Jefferson Davis is a longtime resident of Menomonee Falls. He is the proud parent of two wonderful boys. He enjoys singing, volunteering, reading, gardening, politics, antiques, history, guitar, violin, piano, officiating, helping neighbors and yard work. He served as Village President of Menomonee Falls from 2003-05. He is a member of Northbrook Church and serves on the Advisory Council for the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center. He is an independent registered representative practicing in the areas of insurance, investments and retirement.
Welcome to The Vanguard. We are a group of novice citizens offering a fresh, new and insightful perspective of village politics to this blog. We will have a number of researchers and contributors with fresh eyes and open ears without the fear of retribution that will provide a very frank and candid view of what really has been going on in Menomonee Falls’ politics for years and will continue to go on unless transparency and openness prevail.Webster’s definition of vanguard refers to, “…the forefront of an action or movement”. This blog will always attempt to abide by the guiding principles and ethics of The Journalist’s Creed from The Missouri School of Journalism written by Walter Williams around 1906 (http://journalism.missouri.edu/about/creed.html). We will always be open, honest, fair, truthful and balanced giving the reader the choice to decide as to what they will believe without any prejudice or twisting of the facts. We will humble ourselves when necessary and make adjustments. This blog is the result of so many observations of false and selective reporting, the deliberate and unfortunate persecution of so many innocent people by the press and media as well as the total lack of coverage of issues that are truly “newsworthy” that for whatever reason are never covered at all. As avid listeners of talk radio and viewers of Fox News, we have often times found ourselves saying, “…hmmm, I didn’t know that”, when talk radio or cable tv has uncovered numerous stories that the mainstream media deliberately chooses to ignore or misrepresent to fit a certain agenda or bias. The Vanguard will not do that. To coin the phrase from Fox News, “We report, you decide”, The Vanguard will report and let you decide. After so many personal experiences by members of The Vanguard with the press and media over the years, the genesis of the idea to have our “own” blog was born.
We will attempt to have a new blog every week and give you an opportunity to interact with suggestions for stories, feedback and an interactive poll that will allow you to have a voice as to what your opinion is on local issues that will affect your checkbook, the amount of property taxes you pay as a homeowner or businessperson and our community because of decisions and policies that are made by appointed and elected officials that you are not aware of due to the lack of coverage by the press and media. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. It will be fast paced, exciting, professional and passionate. Let’s make this pioneer journey together as we take an in-depth look on the local level at the things that will affect you for years to come unless it is reported and you are given a chance to know the truth before decisions are made without your knowledge or input.
The Vanguard would like to thank Menomonee Falls Now for giving us this opportunity to offer an alternative for coverage of local politics and the impact on your community. One of the greatest frustrations expressed by Ronald Reagan in the book, “Dear Americans”, was the apparent deliberate misrepresentation and obvious lack of proper context by the press and media for news stories about him, his administration, the issues and his presidency. He only wanted the press and media to get it right to begin with to avoid the endless work and countless hours of having to go through the “correction/retraction” process because someone intentionally twisted the facts just to get a headline only to later have to make good by the mistake. But the damage was done and very few saw the correction but were indelibly left with an incorrect and false impression of this great man. He coined the phrase, “Evil is powerless when the good are unafraid.” Ronald Reagan was not afraid of anyone or anything nor will The Vanguard.
State Agency Cites Falls Clerk’s Office on Election Law
The Vanguard has been made aware of some recent coverage in the local press of the Menomonee Falls Clerk’s Office being cited for their mistaken application and interpretation of State Election Law governing local elections dating back to 2003. The Vanguard has reviewed many documents involving this matter over the last more than five (5) years and will attempt to set the record straight while limiting itself to the constraints of time and space with this blog while giving as complete and full coverage as possible. The Vanguard has found that in spite of what has been reported and what is believed to have happened regarding this matter, this issue takes on a whole different perspective once you get past the fluff and false headlines that seem to dog our society with the mainstream media by looking at and presenting the true facts in an open and honest way.
