Out-of-State Group Drops $55K . . . . in a WI Mayor’s Race?

March 18, 2020

A Virginia group has spent about $55,100 on electioneering activities attacking one of two candidates in a suburban Milwaukee mayor’s race.

The group, Citizens for Effective Government, has sponsored mailings and online ads since late February to oppose Wauwatosa mayoral candidate Nancy Welch.

One of the mailings accused Welch, who is currently a Wauwatosa alderwoman, of opposing funding for police and firefighters during consideration of the city’s 2019 budget.

Paperwork filed by the express advocacy group with the state shows it’s based in Chesapeake, Va. The group’s website said its major issues include properly funding police and firefighters and investing in infrastructure, such as reliable roads and bridges.

It is unusual for out-of-state express advocacy groups to be spending this much money in a mayoral race.

Express advocacy groups, which can spend unlimited amounts to tell listeners and viewers who to vote for or against, are prohibited from coordinating their activities with candidates or campaign committees.

Welch faces former city alderman Dennis McBride in the race. The election is April 7.