Bob Donovan Bought A Dog Whistle

Former Milwaukee Alderman and recent Greenfield resident Bob Donovan is running against Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson for Mayor of Milwaukee. In several recent statements it is apparent that the conservative Donovan has decided to purchase a dog whistle straight out of the Trump/Gablman toy box. Hopefully most of us won’t hear it.

During a recent mayoral campaign debate:

Pedersen noted the inquiry into the 2020 presidential election by former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, asking the candidates whether the candidates believed the city had a “free and fair election.” 

Donovan said he had concerns “about all of the accusations that have come forward” while Johnson slammed Donovan for his answer and said the city’s election was fair.

Donovan said the city has an obligation “to ensure that everything, absolutely everything, is above board, beyond reproach and yet it seems for the last many years now every election that we’ve held there have been questions that arise.” 

“He won’t even say if we had a fair and transparent election in Milwaukee,” Johnson said. “That’s troubling to me. That’s troubling to me as the mayor of the city right now and as a person who lives, resides and is raising kids in a majority-minority city.” 

He said the city unequivocally had a fair election.

Donovan hit back that in the last election “there seemed to be legitimate concerns raised by a lot of different people. If that hadn’t occurred, there wouldn’t be Gableman and the investigation going on.”

He said there seem to be “some serious things” in Gableman’s report, though he said he was not necessarily raising concerns about Milwaukee’s election.

Interesting take from someone who was an elected official in the city for 20 years and never found the need to review how his city was running their elections. And as far as the Gableman report, there aren’t any legitimate concerns to be found in it that are substantiated with any kind of evidence. None. Zip. Nada.

And then continuing on that theme, more recently the candidate opposed ballot drop boxes:

Milwaukee mayoral candidate and former Ald. Bob Donovan said Tuesday that he would favor getting rid of the city’s ballot drop boxes if he were to win the April 5 election.

“I want to make voting as accessible as possible and cheating out of the question,” he said during a meeting of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. “And I think sometimes whenever you’re dealing with mailing in ballots, when you’re dealing with much more drop boxes — issues like that that were designed for an emergency situation during COVID, that now seems to be the norm — I don’t know that that’s the best way to go.”

Donovan’s opponent, Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson, slammed Donovan’s comments in a statement Tuesday. 

“It’s sad to see my former colleague fall into the abyss of conspiracy theories,” Johnson said. “Dropboxes are a secure and convenient way for people to cast their ballots. We need to increase access to the polls, and make it easier for citizens to vote, not harder.”

He also accused Donovan of “amplifying the unfounded lies about our elections” from people such as former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who is leading an investigation into the 2020 presidential election for Republicans in the state Assembly.

As noted previously, I have endorsed Alderman Johnson for mayor of Milwaukee. It would do the city good to send Mr. Donovan back to his home in Greenfield WI on April 5th. He has nothing to offer Milwaukee and only wants the gig for the money and power it would provide.

Early voting is underway and if you have an absentee ballot make sure it is returned in time to be counted on April 5th.

From the site but behind a firewall:

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, April 5.

Early voting has begun in Milwaukee and will last through April 2. The following sites are open for early voting 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and weekends 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

Midtown Center, 5700 W. Capitol Drive

Zablocki Library, 3501 W. Oklahoma Ave.

Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway, Room 102

The following sites are open noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays:

Bay View Library, 2566 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

East Library, 2320 N. Cramer St.

Good Hope Library, 7717 W. Good Hope Road

Tippecanoe Library, 3912 S. Howell Ave.

Villard Square Library, 5190 N. 35th St.

Washington Park Library, 2121 N. Sherman Blvd.

Those same nine early voting sites will be offering drive-up, staffed drop boxes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 26 and April 2. 

Voters can register at the sites until April 1 or at the polls on April 5. Proof of residence must be provided. Acceptable documents include a valid driver’s license or Wisconsin identification card, utility bills and paychecks. To check your registration status or register, visit

Absentee ballots: The deadline to request a ballot from the election commission by mail, email, online or by fax to vote absentee is March 31. However, Milwaukee election officials recommend requesting a ballot by March 25 — March 28 at the latest for those receiving it locally — in order to return it through the mail. For those requesting a ballot online, a photo of an ID can be uploaded with the request. 

Voters who are indefinitely confined — people who have difficulty getting to the polls due to age, illness, infirmity or disability — are not required to provide photo ID.


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