The Government Accountability Board (GAB), formerly The State Elections Board (SELB) and The State Ethics Board (SETB), which were in the process of being merged between 2006-2007, used their authority in a May16, 2008 letter to the Clerk’s Office which was released to the public on May 19th, listed several examples of proof by referring to State Election Law for the mistakes and errors made by the Clerk’s Office involving local elections over the last more than five (5) years with the Davis Campaign. These matters were brought to the attention of legal counsel George Dunst, SELB, by The Davis for President Campaign in April of 2007 after years of what they believed were erroneous information and requirements being given to them by the Clerk’s Office dating back to 2003 and the repeated lack of the Clerk's Office in their brazen defiance and outright unwillingness to accept the position of the Davis Campaign on State Election Law for local elections. It is obvious to The Vanguard after reviewing many documents that repeated attempts were made by the Davis Campaign to point this out to the Clerk’s Office in an ongoing effort to resolve in what appear to be incredibly trivial issues with the Clerk’s Office over the last more than five (5) years without involving legal authorities and the unnecessary waste of the taxpayer’s time, money and resources but to no avail.
The GAB, in their findings and observations, made the following factual conclusions for the Clerk’s Office in their handling of State Election Law as it pertains to local elections dating back to 2003 with only the Davis Campaign:
1. You did provide incorrect information about campaign contribution limits to Mr. Davis.
2. You attributed contribution limits on committees to contributions from individuals (which are higher).
3. You are obligated to know the law and to provide accurate information about it to candidates and the public.
4. As you have acknowledged, you sent out a reminder to candidates to file a pre-primary report in 2003, a year in which there was no Spring Election and, hence, no primary reporting requirement. Although harmless, this proved to be misleading and you should be more careful in the future.
5. We advise that you should contact the registrant and request clarifying information to correct errors and discrepancies to ensure the filing of correct and accurate reports before involving the district attorney.
The GAB May 16th letter also made reference to this matter being a complaint in 2007 and that the 3 year statute of limitations had run out with the GAB dismissing the Davis complaint at their May 5, 2008 meeting and therefore no civil action would be required against the Clerk’s Office because the Board felt that the allegations did not merit their action.
In a review of various communications between the Davis Campaign and the SELB from last year involving this matter, the GAB, in their May16, 2008 letter, for whatever reason, omits the fact that SELB Legal Counsel George Dunst suggested to the Davis Campaign a year ago, with their consent, to modify the matter before them to an “informal opinion” which would accomplish the same thing without going through the complaint process thus saving the taxpayers money, time and resources. Therefore, there was no complaint, no statute of limitations, no civil action required against the Clerk’s Office and no need to “dismiss” the complaint when one didn’t exist. The Davis Campaign was simply asking for help and not civil action from the SELB last year for what appears to be absolute frustration because the Clerk's Office wouldn't budge on their position and continued with their threats or else. These and many other matters were pointed out to the GAB by the Davis Campaign in a May 28, 2008 communication and the Davis Campaign has yet to receive a response from the GAB.
Dunst stated to the Davis Campaign in his late June early July 2007 communications that the Board’s Director wanted to wrap up existing work as soon as possible preferably at the July 18, 2007 Meeting because the SELB was going out of existence as early as 9-1-07 or 10-1-07 and that they did not want to carry over any old business from one Board to the next. The Davis Campaign, in their communications to Mr. Dunst, immediately agreed with his suggestion of working with an “informal opinion” format thus dropping the existence of any complaint and provided him with numerous areas of State Election Law for local campaigns that they would then be seeking an “informal opinion” for what they believed to be the mistaken application and interpretation by the Clerk’s Office.
It is clear from the review of these communications that the Davis Campaign repeatedly tried to work with the Clerk’s Office over the last more than five (5) years on these numerous matters that they felt were being given to them in an erroneous and mistaken manner to no avail and were unfortunately forced to grudginly seek the help of the SELB. It is also obvious that the Davis Campaign went to great lengths to try and resolve these matters with the Clerk’s Office so as not to involve the unnecessary waste of the taxpayer’s time, money and resources but to no avail.
