turn period, I realized that I should have taken screen shots of the original post and the comment conversations. Particularly now that I realized that I should write about this. But I was too lazy to get up and didn’t want to disturb my wife. But as I feared the post was gone in the morning and all of the notifications on Facebook had disappeared as well. I can’t find a trace of it. Someone with more sense than the operative running their FB social media must have caught on and either deleted it or blocked me. Although not famous, most local politicians recognize my name and are aware of my connection to Blogging Blue…

I have since seen the third party add too. It popped up in YouTube last night while I was on a Who bender. That ad clearly states it is sponsored by Fair Future Action and not the campaign.

I am not surprise that the Donovan campaign would take a cheap shot at acting Mayor Johnson. If you’ve seen any of the polls, Johnson is always running first and depending on the poll, Donovan is second or third. So it would seem to make sense for Donovan to attack the front runner…even though the actual race is for second in the primary.

But we really need to expect better from all of our candidates for elected office. They need to be accurate in their use of data and precise in their use of language. There are plenty of things to bring up in the campaign about your opponent without exaggerating or lying about them.

P.S. Friday when I started doing research for this post, Bob Donovan’s aldermanic Facebook page was still available although it hadn’t been updated since he left that office but this morning it looks like it’s been deleted (or I am blocked).


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