If New Berlin had a Recall Election, what would it cost? According to the City Clerk--- $40,000. Of course, it would be less costly if held at the same time as a Primary or General Election. And who’d be footing the bill? The City, or in other words, the taxpayers.
Concern Citizens of New Berlin, also known as CCNB, is a political organization. It registered as a Political Action Committee (PAC) with the City on May 25. On June 23rd, CCNB filed as a Recall Committee, officially beginning its attempt to recall Mayor Jack Chiovatero and Ald. Bill Moore.
Obviously, CCNB has a political agenda and does not object to spending our tax dollars.
Under attack by CCNB, Ald. Moore chose to defend himself via a letter to the editor published in New Berlin NOW.
Mayor Chiovatero recently opted to send a letter via U.S. mail to community residents. That mailing communicated the history of the City Center and his plan to revitalize the City Center, including building a road. Evidently, CCNB was quite miffed about it. Although the letter carries a clear disclaimer “Authorized and paid for by Jack Chiovatero”, the Journal Sentinel reports that CCNB asked Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel anyway to investigate if any taxpayer funds were improperly used to mail the letter. Does CCNB think that involving the DA in this matter would be a good use of the DA's time and our tax dollars?
In its initial Campaign Registration Statement filed with the City, CCNB provided an email address: Lorna.Schaefer@gmail.com for its political committee and an address on Cottonwood Rd for the committee that (no surprise) happens to be the same as her’s. It listed its Committee Treasurer as Brian Fridl and provided his address. CCNB asserted that it was exempt from filing campaign finance reports. Oh, and the box on the registration form for listing principal officers of the committee was left blank.
Since then, CCNB has made multiple changes/amendments.
Its June 7 amendment indicates CCNB political committee changed its address to a post office box number and a different email address was provided. A principal officer was now listed—Laura Karvala.
CCNB evidently changed its Treasurer a month later. CCNB’s July 11 amendment indicates Tamara Sindberg is now their Committee Treasurer.
It its June 7 amendment, CCNB had also declared it was no longer eligible to claim an exemption from filing campaign finance reports.
On July 20, CCNB filed its Campaign Finance Report (the deadline was July 21 for reporting contributions and expenditures for this calendar year through June 30). The report indicates CCNB spent over $700 on records requests and $90 on credit card processing fees for contributions. It also discloses that Lorna Schaefer was paid $66.38 for “mailing expenses”.
Contributions of $20 or less do not need to be itemized on the Campaign Finance Report and typically are not. The amounts of those contributions are simply added together and their total sum is added to the total of itemized contributions that were received. In contrast, contributions over $20 must be itemized on the Campaign Finance Report (including date, donor’s name, address, amount of contribution).
The Campaign Finance Feport filed by CCNB shows a $200 donation received from one resident. There were several $100 donations listed, including one from Dolores Karner.
Ms. Karner has long been affilitated with New Berlin Citizens for Responsible Government (NBCRG), a local Political Action Committee. On campaign reports NBCRG had filed with the City, she was identified as NBCRG’s Secretary/Treasurer. NBCRG endorsed/supported Mayor Chiovatero's and Ald. Moore's opponents in City elections.
CCNB’s financial report also lists several donations of $25 and $50 from residents.
So, did Ms. Karvala, Ms. Schaefer, Ms. Sindberg, or Mr. Fridl donate a similarly generous amount ($25 or more) of their own money to CCNB? Well, there was no donation from any of those individuals listed on the Campaign Finance Report filed by CCNB –and remember that any donation over $20 must be itemized on that report.