It is clear the GAB agrees with the Davis Campaign with their recent findings involving the Clerk’s Office from their May 16, 2008 letter. The Davis Campaign in their request of the SELB from last year also asked for an “informal opinion” on a few of the following matters involving the Clerk’s Office and have yet to get a response from the GAB as was outlined in the May 28, 2008 communication:
1. Was the 2003 Davis Campaign correct in ignoring the memo from the Clerk’s Office about having to refund campaign contributions because they felt the Clerk’s Office was citing the wrong state statute, wrong type of campaign committee and wrong contribution limits even though the Clerk’s Office threatened the Campaign with legal action if they didn’t abide by what we now know to be erroneous information? The DA's Office later agreed with the Davis Campaign in their interpretation of state law even though the Clerk's Office insisted that they were correct and wouldn't change their position.
2. Was the 2003 Davis Campaign correct when they filed their Campaign Report(s) on time with a proper postmark date even though the Clerk’s Office filed a complaint with the DA’s Office for this very issue, which was later dismissed by the DA, without coming to the registrant first as is the suggested procedure by the GAB? Are faxed copies of reports on the day they are due considered on time?
3. Is the Clerk’s Office required to provide comprehensive Campaign Packets to the candidates disclosing as much information about State Election Law for local elections as possible?
4. Should the campaign(s) go ahead and file reports that are due with the Clerk’s Office even though the Clerk’s Office notified them one week after the report was due in 2003 and then used it as part of their complaint to the DA at the time without coming to the Campaign first which is the suggested procedure by the GAB?
5. Is it considered to be an Open Records Request when requesting copies of Campaign Reports as the Clerk’s Office said it was in 2003 thus being required to submit the request in writing or can it simply be a verbal request as has always been the practice of the Clerk’s Office?
6. What are the campaign(s) suppose to do with memos from the Clerk’s Office that do not have a date on them that could conceivably be used against them as was the case in 2004 when it comes to deadlines and or responses?
7. The Clerk’s Office also filed a complaint(s) with the DA’s Office in 2007 about the Davis Campaign Reports without coming to the Campaign first on some of the following matters:
a. The Campaign did not spell out United States Post Office instead simply put USPS on the report to disclose the purchase of postage for the Campaign. Is it ok to simply put USPS or should it be spelled out as the Clerk’s Office requires?
b. The Campaign did not put the street number of the vendor of whom the Campaign spent funds with, but did put the name of the vendor, the street name and community of where the vendor is domiciled. Is it absolutely necessary to put the street number of the vendor on the Campaign Report or is the vendor’s name, street and city suffice?
c. The Clerk’s Office did not feel that a loan disclosure was clearly identified and complained to the DA? Shouldn’t the Clerk’s Office contact the Campaign first for clarification as your May 16th letter suggested?
d. The Campaign did not include the word bakery for Nino's Bakery as one of the vendors that was paid by the Campaign. Is it suffice to just put Nino's on the report or does the word bakery have to be included as well?
This is just a small sampling of what the Davis Campaign has had to go through over the last more than five (5) years when a review of other campaign committee reports have shown many of the same mistakes according to the Clerk’s Office, but were never reported to the DA. The Clerk's Office has stated publicy that they don't single out any individual campaigns and that they are all treated the same. Hmmmmmm?
The Clerk’s Office has been quoted in the local newspapers as having said in response to the recent findings of the GAB some of the following statements assuming they are an accurate representation of what was actually said:
1. “We had nothing to hide and, as far as we are concerned, there are no violations.”
2. “Then I sent a letter out correcting it to everyone.”
3. “I have never, ever singled him (Davis) out in any communication. Everything I do, I sent to all candidates regarding any campaign financing issues.”
