We recently discussed Milwaukee Mayoral Candidate Bob Donovan’s attempt to smear Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson on social media…a social media thread that his campaign apparently deleted after thinking about it a bit more.
But apparently the former alderman isn’t one to easily give up on a favorite line of disinformation. This past Sunday during a candidate forum on a local television station, Mr. Donovan took a more subtle swing at Common Council President Johnson. Let’s take a peek:
Donovan also pushed Johnson to say who is behind a secretive group, Fair Future Action, that has spent at least $150,000 on TV ads backing Johnson’s campaign. The group has limited disclosure requirements before the April election but is widely believed to be funded by former Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.
He said Johnson should be “up front and transparent” with Milwaukeeans about who is behind the group.
“I’m asking him to be transparent and tell the citizens of Milwaukee who is funding your campaign, and what are they asking in return?” Donovan said.
Now a few things emit an odor here. Just like Mr. Donovan’s campaign, Acting Mayor Johnson’s campaign has to report all contributions to the campaign in a format and timely manner prescribed by law. Neither campaign has been accused of anything out of the ordinary. So we know who IS funding their respective campaigns.
And as we’ve discussed in the link above and previously, the third party can’t…CAN’T…work with a candidate nor the campaign. So Acting Mayor Johnson has no knowledge of what the third party group is doing nor their plans for the future. Mr. Donovan knows that…he’s been a politician long enough to know…but he’s counting on his constituency’s not being aware of these subtle distinctions in campaign finance. So he’s comfortable throwing out any number of innuendos without any factual content behind them.
Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson’s response:
“I’ve said, my campaign has said that every person who contributes to a campaign or supports a campaign should be listed,” Johnson said. “I want that, but I’m not the one that controls the laws at the state level. That’s something that you should talk to state Legislature about.”
As I’ve stated on several occasions, I’d like to see these shadowing third party groups completely abolished and see any and all campaign financial support to be funneled through the candidates campaign fund…and only that fund. But in the meantime, I’d suggest that Mr. Donovan run on his platform and leave the disinformation themes alone.