RPW Files Lawsuit Against City of Milwaukee over Partisan Political Operation

The Republican Party of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court challenging the City of Milwaukee’s “Milwaukee Votes 2022” initiative. Reports, including statements by Mayor Cavalier Johnson, have suggested that government resources and personnel might be used to assist Democratic-aligned organizations, such as GPS Impact, in their Get-Out-the-Vote efforts. 

Records released to RPW and state lawmakers today give the appearance of coordination between Milwaukee Mayor Johnson’s office and long-time Democrat operatives. If that coordination involves the use of government resources or personnel to drive Democratic Party voter turnout, this would be a violation of state statutes and the City of Milwaukee’s own “Political Activity Policy.”  

According to records released, the City of Milwaukee has been working closely with Democrat operative Melissa Baldauff and Sachin Chheda. Both operatives have extensive Democrat campaign experience and have worked in the offices of Democratic governors. 

Records also show the mayor’s office apparently relying on advice from Chheda, a consultant who has worked for Democrats at the state and federal level as well as on a number of campaigns for Democrats running for state offices. He has also formerly worked with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.  

“The Republican Party of Wisconsin is deeply concerned that cities like Milwaukee are working with Democrat operatives and partisan third party groups to get out the vote in a manner designed to tip the scales for Democrats,” said Mark Jefferson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Government’s role in elections must be to ensure fairness and transparency, not to benefit one party at the expense of another, and we will aggressively fight to ensure that election laws are followed.”