4. Karalewitz noted that she sent a correction letter regarding a pre-primary form as well.
5. “Anything, if I did in error, was corrected by letter.”
6. “The Menomonee Falls Village Clerk’s Office will not be changing how it handles elections.”
The Vanguard has combed through all of what they believe to be the pertinent documents involving the Clerk’s Office and the various campaigns and have not seen any such letters from the Clerk’s Office referred to above, but would welcome any such letters if they exist and will print them. The Vanguard also wonders how could an office that is in the words of the GAB, “…obligated to know the law and to provide accurate information about it to candidates and the public” be so cavalier about “not changing” how it does things when they have just been cited for numerous mistakes? Wouldn’t the Village Manager and the Village Board require some oversight and accountability or perhaps some kind of discipline for these types of mistakes?
Menomonee Falls News Corrects Headline on GAB Opinion for Clerk’s Office
Even Menomonee Falls News recently printed a large headline correction for their coverage of this matter when they had initially printed, “State clears village of election wrongdoing” only having to admit that they had made an editing error with the GAB’s opinion involving the actions of the Clerk’s Office with their version of a corrected headline that read, “Clerk made errors, none meriting action” and regretted the errors. The damage was done with the first headline which is what the reader remembers, but at least the paper printed a correction in an effort to get it right which is what should have been done the first time the story was printed.
There Appears to be a History with the Clerk’s Office
The Vanguard has spoken to many people, read numerous articles and has reviewed many documents from the past more than five (5) years and can’t help but wonder if there may not be something more to the Clerk’s Office and their concerns with the proper filing of campaign reports by local candidates than meets the eye.
The Vanguard makes the following observations to consider the possibility of an apparent history with the Clerk’s Office and their dogged determination to constantly find fault with certain local elected officials under the apparent guise of filing complaints with the DA’s Office regarding campaign reports instead of contacting the registrant first as is the suggested procedure to follow from the GAB just to get some newspaper articles that create quite a splash just before an election but never go anywhere because they lack substance and any form of apparent wrongdoing:
1. One member from the Village Clerk’s Office ran for Waukesha County Clerk in the September 2002 Republican Primary and was trounced by current County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus by a nearly 2-1 margin (62%-38%). The Vanguard remembers this being a very bitter campaign that was not healed anytime soon.
2. The Vanguard has reviewed copies of letters from November of 2002 from former Village President Joe Greco to the Davis Campaign and Jim and Sue Jeskewitz defending the individual from the Village Clerk’s Office and chastising the Davis Campaign for not supporting this individual for County Clerk and for Greco being targeted by “unmentioned members” of the Republican Party in his unsuccessful quest to retain the village presidency against Davis in the Spring Election of 2003 which he later lost by a 53%-47% margin in one of the largest voter turnouts in the history of the village after having been on the Village Board for more than 20 years to someone who had never held public office before in Menomonee Falls.
3. The Vanguard remembers reading about the Clerk’s Office requiring a campaign report from the Davis Campaign in January of 2003 that we now know was a mistake by the Clerk’s Office only to have former Village President Joe Greco apparently waiting at Village Hall for the mail to come in that day so that within minutes he and his surrogates could immediately send out threatening letter(s), email(s) and phone call(s) to those who had donated to the Davis Campaign requesting them to return their contributions to them from their campaign and to remind them of the favors that Greco had done for them as Village President. The Clerk’s Office, when confronted by the Davis Campaign about their mistake and the request to return the unnecessary report, called the Davis Campaign “paranoid” and outright refused to return the unrequired report which we now know was a mistake by the Clerk's Office.
4. The Vanguard has reviewed the unsubstantiated hostile work environment claims of certain members of the Clerk’s Office from August of 2003 that were later dismissed and in the words of the Director of Administrative Services at the time, “…have the people involved agree to move forward and try to work together for the good of the village” and that, “…the issues have been resolved and no further action is necessary at this time.” This matter was of the most strict confidential nature but was somehow leaked to the press just before the 2004 Spring Election that resulted in the Journal Sentinel printing a false headline and having to print a bold correction that stated, “…a headline on an article incorrectly stated that Davis had caused a hostile work atmosphere at Village Hall” after the apparent successful attempt in doing damage to certain people holding and running for Office on the Village Board for that election had been accomplished.
