Letter To Editor: Steve Gores
What constitutes political fundraising by a public official? Hopefully, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board will provide an answer.
Five La Crosse County residents, including myself, recently filed an official complaint with the GAB charging — with ample evidence obtained from an open-records request — that La Crosse County Administrator Steve O’Malley violated state election law 11.36 by electioneering and fundraising with taxpayer resources.
This is not “sour grapes” over a previous ruling by our local county ethics board clearing O’ Malley of any ethical lapses. That board never really addressed the key issue of PAC money solicitation.
The most galling piece of evidence gleaned from more than 200 county system emails O’Malley sent regarding his election efforts was a clear solicitation of a $5,000 contribution from his professional association to the “Administrator Yes” PAC.
O’Malley defenders, chiefly former County Board Chairman Steve Doyle, insist this was a public purpose grant completely in keeping with his duties, adding that O’Malley has “free rein” to view his official duties as he see fits unless the county board objects.
I’m confident the GAB will know a political fundraising solicitation when it sees one.
This so-called $5,000 grant from the Counties Association appears on the “Administrator Yes” PAC’s official campaign finance statement as a contribution.
O’Malley clearly tried to use the power and resources of his highly paid county position to influence an important city election. That’s clearly wrong and hopefully the GAB will say so.