5. The Vanguard has reviewed the notes from a Village Board Member that were brought to the attention of the Village Manager at the time involving the treatment of the new County Clerk by one member from the Village Clerk’s Office asking for intervention because of various matters that were of concern to the County Clerk at the time. The County Clerk did not want to make these things an issue, but did want things to improve with the member from the Village Clerk’s Office at County Meetings and with various emails that were sent out questioning the County Clerk’s recommendations for other municipal clerks. The Vanguard has reviewed many documents of the Clerk’s Office regarding this matter and has not been able to find any records of the Village Manager properly dealing with this matter as was requested by the Village Board Member at the time. It is apparent that the Village Manager either misplaced, discarded or destroyed these communications because they did not turn up in an Open Records Request of the Clerk’s and Village Manager’s Offices in 2007.
6. The Vanguard has reviewed an Open Records Request of the Clerk’s Office from the summer of 2007 from citizens that were seeking the truth of the Clerk’s Office involving numerous matters from the last more than five (5) years. After the review of the Open Records that were made available to the citizens, the Village Attorney was asked by the citizens if all of the records had been made available to them pertaining to their request. The Village Attorney emphatically stated that to his knowledge all of the records were made available to the citizens. The Village Attorney was given numerous opportunities to confirm that all of the records from the Clerk’s Office had indeed been made available to them only to immediately find out that he hadn’t been truthful to the citizens when several documents that had been requested by the citizens were not made available to them when those copies were then presented to the attorney that the citizens had in their possession before meeting with the Village Attorney. The Village Attorney then made those and other copies available to the citizens about an hour after they had left Village Hall. The Vanguard can only wonder how many other documents that exist or have existed have not been made available to the public when requested as part of an Open Records Request. The penalty for not legally complying with these types of requests are substantial as imposed under state statutes and could possibly reach an amount as high as $1,000 for these types of offenses.
7. The Vanguard also recalls when approximately some 60-80 and maybe even more Menomonee Falls voters were disenfranchised by the Clerk’s Office in the Republican Assembly Primary of 2004 when they were given the incorrect ballots before a number of citizens brought the matter to the attention of the SELB which indeed confirmed that they had received the wrong ballots but were not allowed to vote again. The citizens were given ballots for the wrong Assembly District as Menomonee Falls has two Assembly Districts on the south side. The Republican Assembly Race between the incumbent Lehman and the challenger Pridemore resulted in a very close contest as Pridemore won by only 184 votes district wide which could have resulted in a challenge by the incumbent Lehman, but he chose to let the results stand as they were instead of putting the taxpayers through an expensive challenge of such a close margin of victory even though he apparently had every legal reason and right to ask for one.
8. The Vanguard also recalls in the fall of 2004 when a handful of people were allowed to illegally register to vote by the Clerk’s Office before they were caught and their registrations were thrown out. The Vanguard recalls something to the effect that these people were possibly using an address that didn’t belong to them and were possibly forging signatures. To the credit of the Clerk’s Office, these folks were not allowed to vote. It was later found out that these illegal registrations were apparently the efforts of a national organization referred to as ACORN (Association of Community Organization for Reform Now).
Taxpayers Asked to Foot Some $20,000-$30,000 in Legal Bills of the Clerk’s Office
The Vanguard has reviewed a number of articles and legal bills related to the Clerk’s Office from the last more than five (5) years and have found that the taxpayers have had to pick up the tab for numerous matters requested by certain members of the Clerk’s Office without any apparent formal approval policy by the Village Manager, the Village Attorney or Village Board. While The Vanguard has found the billing statements to be somewhat confusing and unclear, it is obvious that these legal bills that have been paid by the taxpayers at no personal expense to certain members of the Clerk’s Office easily approach $20,000 and may even be as high as $30,000. The Vanguard is more than happy to disclose a different number if it can be shown that one exists.
The Vanguard has found that these legal bills primarily involved two (2) specific areas pertaining to certain members of the Clerk’s Office:
1. The alleged “hostile working environment claim” in 2003 that was later dismissed. The Vanguard made an interesting observation that a large part of the legal bills involving this 2003 matter were incurred some five (5) months after the elected official who was the subject of the false claim was no longer in office in a May of 2005 report. Apparently not satisfied with the results of the first attorney that the taxpayers paid for in 2003 dismissing this matter, the Clerk’s Office somehow hired a new law firm in 2005 at the taxpayer’s expense to take one more kick at the cat incurring even more legal fees with the same result as the first attorney, nothing. When the Village Attorney was asked in the summer of 2007 as to who had approved of this additional expense and why, he had no explanation and referred the matter to the Village Manager who was then asked the same question in December of 2007 and June of 2008 and has yet to respond to The Vanguard. The Vanguard found it interesting that one member of the Clerk’s Office who was interviewed by an attorney at a cost of approximately $325.00 an hour for this May 2005 report after the elected official who was the subject of the inquiry was no longer in office said, “…that the first investigation (2003) was a waste of time and she was made to feel foolish”. Others in the office also said in the May 2005 report said that Mr. Davis did not direct inappropriate behavior towards them personally. Wouldn’t it be great to make an apparent false accusation against someone that you didn’t like, have the taxpayers pick up the legal tab, bear no personal responsibility, not be held accountable and keep your job? The Vanguard is not at all saying that this is what happened in this case, but too much of this type of stuff is going on in our society today and it makes one wonder, “Where does a person go to get their reputation back?”, when these types of unfortunate things occur. The Vanguard could easily fill this blog with such examples.
2. The other matter involved the Davis Campaign repeatedly trying to work with the Clerk’s Office offering to answer any questions that they may have only to be deliberately ignored with the Clerk’s Office filing numerous complaints over the years with the DA’s Office which is in direct opposition as to what the GAB suggests and that never resulted in anything other than getting a very negative newspaper article(s) often times just before an election. It is obvious that the Davis Campaign repeatedly tried to reach out to the Clerk’s Office and even went as far as to apologize to the GAB for involving them in these matters hoping to have been able to resolve these matters with the Clerk’s Office without unnecessarily wasting the taxpayer’s time, money and resources.
Clerk’s Office Threatens Lawsuit to the Davis Campaign on Media Coverage of GAB Findings
The Vanguard has recently learned that a certain member of the Clerk’s Office has now retained Paul Bucher, former Waukesha County DA and September 2006 Republican Primary loser to Attorney General JB Van Hollen by a 60% to 40% margin, to threaten the Davis Campaign with yet another lawsuit because of the coverage in the press and media of the GAB findings involving the Clerk’s Office application of State Election Law for local elections. The lawsuit threat mentions that this matter has caused the Clerk’s Office employee, “…great distress and has lowered her reputation in the community, as well as in the eyes of other individuals who associate with her.” The threatening lawsuit letter also states, “…that this office will respond aggressively to correct this matter and will seek monetary damages and attorney fees against you if this matter is not corrected within the next five (5) days.” The Vanguard has seen a copy of the professional response letter from the Davis Campaign to Attorney Bucher thanking him for his letter, wishing him well in his new vocation and that his concerns and requests were, in their opinion, without merit or concern.
Isn’t There a Better Way?
After reading such a lengthy and exhausting blog, isn’t one left with the simple question of, “Isn’t there a better, more professional and more cost effective way of resolving such matters?” It is hoped by The Vanguard that now that the GAB has made it very clear to the Clerk’s Office in their findings of how to proceed with these matters in the future, that these things will be handled in a much better way without wasting so much of the taxpayer’s time, money and resources on such obvious trivial matters of such little and unfounded significance. The Vanguard hopes for better things in the future from the Clerk’s Office on such matters instead of running to the DA’s Office every time to perhaps just get a negative newspaper article without contacting the campaign(s) first as is the recommended procedure of the GAB.
One More Thing…State Agency Dismisses Village Manager’s Election Campaign Flyer Complaint
Remember when the Village Manager went on television and subsequently to the press to severely, resoundingly and publicly criticize the Davis Campaign just days before the 2008 Village Trustee Race over the issue of a campaign flyer and the some $17 million landfill payment shortfall for the new library, police station and village hall (which will be picked up by the taxpayers for the average homeowner at about $800 - $1,000 per household starting in 2016 or sooner when they were told that "...not one penny came from the taxpayers to pay for this" by the Village Board at the time in 2003) that was supported by Village documents on the Davis website (www.jefferson-davis.info)?
Well, The Vanguard has received a copy of GAB Legal Counsel George Dunst’s requested opinion about the Village Manager’s complaint about the Davis Campaign flyer in which he demanded that the flyer be immediately changed because he felt it was “too political” involving the Village Manager’s Office even though it was very clear that the flyer was that of the Davis Campaign not involving the Village Manager or his office and it was fully disclosed as being paid for by the Davis Campaign.
The Vanguard has seen the documents from the Davis Campaign where the Village Manager’s letter of complaint and the Davis Campaign flyer were immediately forwarded to the GAB Office for their opinion once the complaint from the Village Manager was received by the Davis Campaign. This information was communicated to the Village Manager by the Davis Campaign and he was informed that his office would be immediately notified of the opinion of the authorities once their review was completed. The Vanguard was very disappointed to learn from the press that the Village Manager went on television and in the press to state that the Davis Campaign never responded to him about his concerns regarding the campaign flyer. The Vanguard has learned that just the opposite is true and that the Davis Campaign did respond to the Village Manager with several communications involving this matter. One has to wonder why the Village Manager would go on television and in the press to state something that he knew was not true unless he was misquoted by the press or mispoke on television.
The Vanguard has learned after reviewing the Village Manager’s complaint and the Davis Campaign flyer, that GAB Legal Counsel George Dunst rendered his opinion on the matter in an April 14, 2008 communication to the Davis Campaign which states, “…my recall of the conversation was that you were not obligated to remove from campaign literature a reference to a village trustee, or the village president, or other public figure, unless a court ordered you to do so because of false representation or libel or slander. And, in your case, because your text was an expression of your opinion, rather than a statement of fact about a public figure, a court order was unlikely. The public figure could request to have the reference removed, but there is nothing in elections or campaign finance law that would require you to do so.”
Again, The Vanguard asks, “Isn’t there a better way of resolving these types of issues in a more honest, open, professional, cost effective and truthful way instead of all of this apparent nonsense which obviously results in a total waste of everyone’s time, money and resources?”
What do you think?
Please let us know what you think by participating in our online poll by clicking on the Add Comments button below. We will announce the results after the poll is closed giving readers ample time to respond.
Should the Clerk’s Office follow GAB guidelines and ask the candidate/treasurer questions first about campaign reports or go directly the DA’s Office and the press with a complaint?
_____contact the candidate/treasurer first before going to the DA’s Office and the press for answers to questions about campaign reports as suggested by the GAB
_____go directly to the DA’s Office and the press as has been the past practice of the Clerk’s Office even though the GAB clearly suggests and recommends otherwise
Should some members of the Clerk’s Office reimburse the taxpayers for what appears to be some $20,000-$30,000 in unnecessary legal fees?
Next Week…Uncovering the Great Garbage Debate
The Vanguard will bring you a perspective that hasn’t been covered involving this very sensitive and under reported subject. We will show what has really been going on over the last 14-15 years that you may not know about and the effect it has had and will have on you. After all, it’s your money and the effects on your community will last forever.
The Vanguard’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.